Bay Tinh is a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Sydney and there have been a couple of reviews done on the restaurant in general but not specifically on the Bonfire dishes.
We recently went to its Lower North Shore branch in Crows Nest for dinner. It was no surprise to find the restaurant jam-packed with customers when we arrived but we were lucky to get a spot immediately since there were only two of us.
The dishes on the menu were all very tempting but we finally narrowed our choices and agreed to go with an entree and a main course to share. Being a carb junkie, I couldn't resist the temptation of having rice, so we added a plate of fried rice to our order.
Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)
Our spring roll entree was apparently Bay Tinh's unique creation - Cha Gio ($10). The filling had a mix of juicy minced meat and a special mix of black fungus with other ingredients, rolled in a thin pastry. The deep-fried rolls had a very light and crispy texture on the skin.
The garlic fried rice - Com Toi ($6.50, small) was served shortly after our entree. While it wasn't exactly an authentic Vietnamese dish, I still enjoyed this simple garlic fried rice which satisfed my cravings for carb.
Bonfire cooked at the table
It was unfortunately quite a wait for our main course to arrive but when it was served at the table, we were both excited with our Chicken and Prawn Bonfire($28) - the most sensational dish of the night. Set in a clay pot, the staff set the flame alight while we eagerly waited for it to cook. The dish was served with rice paper, lettuce, herbs, pickles and Bay Tinh's special sauce.
Served with Sauce and Vegetable
The bonfire dish was truly a roll-it-yourself dining experience. Thanks to the restaurant staffs, the rice paper sheets were already individually separated and soften on each tray. Hence making it easier to roll.
The smell of caramelised onion filled the air the moment the lid was lifted. Once the dish was cooked it was time to get our hands dirty. First, take a tray of rice sheet, then scoop a spoonful of filling from the pot and place it on the rice sheet. Next, add lettuce and herbs, and drizzle some sauce on top. Finally, start rolling and enjoy the feast. The chicken and prawns were flavoursome as well as the gravy infused with sweetness and flavour. I can't have enough of the sauce which blended really well with the overall dish.
We were so filled-up after cleaning out the pot but it was certainly finger licking good. What a delicious way to get the hands dirty!
Overall, it was truly a unique DIY dining experience though it would have been better if we didn't have a long wait for our main course. Nonetheless, the staffs were generally pleasant and helpful throughout the time.