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Published September 19th 2014
Freshly Made, Deliciously Crunchy, We Want More
Ever wondered why Vietnamese restaurants served heaps of Asian greens with the spring rolls? If they are meant to be decorative garnishes, they are slightly excessive. My Vietnamese friends answered my query by treating us to the best Vietnamese spring rolls in Sydney.
Most people associate Cabramatta as 'little Saigon' in Sydney; but if you are after an authentic Vietnamese feast, Canley Height is the suburb to visit.
Canley Height is slightly less well-known compared with Cabramatta; but with the recent revamp of the main Eat-Street, it is now a buzzing suburb with heaps of south-eastern restaurants, focusing on delivering delicious, affordable and genuine cuisines.
Huong Xua is a modern-looking Vietnamese restaurant located on the main Canley Vale Road. It specializes in northern-Vietnamese style dishes where the taste is lighter, cleaner and clearer. The menu is extensive and offers the typical Vietnamese share plates as well as unusual region-specific dishes.
I was initially skeptical at my friends' exaggeration of Sydney's best spring rolls. But after taking a loud shattering bite, I concurred with my friend's finding wholeheartedly.
These Vietnamese spring rolls (cha gio) were absolutely amazing on their own. The texture and the flavours were very different as they were wrapped in super absorbent, crispy rice papers and each were tightly packed with meat fillings.
These spring rolls were served with heaps of Vietnamese greens and a bowl of sweet chilli sauce. We looked at the loads of 'garnishes' with curious glances. Surely, we were going to send them all back to the Kitchen....
We were surprised when our Vietnamese friend asked for 'another' bowl of sweet chili sauce.
Then she explained that we were meant to 'drown' the spring rolls in these Northern Vietnamese-style sweet chilli dressing. Unlike the normal sweet chili sauce served in Thai or Chinese restaurants, Huong Xua's sweet chili dressing (nuoc mam) has less fish sauce and tasted more watery but less sweet and vinegary. The bowl of sweet chili dressing contained pickled carrots and radish slices and they acted as refreshers between bites.
My friend then proceeded to demonstrate how she enjoyed these Vietnamese spring rolls. First, immerse the spring rolls in the sweet chili dressing. Place the spring roll in between lettuce/ perilla leaves. Then top with basil, mint and bean sprouts. Finally wrap it all together and enjoy.
In essence, it was like a spring roll within a lettuce wrap roll.
It worked perfectly together and these spring rolls exploded with flavours. They tasted very fresh with accompanying herbs and sauce. Easily, these spring rolls were the best I have tasted so far. They ended up to be a meal in itself instead of an entree.
We also ordered a Huong Xua Combination Rice ($13) which contained pork chops, soft poached chicken and Vietnamese sausages, served with rice and topped with a fried egg. It was a hearty, moreish dish and the serving is enough for two.
My friend loved the spring rolls and she could not resist but to order the Vermicelli with Spring Rolls and Char Grilled Pork ($12.50). The serving size was generous and we were impressed with the fresh vermicelli. All the ingredients were simple and overall it doesn't leave you feeling greasy and oily.
We finish the meal with young coconut and the signature durian smoothie. The avocardo & durian smoothie came out icy and creamy. It was a delightful way to conclude our meal.
Huong Xua Vietnamese Restaurant offers an authentic and delicious meal at an affordable price. Tell me where else can you get 4 amazing large spring rolls for only $10? It only cost us $13 per person for 2 entrees, 2 mains and drinks for a such fulfilling meal.
I think I will be back soon to satisfy my spring roll cravings.