Every now and then, a new restaurant opens in Cabramatta. Being a local, immediate doubts are cast over it. Will it succeed? Or will it end up being just another average restaurant? You see, regular visitors of Cabramatta are extremely loyal to their local eating holes. It’s not enough to be a jack of all trades and master of none if your restaurant is in Cabramatta. Most restaurants, if not all, have a ‘franchise’ dish. The dish which every purposely rocks up for. At Bayon Noodle, I’m searching, but do I succeed?
Bayon Noodle looks like a new Chinese and Cambodian restaurant. Cambodian food is difficult to find in Sydney, however if you are in Cabramatta, there are atleast half a dozen decent ones.
This is the Vietnamese version with a generous array of fresh papaya, mint and basil, fresh prawns, crushed peanuts, pork belly. The best way to eat this is to pour in the bowl of fish sauce and toss the salad altogether. In terms of taste, it wasn’t too bad, lacking a bit of ‘kick’ but then again I am comparing it to Thai/Lao papaya salads which are extremely pungent and flavoursome.
Tender beef grilled with unidentified herbs and spices and a side of cold pickles, what more could you ask for ? It’s the perfect contrast of smokey warm beef with the cold and crunchy pickles.
This was surprisingly one of my favourites. A spicy coconut based soup with copious amounts of pungent fish paste and other ingredients touched every one of my taste buds. What makes the dish is probably the side of salad with it’s different textures. Off the top of my head I spotted cabbage, cucumber, bean sprouts, and chives.
A very light batter compared to other versions I’ve eaten, which is great. I could spot and taste huge bits of freshly cracked black pepper, definitely putting the ‘pepper’ in salt and pepper calamari. Though one thing I did notice was a few prawns on the fish, maybe they ran out of calamari ? But I’m not complaining too much. This was another dish served with a side of their house pickles, great combination. The sourness of the pickles offsets the saltyness of the calamari perfectly.
I don’t have a picture of the internals, but imagine a sea of green chives and not much else. Being of Teo Chew descent, we live and breath chives (literally). While they are detrimental to our breath, they are bloody good. Pungent chives are encased in a dumpling and then lightly pan fried to give it a bit of crunch and texture.
This was another traditional khmer dish and one of my favourites as well. It’s a soup based dish with braised vegetables such as eggplant, tender pork belly and some berries/beans which I’ve seen in some Indian dishes. It’s a hard dish to describe, but flavourwise it’s full of different herbs and spices which touched every corner of my taste buds. It’s a dish you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere apart from a Cambodian restaurant.
The perfect winter dish, fall off the bone stewed duck in an amazing soup full of duck flavour. The duck leg is braised in different herbs and spices, I can taste star anise, cinammon and 5 spice amongst others. On the side is a crunchy piece of prawn cracker, it’s all about the textures.
Bayon Noodle is the new kid on the block in Cabramatta. There are about 2-3 very good Chinese Cambodian restaurants within the vicinity and you’ll see locals dressed in their home clothes slurping away at noodles or hearty rice dishes. It’s going to be tough for Bayon to differentiate themselves, but I think they are on the right track. The decor inside is a lot cleaner and modern than the other places and they have the advantage of Merrick Watts and his family eating there a few months ago!
233 Cabramatta Road, Cabramatta NSW 2166
Tip : It’s in an alleyway off John St, on the same side as Commonwealth Bank and Gloria Jeans.