Amongst the glitz and glamour of the Treasury Casino in the city you may not expect to find simple authentic Asian “hawker”-style street food but that’s exactly what Luke Nguyen is offering at Fat Noodle.
Nguyen is one of Australia’s celebrity chefs known for his Red Lantern and Fat Noodle restaurants in Sydney, a TV series on SBS and cookbooks.
From his early life as a refugee and his strict food-obsessed parents, he has developed a style based on Vietnamese as well as Chinese, Thai and Malaysian flavours.
Entrées include Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($9 for 4) made with glass noodles, wood ear mushrooms and tofu – hot and moreish – as well as Luke’s Vietnamese Chicken Salad ($12) – a pickled cabbage “coleslaw” with shredded chicken – and traditional King Prawn and Pork Rice Paper Rolls ($13 for 4), soft and juicy with a tangy hoisin sauce. Beware though, in typical street food style, dishes are brought out as they are prepared – so your main may arrive before the entrée.
Luke’s signature dish is Fat Pho Noodles ($18) – oxtail and thinly sliced wagyu beef slow-cooked in 400-litre kettles, resulting in a rich, dark beef broth served with bean sprouts, fresh Thai basil, chilli and fat rice noodles – a complete meal in a bowl. Roasted Duck ($19) comes with a rich chicken broth that you pour over the egg noodles with a tangy tamarind plum sauce. From the wok menu, choose Mee Goreng ($18) or a very tasty Chicken Pad Thai ($16). This is simple, tasty and great value Asian food.
Jasmine tea is delivered when you sit down. The service is quick and efficient. There are no desserts and no bookings – but you won’t have to wait long for a table.
The décor is distinctively Asian with timber screens, fringed lampshades dropping from high ceilings, wok-style pendant lights and a back-lit wall of lions and bottles silhouetted in the bar. The open kitchen is in the centre with several rooms around the sides.
There is a small wine list with several by the glass as well as a good range of beers and Asian-style soft drinks. Entry is through the casino – but if you have underage guests there is an external entrance.