|Bun cha, lemongrass and chilli prawns, salt and pepper squid and fried spring rolls at Hanoi Quan|
From its Vietnamese eateries to its new wave of cafes, Marrickville seems to be the place to be right now for good value yet delicious eats. I’ve raved about the cafes (here and here) and the stylish addition to the Vietnamese scene, but here are a few more Marrickville eats I’ve tried lately:
Tucked away in the square next to Post Café, Edamame serves innovative Japanese food and might just be Marrickville’s best kept secret. There are all the usual sushi and sashimi suspects, but along with the standard fare are some standout creative takes on Japanese cuisine, like miso cured duck and scallops with popping bacon bits. There was no bacon available when we ate, so they offered to replace it with popping pickled vegetables and we warily accepted – luckily, the result was an amazing, Heston-ish take on sea scallops, like savoury popping candy meets succulent seafood. Can't wait to try more of their dishes!
The café scene in Marrickville just keeps on growing – from Coffee Alchemy, Double Roasters and Cornersmith to newcomers Vesbar and Beejays. Vesbar is a tiny, Italian style café with Campos coffee, home-style pastas and paninis, and tempting sweets like cannolis sourced from Sulfaro’s in Haberfield. The décor is cute, the service excellent and the sugared donut confections the perfect accompaniment to the rich, smooth coffee – a welcome addition to the area and no doubt beneficiary of the Cornersmith overflow. (I've realised the trick is to go mid-week and between meal times - and totally forget about Saturdays - to ensure a seat, and to sample the amazing, seasonal menu. So, so good).
This is old school Vietnamese food at its best – generous, hearty servings of flavoursome food in a casual, boisterous environment. The kitsch, carved wooden décor, boxes overflowing with lemons on the crammed shelves and garish plastic dishrack visible through the front counter are all reminiscent of little finds down a Hanoi alley. The salt and pepper squid is delicious (and massive – think enough for 4-6 people to share) and the lemongrass and chilli prawns are heaven.