Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fat Noodle, Pyrmont (NSW) by Bureaucrat

Lock and load.  This bureaucrat was in Sydknee recently and took the opportunity to try a few more places.  In particular, as I was stationed around Star City, most of the places that I'm blogging about are from that miniature casino.

First up was Luke Nguyen's Fat Noodle which is located inside the gaming area at the casino.  Star City ain't on the same scale or luxe-ness as Crown Casino.  So it kinda felt like you were just going into a more upmarket RSL club that had more pokie machines.  I know it's inside the gaming area, but the noise level in the sectioned off area of FN was louder than ideal.  Plus, we had the unfortunate luck of being seated next to this complete wanker with a loud voice that just wouldn't shut up throughout our entire meal.

There is a big communual dining table plus some smaller tables around the perimeter.  As it was already 7.30pm and there was a queue, I was just happy to get a spot on the communal table within 5 minutes.

Ordering quickly, we got roast duck and enoki rice paper rolls as an entree ($13). This wasn't anything thrilling.  Two small rolls with some bland duck and a couple strands of enoki - not much in terms of filling - there was a lot of vermicelli (tsk tsk!)... a bit of a rip off.

For mains, although we both ordered a main each, we ended up swapping our meals with each other because we both though the other person's dish was better.

I had ordered the fat pho noodles - Luke Nguyen's signature dish.  Beef broth, Angus sirloin and brisket, sprouts and basil ($18). The broth was very clear and delicate in flavour (almost like a consomme) - it was tasty, but I prefer the strong beefy flavours that you'd get in a cheap eats Vietnamese place. A reasonable amount of tender Angus beef. We hadn't come across having pho with hoisin sauce... somehow that didn't seem authentic to us, so we didn't use it.  The Lawyer loved the pho and had wished the serve was a bit bigger given the price.

The Lawyer originally ordered the chicken pad Thai (abt $17) but I ended up wolfing it. This was pretty good and above average.  Very aromatic egg and impressive wok hei happening here.  Tender slices of chicken breast, al dente beans and a good sprinkle of roasted peanuts.  The sauce was just the way I liked it - saucy but not excessive, and not too salty. The noodles were al dente and not clumpy. Compared to the pho, I'd say this was better value in terms of the serving size.

Food - 7
Ambience - 6
Service - 6.5
Price - 6

I'll admit that I wanted to go to FN because of the tasty food and the passion Luke Nguyen has when he cooks on his Greater Mekong tv show.  Was I impressed?  Ehh.... The pho and pad Thai were pretty good, but over priced. But the rice paper rolls were just a plain rip off.

As a smug Melbourne-based foodie, it'd be no surprise to hear me say that eating out in Sydney is expensive and that Sydneysiders aren't as savvy or demanding for what they get for thier money.  And our experience at FN is just another example of this.

The ambiance is somewhat lacking given that you're in a gaming area that isn't completely enclosed.  It's loud and the place isn't that big. Overall, this isn't a place that you'd linger over your meal - especially during peak times. FN is busy and popular, and the staff there are friendly although a bit frazzled.

Would I recommend FN to someone who was visiting Sydney?  Hmm... I'd say try it if you happen to be in the area but don't feel the need to specifically go to Star City to try it.

Fat Noodle
80 Pyrmont St, Level 1
Sydney NSW 2009

Fat Noodle on Urbanspoon

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