Living very close to Chinatown is convenient, with so many dining options, but it also makes me miss out on places that are bit farther from home. So when I was approached by Loan from Sing Sing and invited for a meal, I took it as an opportunity to try something new.
Sing Sing is family owned and run Vietnamese & Chinese restaurant on Hardgrave Rd in West End. It has the well established Quan Thanh as a neighbour, which I visited last year when I didn’t know much about Asian food. Lots has changed since then, I fell in love with Vietnamese food and tried many places – mostly in Chinatown.
When I read that Sing Sing moved to West End from Annerley this year something clicked in my head – it’s a place I’ve seen every day for a year when I worked outside of the city and commute by bus that was coming past right next to the restaurant. Every evening I saw many people there and hoped one day I’ll be able to visit and try it myself. And here I was, Sing Sing – bound, excited to see it’s now so much closer to the city. After hearing many times from my Chinese colleague that I have to try their food I had my expectations set very high.
First surprise waited for us when we arrived – the place is nothing like any other Asian restaurant we’ve been to. It’s spacious, with lots of light, high ceiling and doesn’t feel cramped at all.
As usual, we went straight to the drinks section in a search for our favourite – brown vietnamese ice coffee (brown because it’s with condensed milk). I was really hoping it would turn up with all the filter equipment and it will be up to us to mix it and I was pleased when they brought it exactly like that. It makes drinking coffee so much more fun.
Ever since I opened the menu I had my eyes on the crispy spiced quail ($7.5). Hubby went for spring rolls (you can’t go to a Vietnamese restaurant and not have some sort of rolls – I would prefer the rice paper ones, but as I ordered the quail I let him choose the crispy ones).
Quail was great – right amount of crispiness and not dry. It could be easily shared between two people. It’s a bit messy to eat, but worth the clean-up you need to do after. Spring rolls ($6.9/5 pieces) were longer than usual and, what’s more important, not dripping in oil as it happened somewhere else to us, so that’s a big plus. Flavour wise – good proportions of filling to the wrapping, came with a dipping sauce (which was a bit too sweet to my I-quit-sugar taste).
I was torn between my favourite vermicelli salad and their weekend special crepe and decided to go for the latter – Vietnamese crepe with pork belly and prawns served with fresh herbs and Vietnamese dipping sauce ($13.50) is a humongous dish that needs a warning – do not order entree if you plan on having the crepe. It took almost entire table. But hey, it was so good, that despite having a quail few minutes earlier, I ate almost the whole thing. Veggies that came on a side where fresh and crunchy – that’s exactly the reason I love Vietnamese food, simple and fresh. And the crepe itself wasn’t doughy and tasteless, but really well spiced.
Hubby, as always, had pho with beef ($12.5 for large). We’re on a mission to find the best one (not the most authentic, as we know nothing about it, but the one that we like the most) in Brisbane and we both agreed this one is high up in our top 3. Not too oily, not too cloudy, darker colour and rich flavour.
Another great news at the end of our meal – we don’t have to walk far with our food-babies to catch a bus, it’s right in front of the restaurant 😉
We were invited guests of Sing Sing. All photos and opinions are my own and I wasn’t paid to provide a positive review.