06 June 2010

Savann Restaurant Review ~ Lao & Thai - Arthur Street Cabramatta

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Amazing Laos food with a Vietnamese pandan waffle and a coffee at Cabra Cafe for desert. Add beer at the Townie in Newtown and you have a perfect Saturday afternoon.


It says at the top of our blog page that we are travel nerds, we really are. Today we catch a train to Cabramatta for a feed rather than drive, it helps us pretend we are on overseas holiday. Now that's travel nerdy.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

We get off the Train an Cabramatta facing the daunting task of deciding where to eat amongst dozens and dozens of great street foodie restaurants.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

We walk about 40 metres and see this place, Savann Thai and Lao restaurant. The menu is full of amazing Lao dishes. We have struck street food gold.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

It's your standard hole-in-the wall restaurant. The owner is very friendly and helpful.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

They have sticky rice - woohoo! It comes in a little basket just as I remember from my time in Laos many moons ago.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Also as I remember from Laos, dishes often come with a plate of fresh herbs. What a great way to eat.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Our first choice is Larb Dib: raw finely chopped beef and tripe with chili, shallots, roasted rice powder and lemon to squeeze over the top. Wrap it up in lettuce, mint and fresh cabbage. $7.50. Oh yeah.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Serving suggestion...

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Lao Pork Sausage. I didn't have these in Laos but they do remind me of Northern Thai or Chang Mai sausage, lightly spiced, very nice. $7.50.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Dipping sauce for the Lao Pork Sausages.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Dried beef. Also a taste sensation. It's like beef jerky, very chewy and cooked in a sweet sauce. $7.50.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Miss Chicken loves her googies so we try the 'Baby Duck Egg'. $2.50. The owner grins when we order it.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

When we crack the top we realize what we are in for, this is that classic Asian street\bar snack of an egg with a semi-formed birdy inside.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

That may sound disgusting, rest assured it looks disgusting.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

There are feathers and as you can see above, a little duckie head. But it really is delicious, it tastes like a really 'eggy' egg, the strong flavour is tempered perfectly by dipping it into the salt/pepper mix. We have had this before in Vietnam and have developed a taste for it. We noticed that the locals often eat it slowly while nursing a beer.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Savann Lao & Thai Cuisine is at 5/2 Arthur Street Cabramatta. Highly recommended. Really highly recommend. Total feast of three dishes, duck egg, sticky rice and ice tea came to $25.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

We have a wander round at get a swiss roll and a 'tiger' roll for laters.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Thanks Tim Tim Cake Shop!

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

And then we nearly wet our trousers when we find banh kep, Vietnamese pandan waffles. These are green with pandan goodness and light coconut kick. Oh my god.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

One of my goals of the day was to find a Vietnamese coffee just like we had in Vietnam, as shown in this picture pinched from Wikipedia.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

We couldn't find any but Cabra Cafe had the next best thing. The coffee is super strong, I mean really freaking strong, and super sweet. Just like Vietnam. It is frothy like it has been shaken and the glass is dense with ice. This stuff has a kick to say the least. The free pot of tea takes the edge off it.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

Cabre Cafe is a lively place to have a coffee, seems like a very popular hang spot for local blokes.

Savann Laos Thai Restaurant Cabramatta Sydney Australia

There's nowhere like Cabramatta if you're after a sense of being in Asia without leaving Sydney, it's a great place to spend an afternoon. We head home stopping for a schooner at Newtown's beloved Townie. It's a wonderful life.

8 comments:

  1. Love your report! I'm holidaying in Sydney from the UK at the moment and was told to head out to Cabramatta to experience the variety of Asian cuisines it has to offer. My parents are from Laos so I was intrigued to hear about the Lao restaurants that were there. They're non-existent in the UK so the closest type of food we get commercially is either Thai or Vietnamese.
    I caught a train from Sydney Central which took about an hour. On arrival, I left the station on the platform 2 side as I hadn't been given any formal instructions on where to go. As I wandered through the streets, I discovered a 'Lao and Thai restaurant' but can't remember the name. Much to my excitement, I continued to explore the area to see if I could find any more.
    I couldn't find anything else so decided to return to the station and crossed over the brige to where there seemed to be a better variety of restaurants.
    I went up and down the streets for a while realising that the restaurants were predominantly either Chinese of Vietnamese so when I discovered 'Savann', I decided to give it a go.
    I had 'Larb souk' (cooked version of your 'Larb') and as I couln't decide between the sausage and the dried beef, the owner kindly gave me a combination of both. I was in food heaven and felt like I was eating my mum's cooking except thousands of miles from home at a 'Lao' restaurant in Sydney (of all places)!
    I was pleasantly surprised to discover your blog after googling 'Lao food Cabramatta' to see if I had missed any other 'Lao' restaurants during my visit to the area.
    Cabramatta is a little out of the way but if you're a foodie, it's well worth it and the service is great too. It's a novelty to me!
    Highly recommended!

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  2. Yay Nissa - months later we are still fondly remember our Savann feed.

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  3. A baby duck egg!! Are you serious ?? I´m a foodie, but there goes a line... the food should look good as well(!) Man, that´s well bad. But thank you for enlightening me ;)

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    1. We try and have a go at most things we don't know. Sometimes you win (taiwanese blood cube), sometimes you lose (cow lung). It's a real mental battle as well, the duck egg is a tasty food but mentally you need to get over what you see.

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  4. Vietnamese tin drip coffee (like in the picture from wikipedia) can be obtained from Rose Sunrise Bakery on Marrickville Rd,haven't tried it yet, but according to the street foodie grape vine, its there...

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  5. good ,i like it , and i also have a dinner here.

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  6. I suggest you guys try out Battambang in Cabramatta some time. It's a hole in the wall in the truest sense, but the food is second to none in terms of quality and authenticity, and it's dirt cheap as well. Not to mention loads of Cambodian aunties and uncles eat there :)

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    1. Yes we saw that on our last trip to Cabra and it's high on our list when we next visit.

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Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great nom noms that come along with it. Think Maeve O'Meara, not Masterchef :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (although sometimes our Mum shouts us).