• If you want crispy chicken, you come to Sydney's Tan Viet Noodle House. (Tan Viet Noodle House)Source: Tan Viet Noodle House
Is there anything better than chewy twisted egg noodles paired with tender chicken encased in crispy skin?
Katrina Trinh

19 Feb 2021 - 2:52 PM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2021 - 12:44 PM

With every exerted bite, there are hints of rich caramelised shallots, fresh herbs and wisps of juicy chicken shreds. It is ultimately synonymous with blanched sprouts, stringy garlic chives and comforting Vietnamese chicken soup, canh  — it's where an antithesis of textures are all prized.

Those who grew up in Cabramatta, or were regular visitors, know without a doubt the only place to go for this — Tân Việt Noodle House. One of the most memorable lunches and dinners of many childhoods involves families gathering together on a Sunday and savouring big bowls of the classic egg noodles with crispy chicken, mì gà da dòn, around the table at Tân Việt.

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This beloved food spot follows culinary traditions from Vietnam and serves impeccably flavourful Vietnamese-Chinese dishes, loaded with fresh simple ingredients and produce. Tân Việt fuels the dynamics of the place and invites gourmands with their warm bowls of beef stew and goat curry — family recipes that are uncomplicated and surely soothe our souls and bellies.

The restaurant grew out of the Lam family's experience in running a small local eatery in Vietnam. "We wanted to open our own restaurant because we already had the skills from our upbringing," says the family. In the 1980s, the eldest brother opened up the first restaurant in Marrickville and later in 1993, it was relocated to Cabramatta ran by the younger siblings.

"At that time, Vietnamese cuisine was barely existent in Sydney, so opening up the restaurant and sharing our home-style cooked meals was something special for us to do," says the Lam family. "We wanted to make a footprint in our new home."

Crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside.

While Cabramatta, often referred as 'Cabra', is very small and tight-knit where every Vietnamese person knew of each other — it was one of the reasons why the family was drawn to the place and decided to open up their flagship restaurant there. Now, it's characterised by having the largest Vietnamese community in Australia with an intricately layered history and the best way to understand it is to start with the food itself.

"Coming from a family of Chinese immigrants who lived in Vietnam, it has allowed us to bring two cultures together and combine those flavours," explains the Lam family. "We wanted to utilise those skills to bring the best of Chinese-Vietnamese culture and transform it on the plate."

"We wanted to... bring the best of Chinese-Vietnamese culture and transform it on the plate."

For almost 30 years, their famous mì gà da dòn has been a staple on the menu. They have not only broken the grounds by reinventing the original Vietnamese crispy skin chicken recipe but also nourishing the coming generations with a taste of Vietnamese customs.

"We wanted to perfect the taste by using the most succulent piece of chicken. So, it made sense to us to only serve Maryland. Our values are centred on doing a few things and doing them well. We concentrate on a small menu range to bring out the best flavours and the freshest ingredients," explains the family.

This beloved food spot follows culinary traditions from Vietnam and serves impeccably flavourful Vietnamese-Chinese dishes.

In the early days, they sold as little as six pieces of chicken a day, and now, after having perfected their techniques and flavours, they use a central processing factory for mass food orders. On the weekends, you'll find people roaming around bustling John Street for grocery shopping and socialising. It's a given that there'll be a hot line-up of outside Tân Việt.

"As a community, Cabramatta has done so well to preserve this beautiful Vietnamese culture. It's still exciting to see visitors from all over Sydney, interstate and overseas travel to Cabramatta to see this part of town that resembles the markets in Vietnam," the Lam family adds.

"We're excited to expand our family's restaurant into Eastwood and Haymarket to make it more accessible for generous, affordable Vietnamese food across Sydney. We will continue to expand our reach so more diverse customers can get to know us and our food."


Tân Việt Noodle House
Haymarket: 11-8pm / 7 days a week
Cabramatta: 9am-9pm / 7 days a week
Eastwood and Haymarket: 11am-8 pm / 7 days a week

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