Thursday, 17 April 2008

le tran

576 Darling Street
Rozelle NSW 2039
02 9810 8899


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New to the Rozelle/Balmain dining scene, Le Tran immediately stands out amongst its neighbours for not choosing a 'moody evening dining' look - its clean, bright interior space may be a little glarey for regular Balmain diners, but that clean, bright feeling continues through the menu and that can't be a bad thing.

Our table started with an entree of Banh Xeo - a well known Vietnamese pancake dish, containing prawns, pork, bean shoots and served with a sweetly tangy vinigarette.

The serving size was generous, and the pork and prawns were abundant and tender. The pancake, unlike the Chinese version is made of rice-flour so it has a lighter, crispier finish.

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We were assured by our friendly waitperson that their Bo Luc Lac (aka. 'Shaking beef') was one of their best known dishes and this came in the form of bite-sized pieces of beef - if sliced a little thin - which has been braised in garlic and then wok fried with onion until clear and sweet and then served with a clean lemon pepper vinigarette which cut the faint oiliness well.

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After a teeny lapse (it was rather busy), our Heo Dau Den - pork braised with capsicum, onion and black bean sauce arrived. Pork can be a huge hit or miss when it comes to this type of dish. It can end up being too dry or so over-marinated in bicarb that it reduces the meat to playdoh. Fortunately it was neither - and the bitterness of the black beans was really well offset by the sweetness of the red and green capsicum.

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Lastly, the Tom Xa Ot, king prawns pan-fried with lemon grass and chilli not only looked succulent but proved to be the winner of the meal. Top marks for well sized juicy prawns, generous serving size and a deliciously spicy tangy glaze throughout the entire dish.

With the bill roughly $70 for 3 people, its pretty satisfying, moderately priced casual dining.

6.5/10

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