Shortly after wrapping up the 30+ hours of my latest Belfast-Sydney journey, I hopped on a train into the city centre, eager to inaugurate my month-long food adventures. Since I’ll be eating my way through Sydney, with nomtastic plans practically everyday, I’ve decided to share my thoughts and photos from these various dining experiences–and they’ll be various indeed, in this spectacularly sunny city with its blooming and booming multicultural (and intercultural) cuisines.
A recent addition is Sydney’s first up-market and “accessible” Bangladeshi restaurant, wittily called Bang Street Food and bearing a set menu entitled “Bang for your buck”. I went with my friend Anika, who was born in Bangladesh, occasionally visits, and knows her stuff about food. When I arrived at the decidedly modern restaurant, spaced out and disoriented about the day/time/season/meal, Anika was calmly sipping a mango lassi ($8), which then prompted me to order a coconut one ($8)–delicious, summery, and much needed.
Using jet-lag as an excuse, I asked Anika to order for the both of us (a joyous and triumphant moment when she agreed, since I am supremely indecisive). The dishes are meant to be shared, which suited us perfectly, and Anika, who hadn’t been to Bang either, chose some of her favourites, hoping they would turn out well and relatively authentic.
Then we talked about Dragon Age and English literature and university and boys and the Australian economy.
The first dish to arrive was fuska, which are deep-fried balls filled with spiced potato, coriander, and green chilli, topped with shaved egg whites, and served with tamarind water ($10). Every bit the pro, Anika poured the water over the beautifully presented fuska.
I didn’t know what to expect, but after the first mouthful, I was delighted by the combination of the fuska’s light, crispy shell and its soft potato filling. The flavours were a beautiful mix of sweet, spicy, and savoury, an utterly unique concoction I’d not encountered previously. Anika was equally pleased, praising the fuska’s authenticity, and we happily munched away for the next few minutes.
The fuska was followed by a duck egg omelette with blue swimmer crab, green chilli, grape tomato, and garlic chives ($23). Again, the flavours were new to me but wonderfully so, and I gobbled up the omnomnomelette.
(At one point, in my exhaustion, I asked Anika where the duck was. She blinked at me a few times, then said the duck was were the egg came from. Cue the heartfelt laughter between old friends.)
Next, we had a Wagyu tri-tip curry with chicory and satkora ($32), served with Pulau Kalijeera rice ($6). After a quick search on Google, we discovered satkora is a citrus grown primarily in Bangladesh–the things you learn! We both enjoyed the top-quality beef, but it was the rice that won Anika’s heart, and she proceeded to eat it as is (and I don’t blame her!).
By then, we were both pretty full and content, which meant one thing: dessert! Anika ordered a Lal Mohan to share–a rum-drunk doughnut with caramelised apple,
milk powder crumb, and saffron crème fraiche ($15). Despite having had her fair share of Lal Mohans, Anika only then realised that “doughnut” was an apt name for the sweet, doughy deliciousness that was particularly soft and gooey in the middle. Needless to say, we polished off our dessert, down to the very last milk powder crumb.
After a brief chat with the head chef, Tapos Singha, who uses local produce where possible and imports the rest (such as the satkoras), Anika and I left, happily watered and fed. Anika was particularly pleased about the restaurant’s Bangladeshi pride, which we both think could do with some boosting–after all, the food certainly packs a flavourful punch!
Visited on: Friday, 11 September 2015. Lunch.
Spent: $55 per person.
Overall: Friendly and knowledgeable staff, excellent quality, and wonderful presentation. Perhaps a little on the expensive side, but I need to recalibrate my Sydney monetary scale. 8/10.
Bang Street Food
Tuesday – Thursday: 18:00-late; Friday and Saturday: 12:00-15:00, 18:00-late; Monday and Sunday: Closed