Tag Archives: Vietnamese

Mama’s Buoi, Tramsheds

I’ve been to Tramsheds a number of times since it opened.  The variety of cuisines is good, parking is easy, and you can finish off any visit with a gelato from Messina!

I’ve been to Mama’s Buoi in Crows Nest, and enjoyed it. The menu at the three Sydney venues differs slightly and I liked the look of some of the Tramshed dishes (the Small People are also getting into Vietnamese), so off we went.

As you’d expect with Vietnamese there are lots of herbs, lots of vegetables, a bit of spice.  Service was efficient if not particularly friendly.  The pricing is also very reasonable for the serving size. My picks were the duck pancakes, the salt and pepper squid, and the fragrant beef with the greens.

Pulled Duck Pancake with pineapple, pickled carrots, mixed herbs & honey

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Vietnamese salt & pepper squid with Mama’s secret spices

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Marinated Chicken Skewers with pickled vegetables, lettuce cups & nước mắm sauc

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Crispy Fried Soft Shell Crab with a green papaya salad

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Mama’s Beef Stir Fry with lemongrass, Asian broccoli, chilli & oyster sauce

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Wok Tossed Seafood with lemongrass, tiger prawns, squid and ling


Ginger chicken stir fry with onion, shiitake mushrooms, green shallots, sesame oil and oyster sauce

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Special Crab Fried Rice with onion, coriander, fried egg & lime dressing

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For other Tramsheds visits, have a look at Flour Eggs Water and Osaka Trading Co.

Mama’s Buoi, Tramsheds Ph 02 9952 1638

Mama’s Buoi, Crows Nest

Most cultures have a word or a phrase that means “mummy’s boy”.  In Italian it is mammone, in Greek mamakias.  And while “buoi” is actually the Vietnamese word for a type of grapefruit, the name of this traditional Vietnamese eatery is in fact a play on words by founder Bao Hoang, and a reflection of love and admiration for his mother, and recipes he learnt from her along the way.

I had often walked past its little corner in Crows Nest, seeing heads bent over steaming pho or munching on rice paper rolls.  The place doesn’t take bookings, but on a cold and wet Sunday night we are in luck and seats are free in the small indoor area, as most of the seating is outside.  I’m having a long overdue catch up with a lovely friend; like the Marito, she is a vegacquarian, so we stick to vegetables and a fish dish.  Everything that comes out is tasty, light and fragrant, and I would happily come back to try some of the meat dishes. The staff are friendly and attentive too.


We start with some fresh rice paper rolls with mushroom and tofu


Followed by this delicious dish of smoky eggplant with a slight hint of chilli. My friend, who has an ambivalent relationship with eggplant, loves it.


Mushroom and snow pea stir fry, simple and tasty


The barramundi, marinated in lemongrass and kaffir lime comes with a decent chill hit and is very fragrant, though the fish is a little overcooked


It is a pleasant and unfussy meal in a relaxed environment, just what we needed to cram in a few months worth of conversation.

For groups, there is a $49 banquet menu

Mama’s Buoi, 77 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, Ph 02 9438 5005

Mama's Buoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red Lantern on Riley, East Sydney

Good news for CBDophiles, Luke Nguyen has opened a second Red Lantern on Riley Street. While I love the original one, if you’re in a hurry its great to have one just that little bit closer. The fit out is beautiful, warm chocolate wooden overtones, with that hint of the French colonial going on that you read about, if like me you haven’t yet had the chance to see for yourself in Saigon.  I read an interview Luke did just before he was about to open.  He fit out the original Crown Street venue for $40,000 odd.  This one almost hit seven figures. Its no wonder that some Sydney restaurants find survival tough.  You need a pretty serious steady stream of rear ends on seats to generate the cash flow required to keep creditors off your back (the banker within can’t help but think about this).

There’s also a cosy little bar out the back with a great list of cocktails, I’ll check that out next time.

So, on the menu that day:

Diep Chien voi Xa Ot, scallops pan seared  with a tamari, citrus, lemongrass and chilli oil dressing. Beautiful, plump, scallops with a perfectly matched tangy dressing.

Banh Tom, Aunty 5’s rice cakes with tiger prawns, caramelised pork, pork floss and shallot oil. The caramelised pork was a standout, and loved the texture of the floss.  The rice cakes though really need some kind of sauce underneath. The waitress suggested we use the sauce from the scallops, but took the plate away before we could! It would have been perfect.

Banh Xeo, Crisp rice flour crepes filled with prawn, pork belly and mung beans served with fresh herbs and lettuce to wrap.  Loved the mixture of the crisp lettuce and the crepe, great dish.

Banh Hap Nhan Rau Cu, deep fried sweet potato and sesame seed dumplings, filled with Asian mushrooms and water spinach, finished with snow peas and asparagus.  This was not what I had envisaged, and I found them a little bland. Give it a miss.

Hu Tieu Xao Tom, King Prawns with tomato galangal sauce, wok tossed with zucchini flowers and cherry tomatoes. A bit too tomato sauce tasting for me.

Vit Quay Chao, Roasted Burrawong Duck with Asparagus and watercress salad and preserved beancurd and lime dipping sauce. Beautifully tender and flavoursome. They breed them well in Burrawong, wherever that is.

Ca Chien Xu, Whole snapper with a ginger and lime fish sauce. Crispy-outside-tender-inside whole fried fish, with a tangy contrasting salad.

The waitress very kindly offered us a doggy bag for anything we couldn’t finish (non seafood items only due to health regulations), which was a big tick.  I wish more restaurants would do this – apparently Australia is one of the worst per capita food wasters in the world!

Its probably a little on the pricey side for Asian, easy to get to $70 plus a head without thinking about it too much; but overall this is a welcome addition to the fabulous rainbow of Modern Asian we have in Australia. They also have a group banquet which is probably better value.

Red Lantern on Riley, 60 Riley Street East Sydney  Ph 02 9698 4355

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