REVIEW: Tan Viet Noodle House

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Tan Viet Noodle House is probably the most popular and famous restaurant in Cabramatta. But nobody goes there for the noodles. They go there for the fried chicken. Can you imagine if everyone went to KFC for noodles?

The chicken at Tan Viet isn’t battered or soaked in hot sauce. It’s fried whole, on its own, until the skin is crispy and golden, then cut into pieces and served with a side of noodles. You can get the noodles in soup, which you shouldn’t do (You get a little bowl of chicken soup on the side anyway, plus some sauce), opt instead for the dry option, tossed with garlic, coriander, lettuce and chives. .

The chicken is crunchy, the thin skin cracks under your teeth and gives way to the juicy flesh underneath. Have a piece of chicken, eat some noodles, repeat. If you’re still hungry, order more chicken and noodles. I’ve been to Tan Viet a bunch of times and I have never ordered anything but chicken or noodles. Maybe the rest of the menu is great, I’ll never know. The chicken is just too good to even begin to care about whatever else they serve. I have enough trouble ordering a drink without accidentally ordering another chicken instead.

Tan Viet gets busy and you’ll find a big line out the door onto the street during lunch and dinner hours. The best time to go is at a time when you probably shouldn’t be eating fried chicken. Try 4pm on a Tuesday? Perfect.

Over the last four weeks I’ve written about my favourite meals in Cabramatta. First there was the perfect banh mi / chips / sugarcane combo. Then there was Phu Quoc and Que Huong, and now Tan Viet. Confession time: I ate all of these meals in the same day over the course of about three hours. This is pretty much how I ate the whole time I was on holiday in Vietnam. One night I was in Hanoi, drinking a beer. A man came up to me, killing himself laughing. He wrapped his hands around my left thigh and then wrapped those same hands around his own waist. My thigh was the same size as his waist. He then pointed at himself and motioned with his hands that he has been busy working his whole life, before pointing at me and then putting his hands beneath his head, suggesting that I was lazy and slept all the time. It was the best compliment I’ve ever received.

Where3/100 John Street, Cabramatta
WhenMon-Sun 9am-7am

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