Bang Tang, Potts Point

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Sometimes even the most unnoticeable places can gift you with surprises. Bang Tang is a case in point. It's a little hole in the wall café that delivers Asian fusion food with a bang.

Bang Tang has a small but welcoming presence in the quieter area of Llankelly Place, just off Kings Cross. It's very cosy inside, but this lack of floor space is counteracted by extending most of the eatery's dining area out to the front footpath, where diners can enjoy the warm sun during the day.

The menu is scrawled in funky font onto blackboard-converted walls, while polaroid pictures and printed photos of menu items give the café a friendly, snug feel.

Owner Nat tells us that their focus is on serving fresh, healthy Indo-Asian inspired food that does not compromise on flavour. There are Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese influences in the menu, which is quite short and consists of four salads, four noodles and a few snacks which include crispy spring rolls and tuna croquettes. This enables them to work the considerably small kitchen space to their advantage.

Naming conventions are given a twist here, evident in menu items such as 'Rolling Magic' (rice paper rolls), 'Coco Wow!' (a King Prawn and melon salad) and 'Juicy Belly' (a stewed pork belly noodle soup). Keep an eye out for the day's special dishes, too.

Fresh lemongrass, ginger and mint tea ($5) and Lemongrass sparkling drink ($5)
Drinks are unique and intriguing. We try the homemade fresh lemongrass, ginger and mint tea, as well as the lemongrass sparkling drink. Both are refreshing and delicious; the tea has a nice hit of warming ginger, while the sparkling drink is laced with the tropical fragrance of lemongrass. Other offerings include a butterflypea, honey and lemon tea, home-brewed Egyptian Iced Tea and Vietnamese iced coffee.

Cigar Roll ($2.50 each)
The cigar roll is one of Bang Tang's most popular menu items. Don't be fooled by the appearance; although these look like regular spring rolls, they go above and beyond to deliver an explosion of flavour. Inside is a mind-blowing combination of kaffir lime and lemongrass vermicelli, dotted with little rubbles of chicken mince. 

My dining companion exclaims that these are the best spring rolls she's ever had, and we can indeed see why these are so popular! I could easily eat a couple of these on their own and leave content. The skewer stuck into each roll is a thoughtful idea to avoid getting the hands dirty. A must try menu item.


Tom Yum ($15)
The Tom Yum is one of Bang Tang's highly recommended noodles. Again, appearance here can be deceiving - although the broth looks unbearably hot, it has more of a sweet, subtle burn, with a noticeable tomato flavour that is warming and addictive. Submerged in the vibrant soup are slices of red onion, whole cherry tomatoes, fresh coriander, mint and strands of poached chicken, which is super tender.

Instead of conventional rice noodles, large, soft rice noodle sheets are rolled up and placed into the broth. These slippery, delicate layers unfold to soak up all of the wonderful flavours of the tom yum, and are my favourite part of the meal.

Juicy Belly ($15)
Accompanied by the same soft rice sheets, a herbal pork broth is home to fresh bean sprouts, Vietnamese mint, coriander and gelatinous hunks of stewed pork belly. The flavours and textures are reminiscent of Vietnamese Pho, the major difference being this is a pork version with a slight contemporary twist. The clear soup is very tasty and comforting; it also comes with a homemade roasted garlic and chilli dipping sauce.

Soba Salad ($15)
A fresh arrangement of cold soba noodles, rocket, cucumber, seaweed, pickled radish and carrot, this Japanese-inspired salad is dressed simply in sesame and soy. It's a substantial, filling serving, topped with slender strips of moist, crunchy fried chicken breast, although the carrot ribbons are a little hard to eat in one bite. A little more soba would have been welcome, but there is more than enough chicken and greenery to compensate for this.

Bang Tang is a cute, quiet place to enjoy a relaxed lunch or casual dinner away from the bustle of Kings Cross, and as all menu items are under $15, it won't break the bank either. Takeaway is also a popular option among locals, and items can be ordered from delivery websites Menulog and Deliveroo for those looking for healthy, tasty salads, rolls and noodles in the area. Service is friendly and you'll never feel like you've been forgotten about given the small size of the eatery. The saying goes that good (..bang on..) things come in small packages!


Bang Tang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

I was lucky enough to dine as a guest, however opinions are my own.

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