A few months ago, I heard someone describe themselves as a soup noodle floozy. It made me smile because it so perfectly describes me too.
“I like asian soups a LOT. Wonton noodles, laksa, har mee, pan mee, pho, udon, assam laksa… to heck with monogamy, I love them all! And then there’s ramen…”.
If I had to pick a favourite….well I simply couldn’t. But I guess my top three are beef pho, wonton noodle soup and laksa.
One of the only good things about working in Parramatta is Pasteur Vietnamese. It’s in Westfield, close to the station and I often go there for lunch. Their pho is seriously amazing. In fact it’s so good that I’ve actually never tried anything else on the menu. I just keep going back for pho.
The paper thin slices of raw beef are added to the hot, spicy soup right before it’s served to you. Then you can add as many bean shoots, mint and chillis as you like. The rice noodles always give me such a stomach ache but oh good gravy, they taste so divine. It’s such a comforting, richly seasoned broth and is perfect on a cold winter’s day.
As for Wonton Noodle Soup, well the best I’ve found (outside of China Town) is at Lees Malaysian. There’s a couple of these stores in the city and back in the good old days when that’s where I worked, my colleagues and I perfected the art of eating it from take away bowls out our desk. Now we get it from the food court in Westfield and it’s not quite as good.
This soup has a little of everything – crunchy greens, slippery noodles and plump won tons. A ‘combination won ton soup’ is also good – BBQ’d pork, prawns, beef, vegetables and won tons. It covers all food groups!
And now laksa. Ah laksa. Such spicy goodness. It’s basically like a bowl of liquid curry. Yum-EE! Shallots, garlic, ginger, chillies and a coconutty broth with lemongrass. I’d say it would need to be considered as my last meal if I was on death row.
I used to like going to the Malaysian Laksa House in QVB. But my new favourite is Temasek in Parramatta which is apparently one of the best Malaysian and Singaporean restaurants in Sydney. I’m also pretty good making Laksa myself.
I think perhaps I need to go on a soup noodle safari through Asia. Are you with me?