Fat Noodle is another part of the Luke Nguyen empire. Situated within the Treasury Casino, it aims to provide food to the growing Chinese market. The restaurant menu is influenced by Vietnam, China and other South-East Asian countries. Being part of the casino means long-trading hours. Yes! Tasty Asian food at ridiculous hours is like being in any Asian country, but with a much cleaner and classier atmosphere.
The restaurant has all the glitz and glamour you would expect from a casino establishment. This was my second experience at Fat Noodle. I was here to sample their new menu.
We sat in the private dining room. I didn’t know this existed! It was a little squishy because of our large group size (16 people) and because I was late I was seated at the end of a long table. Out of reach for taking photos with my short arms.
The tables have complimentary tea plus essential condiments. All labelled to avoid confusion.
I had missed the introduction but being late was not an issue. I got entire plates specifically for me! I quickly gobbled up with the starters and caught up with the rest of the group in no time!
My favourite starter was the lightly grilled teriyaki salmon. So thin you could almost mistake it for sashimi. The teriyaki was not overly sweet to allow the taste of the salmon to still shine through. The finely diced red onion provided some texture and acidity to balance the sweetness without overpowering any flavours.
The prawn and pork rice paper roll was full of freshness and the hoisin peanut sauce featured crushed peanuts for added texture. Nothing different from most places though. The same could be said for the vegetable dumpling. The skin was gelatinous and stretchy and the filling was good. Still, a steamed bamboo basket of these for $10 will get you 4 dumplings and is a good late night snack.
Perfect timing. As I finished my starters, the mains started coming out. And they did not stop!
The braised vegetables was a good mix of tofu and vegetables including black and white fungus mushrooms in a starchy gravy on a bed of rice noodles. Like my mother’s version, this never seems to have enough gravy to fully coat the noodles. It was a very nice homely dish though.
The tempura barramundi was served with a small side salad of herbs and rice noodles and wasabi aioli (yum!). The barramundi was cooked well but the tempura was a little too thick for my liking. It wasn’t that light crispy batter usually associated with tempura. On it’s own, it was a little bland but tasted better with the aioli.
My favourite main was the crispy chicken noodle soup. A flavourful clear broth with egg noodles and Asian greens served with half a (small) chicken. The chicken was crispy, juicy and flavoured with five spice salt. The noodles were cooked just enough to still have some bit. It was a simple dish but my favourite. A place that can serve a good soup is a good place.
The spicy pork warm salad was quite good too. It was a little dry but that’s the style of this dish. The signature Vietnamese chicken salad was a mix of mostly cabbage and some chilli. This salad was quite bland compared to some of the other dishes. I felt like it needed more dressing. Probably the healthiest option on the menu though and a generous portion for $14.
Desserts were the stand out from the dinner. The desserts, unlike the other dishes, weren’t to be shared. However, somehow I ended up eating both to myself 😀 Lucky me!
The ginger and star anise panna cotta was great. It had a good wobble and it was smooth and creamy. The star anise was undetectable by everyone but that didn’t matter. The subtle ginger flavour was enough to make this dessert interesting without being a sugar overload as some desserts are. The pearls with bits of sweetened fruit were just enough for that sweetness.
The pandan coconut cream brulee was also great but in a different way. Pandan is a strong flavour and paired with coconut cream made for a very rich and decadent dessert. The all-important burnt sugar was egg-shell thin. The brulee was quite solid rather than custard-y but I suspect this is a result of the heaviness from coconut cream.
The desserts were very interesting interpretations of Asian flavours and I loved it.
Overall, I feel like Fat Noodle does the dishes well, even if they remind me a lot of home cooking. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just not usually something I rave about. They source fresh and local ingredients to produce tasty dishes. It certainly makes you feel like you’re eating healthy and nutritionally balanced meals – down to the herbs, vegetables and wholesomeness.
Their extended hours means that you could come by for late dinner any night of the week (which was the appeal for the first time I visited). Come solo, in pairs or in a group. It’s an accommodating space. I would definitely recommend Fat Noodle for a low-fuss, cheap, late night CBD dinner. It’d also be a rather nice lunch time spot with their lighter salads and dishes too.
Open 7 days a week
Sunday – Thursday: 11:30am to 11.00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am to 12:00am
I dined as a guest on behalf of the Fat Noodle and the Treasury Casino and Hotel.