I was recently invited to attend Fat Noodle’s first birthday celebrations and was so impressed by the food at the event that I just had to return a few days later.

Fat Noodle sits on Star City’s gaming floor and features large communal tables as well as another section with standard tables. Because it is on the gaming floor, young ones are not permitted and I had to go through the hassle of getting my ID checked. I know it won’t be too long before I start taking the ID check as a compliment 😉

Fat Noodle - communal dining

Anyway, as you may or may not know, celebrity chef Luke Nguyen is the consulting chef to Fat Noodle and surprisingly, the menu does not stick to his Vietnamese roots. The menu is in fact predominantly Chinese with influences from South-East Asia. As they put it, the menu offers a fresh twist on traditional recipes and ingredients.

The paper menu also acts as an ordering card (be warned, they scribble on it as you order) and placemat, and is split into five categories: small plates, rice, noodle soups, woks and drinks.

I wanted to start with the calamari papaya salad but am advised that they’ve run out of papaya and would be substituting it with cabbage. That didn’t appeal to me at all so we skip entree and head straight into drinks and mains.

Zen orders the fresh lemon ice tea with mint ($4) and I have the fresh ginger lemonade ($4). Minutes after placing our order, a waiter tells us that they may not have mint and asks if it is OK the lemon ice tea is served without it. I thought it was a bizarre thing to run out of but we oblige. What’s even more strange is that the drink was served with mint in the end!

I love ginger and use it as often as I can at home – in juices, stir fries and teas – so it’s only natural that I really love this ginger lemonade.
Fat Noodle - fresh ginger lemonade and fresh lemon ice tea and paper menu placemat

Now what we had truly come back for, is a bigger serving of this pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup). At the birthday event, the pho was served in tiny tubs (scroll down for pics) and despite having a few of those, my pho craving needed to be hit with a big serving like this.

The fat pho noodles ($17) is based on Luke Nguyen’s signature recipe and differentiates from the commonly served pho by his use of oxtail.

Fat Noodle - fat pho noodles

It is a seriously good pho. The broth is dark and aromatic with hints of star anise, cloves and cassia bark. Slippery rice noodles are served with thinly sliced Angus sirloin, onion, coriander, bean sprouts, mint, Thai basil, fresh chilli and a wedge of lemon.

It may be almost double the price of pho everywhere else, but gosh it’s good.

Fat Noodle - pho - beef noodle soup

We also share the X.O. Glass Noodles ($17) which are stir-fried with oyster mushrooms, bean sprouts and large Australian East Coast prawns. The spiciness of the XO sauce binds all the ingredients together wonderfully. I’m so glad they didn’t tone it down for the mass market.

Fat Noodle - XO glass noodles with Eastern Australian prawns

Plus here’s a peek at what was served at the Fat Noodle turns one party a few weeks ago:

Fat Noodle turns one party food - spicy chicken salad, peking duck, fried tofu with spicy salt, angus beef
Spicy chicken salad; Peking duck; fried tofu with spicy salt; Angus beef

Fat Noodle turns one party food - coconut martinis
Coconut martinis

Fat Noodle turns one party food - at the bar
At the bar

Fat Noodle turns one party food - drinks
Coconut martini; rice paper rolls; soursop, lime and lychee cocktail

Fat Noodle turns one party food -fried white carrot cake, char tow kueh
Fried white carrot cake (char tow kueh) with XO sauce

Fat Noodle turns one party food - pho, congee and spring rolls
Little tubs of pho; chicken and abalone congee; spring rolls

Fat Noodle turns one party food - cake by Adriano Zumbo
Birthday cake by Adriano Zumbo; Luke Nguyen holding the instant noodle encrusted creature

Fat Noodle turns one party food -crowd

And I’ll leave you with one useful fact: Fat Noodle is open during the
wee hours of the morning! So night owls and party animals, rejoice; it is now possible to get awesome pho at 4am!

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Fat Noodle
Level 1, on the Casino Main Gaming Floor, Star City
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW
Phone: 1800 700 700
Web: www.starcity.com.au/Dining__Top_Level-Fat_Noodle.htm

Open 7 days: Sun – Thur 11.30am – 2am, Fri & Sat 11:30am – 6am

Fat Noodle on Urbanspoon

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.