Last weekend the family decided to go out to dinner together. It was last minute; no booking and we were punished for such a folly. We had to drive for quite a while before finally ending up in Alexandra Headland on the corner of Alexandra Parade and Okinja Road. Here we found a bright and busy South East Asian restaurant called Sangs. The walls are a brilliant orange and green, with a large Buddha taking pride of place in the centre of the restaurant, surrounded by beautiful and vibrant flowers. It felt relaxed and warm, and between the clink of cutlery on plate and the joyful hum of friendly conversation, a more than comfortable atmosphere was complete.
We were seated at the last empty table and began to take it all in, the sights, the smells and the menu. Rice, noodles, seafood, pork, beef, duck and so much more, all paired with spices, sauces and broths to make the mouth water and eyes linger. Our orders were placed and we sat back enjoying a cold drink on a warm summer’s evening. I soon noticed that on the wall was a graph, drawn in chalk, depicting funds raised for the ‘Sang’s Fundraiser’. Everything I needed to know was on the menu. Throughout the year fundraiser evenings are held at Sangs, where the proceeds go towards an effort to feed the poor back in their home of Vietnam. Every year, after the fundraising is over, the team and some special customers fly over and provide poor villagers with rice, noodles, soy sauce and other vital staples of the Vietnamese diet, along with all remaining money that was raised for their plight. It was heart warming and put a smile on my face.
The food arrived quickly and presented beautifully. The colours were vibrant and varied, the combinations carefully considered to showcase and compliment flavours, textures and the beauty of each dish. We chose a number of dishes to share, including two that particularly stood out in terms of flavour and balance. A Pork Belly and vegetable Stir Fry, and a Cashew, Chilli jam, prawn and vegetable Stir Fry. The dishes were mild, but the flavours were not. The Chilli jam gave the dish a sweetness that didn’t overpower, and combined with the crunch of the fresh vegetables, roasted cashews and large, juicy prawns that burst in your mouth wonderfully.
The Pork Belly was beautiful. The sauce was fresh and sweet, the vegetables giving the dish the little crunch and freshness that it needed to cut through the fatty nature of the meat. The Pork itself was beautifully tender, the fat keeping it moist and flavoursome. The whole dish was crafted to showcase the flavour and tenderness of the meat, and together with their delightful home made lime and mint ice-tea made a perfectly balanced delight.
The dining experience in general was very pleasant, with attentive, polite, alert staff and a lovingly crafted atmosphere in comfortable surrounds. With the laughter of satisfied and happy customers filling the room we left for home, a new favourite to add to the list. Sangs also does Yum Cha on Sundays and Take Away any day of the week, so should you be in the area and feeling the need to have your taste buds tickled with delectable delicacies from the South-East then look to Sangs for your next feast.