Experience No.080 in Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences.
Vietnamese recipes handed down through generations are the key to success in the Nguyen kitchen, so if you don’t have a grandmother to teach you how to make rice paper rolls we suggest you get down to the Red Lantern in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

Try Bo La Lot, chargrilled lemongrass beef wrapped in betel leaves with vermicelli, peanuts and shallot oil, or Ga Chien Don, the infamous crispy chicken served with ginger, shallot and oyster sauce.

Luckily, chef Luke Nguyen is willing to give away the key to his crispy chicken and has no qualms about sharing tips on caramelising king prawns. On a street with more big names on the food scene than bus stops (bills cafe, Billy Kwong, Bird Cow Fish, Marque), Red Lantern has been a confident but quiet presence for years.

In 2002 Luke, his sister Pauline and her partner Mark Jensen took the Sydney food scene by storm with their authentic Vietnamese fare. Fleeing Vietnam as refugees, Luke and Pauline grew up in Cabramatta, Sydney’s Little Saigon (and No. 65 on this list). They breathed life into a cuisine characterised by large quantities of fish sauce and chilli paste.

The menu at Red Lantern is inspired by ethical eating; the team want to walk without an environmental footprint and have been rewarded by their efforts, having been named in the Top Ten Most Environmentally Sustainable Restaurants by The Good Food Guide in 2010.

Try Bo La Lot, chargrilled lemongrass beef wrapped in betel leaves with vermicelli, peanuts and shallot oil, or Ga Chien Don, the infamous crispy chicken served with ginger, shallot and oyster sauce.

Did you know: You can learn more of Red Lantern’s prized recipes in “Secrets of Red Lantern”, the restaurant’s bestselling cookbook and memoir.

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