Red Lantern

Can you guess where I had lunch?

My belly is full, my mind content and my taste buds happily reliving each dish…

Red Lantern.

Now I don’t do restaurant reviews, so this is a plead. Please go there, the food is truly wonderful.

I was really happy with going to Aria last year, but I have to say Red Lantern, you have taken my heart. A restaurant that has two feet firmly planted in the ethical, sustainable, organic eating arena while staying within their Vietnamese origins.

A cosy table for two tucked away in the corner. Let me have one eye on the other customers, seeing what they were ordering. While keeping the other eye on Mr Chocolate making sure he didn’t take any more of the melt in your mouth chilli salted squid than he should be.

It was also really lovely to see Luke Nguyen taking plates out to tables and explaining dishes to customers. Taking the time out to explain one particular dish to me and then coming back to show what he had meant about the cooking process, with said dish in hand.

Food was beautifully presented, tasted wonderful and I’ll be thinking about those dishes for a good while to come.

 Muc Rang Muoi- chilli salted squid

 Banh Tom- rice cakes with tiger prawns, caramelized pork and pork floss

 Goat Curry

 Dessert tasting plate- Coconut Creme Caramel with Strawberries, Sesame dumpling with Black Sesame Icecream, Black Sticky Rice with Caramelized Pumpkin and Coconut Cream.

Table for two next week?….Yes please.


Red Lantern

545 Crown Street

Surry Hills, Sydney

(o2) 96984355

28 thoughts on “Red Lantern

  1. I was reading some over wordy local food reviews on my side of the world last night and reflecting on what exactly does one want from a restaurant write up and actually – I think you’ve cracked it! Great photos and happiness – Oh it’s enough to make me want to hop on a plane, and at the very least search out a Vietnamese restaurant here. I love the lampshades too, felt like I had wandered through your memory palace for a moment there, thanks 🙂


  2. Oh. My. Goodness!

    I’m salivating just looking at those photos. Makes my friday night homemade pizzas look absolutely pitiful in comparison, and I feel like I’ve been slaving away at that. Luke is a genius!

    I love those lanterns too. My daughter has one in her room but maybe I need to paint the room red to capture a similar mood.

    Enjoy your weekend.


  3. Well- you might not write reviews- but perhaps you should.
    I like your well rounded approach to what one wants when dining out.
    I like your pictures.
    And I love your happiness with each dish.
    You should go out and write about it more often!


  4. When I was living in London Red Lantern was an oft-quoted example of great Sydney food, and I used to ensure a visit every time I was home. My favourite dish is no longer on the menu there (it involved meltingly ridiculous caramelised pork), and Luke Nguyen has since gotten famous and the reservation process harder and the noise in the dining room even louder. But yes, I still think it’s a winner and glad you do too. By the way, I have made their goat curry and it’s a magical dish to make and eat – more of that meltingly ridiculous goodness.


  5. Oh, you lucky, lucky thing – I’m quite envious! Sadly it is just a bit of a drive too far from our house, but it is on my list for the next time we are in Sydney. Along with lots of others, of course.


  6. isn’t it wonderful when you can find the time to have Chinese out in a restuarant, and not hidden at home with those Chinese plastic takeaway containers, presentation of these dishes look fantastic, a wonderful restuarant!


  7. I like the idea of restaurant pleas rather than restaurant reviews – looks gorgeous but I would still need to be convinced that there was vegetarian food after my last visit to a swish chinese restaurant. Glad you had a great evening out.


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