10 June 2014

Basun Chinese Restaurant ~ Carlingford Village Shopping Centre, Carlingford

Some readers tell us to trek out to Carlingford. We obey.

We find the most food action in Carlingford Village, a relic of a shopping centre on busy Pennant Hills Road. We also sniff around the neighbouring Carlingford Court shopping centre, but it's all KFCMcCoffeeClub.

Carlingford Village is a long flat arcade with a mix of fruit and fish stores, a small food court area and some fashion and retail at the other end. It's sleepy on a Saturday morning, and still yawning in the afternoon.

There's half a dozen restaurants and food court stalls we're keen to try. We're in the mood for spice so we pick Basun Chinese Restaurant, which is both a regular restaurant and a food court stall. Same food, same kitchen, same smiley boss lady, same prices. We're feeling a bit Backdoor Benny so we go for the foodcourt option on our first visit.

#64 - Basun special cold green bean noodle - $5.20. This is one of our all time favourite dishes: cold clear noodles in chili oil and good wallop of fresh minced garlic. It's a magic combo of starch, oil and garlic with bonus surprise umami moments. There's also some crushed ginger and wonderful crunchy fried soy beans (we think). World class food for a fiver.

The noodles are called liang fen, made by mixing a starch like mung bean flour with water and set to a jelly like consistency. The 'jelly' is then cut into noodle strips and coated with chilli oil and toppings.

We've missed this dish since Xi'an Kitchen closed down in Dixon House, they did a masterful version in a smaller bowl.

#54 - sweet/sour spicy tofu curd - $5.20. This little beauty was even more amazing than the last dish. Dollops of cool silken tofu in chili oil with some vinegary sour sauce in there as well, plus those magic crunchy fried soy beans on top.

Each mouthful was a different sensation depending on the ratio of silken tofu, chili oil, pickled greens and vinegar on your spoon. The taste and texture of the cool plain silken tofu against the warm, spicy chili oil is masterful.

Bitey bitey.

#7 - intestine potato noodles - $8.80. We don't think the noodles were potato noodles, we guess they were wheat noodles, but they were pretty good all the same, thin and good for soaking up the spicy Szechuan broth. The intestines were definitely intestines however, there's plenty of poo tube to chew on. The broth had a slight funky smell from the innards, and had a generous dollop of the same crunchy beans and pickles.

We return a week after our first with fellow food adventurers, Davatronix and Miss Economical Behoon. This time we're feeling posh and opt for the restaurant instead of the food court. The menu is mostly the same and so are the prices.

Basun doesn't appear to have changed much in the last twenty years. The super friendly lady who runs the floor tells us they have been running it for five years. We take a seat by the window for a romantic view of six lanes of traffic on Pennant Hills Road.

Basun sesame cold noodles - $7.80. The cold wheat noodles are given a lovely sweet lardiness from sesame paste, topped with strips of cold meat (lamb?beef?) and cucumber, dusted with sesame seeds, shallots and given an extra sprinkle of those magic fried soy beans.

Pork and chive dumplings - about $10, pan fried with a light crisp to the bottom.

Vinegar with tofu - $5.20. Sliced circles of cold silken tofu in chili oil, Sichuan pepper and vinegar. We will never tire of cold tofu in a warm sauce, it's like the savoury version of ice cream with hot fudge.

Beans with garlic sauce - $12.80. A simple but sensational dish of green beans stir fried with garlic. Davatronix points out that the wok must have been Hades hot to get that blistering effect on the beans. Gonna try that one at home.

Dandan noodles - $8.80. The classic Sichuan soupy noodle dish with wheat noodles and pork mince swimming in a thin broth spiced up with Sichuan pepper and given oomf with sesame paste. We love how dandan noodles is different in every restaurant we try it. This is a pleasant, easy-eating version, not so thick and fiery.

Lamb skewars - $2.50 each. Everybody's North Chinese favourite - simply grilled lamb on sticks flavoured with cumin and a bit of pepper we thinks.

Basun Chinese Restaurant menu - a bit of it anyway...

Basun Chinese Restaurant menu - a bit of it anyway...

Basun Chinese Restaurant menu - a bit of it anyway...

Basun Chinese Restaurant is at shop G25 Carlingford Village Shopping Centre, 372 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford. Phone 9872 9882.

RIP Rik Mayall...

Basun Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. reat review, thanks. Haven't tried this place (we tend to go to Cafe de Hong Kong and used to go a lot to the late and much lamented Lisa Kitchen) but will do so now! The first two and the dandan look very tempting.

    1. It was the Hong Kong joint that first piqued my interest at Carlingford - look forward to trying it.

  2. The fried and steamed sweet buns (mantou) are my favourite with the sweet condensed milk to dip in...! Have you tried them before?

  3. You should try the 'handmade noodles' that's opposite the food stall part!! The texture of theirs noodles are amazing!! :D

    1. Oh we will, they are firmly on our radar for next time.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

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