Luke Nguyen Street Food Pop Up, Pyrmont

I come from the streets.

Ok, the streets were lined with large, leafy trees and white picket fences but still. I’m not claiming to be hood (the most hood thing about me is my large collection of zip-up hoodies), but I did come from a street of some sort.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah, my background means I know a thing or two about street food.

So does my main man Luke Nguyen who has a street food pop up in the Star happening right now.

(Full disclosure: I was invited as a guest to Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Pop-Up but my opinions remain my own)

Luke Nguyen Street Food Pop Up

Having championed Red Lantern in Surry Hills and Fat Noodle in the Star, Luke (do you think he minds if I call him Luke?) has added one more bow to his feather with his street food pop-up in the Star’s food court. The pop-up isn’t strictly Vietnamese, Chinese or Malaysian but combines the best of all worlds to bring you his take on Southeast Asia’s street food.

Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from now until November.

luke nguyen avocado and chocolate shake
Avocado and chocolate shake with condensed milk, chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce and topped with ice

In Australia, avocados are seen as a savoury breakfast staple to be had with eggs, bacon, salmon or by itself spread over a nice piece of toast. In South-East Asia, avocado is seen as more of a dessert item. It’s had in ice cream, cake or even licked off your lover’s belly (not that I know anything about that).

At the Street Food pop up, it’s blended with chocolate ice cream and sauce and served as a milkshake. The avocado’s texture really lends well to the consistency of the shake and works in perfect harmony with the cocoa contingency.

Luke Nguyen Oyster Omelette
Oyster omelette with fresh oysters, spring onion, bean sprouts, corriander and sriracha

Oysters, we meet again. I guess we’ll be doing this for the rest of my life like the Batman and Joker except Joker wins in this timeline cause I’m definitely Batman.

Let me translate that sentence: I’m not a fan of oysters.

However, I thought I’d give them another chance since the omelette itself sounded so enticing. I was surprised at how it was presented as it was rather runny and resembled egg drop soup more than a typical breakfast omelette. Loved the freshness of the spring onions and corriander and the crunch of bean sprouts offered a nice contrast to the fresh and fishy oysters.

I’m still not a fan of oysters, but if you are, then this dish is made egg-xactly for weirdos like you.

luke nguyen rice cakes
Aunty 5’s Rice Cakes with caramelised pork, prawns and pork floss

Oooh boy there’s a tonne in play with this dish. There’s a bit of heat provided by fresh chilli, the sweetness of the pork floss and prawns as well as the doughy rice cakes that just sit there absorbing all the other flavours. It’s like the youngest kid in a family learning from all their siblings and exceeding all of them in terms of success; the rice cakes just soaked it all up.

Aunties 1 through 4 are going to be mad that lil’ nephew Luke didn’t include one of their recipes on his menu but I’d be keen to visit Aunty 5’s restaurant if she decided to open one up.

luke nguyen maggie goreng
Maggie Goreng with instant noodles, tofu, lap cheong, choy sum and fried egg

Yeah, they’re serving Maggi noodles on the menu and did more than just add two syllables before dishing it out.

There’s an awesome smokiness to the entire dish that’s further enhanced by some killer chillis throughout. The highlight of the dish was the lap cheong (dried Chinese sausage) that I made sure to include in each forkful of noodles. Make sure you pop that egg yolk and let it seep through the noodles as well.

This is definitely not the Maggi noodles I get from Coles.

luke nguyen vietnamese pho baguette
Vietnamese Pho-guette with wagyu brisket & braised shank in pho broth. Topped with Asian basil, corriander, pickled bean, sprouts, spring onion, chilli, hoisin sauce & sriracha

I’ve had some un-pho-gettable bowls of pho, but I’ve never had pho in a baguette.

Until now.

Tender chunks of wagyu brisket and braised shank that take you to Cabramatta with each bite, the broth’s presence is subtle but it’s definitely there. All the trimmings you’d normally throw in your bowl of beef noodle soup are here at this bread party and living it up.

Wait, gotta dedicate a few lines to the baguette real quick. The bread is baked in house and it’s as close to perfect as you can get without being an edible Anna Kendrick. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it makes you feel like you were bread for the sole purpose of devouring it.

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Here’s the TL;DR for everyone who forgot I had a food blog before this post:

  • How can one man make instant noodles so much better than I can? It boggles my mind, like…why doesn’t Maggi step up the instructions on the back of their packets?
  • Luke’s pop-up will only be around ’til the end of November so you should swing by as soon as possible.

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Luke Nguyen Street Food

Located in the Cafe Court of the Star (next to Messina)

80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont

Opening Hours:

Sunday – Monday: 11:30am to 9:00pm

Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30am to 10:30pm

Friday – Saturday: 11:30am to 11:00pm

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