The word’s “winter’s coming” may be past their used by date in a certain medieval programming, but they are all the more relevant for the South Coast, with gusty nights leaving shivering shoulders and snotty snoz’s. One particular remedy that I have grown fond of when the brisk is getting the better of you is a steaming bowl of noodle soup. There’s just something about hot broth, noodles, protein and chilli that is just good for you, especially if your mornings are plagued by a symphony of sniffs.
Being the hospo-hub of the South Coast, Wollongong swings some weight in the area of Asian cuisine offerings, in fact I’d say some of the best south of Cabramatta. Socio-cultural assumptions aside, these are the four that provide!
Au Lac – relatively under appreciated in the noodle scene due to their meatless disposition, something that I was once inherently guilty of. A superbly slurp-y combination Laksa is my go-to if you plan on taking seats in the former EasyWay establishment (if you look carefully you can see the ghost of the Taiwan tea-ary in the fit out). The coco-cream rich fare presented is graciously garnished with coriander, peanuts and fried tofu twists. The mixture of faux-meats make for a delicious Guess Who? of soy fleshing, but the main event is encapsulated in the double noodles and curry broth – both egg and rice noodles are submerged in the glory.
Top Choice – sitting in a p0le position on the corner of Corrimal and Market, Top Choice is by no means a misleading name. With a menu the length of a Chinese phone book (all neatly pictured for your enjoyment) you will not be short on choice. You will, however, be hard pressed for one. My favourite took some time to come to realisation; Pork Chop Noodle Soup with extra Wonton. The broth is a exquisite yellow-clear, hot enough to melt the wax off a surfboard, accompanying it – a cheeky, fried pork chop, crisped and begging for bath time. The additional wontons floating amongst the stock standard greenery are rumoured to be in made in house. Whilst waiting for the broth to cool, I advise fresh chilli is requested – the amount that enters your bowl is at your discretion. Fresh chilli will build and build within the liquid, often reaching a point of sweaty brow.
Trang’s – the Keira St institution dishes up the best Pho in the CBD, hands down. The smorgasbord of spicy selections and garnishes that accompany the beef-stripped broth are the icing on the cake, letting you add bean shoots and coriander as your desire. Yet, what really is so great about the Pho @ Trang’s, is the broth. Full of beefy flavour, no doubt a generational gift perfected in a household kitchen. Finishing the entire contents of your bowl should be the assumptive action.
Sakura – nestled neatly across from Liquorland on Corrimal Street with a newly renovated kitchen and dining facilities is the pinnacle of sushi in 2500. The options on the specials menu here are always worth a gander, Kingfish Jalapeno and Tuna Aburi just to tease a few, but this is an article centered on the finer fluids and noodles in this town. The menu item you seek is the Chicken Katsu Udon. The bowl almost inviting you to pick it up and sip from it like a big cup o’soup, the udon noodles thick and chewy, a pleasant differing from the usual egg of the previous punters. The Katsu delivered alongside is another protein pal best eaten following a generous dunking in your broth. Chilli powder is the spice provision, however I’m adamant that the purveyors of this fine food will not oppose your endeavour for fresher options.