Red Lantern Vietnamese Restaurant (Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia)

Where Vietnamese flavours explode in a symphony of spices & smiles. Authentic Hanoi beer, succulent banquets, & service that shines brighter than the Sydney skyline.  Craving a taste of adventure? ✈️ 🇻🇳 Red Lantern’s banquets are a fiery fiesta of flavours! ️ From crispy rolls to wok-tossed magic, this Sydney gem will satisfy your wanderlust in every bite.#RedLanternLove #FoodieParadise

The sun dipped below the Sydney skyline, casting long shadows on the bustling streets. My feet, tired from a day of exploration, led me to a haven of warmth and fragrance – Red Lantern Vietnamese Restaurant. Inside, the air vibrated with the chatter of excited diners, the clatter of chopsticks, and the intoxicating symphony of spices that promised a journey to the heart of Southeast Asia.

We opted for the “Feed Me More” banquet (AU$115.00), a curated exploration of Red Lantern’s culinary prowess. Each bite was a revelation, a harmonious blend of fresh ingredients, vibrant spices, and meticulous technique. Rice paper rolls burst with the delicate interplay of textures – the crispness of the wrapper, the juicy crunch of prawns, and the tangy bite of pickled shallots. Turmeric and corn cakes, adorned with generous portions of blue swimmer crab, offered a symphony of sweet and savory notes, perfectly complemented by the crunchy sweetness of the corn. Grilled scallops, cooked to tender perfection, were elevated by a symphony of roasted peanuts and herby accents.

As the courses unfolded, each exceeding the last, a sense of awe washed over me. The Red Lantern’s famous chili-salted squid lived up to its hype, the soft, juicy flesh dancing with the fiery kiss of the sauce. Seared sesame-crusted tuna, usually a dish I approach with reservations, surprised me with its depth of flavour and perfectly balanced sauce. It was, without a doubt, one of the best renditions I’ve ever encountered.

The mains were a masterclass in showcasing the finest seasonal produce. The pan-fried barramundi, bathed in a fragrant lemongrass-scented coconut sauce, was a crispy-skinned dream. The Skull Island King Prawns, each a succulent mouthful, were further elevated by the rich sambal butter sauce. And the wok-tossed Angus beef, infused with the elusive “wok hei” smoke, was a testament to the chef’s masterful control of the flames.

But the pièce de résistance was the complimentary char-grilled pork neck. With its heavenly blend of fat and tender meat, glazed in a sweet and savory oyster sauce, it was a symphony of textures and flavours, each bite an explosion of pure joy. Every element, from the crispy, caramelized skin to the tangy green mango salad, was exquisitely balanced, leaving me wanting more.

Beyond the exceptional food, the service at Red Lantern was equally impeccable. Our server was attentive but unobtrusive, patiently guiding us through the menu and ensuring our every need was met. The atmosphere, lively yet comfortable, hummed with a contagious energy, making it the perfect setting for a joyful dinner with friends.

Leaving Red Lantern, my stomach was full and my heart content. It was more than just a meal; it was an experience that resonated in my soul. The warmth of the hospitality, the symphony of flavours, and the sheer artistry on display – everything conspired to create a memory that will linger long after my last bite. If you’re seeking a culinary adventure that will transport you to the heart of Vietnam, look no further than Red Lantern. Just be prepared to have your taste buds tantalised, your senses awakened, and your heart warmed by the magic of Vietnamese cuisine at its finest.

The Feed Me More Banquet:

For those seeking a complete journey, the “Feed Me More” banquet is a must-try. Here’s a glimpse into the culinary delights that await:

Small Plates: Prawn & Pickled Shallot Rice Paper Rolls, Turmeric & Corn Cakes with Blue Swimmer Crab, Grilled Scallop with Roasted Peanuts & Shallots

Middle Course: Red Lantern’s Famous Chilli-Salted Squid, Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Pickled Vegetables & Wasabi Dressing

Main Event: Pan-Fried Barramundi with Lemongrass Scented Coconut Sauce, Skull Island King Prawns with Sambal Butter Sauce, Wok-Tossed Angus Beef with Mushroom, Chinese Celery & Peppercorns, Oyster & Sesame

Sides: Wok-Tossed Seasonal Vegetables, Jasmine Rice

So, pack your appetite and wanderlust, and head to Red Lantern. This hidden gem on the Sydney streets promises an unforgettable Vietnamese adventure, one bite at a time.

P.S. Bonus points for trying to pronounce “wok hei” like a pro!

Red Lantern Vietnamese Restaurant & Private Dining Room
Address: 60 Riley St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9698 4355


6 Responses

  1. Eha Carr says:

    A lovely critique about a Luke Nguyen restaurant methinks most Australians, especially Sydneysiders, absolutely adore. His first, after leaving his parents one in Cabramatta! Inimitable taste and style . . . well, now you simply have to travel and critique Vietnam House for us . . . have not got there myself as yet! Meanwhile hope you know the unreal history of the site of ‘Red Lantern’ . . . ?

  2. Michelle says:

    Whoooa, I’ve always enjoyed watching Luke Nguyen — must’ve been quite the experience getting to dine at Red Lantern!

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