Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Holy Basil, Sydney CBD

Opened about a year ago, this has become one of the places my friends and I like to go for dinner during the weekend without making a booking although there were occasions where we have to deal with crazy lines. It does get packed but compared to the original restaurant at Canley Heights, the waiting time to get a table isn't too bad. Thought it was pretty cool opening this branch in the city and giving new life in what used to be a very secluded area at Shark Hotel which formerly served really dodgy buffet food.

The prices are pretty decent when you look at the really massive servings. As with most of our visits at Holy Basil, we end up over ordering with a mighty feast.

Vegetarian Curry Puff

Very enjoyable to eat with its soft filling and firm puff pastry. I wasn't too keen on the potato inside the filling but that's just a personal preference. It is a great starter to the evening.

Papaya salad - Laotian style

I found this very nourishing and a bit spicy. I would recommend to let the waiter know about the level of spiciness as even 'mild' can be overwhelming.

Nok Tod - Marinated Quails

I tried a bit of this dish although my friend had most of this. It is incredibly crispy and my friend enjoyed it for sure.

Salt n Pepper Calamari

This is my favourite from the night. The batter is incredibly crispy and light and so addictive to eat each of the calamari even though it is a shared dish. This will get you full fast if you buy this for yourself...but oh soo good!

Laos Sausage

I did not expect to enjoy this but it was seriously very tasty. The meat was soft inside and grilled on the outside. It even tasted better with the dipping sauce on the side. Again I wanted to eat the whole plate here.

Pad Thai with Chicken

While I really enjoyed the noodles, I found this to be too sweet to enjoy compared to the pad thai at Canley Heights.

Beef Massaman Curry

I ordered this dish for myself but with all the other dishes we ate, it is just so much to handle. Despite that, the beef is so tender and soft as well as enjoyable to mix with rice.

Gang Dang - Red Curry

I found this more spicy than the Massaman curry, yet full of flavour. The curry itself is very creamy, moreish and perfect to eat with rice to balance it out.  

Fried Ice Cream

By this time, I was waaay too full. Some of us are keen and ordered 3 fried ice creams to share. And for something called 'fried ice cream', it is bigger than I thought - surprisingly worth the $13.90. Even with a few bites, you can see why this fried ice cream is so renowned. The creamy ice cream filling wrapped and deep fried with filo pastry, and decorated with caramel sauce and strawberries...when you bite into its many layers, it is a match made in food heaven. Worth the hype!

Our stomachs were practically bursting by the end but it was worth the experience. While there were a few dishes that I preferred at the original restaurant, there are still some worthy ones and it is easier to get to if you don't live in South-West Sydney. 

Holy Basil - Sydney CBD
Shark Hotel, 127 Liverpool St
Sydney, NSW 2000
(02) 9283 8284

Holy Basil on Urbanspoon


  1. The s&p calamari here is definitely one of the best. It's not a refined fancy schmancy dish but it has a good balance of salt and pepper (something most places don't seem to get right) and a just-right crunch.

  2. I haven't been to the Holy Basil in the city. I wonder if the lines are as crazy as they are back at Canley. I'm amazed that no matter what night it is, that place is packed as.

  3. I love a good salt and pepper calamari, yum.