After seeing so many restaurants over the last couple of years opening in Canley Heights, it breathes a sigh of relief to see a new restaurant in Fairfield and thankfully close to the station. Seriously, finding parking in the Heights is getting ridiculous! It is no surprise to see that it has attracted a lot of attention especially since it is owned by the same people who own Holy Basil. What makes Green Peppercorn/Sugarcane special is their massive dessert menu which includes creme brulee and fried ice cream. After seeing many peers uploading photos of those exquisite looking desserts, I knew I had to give this place a go. On the day we went, it was a Sunday lunch so there were plenty of seats for us though it did fill itself up later on. A few weeks later, I went back here for my birthday dinner with my folks (also on a Sunday) and the queues were definitely happening.
Unlike their sister restaurant, the layout of Green Peppercorn is quite spacious although it still gets the crowd especially at dinner with groups of people waiting nearby the door for a table. It's also located close to Fairfield station which is good for those who don't have a car to get to any of the restaurants in Canley Heights. While you don't see anyone waiting outside and it seems oddly located next door to The Fairfield Hotel, when you go inside, it is a completely vibrant and buzzing atmosphere. Statues, ornaments and bird cages are abound in this restaurant's interior decor and there is even a tuk-tuk at the corner. There is so much to choose from the menu which goes on for many pages. The dessert menu alone is 4 pages long so it's no wonder that it took a while for us to choose.
The sausages have a savoury, herby and slightly spicy bite to it. While the outer casing has a grilled texture, the meat itself literally melts in your mouth. We made the most of the 'mum's special sauce' as well as the small salad that accompanied the dish. Word of warning for the spice noobs out there, the special sauce is actually pretty spicy!
Lao Sausages ($10.90)
I was keen to try the marinated ox tongue after trying some versions of this dish. It definitely has its distinction with its warm and grilled textures. It was also quite chewy as you bite into the meat. The small salad on the side helped our tongues once the special sauce becomes overwhelming.
Marinated Ox Tongue ($10.90)
As with the ox tongue, I am also eager to try out the satay chicken. This version is already presented with a lump of satay sauce coated on the chicken skewers. The chicken is quite juicy and grilled at the edges and the sesame coated satay sauce gave the chicken an extra boost of flavour.
Satay Chicken ($8.90)
I love crispy soft shell crab but this is CRISPY! And I really love it! While it is lightly battered, it still retains a decent crunch that sustains throughout our lunch. Biting into the batter of the crab just takes you to another place with it's amazing crunch. The crab itself is well cooked for our liking. Also perfectly matched with the lemon wedge and the secret sauce.
Soft Shell Crab ($16.90)
As with other Thai restaurants in the past, we knew we need to try the Pad Thai to see if Green Peppercorn's version compares well. We thought it was definitely one of the better versions we have tasted. It was quite sweet, not too saucy and heavily cluttered with bean sprouts everywhere on the plate. If you like your added spices or more peanuts, a tiny bowl of chilli flakes and crushed peanuts are included on the side as well as a wedge of lemon for that zesty flavour. Great as a shared dish as it would be a struggle to finish on your own.
Pad Thai with Chicken ($12.90)
I didn't have much but it was very filling for 3 people to finish especially since we already ordered the pad thai. Nevertheless, this version of Thai fried rice is very flavoursome with fresh ingredients. I think next time we should just order more entree-sized dishes and one main course.
Khao pad/Thai Fried Rice with Chicken ($12.90)
Now to my favourite part of the dining experience! You know what that is! Green Peppercorn has a Dessert Bar with its own identity known as 'Sugarcane', where they have a generous selection of desserts from classic favourites like waffles and crepes to the more traditional desserts such as coconut sticky rice and pandan sticky rice.
We all opted to try their fried ice cream one to share just to see if it's as good as Holy Basil's infamous version. It looked almost exactly the same as Holy Basil's but CC and N absolutely loved this version. I only had a couple of pieces and it tastes very nice especially when mixed with the muesli and strawberry pieces as well as biting through the crepe layers to taste the ice cream. CC is still craving for GP's fried ice cream right now so they have definitely done a good job of this dish here.
Fried Ice Cream ($13.90)
We were originally planning to order the banana fritters but they were unavailable on the day we visited. The waiter said that we can try the one without the banana, which is called the 'Par Thung Go' - fried dough sticks with coconut pandan dipping sauce. When it arrived at our table, we thought this looks exactly like the fried doughnuts at Vietnamese restaurants. And they taste exactly like them too. While the sauces increased the flavour a bit, we thought that it was plain and nothing too exciting for our palates.
Par Thung Go ($12.90)
I absolutely adored the pandan creme brulee, which is Green Peppercorn/Sugarcane's signature dessert dish. The pandan flavour just gives it an extra oomph factor. I especially love the green egg rolls on the side along with a piece of strawberry to make the presentation more lovely. When you taste it, the creme brulee is sweet, creamy and light. I was saddened when I've finished this wide but shallow ramekin dish that I tried to scrap any leftovers. This is just so freaking amazing that you will NOT want to share this with your dessert loving friend. And damn it was heavenly man.
Pandan Creme Brulee ($14.00)
On my second visit, I ended up trying the Vanilla Creme Brulee. While this version is still a hit for my taste buds, its presentation didn't have much of a wow factor compared to the Pandan Creme Brulee. Nevertheless, the taste is incredibly divine and creamy and I was eager to scoop everything out by the end.
Vanilla Creme Brulee ($14.00)
While the service doesn't attend to your needs immediately (you have to forgive them though, it is a very busy and large restaurant with lots of people waiting for a new table), the food is definitely worth it and the prices are similar to Holy Basil (not too cheap but not too expensive). We will definitely come back to try more dishes especially the salads and the dishes under GP Specialties like the Banana Flower Salad. Not to mention having that creme brulee again!
1 Hamilton Road, Fairfield NSW 2165
(02) 9724 7842