small is beautiful in Kings bloody Cross.

9 Nov

bang tang

This is a story of a tale of two cities. Make that two suburbs if you can call Kings Cross (Sydney) a suburb. Not so long ago it was the sleaze centre. The red light district with all the recognisable accoutrements such as sex, drugs, crime and desperation. For a while there when a few rogue cops were in charge, the place was so out of control, dealers, druggies and working girls plied their trade right out in the open and the back streets were a no go zone littered with used drug paraphernalia. One of those backstreets was Llankelly Place – a byway from Darlinghurst Road to Hughes Street (home of the Wayside Chapel.)

But things have changed quite dramatically.

Like some barren parts of NYC, Kings Cross has been gentrified.

Llankelly Place is a foodie strip now with clever little places that offer sometimes amazingly clever food. These are far from the fine dining palazzos but are often run by escapees from their kitchens.

The other night I discovered a tiny place that had so much character it was palpable.

Bang Tang offers (at the moment) two choices > salads and rolls. Not bread rolls. Vietnamese style rice paper rolls.

We tried it last night sitting down out the front among the mismatched second hand furniture. The salad was amazingly fresh featuring poached chicken or prawns with fruit, flowers, nuts and the usual salad stuff (tomatoes, leaves, cucumber …) with really spicy dressings.

It wasn’t just the food that was ultra fresh > so was the service.

Shown here in a photo with my son Max, these guys were trained in some of the best fine dining joints in town and it showed.

Enthusiastic, friendly, delicious and fun … places like this are forging a new revolution in urban living.

Oh and I forgot to mention that the food is reasonable priced too (or should I say realistically priced) in a city that’s fast becoming one of the most expensive in the world.

Yes. Small is beautiful in Kings bloody Cross.

NOTE: Kings bloody Cross comes from the Australian novel (and subsequent movie) They’re a Weird Mob written by John O’Grady under the pseudonym “Nino Culotta” about an Italian immigrant to Sydney in the early 1960’s. He gets off the boat and hops into a taxi handing the driver an address. “OK mate. Kings Bloody Cross it is.”

Or words to that effect …

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