Canley Vale is essentially the lesser-known, quiet underachieving brother of Asian cuisine behemoth Cabramatta. And he’s currently going through puberty, becoming more and more well rounded as the months go by.
About 1500 metres from the most popular eateries in Canley Heights, another hotspot for Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese dishes, TK Something claims an all-you-can-eat throne. It’s here, for around $30 per person that the best of south-western Sydney is in the spotlight, the restaurant basking in a glow that lasts well past sunset and into the late evening before closing time.
Roaring crowds of local families from backgrounds that encompass much of South East Asia flood the restaurant on the daily. They come for the simplicity offered in a self-serve, buffet-style Korean BBQ restaurant.
As an accompaniment to the classic sweet chilli, soy and sriracha, a range of Korean sauces are also perched on the large wooden table tops for those more traditionally inclined. But breaking traditions and blending cultures is what contemporary dining is all about.
Rather than being limited to a few choices of poultry or red meat, TK Something goes all out and offers a wider variety of meats than found on Old MacDonald’s farm. Ranging from pork belly and chicken breast to kangaroo and octopus, they’ve scoured their local supplier for the best picks for us to chow down.
With the option of choosing as many plates as you want, the only ‘difficulty’ is that TK, like a number of barbeque restaurants, is not pre-cooked. You need to pick up a pair of tongs and rotate your own beef strips or calamari, grilling it to your own preferred standards.
But relax – you won’t go entirely hungry as your meat sears in front of you. Scattered between you and your dining companions are several side dishes to peck at – there’s boiled white rice, iceberg lettuce, cucumber strips and of course, kimchi.
Once you’ve dunked your dishes in sauces and cleared your plates, make sure there’s room for dessert – it’s the first time the word buffet makes total sense – as you wander towards the small fridge in the centre of the restaurant and make your choice from numerous rotating desserts. Pana cotta, crème brûlée, fresh watermelon and sliced oranges feature upon last visit, each worth trying if you’ve saved enough space.
Ready to take on the blossoming teen of South-West Sydney? We hope so – Canley Vale’s sure to be a stud in the future with joints like TK Something dotted along their main street.