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Meet our Nomination for the Worldwide Street Food 50 Competition – Great Aunty Three in Enmore

Food and Drink

aunty-front-window

Urban Adventures is producing the world’s first-ever annual Top 50 list of the world’s best street food, nominated by locals in the know. In time, we’re hoping it will be similar to the New York Times’ Top 50 Places list, which has become an annual event on the travel calendar.

This year we nominated one of our favourite places in Enmore, Great Aunty Three’s. We love it because it’s real home-cooked Vietnamese food made by a super nice guy with a great story that’ll inspire anyone to follow their dreams.

A couple of weeks ago we spoke to Michael, the owner, who was delighted to be nominated. And this is his story here.

The story of Great Aunty Three begins in Can Tho, Michael’s birthplace in Vietnam. It was the place where Michael’s grandmother owned a restaurant that was the talk of the town.

Food was always important to Michael, whose traditional Vietnamese family placed great importance on mealtimes and traditional recipes. But it wasn’t until he travelled back to his birthplace to re-connect with his roots that he fell in love with Vietnamese street food. In awe of the local food that was available on the streets for passers-by to indulge in, he was hooked and decided he needed to bring the same experience to Sydney.

And a couple of years later he did. Taking the bold move of quitting his 9-5 job in IT, Michael set about opening up his first Vietnamese street food joint on the corner of Enmore Road and

Phillip Street Enmore, the inner-city suburb where his hard-working immigrant family worked long hours to provide a stable lie for him and his siblings. The decision was met with resistance from most of his family, including his grandmother who has since come around. It was only his mother that believed in him.

Nowadays, his grandmother checks in whenever she is in Sydney, proud that she was the inspiration for his new venture. After all, it was her recipes he re-creates in the shop.

Michael’s mother has since passed away but he is now assisted by his bubbly wife, Mai, who is his biggest supporter.

Their signature dish is Bún Heo Quay, a steaming dish of slow-cooked pork and crackling with hearty noodles, a family favourite that was passed down from his grandma, and has been in the family for generations.

He’s come a long way from picking up recycling cans from the streets of Enmore for pocket money and has no regrets. His is a story of passion and resilience……and great noodle soup.

 

Linda Paull is a travel writer, guide and guide trainer at Sydney Urban Adventures. She is passionate about sustainable, experienced-based travel, plant-based eating and thrift and vintage shopping. 

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