Reviewed by Georgia Cassimatis
Razzle dazzle, welcome to the grand launch of Thai / Laos restaurant Holy Basil. Famous for flourishing in the much sought after, Asian foodie destination in Canley Heights and Parramatta, domination in the CBD was the next goal, with the new, bustling dining precinct in Darling Square its home.
Already a drawcard with its beaming vibrancy along the walkway, Darling Square is the perfect marriage for this restaurant with its fusion of flavours, colours, and fabulous gold interiors. As soon as we enter through the gold arched doorway the ‘otherworldliness’ whisks us away, fresh fruit cocktails in hand, where we can hear the whispers of other patrons exclaiming ‘Wow I feel like I’m in Thailand!’
Turning the corner we are seduced by the abundance of food and drink karts overflowing with the perfect blend of spices, colours and flavours; all of which is what Thai and Laos cuisine is renowned for.
We devour bite sized snacks; from the pork belly in chilli basil, duck mince salad, seafood aplenty such as mussels, prawns, soft shell crab and oysters, fresh snapper and mango salsa, chicken skewers, ox tongue, waygu beef and kingfish carpaccio, marinated lamb cutlets, followed by deep fried icecream wrapped in pastry (their signature dish). The fruit bar spans all the colours of the rainbow, and I’m in awe with the adorable fruit-shaped mung bean desserts. While devouring the sticky date rice with mango salsa I am reminded of a fun fact about Laotian cuisine: the people of Laos believe that sticky rice will always be the glue that holds the Lao communities together, connecting them to their culture.
Once satiated, it was time to lounge on one of the big wooden tables overlooking the outside Square. While sipping one of their premium drinks; Brad Pitt’s own Miraval Rosé, we are captivated by the star of the night, Miss Melissa, performing Thai pop classics in her yellow polkadot ensemble, with her two backup dancers dazzling us all in red.
As owners Louise and Tony said; their goal is to tell the story of their culture through food, which dominated their lives as children: ‘A few years ago, we began our journey of retelling a story on our cultural heritages through our cuisines that is uniquely Thai; Laos: food which we have been accustomed to from our upbringing.’
For a night of fun, flavour, colour and culture check out:
www.holybasil.com.au. Bookings and walk-ins accepted.
Open 7 days for lunch and dinner.
Holy Basil Darling Square
51 Tumbalong Blvd, Haymarket 2000
Weekdays: Lunch: 12-2.30 pm | Dinner: 5-10 pm Friday-Saturday: 12pm -
Sunday: 12pm - 10pm
Website holybasil.com.au Instagram @holybasil Facebook
Holy Basil other venues
Holy Basil Canley Heights | 233A Canley Vale Rd Canley Heights NSW 2166
Holy Basil Parramatta | Shop 5 (Meriton Altitude) 330 Church St Parramatta NSW 2150