‘Restaurant’ doesn’t come close to covering what has opened up at the Cabra-Vale Diggers club in Canley Vale – we’re having a hard time fitting this category-defying venue into a single box. District 8 is a gigantic 600-seater dining hall that is divided into eight sections. Imagine an indoor Spice Alley in Sydney’s west.
It’s designed to transport you far away, with faux Hong Kong-style street signs and string lights guiding the way to the flavours of Vietnam, Thailand, China, Laos and Cambodia.
To start things off, there’s a dumplings station serving xiao long bao, fried pork buns. Then you can cruise between outlets dishing up preserved egg with pulled pork congee, ramen, pho, char kway teow, tom yum soup, pad thai, Penang prawn noodle soup, Malaysian seafood laksa, roasted pork belly, roasted Cantonese duck, jellyfish salad, slow poached Hainan chicken rice, roti paratha, beef massaman curry, satay skewers, broken rice, salt crusted barramundi, and Thai papaya salad. If that doesn’t read like a list of all your favourite things then we don’t know what will. There’s also a salad station for fresh accompaniments and a juice bar serving fresh sugarcane juice and bubble tea.
For that sweet tooth, look no further than the station dedicated entirely to Southeast Asian desserts. Plus you can get a drink at the bar while your kids entertain themselves in the shiny new playground.
The project is part of the Cabra-Vale Diggers food-focused renovation, with a brasserie and café having opened earlier this year and a steakhouse to follow in District 8’s footsteps. It is a celebration of Canley Vale’s diverse demographics.
District 8 is open from 9am till late daily. Cabra-Vale Diggers is located at 1 Bartley Street, Canley Vale, NSW 2166
Check out Time Out’s guide to Spice Alley for more South East Asian cuisine.