“Holy Basil just opened a branch in the city the other week.”
That was the general gist of my conversation as I remembered being told that Holy Basil is known for having the best fried ice cream ever. And I was even more excited now that I can access this in the heart of the city. Yvn had previously been to the original Canley Vale restaurant and raved about its fried icecream, so we headed in together to see if the city store lived up to the hype.
Located on the block next next to World Square, Holy Basil has gone and renovated the innards of the once dingy, dodgy looking Shark Hotel…or at least half of it. They now occupy the back end of Shark Hotel and it is beautifully furnished; lots of candles, flowers, Thai statues and ornaments, decorative lights and even a water display. Unfortunately, it is horribly ventilated and stuffy (due to the candles and lighting perhaps?) but we soon forget this when the food comes. We visit on a Friday night for some nibbles as our dinner later is booked for 8:30pm and we are starving. It is surprisingly quiet for a Friday, perhaps it is still new and not many know about it yet.
Salt ‘n’ Pepper Calamari – $15.90
The first dish which comes out is the calamari. It looks a bit small for a main serving but wow, it is cooked to perfection! Soft and tender, not too chewy either, it is salty and crispy. With the added lemon juice and sweet chilli sauce, it just goes kapow wow wow in my mouth. Yep, its deliciousness has left me describing it in gibberish, so you have just have to go try it for yourself.
Satay Chicken Skewers – $8.90
Next is the satay chicken skewers. Cooked on a grill, the chicken is succulent and juicy. The peanut sauce is creamy (much like Temasek’s) and contains bits of peanuts and sesame, adding that extra texture to the sauce.
Holy Basil Fried Ice Cream – $13.90
But now comes what I’ve heard is the killer dish at Holy Basil, the fried ice cream. It is presented as a large triangle and is unlike anything I’ve seen before; the outer consists of a thin filo pastry (not the usual thick bread crusting) and on the side is shaved coconut, caramel syrup and fresh strawberries. The pastry makes a cracking sound as we break into it to reveal creamy vanilla ice cream (not home brand tasting ). Hands down best fried ice cream ever. The thin pastry coating is a nice difference and tastes much better than what fried ice cream usually has. When you scoop some coconut shavings and caramel syrup onto the spoon as well, it just hits the spot because it all goes so well together. Although on the more expensive side, the serving is quite large and should be shared between 2~3 people.
I am so glad Holy Basil opened a branch in the city. I am only disappointed that my dinner wasn’t held here instead and that I couldn’t stuff myself silly this time, but I will definitely be back to try more mains! Watch out Chat Thai and Home Thai, there’s a new competitor in town and Holy Basil will give you a run for your money.
Shark Hotel 127 Liverpool St,
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 9283 8284
Lunch 12-3pm, Dinner 5pm-midnight