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Many years ago – and at the risk of revealing my age, I’m talking over 15 years ago – there was the most amazing noodle house on the main shopping strip of Cabramatta, Sydney called “Mi A Dong”. Like many foodie institutions, this place had only one thing on the menu: egg noodles. Ordering was easy: (1) select whether you wanted “thick” or “thin” strand noodles, (2) select between “dry” or “soup” noodles, and (3) select your serving size – large or small bowls. The noodles were delicious – only mildly eggy and not too sweet, unlike many of sickly sweet noodles that are used in the noodle houses in Sydney today. They were served with moist slivers of pork, spectacular dried liver (sans the liver “smell” that many places do not know how to get rid of), a few strips of lettuce, and, oh, the nostalgia just thinking about the prawn cracker atop the noodles… My selection was, without fail, a small bowl of the thick, dry noodles, and if I was feeling cheeky, I would ask my parents to order an extra plate of those prawn crackers…

Mi A Dong was a family-run business, and when they decided to shut down (not for want of business, mind you) their family recipe disappeared with them. I’m sure had they wanted to, they could have sold that recipe for millions. I suspect (and secretly hope) that they did not sell the recipe in anticipation of one day re-opening the restaurant…I’m still awaiting that day. There has been no adequate substitute since – although most foodies would know about Mi Tan Viet, the fabulous crispy skin chicken noodle house on John Street, Cabramatta.

So alas, like many things, when you can’t find someone to do it properly for you, you just have to do it yourself… which brings me to today’s home-made lunch: dried egg noodles with slow roast pork leg, ling fish, vegetarian spring rolls (to substitute the Mi A Dong prawn cracker), onion, greens (lettuce, garlic chives and coriander) and crispy garlic. Served, of course, with a fresh chilli, soy and red vinegar dipping sauce. Dry noodles, for a very wet Sydney day.

What are you having for lunch today? Where’s your favourite nostalgic food place?