An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

I can't tell you that I visited every inch of this next suburb. What I did do, however, is have a pretty swell lunch. Canley Vale

No Matta: Canley Vale

I can't tell you that I visited every inch of this next suburb. What I did do, however, is have a pretty swell lunch.

Canley Vale

Canley Vale is a southwestern suburb bordering the better known Cabramatta. I came in by car today, parking at the base of the CBD so that I could avoid its traffic jam. 

Incidentally, my parking spot was in front this nursery which I mention for its election banners for independent candidate Dai Le who ended up winning this seat in the federal election. Interestingly, both seats featured in my 2019 election special miniseries where I visited Sydney's Laborest and Liberalest suburbs were won by independents in this last election. 

Anyway, with that observation out of the way, I carried on into Canley Vale CBD to see what I could find. 

On first impressions, the suburb is definitely quieter than its more famous neighbour, 

but it does seem to feature a good handful of trendy looking spots from bars to buffets. 

There's also a bit of street decoration, with designs on the tree planters, 

and a mural or two. 

I carried on past the international convention centre, 

and a supremely-legit looking Vietnamese bakery. You can tell it's good by its faded sign with a still-seven-digit phone number and the crowd waiting outside.

I was also intrigued by this far quieter steamed bun shop,

although that's not where today's lunch would be. Nor would it be at Tuk Tuk,

or this surpremely adorable aquarium, for that matter.

Speaking of aquariums, Canley Vale also has this one with a rather unique name. 

Following the street past the aquarium with store dysphoria leads to a surprise temple, 

with a real estate office underneath (this is Sydney after all),

and even an interesting looking brick wall around the place. 

I headed back, 

continuing onto the street I started on with the fancy planters. 

It was now time for lunch, so I took a cruise down the Mekong,

to arrive at the eclectically decorated Hai Au Lang Nuong Vietnamese restaurant. 

And when I say eclectic, I do mean it. The decor inside here is mad, with ornaments hanging off every square inch of space.

Even the walk to the bathroom is wild. 

Anyway, after enjoying the complementary hot tea (perfect for the crap weather), Mrs Completing Sydney and I put in our orders. 

I wanted to try the DIY rice-paper rolls, with grilled pork, beef, sugarcane prawn, noodles, salad and spring rolls,

as well as rice paper you have to wet in hot water in order to activate. 

After messing up the first one, 

one of the waitresses came to our assistance. 

Damn good. 

Mrs Completing Sydney also wanted some lemongrass chicken, which was fine, but overshadowed by the more interactive half of our meal. 

Today, I was honestly just planning to pass through Canley Vale, and as such this was more of an opportune-completion, rather than a fully fledged coverage of the suburb, but lunch was too good not to share.

Regardless, before continuing on with my day, I poked my head a little further through the suburb,

past this fantastically retro neon sign store that I don't think is operational any more,

and the heritage Westacott Cottage. Once a colonial-era house, 

the place was aquired by the council at some stage and is now used as a community arts venue (although closed to visitors on the day of my wander by). 

Heading on back to the car through a Canley Vale backstreet, 

I found a monument to convict labour, 

a scrappy patch of bushland,

and, less interestingly, the back doors of the previously-walked-past stores. 

Finally, I headed past the sports facilities of Adams Park, 

including an exclusive ibis-only swimming pool. 

To reach the point where I started the suburb, where I'd be able to carry on with my day.

Canley Vale: Rice paper rolls are more fun when you construct them yourself.


  1. Mmm, food looks extremely appealing -- can almost smell it from those photos. Probably worth visiting Canley Vale just for the food. The Trans Aquarium looks like a place to be proud of. It probably began life as a real estate agents, which just goes to show nobody should be boxed in by their birth states. Long live transitional courage! Loving the quirky underside of your posts!

    1. I support anyone living how they want to live. All the better if it means they're no longer real estate agents.

  2. If you ventured further up past the public school, say 15-ish minute walk along Canley Vale Rd, you'd have hit Canley Heights where all the millenials in the area hang out after hours. Utterly chockers Friday-Sunday night, so I'd recommend arriving by 5pm if driving. Cafe Nho is their usual cafe, but there's also a Cajun Vietnamese restaurant, Kickin Inn, down that end too.

    1. Canley Heights is a whole other suburb! But it sounds like an evening visit may be the best way to visit

  3. I grew up in Canley Vale, Fairview Rd. It's been a long time since I was there though so a lot of those shops I had never seen. The old bakery though was where we would drop in early morning after a night dancing in the International Centre which at the time was a disco! Canley Vale was such a happening place there were actually 2 discos upstairs from the shops. On the corner opposite the station there was a pinball parlour too. Don't tell mum but just down from the cottage, under the railway bridge, was where I first jigged school! There's a creek down there and lot of bush to hide in around it, or at least there was back then. Happy times. When you go back to see Canley Heights spare a few minutes to drive over to Canley Jail High School.

  4. I like the way you write. It's very candid and engaging