Saturday, 24 May 2014

Tra Vinh (茶荣) Restaurant in Perth

Tra Vinh (茶荣) Vietnamese Restaurant
169 Brisbane St,
Perth, WA

Tra Ving (茶荣) is oprated by a Chinese-Vietnamese migrant, and so you can expect their menus contains both Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, despite the restaurant calling itself Vietnamese restaurant.

It locates at 149 Brisbane St, and it's quite close to William St corner. This is the 1st Asian restaurant we saw after hopping off the Central Institute of Technology stop of the Blue CAT bus. We were too hungry to window-shop for restaurants. So we thought we just gave it a shot.

The 1st thing I noticed was how comprehensive the menu was. Most of my favourite Vietnamese dishes - to be exactly noodle soups - are on the menu. Phở (beef noodle soup), Bún bò Huế (beef vermicelli soup in Hue style), Bún riêu (meat rice vermicelli in tomato soup), and so forth are all there. Some Vietnamese restaurants - from Sydney, HK, Singapore to Paris - have some of these dishes, few have them all.

It even has goat or oxtail noodle soup, which I had never seen on any Vietnamese menu. And then when I flipped a few more pages of the menu, I have my answer. Most of the dishes in the last few pages are Chinese. I had never seen the oxtail noodle soup in any Vietnamese restaurants because it wasn't a Vietnamese dish.

Lunch at Tra Vinh Vietnamese restaurant in Northbridge, Perth. Oxtail noodle soup, fried spring rolls, and sugar cane prawns
Lunch at Tra Vinh Vietnamese restaurant in Northbridge, Perth
Oxtail noodle soup, fried spring rolls, and sugarcane prawns

In any case, I decided to give the oxtail noodle soup a try. The verdict? It would be fine if you have a sweet tooth. The soup is way too sweet for my liking, bought about by adding too many dried red dates, which are found in many Chinese herbal soup.

The reason I thought it was a Vietnamese dish (other than that it appeared next to pho, and other Vietnamese noodle soup in the menu) is because Vietnamese cuisine has been influenced by the French cooking, which has an oxtail stew dish (I cook it whenever oxtail is on sales. Actually I posted the recipe for oxtail stew a few years ago when Etta's colleague asked me for it). It was only when I saw the ingredient that I realised it was a Chinese dish.

Well, the French and Chinese eat most of everything that others don't, like frogs, birds' liver and other organs, etc. Oxtail just so happens to be one of the delicacy that both Chinese and French eat. I think it's good to eat every part of an animal, apart from being very nutritious and delicious, it's also quite green. Nothing is being wasted (not even the bones, they make very good soup base).

The other 2 dishes were of standard level.

P.S. I went back to Tra Vinh for a 2nd visit on our last day in Perth. I had to try out their Bún bò Huế (beef vermicelli soup in Hue style). The noodles were a bit soft, and the soup was a bit spicier than I liked. But it was a cold night, so that's not too bad. This noodle soup is called beef in spicy soup in their menu for good reason. Still, it was quite good, and tasted authentically Vietnamese. This soup got a 7.5/10 from me.

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