Tra Vinh, Northbridge

Having been here once and not immediately falling in love with the place like many others did, I decided to give this place another try.

There’s been rave reviews about this place since I was in uni, but for some reason, the first trip there for me wasn’t all that memorable. I found my experience the first time to be on the average side.

So like I said, I decided to venture into this little establishment once again on a Sunday, and see if my opinions could be changed (especially after seeing how people were loving it).

This place is located along Brisbane Street, but across William Street.

By the time we got there (it was not even 12pm!), it was starting to fill up, but we managed to find a cosy wall-side table for ourselves.

It’s not a big area, so it’s always good if you’re there a little earlier than the peak-hour crowd (that’s if you’re like me). Tra Vinh boasts a rather extensive menu and I do like the fact that they got nice pictures to illustrate some of the dishes that might not seem bleeding obvious at first to a non-local.

We took a while to move through the list, but from past recommendations from friends, and with my own craving for a nice bowl of noodles, here were our orders:

  • 2 x Beef Ball/Raw Beef Hofan Soup (i.e. pho)
  • Broken Rice with Grilled Pork, Pate and Fried Egg
  • Stuffed Chicken Wings
  • Chendol

As we waited for our food, we saw the place just fill itself to the brim, it was really quite a spectacle!

We finally got served our bowls of noodles, and although you can’t see the Pho in the picture on the left, there was quite a generous serving of it hidden in that broth!

After being to places such as Viet Hoa and Lido just down along William Street, I have to say this Pho tasted similar. Might be my taste buds not being able to differentiate the tastes, but I wouldn’t say it was out of the ordinary.

The serving of bean sprouts to complement the bowl of noodle soup was a bit on the light side (again maybe because I am greedy girl with a hearty appetite for those bean sprouts!!).

Nothing too special over here.

The broken rice on the other hand looked rather interesting as we got served that plate. I was fascinated by the pate, and am still wondering what it’s actually made up of – anyone who’s got knowledge of this – would be great if you could please shed some enlightenment on this clueless girl (me)!

Not really in the mood for rice, I actually didn’t try this dish at all, but received some feedback from the other two lovely people dining with me. The owner of the dish said he enjoyed it, but he wasn’t over the moon about it. Pleasant dish I would suppose.

The pincher on the other hand found nothing special (it is rather difficult to impress my mother =)).

Mixed feelings on this dish, but I have to admit the pork looked sumptuous just looking at it!

The Chendol and Stuffed Chicken Wings both turned out to be the disappointments of the afternoon. The stuffed chicken wings were nicely filled with ingredients such as chicken, chestnuts (from memory), and rice vermicelli… and whilst it did come with a dipping sauce, there was this dryness to it that didn’t sit too well with us. There was also a lack of yam (taro) which I found to be a great ingredient to stuffed chicken wings (thanks to those from Viet Hoa).

The Chendol was not impressive. There was just something about the ratio of coconut, red beans, green jelly and ice that was not right. The end taste was something a tad too sweet (from the red beans), and a little more coconut with the portion of ice given may have helped.

I would come back again to try some of the other dishes, but the service didn’t help in really inviting me back again. The wait staff were not attentive, and were generally unfriendly, if not almost rude. It is a simple place, but there is still a level of service that one would expect from any eatery… or is this mind expecting a tad too much? =)

A quick-eat-quick-go sorta place, this would be good for the people who are looking for a quick meal, but don’t expect too much from the service. It will be a while till I’m back there, and with so many other Vietnamese places to try… I wonder when will the next time be for me *wink*

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. a.k.a Miss Egg

Tra Vinh
Telephone: (08) 9228 2788
Address: 149a Brisbane Street, Northbridge

Tra Vinh on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “Tra Vinh, Northbridge

  1. I personally really like Tra Vinh and this whole service issues come up a lot with some Vietnamese establishments and I personally don’t think it’s a really big deal. They are generally low key establishments where it’s all about the food, unless they are really rude or do something really offensive. I say just chill out. Maybe next time you can apply the harm principle to the service http://www.blueapocalypse.com/2010/11/pho-in-sydney-applying-harm-principle.html

  2. I agree about the service here, you definately don’t go here for that. I use to go here all the time because of the convenience and price (I actually think taste-wise it rates much better than Viet Hoa especially the flavour of the pho / I do like Lido but the price is much higher than your usual Vietnamese). My favourite dish is the chicken dry vermicelli noodle – worth a try and the other dish is the broken rice dish (which is made up of pork chops, shredded pork, egg, pickled vegetables and a meat omelette of some sort). My favourite drinks are the apple custard shake and the logan jelly drink.

  3. The ‘pate’ is actually like a pork meatloaf – it’s made up of pork mince, thin rice noodles (similar to vermicelli) carrots, Chinese mushrooms, spring onion and other vegetables depending on the individual’s recipe. Mix it all up with whole eggs and season with salt, pepper and stock and bake in the oven. Just before it’s done, an egg yolk is brushed over the top to get the yellow strip on top :)

    Com Tam (broken rice) is one of my fave Tra Vinh dishes. I also have a soft spot for Com Ga Chien Gion (crispy fried chicken and rice).

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