149A Brisbane Street
Northbridge WA 6003
+61 8 9228 2788
This week, we’ll be crossing the Nullarbor and talking about some of Perth’s food offerings. For those of you who have followed my blog for donkey years, you’ll remember that I attended the Eat Drink Blog conference last November. Perth is a long way to fly – especially just for two nights – but I was determined to stock up on Corica apple strudels, perve on FIFO workers and learn a thing or two about food blogging. And of course, sneak in a couple of restaurant visits in between.
I was also there to visit my friend, DP. He and his missus, Gem, picked me up from Perth airport at 8:30pm on a Friday evening – a bad time to arrive because it meant that most restaurants were closing. Ditto the Twilight Hawkers Market. Thankfully, there were a handful of Perth restaurants that stay open until 10pm on weekends and Tra Vinh was one of them. I love Vietnamese food more than hot FIFO workers so when DP suggested Tra Vinh, I eagerly said yes even though it was still 28 degrees outside. It was also conveniently located around the corner from my hotel which also happened to be a prostitutes’ den – something I didn’t know about until a week before I was due to fly out.
Great planning skills, Libby.
Having just arrived from 14-degree Melbourne, I was sweating so much that I needed a cold drink. My three colour drink did hit the spot, but it was a tad too sweet for my liking.
Dave ordered the crispy fried chicken on rice. It’s not something that I’d normally order at Vietnamese restaurants but if you all you want is chicken and rice, then this is for you.
Gem ordered the fried rice with diced beef. At $14, I thought it was a bit much given that she wasn’t given a big portion either. It wasn’t fantastic either; the beef was too sweet and the rice was quite bland.
Who the hell orders a steaming hot bowl of pho when it’s hot outside? Me, naturally.
I have this thing against red onions in Asian dishes so when I saw bits of red onion floating on the broth, my immediate thought was ‘Oh FFS!’
Red onions aside though, the pho was great. Being from Melbourne, I know I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to excellent pho. If I lived in Perth, however, I’d be pretty pleased with this one. The broth was sweet and had excellent depth while the noodle-soup-beef ratio was just right.
The good thing about Northbridge is that there are at least two handfuls of other Vietnamese restaurants to choose from. Sure, Northbridge ain’t no Richmond or Footscray or any Sydney suburb ending in –atta but if the Vietnamese restaurants here are half as good as Tra Vinh (pho-wise, that is) then I’d say that Perth is in good hands. Just stick to the pho and avoid the rice dishes.