Friday, September 11, 2009

Trang, West End

I love Vietnamese cuisine. I like the balance they have in their dishes. Fresh herbs and salad go together with rich soups and stews. But there’s a lot more to the Vietnamese gastronomy that I’m yet to explore. The rest would just have to wait when I get the opportunity to visit the country itself. For now I’m limited by restaurant offerings.

I Love Food Awards finalist

Whenever I get a hankering (7 days a week that is) for Vietnamese food I only go to one place, Trang at Brisbane’s West End. Among all the Vietnamese restaurants I’ve tried Trang stands out for several reasons:

Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Beef & Pork Soup)

1. Food is delicious & consistent

We tend to order almost always the same menu items. Naturally, we expect the food to taste like the last time. Otherwise, we might as well select something else.

It annoys me a whole lot when a dish tastes different from one day to the next depending on who’s manning the restaurant. This is never an issue at Trang where food is consistently delicious.

the classic pho (beef soup)

2. Food is authentic

A Vietnamese friend introduced me to Trang. That says a lot about the authenticity of the food on offer. You don’t get a “watered-down” version which is pretty commonplace in Australia.

com chien (fried rice)

3. Family Friendly

With four kids in tow it’s quite a challenge to find a restaurant where one feels “welcome”. Trang has established itself as a “family-friendly” restaurant where everyone goes away satisfied.

mi ga chien don (crispy fried chicken noodle soup)

4. Warm and friendly service

The staff are friendly but not in your face. As “regulars” we’ve done away with the menu as the staff know exactly what we want.

sam bo luong (mixed drink)

5. Price is reasonable

To top it all Trang’s prices are exceptionally reasonable. They’ve recently pushed them up but for what you get you’ll be willing to fork out more. A satisfying bowl of pho, for example, will still only set you back less than $10.

kem chien (deep fried ice-cream)

My original intention was to include Trang in my “cheap eats” series. But that would be doing them a disservice.

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