I’ve tried Tan Thanh, supposedly home to Brisbane’s most authentic Vietnamese food and best pho. I’ve given CT Coffee & Restaurant and another unmemorable place on the outside of Inala’s Civic Centre a go, as well. The latest Vietnamese restaurant I’ve ticked off from Inala’s commercial centre is this – Tra Vinh.
It was a bit of a family gathering on this particular outing, so going by my brothers recommendation, we nabbed a table at this unassuming eatery that’s clearly popular with 20-somethings, local folk and their offspring.
A thermos of tea swiftly lands on the table in record time, along with multi-page menus offering a plethora of Vietnamese and some Chinese staples. It may have been the middle of winter in southeast Queensland, but working up a sweat sipping hot tea when it’s 18°C outside doesn’t quite work for me. I needed something cool, refreshing and colourful.
The three-colour drink may not have hit the brief, but it sure hit the refreshment factor. Crushed ice, coconut cream, red beans, strands of green jelly and a good dose of sugar. Buzzing.
A few of us order soups. A couple of beef pho (10) that are loaded with the usual suspects of thinly shaved meat, some brisket and rice noodles. The other is a prawn & pork soup (10) with egg noodles; equally satisfying and typically generous in size.
The rice vermicelli noodle salad (10) is all kinds of delicious. Especially the grilled pork part of it. Golden, crunchy spring rolls sit alongside the meat, with cucumber and lettuce greenery also blanketing a hefty mound of noodles. The deal is sweetened even further with a good splash of the provided nuoc cham.
I ignored the fact that I’d be on the nose all day after scoffing the supremely tender salt & pepper pork (14). The lightly crusted nubs have just the right amount of seasoning, heightened even further with a generous scattering of garlic. Or should I say heavy handed? Even the fried rice was bang on.
Snapshots around Inala Civic Centre.