You probably have a special person in your life, someone who gives you gratification, provides comfort when you need it, makes you happy. They never really disappoint you, and if by rare chance they do, you forgive and forget in a heartbeat. There's something about them that makes you keep going back for more.
And indeed I do have something special in my life that I can turn to, give comfort when I am needy, and rely on in times of HUNGERRRRRR! A place where you can come back again and again, to give you an all rounded satisfying experience and you never really leave disappointed. And even when it does screw up, you let it go, telling yourself it's just a one off bad day. No no not biased at all.
Tra Vinh is one of those eateries we have been going to frequently for yearsss without getting bored of the same things on the menu. It's not like you can get sick of your other half in a relationship right? RIGHT?
And because I was catching a plane that night to schmancy Gold Coast, I aimed to maintain a good palate and didn't introduce any new foods that might have shocked my very weak digestive system. And for that, Tra Vinh was a safe bet as it has been an old favourite hunch for as long as I can remember.
|Bun Bo Hue - $11|
This bowl filled with deep red stock suggests a rich, flavoursome broth with a chilli bite to it. Quite a traditional Vietnamese dish of Rice vermicelli in spicy soup with pork and beef, along with the inclusion of a pig knuckle which you may or may not eat. It's not that hot if you can brave chilli foods but on a hot day, you'll probably eat this with your sweat.
|Hu Tieu Mi Tra Vinh Dac Biet - $11.50|
The rice noodles used to form the above dish are...as above. They are springy and light with a satisfying chew to them, cooked to just the right level of "done". They are good in retaining their texture even when being soaked in the hot broth, which continuously cooks them. Makes you wonder at times what the hell goes into making it and how well (or unwell) you can digest it.
|Hu Tieu Tra Vinh Dac Biet - $11|
So as you can see, these noodles are the ones that replace the transparent kind. They are less chewy so require less mastication before swallowing lol. Another addition is the mini quail egg and cashew nuts in the soup, along with bits of fried pork lard and caramelised onion bits that do their magic in enhancing the fragrance and flavour of the dish.
Many of the noodle soups have chives as a topping and surprisingly, a while ago back when chives were supposedly unknown to mankind, I'd came across a customer who came back with their bowl of soup with a horrid, shocked, disbelieving and utter disgust expression on their face demanding a refund because,
"THERE IS GRASS IN MY SOUP!"
The location of Tra Vinh, although seeming to be a bit lonely and separated from most of the other restaurants in the heart of Northbridge, turns out to be quite favourable for them and the customer. Being on the outskirts of the entertainment district of Perth means there's less hassle and headache for the diner to find parking. A meal is much more enjoyable when you don't have a sky high parking ticket as accompaniment!
It is also open all day morning to night, and around peak hour it usually overflows with Asian clientele - always a good sign. Menu has all your usual dishes you'd expect, and all taste pretty good without the help of much MSG...but that is a guess that I'm making based on the fact that the mouth doesn't go all dry and you don't need to gasp for water afterwards. Fair prices that you'd expect from a casual eatery with basic and no fuss furnishings. But the abundance of mirrors in most Vietnamese restaurants always has me wondering, WHY!
Like the decor, the service is also no fuss, but it's there when you need it. Frankly, we all know it, places like this sprout up to give you the good food, good service is a bonus! You get what you need, no more no less. Serving sizes are good and are in proportionally correct sized bowls unlike ones that use huge bowls to give the illusion of generosity. You're also presented with free tea as you sit down! - a nice gesture that immediately scores brownie points :)