There seems to be a perception that VIETNAMESE CUISINE is healthy and a bit bland. At TRA VINH, they try to change that misconception. Serving delicious and fresh dishes, TRA VINH is surprisingly good.
Located in the BANAWE AREA in Quezon City, this seems to be the only legit Vietnamese Restaurant in the district. The concept originally came from a Vietnamese Partner currently residing in Australia. There a number of TRA VINH restaurants are open. Authentic as can be, most of the secret ingredients are flown in. Meanwhile, the meat and vegetables are bought daily in the morning from the market to ensure the freshest ingredients are used.
Starting the meal with the some of the small plates could be your undoing. Remember this is a Vietnamese restaurant. You came here for the soup! Although, a compelling reason to visit this place is also that they serve other non soup dishes that are delicious and affordable. Better yet, just try out everything. Having a lot of choices from the menu gives the diners perspective on how Vietnamese cuisine is not just about banh mi and soup.
You could go for the Fresh Spring Roll. This is made only upon order. The deep fried stuffed chicken is plumped up by the added meat. The home made shrimp wrap encloses a sugarcane to give it a sweet natural flavor. The Pomelo Salad is a standout as the crunchy crackers gives it a different texture profile.
Two dishes that are almost the same but different are the SALT and PEPPER PRAWN and FISH.
One might think that TRA VINH uses the same ingredients to marinate and produce both products. Thankfully, they don't.
Thus, the flavor between the two differ. The PRAWN has a more bold and peppery taste. The Fish, on the other hand, has a salty flavor that is absorbed by the meat.
A SPECIALTY of this restaurant would be the VIETNAMESE PANCAKE.
Accompanied by an assortment of vegetables, you get to create your own wrap. Use the different green leafy vegetables as a vehicle for your pancake. Place a bit of sauce inside and take a bite. It gives a fulfilling experience.
For the main dish, the noodles are your best bet. You get to pick between soup based and dry ones.
Admittedly, the one with soup has a more authentic flavor and feel. Although, the dry noodles aren't that bad at all. Accompanied by freshly cooked spring rolls and pork barbecue, you won't go wrong with this. When ordering for a Pho, ask the staff based on your preferred flavor and maybe they could make it happen. Also, one might notice the different sizes of each bowl. Don't be overwhelmed, you could definitely finish it.
A surprise crowd favorite would be the Fish Stew. This is almost like your normal "sinigang" but it has a bit of sweet tone to it. Contrasting flavors of the herbs and spices makes this dish a must try.
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The dishes are generally on the sweet side. This might be because of the side sauces served. For the price point, you can be assured of its competitiveness. Thus making TRA VINH worthy of a visit when in the area.
Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my visits. Was invited to a food tasting and also returned on my own account.