I have a plan. I am going to go to every single Vietnamese restaurant in Marrickville and try out the Pho. Whether or not that actually happens is another matter entirely.
Anyway, Tra Mi is first on the list, as it was second closest to my house. Why I didn’t choose the first closest, I don’t know.
The décor is simple and reminiscent of many restaurants in Southeast Asia that I’ve been to. I usually take it as a sign that the food they make is good, but humble, and not every fucker has heard of it yet.
We were immediately served complementary tea, which is a standard service in most Vietnamese restaurants. Truth be told, if I don’t get tea, I feel my meal is somewhat incomplete.
After I excitedly (well, with as much energy as I could muster with the dreaded ‘flu) ordered my Pho, I ordered the Fresh Lemonade, which I fondly remember from my trips to Southeast Asia as being extremely refreshing in the oppressive humidity.
Sadly, it was WAY too sweet. I’m used to it being lemon juice and water on ice, with sugar on the side for you to mix in yourself. Maybe it’s been Aussiefied, I dunno.
One of my dining companions ordered an Iced Coffee, traditionally made with condensed milk. My dining companion slammed it down fast and told me delightfully that it was ‘strong’. I take it the drink exceeded expectations. Possibly because of the awesome straw.
We ordered an entrée off the Specials menu, Lucky Money Bags ($9).
I assume they were lucky because they were had seafood in them. They were essentially one king prawn surrounded by vermicelli noodles and carrot. My dining companions loved them, but they didn’t really do it for me.
We were supplied with a plate of the usually condiments – Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts and wedges of lemon. Must to our dismay, however, there was no chopped fresh chilli.
Having said that, I was impressed by the number of condiments provided on the table – fish sauce, chilli, soy, etc.. There were plenty of chilli products for us to partake in, but, without the chopped fresh chilli plunked right into the soup, it’s just not the same.
My disappointment was short-lived, however, because then… The Pho came (Rare Beef Pho, $9).
It was like shovelling liquid gold into my stuffed up head. Admittedly, the pleasure I took from doing so in my weakened state my have influenced my opinion, but I firmly believe this Pho was well executed – perfectly seasoned soup, razor-thin beef, HEE-YUGE bowl of perfectly cooked noodles and as well presented as a soup can be.
My other half chose the Special Noodle Soup (Pho Bac Diet, $10) and was very pleased with the balls of mystery meat that looked like Chum. No, that’s cool, I don’t need to taste it. It’s all yours.
Our dining companion chose the Vermicelli Noodles with Spring Rolls, BBQ Pork and Salad (Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong, $12), which I didn’t get to taste, but seemed to go down a treat. The serving size was also massive, and, despite how tasty the meal was, it couldn’t be finished.
All in all, I was quite impressed by the quality of the food, service and value for money. We ended up getting a few dollars knocked off the bill – I dunno if they just liked us or figured one of us was going to blog the experience because we kept taking photos. Everyone’s a fucking food blogger these days, aren’t they?
Tra Mi Vietnamese Restaurant
275 Marrickville Road
Marrickville NSW 2204
(02) 9560 2032