NS Amoranto Sr. St., Retiro, Quezon City, Metro Manila
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Just a week ago, I had the chance of going up north of Quezon City to visit the Vietnamese restaurant, Tra Vinh, on a sponsored invite. If I were to be asked as to what my favorite restaurants are, Tra Vinh will be shortlisted to that.
This modern restaurant serves authentic Vietnamese dishes, and you would know that they specially prep everything right from their kitchen. You can actually tell from their dishes that they practice strict discipline into their cooking. They use fresh ingredients in their food items, and they take pride in going through traditional processes of preparing and cooking their dishes. Tra Vinh believes in the art of creating new food concepts so as to have every Juan enticed with Vietnamese cuisine.
For starters, we had their fresh spring rolls or goi cuon tom thit. This appetizer sums up how awesome the rest of the food choices are in their menu. The fresh spring rolls are enveloped with the goodness that is of greens, vermicelli, prawns, and delicious pork belly. Don’t forget to have those rolls religiously dipped into their peanut sauce! You’ll thank me later.
It was then followed by a serving of fried spring rolls – one has prawn, while the other has pork in it. I would typically veer away from oily dishes but I have to say that I enjoyed these spring rolls big time. The vinegar-based sauce that came along with it even made it all the more special.
Since the Vietnamese are known for utilizing vegetables and fruits in their dishes, we had more of such during the entire course. We were served prawn pomelo and prawn mango salad. Both are refreshingly good and I loved them so much for their toppings.
Tra Vinh actually impressed us with their Vietnamese pancake or Ban Xeo, given its presentation, texture, and taste. This surprising food item takes you on a special gastronomic adventure. The flat and crispy pancake is enveloped into a layer of fresh iceberg lettuce, mustard greens, and different herbs.
The aforementioned items are all good, yet they aren’t exactly “the big stars” in their menu. We got to try out their main dishes, including their fried fish, seasoned in salt and pepper. I’d say that the onions and herbs complemented the taste of the fish well.
After that, we were served a plate of prawns. They were cooked just right, and definitely satisfied my palate, even if they were just simply seasoned with salt and pepper.
I was already close to feeling full when six different kinds of soup were served on our table. The first one I got to try was their Vietnamese fish soup, that is somewhat similar to a shabu shabu hot pot. For just P999, this bowl filled with flavorful sweet and sour fish soup will warm your heart and your taste buds. Together with the soup are two plates of veggies seasoned with different herbs and spices. They would go together with your choice of rice or noodles. This dish alone can feed up to six people.
Another thing that was served to us is their Special Tra Vinh Soup. The name is apropos to its taste – it is indeed special! The bowl was filled to the brim with rich flavors of chicken and seafood broth, together with pork loin, prawns, squid, Singaporean fish balls, pork liver, mushroom, quail eggs, and veggies. They serve it together with rice or noodles. Ever wonder how all these ingredients go so well together? There is such a thing as “trying out new things,” and that is probably Tra Vinh’s secret. They are not afraid to try out new recipes to satisfy their customers. Ain’t it the coolest?
What arrived onto our table next are bowls of steaming hot pho and beef noodle soup. They were truly unforgettable, IMO. The flavors in it are overwhelming. Accompanying the rich flavors of the beef broth are shoulder tender, New Zealand rib eye, and Taiwanese beef balls and tripe. To top it all off, this dish is seasoned with 16 different kinds of herbs and spices.
Are you into spicy food? Say no more, fam! wordpress You will go crazy over Tra Vinh’s spicy noodle soup. Their special meat broth (apparently of three different kinds of meat), has 14 different kinds of herbs and spices, topped with New Zealand rib eye, prawns, squid, Taiwanese beef balls, Singaporean fish balls, and thick egg noodles.
If you haven’t tried eating a duck recipe, I highly recommend Tra Vinh’s most original dish, their braised duck noodle soup. The serving was about a quarter size, with mushroom, bok choy, and rice vermicelli, topped with garden fresh herbs.
As for their rice toppings, I am pretty sure that every Juan (notice the pun?) will go gaga over Tra Vinh’s grilled pork chop rice. The meat was perfectly marinated, and you will delightfully taste the rich flavors of herbs and spices in it. It was served together with fried egg, chicken, pork, crab, and meatloaf, and a special side serving of pork skin and pickled veggies.
Their sweets are all worth raving about as well. Our group didn’t mind sharing three kinds of halo-halo among ourselves. The one with the dried longgan and lotus seeds was my favorite among the three, given that I so much loved longgan. The variation with the sweet jelly has this smooth texture and strong coffee flavor. Lastly, the halo-halo with the special mixed beans is such a surprise with its rich textures and extra sweetness. They also have one with the jelly longan, but since they ran out of fresh longgan, we weren’t able to try that one out. You can absolutely tell from Tra Vinh’s food items that they practice quality control in prepping up and cooking their dishes at their best.
Last, but not the least, we took the opportunity to try out their coffee jelly float since Vietnam is famous for its ca phe da, or Vietnamese coffee. This homemade concoction consists of Vietnamese coffee flavored jelly and ice cream. I’d say that the coffee jelly tastes great, while the coffee flavored ice cream could have been better if it had been more creamy.
This epic feast I had experienced in Tra Vinh, Banawe is definitely something I will always remember as a foodie. I hope that you also get to visit the place soon and enjoy their food.
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Good food! great price!
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For a beef based broth, the taste was refreshing.
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My sister shared to me this one Vietnamese that she was raving about. I was surprised to learn that this place is franchise from all the way from Perth Australia. Wow this is something that was able to go under my radar. The place also didn't look something imported. Honestly the place looks like a Chinese restaurant in Binondo or Banawe. The kind that is a bit messy but good thing food were great!
For the food I tried the following:
🥗Goi Buroi Tom (Prawn Pomelo Salad) - This was so refreshing the prawn were fresh and the delicious pomelo was perfect. The vinaigrette dressing blends well giving the salad a mix sweet and sour flavor to it. Love it!
🦐Goi Cuon Thom Tit (Special fresh spring rolls) - This one is fresh spring rolls with prawn, slice of pork, rice vermicelli and veggies. Served with peanut sauce. One of the staple dish of Vietnam and Tra Vinh did amazing on this. The succulent pork and shrimp was so good. This is another refreshing dish.
Hu Tieu Tra Vinh Dac Biet (Tra Vinh Special Noodle Soup) - A unique kind of Pho for me. This one got sliced of pork, quail eggs, prawn, squid and fish balls. The flavor of the soup was very flavorful and delicious. The ingredient was also top notch. This was amazing. One the best Pho for me.
Overall a hidden gem in Banawe that must try for all Vietnamese food lover. Really so happy that they imported this franchise here Manila.
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Vietnamese food is good food. I've been a fan of this cuisine for a long time now. Their Pho, spring rolls, rice bowls, Banh Mi and coffee are my favorites. I love how they incorporate fresh ingredients, lots of veggies and distinct flavors into their dishes.
When you think that authentic Vietnamese food can only come from Vietnam, think again. There is this one restaurant from Western Australia, particularly Perth, that was founded 20 years ago by a Vietnamese - Van Chien Ho. He offered authentic Vietnamese flavor that instantly captured the Aurstalian Market. He has numerous branches in Australia and has finally opened it's first ever branch in Asia through Michael Ang.
I got the chance to sample Tra Vinh's dishes through a sponsored lunch!
Met Mike during this visit and he shared how he was captured by the flavors presented by Tra Vinh when he was in Australia. It became one of his favorite restaurants and that's how he decided to bring it here in the Philippines. Mike is serious about his business. He is very particular with the ingredients, importing about 90%. He goes to the market very early every single day to source out the best and the freshest produce. He's very hands on and knows what's in each dish, how to prepare and what flavor profile to expect. He was so generous with the group and prepared a feast!
Let me drill down the dishes we tried ---
Entrées: Fresh Spring Rolls, Fried Spring Rolls, Pomelo and Mango Salad, Vietnamese Pancake
> Fresh Special Spring Roll | Goi Cuon Tom Thit for 180Php
Fresh and crisp greens, carrots, celery with rice vermicelli, prawns and pork wrapped in rice paper, served with Tra Vinh's peanut sauce. Burst of freshness in every bite! I liked that each slice had a generous serving of prawns.
>Fried Prawn Spring Roll | Cha Gio Tom for 160Php
Rice paper rolls filled with prawn stuffing, deep fried to golden brown crisp, this was served with Tra Vinh's special sauce. The roll itself was a little bland for me, didn't really have a strong prawn flavor but dipping it into the sauce will do the trick.
> Fried Pork Spring Rolls | Cha Gio Thit for 160Php
Filled with tasty pork and veggies, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried, I liked these more! Best dipped into their special sauce as well.
> Prawn Pomelo Salad | Goi Buoi Tom for 240Php
A hefty salad bowl with fresh veggies, lots of celery, fresh pomelo chunks, peanuts, juicy shrimps dressed with Tra Vinh's special sauce. I loved the medley of all things fresh with some sweet notes from the juicy pomelo.
> Prawn Mango Salad | Goi Xoai Tom for 250Php
This one's the same as the Pomelo Salad above but with thinly sliced mangoes instead. I loved the sourness of the mango strips that went well with the fresh chopped veggies and the generous serving of shrimps.
> Vietnamese Pancake | Banh Xeo for 250Php
It was my first time to encounter this so I was more than giddy to try it. The pancake was like a huge omelette that had some veggies, shrimp and pork. It was served with some iceberg lettuce, mustard leaves, herbs and Tra Vinh's special sauce. They'll slice it up for you and you have to wrap the pancake into a leaf, drizzle with sauce and roll it up! Loved the crispiness from the pancakes and the nice crunch from the leaf.
Special Vietnamese Soup, Shabu-Shabu Style: Fish Soup and Special Tra Vinh Soup
> Special Vietnamese Fish Soup | Canh Chua Ca for 999Php
A traditional sweet and sour fish soup served with lots of veggies, herbs and spices. You can opt for rice or noodles to go with this soup. They used Lapu-lapu for the fish. This soup was really good! It was tasty and reminded me so much of Sinigang.
> Special Tra Vinh Soup | Tra Vinh Dac Biet for 999Php
A seafood and chicken broth with lots of ingredients - pork slices, fresh prawns, squid, fish balls, liver slices, mushroom, quail eggs and veggies - you can pair this up with noodles or rice.
Noodles Soups: Beef Combination, Tra Vinh Special, Spicy Combination, Braised Duck and Crab and Seafood
> Combination Beef Noddles Soup | Pho Dac Biet - (S) for 180Php, (Reg) for 230Php (Lrg) for 299Php
This is the most common Pho that I know of. I love the version of Pho Hoa that's why I was so excited to try this out. The beef broth was really tasty and according to Mike, this was made with 16 traditional herbs and spices. This was topped with locally sourced beef shoulder slices that have been cooked as well as raw slices of New Zealand rib-eye. They've also included some beef balls that were so tasty! Then there was ox-tripe and glass noodles too. Gah so much good stuff in this bowl!
> Tra Vinh Special Noodle Soup | Hu Tieu Tra Vinh Dac Biet - (Reg) for 230Php, (Lrg) for 299Php
This noodle soup had thin egg noodles in a chicken and sea food broth. It also had pork loin slices, shrimps, squid, fish balls, pork liver slices, quail eggs and veggies. Soup had a light finish with subtle seafood flavors.
> Spicy Combination Noodle Soup | Bun Bo Hue - (Reg) for 230Php, (Lrg) for 299Php
Aside from the Beef Combination Noodle Soup, this one's included in my must try list. I liked the thick egg noodles in a tasty broth made better with the kick of chili. According to Mike, the soup is a combination of 3 different kinds of meat with 14 traditional herbs and spices.
> Braised Duck Noodle Soup | Mi Vit Tiem for 240Php
Duck soup served with rice vermicelli noodles, a quarter piece of braised duck, mushroom slices, veggies and fresh garden herbs. This soup reminded me so much of braised beef noodle soup - that signature broth and saltiness.
> Crab and Seafood Noodle Soup | Banh Canh Cua
A new item in their menu, this one has the consistency of a corn and crab soup. Thick, rich in crab flavor, according to Mike they use real crab meat for the soup. The bowl also had squid and shrimps. This came with Udon noodles.
> BBQ Pork Noddle (dry) | Bun Thit Nuong for 225Php
We also got to try one dry noodle bowl - BBQ Pork Noodle. I loved the tender and well marinated pork strips. The bowl also came in with fried spring rolls, pickled and fresh veggies, roasted peanuts on a bed of rice vermicelli. Drizzle generously with Tra Vinh's special dressing and you're good to go! Guessing this bowl will also deliver with steamed white rice.
As if the dishes served were not yet enough, Mike also had us try the following mains --
> Fried Salt & Pepper Fish | Ca Chien for 599Php
Not too much fuss here though - it was just a well seasoned fish that was deep fired to golden brown perfection giving it a nice crunch from the outside with a soft and tasty fish meat inside.
> Vietnamese Sal & Pepper Prawns | Tom Chien for 599Php
I love the salt and pepper seasoning and the succulent and juicy prawns but it could have been better if they have already peeled the shell of the shrimps.
> Grilled Pork Chop Rice | Com Tam Bi Suon Cha Trung for 225Php
Well marinated and tender pork chop served with rice, fried egg and the star of this plate - chicken, pork and crab meat loaf slice that's home made.
A feast is never complete without desserts and Tra Vinh showered us with lots!
> Tra Vinh Coffee Jelly Float (new in their menu)
This coffee jelly is like no other. The jelly was made with Vietnamese coffee and it was smooth, with right proportion of milk and coffee, not too sweet and really good! Topped with their homemade coffee ice cream, this dessert will surely delight the coffee lover in you!
We also got to try four out of six of their Vietname Halo-Halo. Ice was finer than most halo-halo, ample milk was added and overall they weren't too sweet.
> Dried Longgan with Lotus Seeds | Hat Sen Nhan Nhuc for 100Php
> Sweet Vietnam Jelly |Che Viet for 100Php - This came in with a side serving of Durian. It was my first time ever to try this fruit and I must say that it was not bad at all. Mix it into the halo-halo and errrr... not a good idea though.
> Special Mixed Beans | Che Ba Mau for 100Php
- I liked this one probably because I like beans!
> Jelly Longgan | Thach Nhan for 100Php
We tried the following beverages --
> Home Brewed Vietnamese Iced Tea for 45Php per glass | 65Php for 1L
Such a refreshing drink! This isn't your usual bitter and brownish in color tea. Tra Vinh used imported lotus leaves that have been brewed and mixed this with freshly squeezed lemon and sugar.
> Vietnamese Iced Coffee | Ca Phe Sua Da for 90Php
One of the best that I have tried in the Metro! They have three options for this - light, medium and strong. Mike explained that if you want a full flavored coffee with just the right milk and sweetness, go for the light. Medium will give you a balanced flavor which means lesser coffee profile. Strong will leave you with an almost burnt taste, losing the flavor profile of the coffee. I went with light and loved it!
Mike was such a generous host and we honestly enjoyed our visit. I was in fact beyond full! The restaurant lived up to the promise of Authentic Vietnamese Noodles using only the best and freshest ingredients! No wonder the place was full on a weekday lunch!
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Join me as i delve into the unfamiliar streets of Banawe and watch me sink my teeth into some awesome Vietnamese Grub at Tra Vinh!
You got that right, another foodie meet-up...baby!!!
The unassuming restaurant dishes out one of the best tasting Vietnamese grub in Metro. I ain't exaggerating, it is really one of the best, my tastebuds says so.
| Goi Cuom Tom Thit. Fresh Spring Rolls
| Cha Gio Tom. Fried Prawn Spring Roll
| Cha Gio Thit. Fried Pork Spring Rolls
This is a trifecta of spring roll goodness. I like 'em all. The fresh spring rolls tastes like summer, the fresh veggies along with the cold vermicelli noodles. It is a symphony of flavors.
| Goi Xoai Tom. Prawn Pomelo Salad
| Goi Buoi Tom. Prawn Mango Salad
You gotta hand it to the Vietnamese, they know how to make mean salads. I almosr ignored the shrimp as the i am tol busy munching on the mango mixed with freah veggies. The dressing mixes well with the semi sweet x semi sour notes from the mango.
| Ban Xeo. Vietnamese Pancake. Crispy Vietnamese pancake combined with shrimp, pork and veggies. Served with first lettuce, mustard leaves, herbs and Tra Vinh's special dressing. Prepare to get your hands dirty as you have to eat with your hands for a more authentic feel.
Step 1: Get some pancake
Step 2: Wrap em in lettuce x mustard
Step 3: Drizzle with dressing
Step 4: Eat and Repeat
| Ca Chien. Fried Salt and Pepper Fish
| Tom Chien. Vietnamese Salt nand Pepper Prawns
| Canh Chua Ca. Special Vietnamese Fish Soup.
| Tra Vinh Dac Biet. Special Tra Vinh Soup
| Pho Bac Biet. Combination Beef Noodle Soup
| Hu Tieu Tra Vinh Dac Biet. Tra Vinh Special Noodle Soup
| Bun Bo Hue. Spicy Combination Noodle Soup
| Mi Vit Tiem. Braised Duck Noodle Soup
| Banh Canh Cua. Crab and Seafood Noodle Soup
| Bun Thit Nuong. BBQ Pork Noodle
| Com Tam Bi Suom Cha Trung. Grilled Porkchops Rice
I didn't get to try everything as i was too fixated on the fish soup. This is served shabu shabu style. The broth is divine! It is an explosion of flavors. Want to make it even better? Add some red chillies!
Unlike the popular Vietnamese joints, Tra Vinh uses differ types of noodles for their fishes. Michael (the owner) briefly explained that each broth needs to be paired with a specific type of noodle for a more enhanced flavor. And i believe him, i tried the Braised Duck Noodle Soup and i taste the difference.
Our generous host served some authentic Vietnamese halo-halo.
| Dried Longgan with Lotus Seed
| Sweet Vietnam Jelly
| Special Mixed Beans
| Jelly Longgan
We had a feast of excellent Vietnamese food. My tastebuds went on a roller coster of Vietnamese Flavor Proportions.
Tra Vinh is worth the traffic and travel. Forget the popular Vietnamese restaurants, Tra Vinh is a legit as it sounds.
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Hailing from the Aussie Outback, this Vietnamese resto along the Retiro area is definitely one worth trying. Those craving for that authentic Vietnamese experience will really enjoy the savory selections they offer. Whether it be their own take on pho, or their sumptuous spring rolls, or even their dry noodle sets, one's tastebuds are indeed on an adventure as if one is visiting the streets of Saigon or Hanoi. Personal favorites are their pho and spring rolls.
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Pho Tai Noodle Soup.... Its worth the try...
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This is most legit Vietnamese restaurant here in Manila. It has the closest taste to what I had in Vietnam. I love their Chicken Pho because it's light and has enough flavor to it. I love me some Vietnamese Spring Rolls and theirs did not disappoint! I love how fresh their ingredients are, you can also see that they use quality ingredients. Their pomelo salad and salt and pepper prawns are also good! This restaurant should be hyped!
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Me and my officemate were craving for vietnamese food so she recommend a restaurant at banawe that can help our craving. I order a Pho (combination) (cost around 200 to 250) and a vietnamese ice coffee (95 pesos). I'm happy with the Pho which made me miss vietnam. The taste was similar to what I taste at vietnam clear soup but heart warming soup. They also have a side togue and basil that also can cleanse the palate. The vietnamese coffee is not what I expected, maybe it was not prepare as common vietnamese dripping coffee process. How I wish they also have Bah Mi. Overall when I crave for vietnamese food I'll go here.
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Their fried spring roll was really tasty and the Pho's broth was refreshing, but got disappointed when the Pho did not come with a plate full off vegetables, which I was expecting, but overall the experience was great.
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Surprised to find a Vietnamese restaurant near our place... It's fairly new, 3 months accdg. to our server The place is simple, nothing fancy... First thing I noticed, the floors were really oily and slippery
My sister almost slipped!
* iced Vietnamese Coffee @90 - pretty disappointed I could hardly taste the coffee. A far cry from Dicofi 2/5
* Prawn Pomelo Salad @240 - pretty good, huge shrimp and sweet pomelo 4/5
* Tra Vinh special noodle soup - large bowl @300 - for sharing, soup was tasty and the egg noodles was really good you can choose between pho/thin or thick egg noodles 4/5
* Fresh Prawn Spring Rolls @160 - this was bad the rice paper they used was so thick you can hardly chew the rolls.. Meh 2/5
Service was ok though, the server was friendly and helpful. I'd come back for the noodles I guess
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