Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tra Vinh Vietnamese Restaurant Foodie Adventure

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With a Vietnamese partner who has been successful in the restaurant business in Western Australia for more than 20 years, Michael "Mike" Ang decided to bring the Tra Vinh brand to the Philippines so that Filipinos could also have a taste of the fabulous Vietnamese cuisine that has been awarded many times for its best and freshest produce.

We have to thank Van Chien Ho for agreeing to share his authentic Vietnamese cuisine recipe through Mike for the Filipino people. True enough, the phenomenal dishes are something to rave about by every foodie out there.

Faithful from their original recipe, the Tra Vinh Vietnamese Restaurant has caught the attention of foodies from all over the Metro. I took the extra effort to go there even though it's located at a neighborhood I am not so familiar. Since I'm based in Pasig city, the Banawe, Quezon City area is relatively too far for me. However, the lengthy travel was definitely worth it!

We did an exclusive lengthy video interview session with the owner so he could explain in details about the dishes served to us. This is where we have learned that Tra Vinh is a place in Vietnam where Van Chien Ho's wife lived which most probably has a sentimental value for the creator of the Tra Vinh brand.

Please do watch it here or at our official YouTube channel at

Our Exclusive Video Interview with Michael Ang, Tra Vinh Philippines Vietnamese Restaurant owner:

Below is an overview of our foodie adventure at Tra Vinh Vietnamese Restaurant:

Tra Vinh Authentic Vietnamese Noodles restaurant is only 16 months young. However, I thought the restaurant has been there for ages since the building they occupied is probably not new. The restaurant is designed modestly with only Earth colors like brown, gray and white as primary hues highlighted by orange on their walls.  

The ambiance may not be as stunning as other Asian restaurants adorned with so many decorative ornaments but they do have a very spacious dining area. I was not able to look at the kitchen but I'm betting it's spacious as well.  They do have a wall were a short history of the restaurant is written so customers would get an idea of its roots.

Guaranteed to thrill your appetite are the fresh and fried Prawn Spring Rolls that serve as great starters for every meal. They have two kinds of sauces that you can add to your spring roll to taste. You may want to try the delightful peanut butter-based sauce to give it a more interesting flavor. Add the sauce to the fresh spring roll which contains a generous amount of shrimps inside.

Their Shrimp Pomelo Salad and Shrimp Mango Salad with the irresistible prawn crackers are sensational. I don't know if we were just lucky, but both the mangoes and pomelos were at their sweetest when they were served to us. I want to have either of these two in every visit. They say their pomelos come from Davao - the best place to source them as the Davao variety, though there are also a lot depending on the farm it originated from, are the better ones.

Tra Vinh serves the traditional fish soup of Vietnam - authentic Canh Chua Ca or Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Fish Soup. Ours was served with the local Lapu-Lapu fish. The soup is served with two plates of veggies composed of Chinese Kangkong leaves and stem strips, "okra" or Ladies' Finger or Gumbo, bean sprouts, celery, plus your choice of either rice or Pho noodles. The dish is good enough for 3 or more adults to share.

You'll adore their Tra Vinh Special Noodle Soup, and crave for more of it on your very first sip! It's available in the family size or singe serving. With shrimps, quail eggs, mushrooms, meat, chicharon, carrots, etc., it is definitely a hearty meal.

The other soups that were served were the Vietnamese Beef Combination Noodle Soup that is made from real beef broth with 16 herbs and spices. Majority of these herbs and spices for the soups and other dishes were sourced out of the country to achieve the authentic flavor of the soups

The Braised Duck Noodle Soup is something new for me as I have not eaten a duck-flavored soup before. It is a totally new but welcome feast for me, and equally good as their Braised Beef Noodle Soup which will also become one of your favorites as soon as you give it a chance.

The Spicy Combination Noodle Soup, their Surf n Turf version, was not as spicy as you may think it is since it was tolerable enough for me who's not really a fan of spicy foods.

They were never exaggerating when they said that "The Crab & Seafood Noodle Soup "Banh Canh Cua" is made from carefully selected fresh live crabs with real crab meat, prawns and squid on fresh udon noodles. One sip from this soup, and you will know it's a winner!" This is my kind of soup and will never get tired of having it.

You'll fall in live with their Salt & Pepper Shrimp and the equally awesome Tiger Prawns. If you want soft, you go for the "Suahe" variety, but if you prefer crunchy, go for the Tiger Prawns which are a bit more expensive but tastier for me.

For foodies that want both tasty and healthy combination for their meals, the Vietnamese Pancake with Mustard leaves, Iceberg Lettuce, Basil and Mint is highly recommended. The half-circle shaped "pancake" contains several ingredients inside like pork, shrimp and mongo beans sprout. It is cut into smaller pieces, and then combined with the four kinds of green and leafy veggies, you put some sauce to taste, and then roll it like a shawarma or a spring roll if you can wrap really good. Now, it's ready for your hearty consumption! 

The Vietnamese Pancake is probably the biggest and most value for money that can serve 8-10 wraps. The flavor will indeed speak for itself, so I guess I should just shut up and invite you all to tray it for yourselves. Please order as soon as you arrive as it takes 15 minutes to prepare.


Try also their BBQ Pork Dry Noodle. The owner says it has the perfect combination of culinary treats that's perfect for our warm tropical climate! The meat is soft and sweet, and the veggie spring rolls are perfectly crunchy. 

The Fried Salt & Pepper Fish is so big that it's recommended for sharing with your family, colleagues or friends who would savor the seasoned fish topped with onion and herb toppings. I could have eaten more if I was not so full already from the various noodle soups served to us.

If you're the typical Filipino who still can't feel full without having rice, the Grilled Porkchop Rice is a complete meal by itself that will satisfy your craving. Aside from the matching special meatloaf slice, it also has a special thread-like pork skin that was imported from Australia since we don't make it here in the Philippines. Now, this is a unique meal with interesting combinations.

Of course, you end every great meal with sweet treats like their Coffee Jelly Float with real Vietnamese coffee, and their various versions of our local Halo-Halo served in the familiar way but definitely tried and tested to please the taste buds. They have one that had differently flavored, and colored, jellies that your children will love, while another one has 6 kinds of beans that tastes incredible when combined. To name them: Dried Longgan with Lotus Seed, Sweet Vietnam Jelly, Special Mixed Beans, Jelly Longgan, Jelly Lychee and Iced Chendol. All of them are for only P100 each.

They served us at the beginning their Home Brewed Iced Tea, and at the end of our meals, they offered us the Vietnamese Coffee (hot or iced) with 3 varying strengths (strong, regular or light) to choose from. Both were indeed extraordinarily satisfying and were surely not of the instant "sachet" varieties.

In a country where Vietnamese cuisine is very rare, it is great that we can still find one that makes an effort to be authentic. With that said, I've probably convinced you already to come over at this restaurant on your next lunch or dinner so you'll be among the fortunate ones to try out their Vietnamese culinary specialties. If you're around the neighborhood, there is no excuse for you to miss out on the opportunity, while those from far places like me, trust me when I say your long trip will be a blast as soon as you sit down and experience a memorable dining experience. 

More photos can also be found at our official Facebook fan page at

The Tra Vinh Vietnamese Restaurant can be found at Unit 3, 109 NS Amoranto corner Cordillera Brgy. Maharlika Quezon City, Philippines. Call (02) 742 1718 for reservations. They also provide catering services.

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