We've eaten at Duc Thanh before--the coolest thing we like about this place are the photo album menus. Instead of vague imagined visions of "beef with ginger" or "spicy chicken", these photographic descriptions are your guarantee of minimal disappointment. Don't you hate it when what you end up getting is completely different to what you originally imagined?
We had a variety of dishes all of which were fresh, tasty and down-right bargains.
Cha Gio $6.00
Pho dac biet $7.50
Special beef rice noodle soup with beef meat and tendons and served with bean sprouts, lemon wedges and basil
Com chen suon chen don $9.50
Deep-fried pork rib and fried rice
Bun suon bi $7.50
Pork rib with vermicelli, shredded pork skin covered in sesame seeds and pickled vegetables
Com tam dac biet $7.50
Special three colour rice served with pork chop, fried egg and Vietnamese pie (pork mince, vermicelli and shredded mushrooms).
Personally I think Pasteur in Bankstown probably has the edge in quality, particularly with the spring rolls and cold noodles. However the atmosphere here is a lot more reminiscent of the streetstall-style eating in Vietnam, where the decor is cheerfully plastic, handwritten signs abound, and locals relax and while away the afternoon.
We especially loved our drinks. The soursop shake was thick and creamy with a hint of tanginess. The salty lemon soda was actually cumquat drink, made from pickled cumquats. The taste was sweet, sour and salty--sounds bizarre but surprisingly refreshing and reminiscent of Chinese pickled salty plums.
Soda chanh muoi Salty lemon soda $3.00 and
Sinh to mang cau Custard apple (soursop) shake $3.50
Traditional DIY condiments and cutlery, Vietnamese-cafe style.
The surrounds aren't glamorous, and the restaurant does front onto a council carpark. However this is part of the charm, and with its simple homestyle Vietnamese cuisine, if you wish hard enough you just might be able to whisk yourself back to a cafe in bustling humid dusty Saigon.
Duc Thanh Restaurant
Shop 3, 20-22 Hughes Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9724 0411
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12/27/2004 11:59:00 p.m.