It’s been 2.5 weeks since my surgery and I’ve been recuperating at home, building up my strength with lovingly cooked food and walking laps around the perimeter of my parents house like a nutter. Nutty or not, the exercise and the food have both helped in my recovery and I’m getting stronger every day.

Yesterday, we decided it was time I ventured a little further. My parents love this restaurant in West End – a casual little Vietnamese joint called Trang – and so off we went for pho! YUMMERZ.

West End is one of those crazy little areas where if you lived here long enough, you see its evolution; a transformation from down and out warehouse district to the eclectic and trendy urban zone that it is today. It’s one of those transformations that you can’t exactly pin point, but somewhere over the course of the last decade, West End unfurled itself from its cocoon and today is a totally happening suburb, thriving once again despite being inundated during the Brisbane floods.

How cool that my parents hang out there!

Except. They don’t know that it’s cool, they just go for the good food.

Which is fine by me.

Anyway, along Hardgrave Road is a small cluster of shops – a bakery, a cafe and for some bizarre reason, like maybe four Vietnamese restaurants. Go figure. There’s one that’s always crowded though and that’s where we went for lunch. I’m still eating fairly soft foods – lots of soups, soft meats, congee and noodles – so you know, pho!

The pho at Trang is spectacular. Although I’ve never been a die hard pho fan (I prefer the bun thit heo nuong cha gio – vermicelli with grilled pork), I instinctively know a good broth because… it tastes fracking awesome. The sweetness of the beef stock and whatever else they put it in is so intensely satisfying that I don’t even add any chilli or hoi sin sauce. It honestly doesn’t need any! And the beef – thinly sliced and super tender. OMG YUM.

We shared the pho and my parents also ordered a plate of sliced grilled pork and bits and pieces to roll their own fresh spring rolls.

The pork is super fragrant and delicious. I don’t really get the rolling your own spring roll thing though. I’d just as much rather chuck it all in a bowl and eat it with chopsticks. But y’know, the parents like it so…

And lastly, seeing as it was Friday and all… and the furthest I’d ventured… and because um, I wanted to… I also had me a dried longan drink.

And who said my blog would suffer just cos I can’t eat normally ;)

Trang Restaurant
59 Hardgrave Road
West End, 4101
07 3255 1610

Trang on Urbanspoon

13 Thoughts on “venturing out in Brisbane’s West End: pho @ Trang

  1. Yay! You can go out…to restaurants….and eat! Hurray! And it’s so nice to hear that Brisbane’s suburbs have done well after the floods.

  2. wow the pho does look amazing! glad to know that you’re still enjoying much!

  3. Yay for pho! Good to hear you are getting better dear :-) xx

  4. Su-Lin: Yay to me! :D Yeah, some suburbs are still clearly rebuilding, but for the most part business is back to usual. North Queensland where Cyclone Yasi hit is a different story though :(

    Melissa: Of course I am!

    Maria: And with all this good food, it won’t be long til I’m 100% again :)

  5. LOL I love it how your parents are completely unaware of its coolness! :P Glad to hear that you’re feeling better too!

  6. This just confirms what I’ve always believed, noodles are health food. Hope the pho and other goodies are speeding along your recovery.

  7. Lorraine: I know hahaha, doesn’t that make them cool?

    Mr Noodles: noodles are TOTALLY health food! You have no idea how much noodles I’ve consumed in the last couple of weeks!!

  8. jenny on March 20, 2011 at 7:29 am said:

    Wow the pho looks really great here. I like it when pho is so good that you don’t need to add anything to the soup! Get well, catty!

  9. Good to hear you are on the mend Catty – if anything is going to make you feel better a cheering bowl of pho is the ticket.

  10. Good to see you out and about, camera to hand. Sounds like you are mending which is great news. But… Damn you for reminding me just how good Vietnamese food is in Oz ;)

    Still, I’ll be able to have some myself in a few months! Yay!

  11. glad you are better – we’re hospital buddies but from other sides of the world. Pho does just fix everything – its wakens the senses xxx

  12. jenny: I agree! A good soup doesn’t need anything else!

    Gourmet Chick: Thanks Cara :)

    The Grubworm: Oh yes Viet food in Australia – any where here! – is so awesome. Not long til your visit!!

    Leluu: I know! Your experience sounded so horrible!! But at least you’re recovering probably with the best pho out there ;)

  13. Glad to hear you’re getting to feel more yourself! That looks like great food even if it is all soft and squidgy!!

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