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Kim Khanh Restaurant @ Darra Brisbane

I remember going to Kim Khanh Restaurant, Darra way back when I was a child with my mum, dad and little brother (my sister never existed then hehe). I vaguely remember my first experience in this restaurant. All I remember was having fried rice and a nice big glass of orange juice. I wanted it more sweeter. So instead of putting sugar into my glass I shaked some salt into it! That was the end of the lunch. We went home. That is all I remember.

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Kim Khanh Restaurant, Darra

Now coming back to this place I remember where I sat and remember the face of the owner. He is Vietnamese, average height, slim and he has the same hair and the same mo lol and the same smile! When walking into the restaurant you will be weird-ed out (don't know what's the word) by it's strange 70s decor. I don't think they have been maintaining it since a long time. You will see angel fish toys hanging off the ceiling with fishing line and behind the glass, dusty figurines, sparkly things and mossy coloured walls. I really think they were trying to create a restaurant that was under the sea. Very pretty :P. The tables and chairs do quite blend in their theme if you know what I mean. Watch your step when you walk in. There's like one step you have to pass so don't trip! The restaurant itself is actually a big brick house converted into a restaurant downstairs. Never late for work!

Customers are families with small children and Westerners. There are a couple of high chairs for the little ones and space to walk around. At night it tends to be really busy and that is when the atmosphere kicks in! Waiters running around, taking orders and serving food and drinks. The under the sea theme really lights up and gets pretty noisy. If you are lucky to have your birthday booked in you will have a very cheesy embarrassing "Happy Birthday" record playing just for you for about 60 seconds. Usually everyone goes silent and says hip hip hooray at the end. It's quite fun!

The food is pretty good and traditional Vietnamese. Their combination noodle soup isn't the same as the other Darra restaurant but there are always some foods here that I like as well. The best meal that I like from this restaurant is their steamed fish with rice. It's fresh fish caught, steamed with onions/shallots and drenched in their special sauce. When it comes out and onto your table you get to smell this wonderful divine smell. Once the fish is cut open, you will see this nice white cooked flesh ready to be indulged. You will get so full after eating this. It's usually shared between two people or a family. Their rice paper rolls are quite good too. I only ordered this because you can roll this with fried prawn stabbed with a sugar cane stick. It's sweet and savoury at the same time. You will enjoy this one!

Overall the food is tasty, service is friendly and efficient, most of the staff can speak English so no communication barrier and pretty good value for money. The decor and presentation of the restaurant is quite unique! Come on a Friday or Saturday night and you will enjoy the buzzing atmosphere.

Oh yes I forgot to mention, the place does have its own car park, off street parking and air conditioned.

(photos coming soon)

Overall rating:

Affordability: CHEAP!
Eftpos/Credit card: Yes

Food: 7
Ambience: 6
Service: 8.5
Value: 9

Open: Lunch & Dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 11am
Menu costs: Average Price For Entree & Main - $25
Takeaway: Yes

67 Cardiff Rd Darra QLD 4076
Phone (07) 3375 3014

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Pickled Stuff

I made this earlier in the year hence the date on the jar :). This is called "Do Chua" or in English 'pickled stuff'. It is well known to be found in banh mi thit sandwiches! Yum Yum. It's often made with daikon but i don't like them...

Making pickled carrots is quite easy. All you need is carrots, vinegar, salt and sugar! The recipe should be adjusted according to how much you want to make depending on the size of the carrots.

The pickled carrots lasts for months and months in the fridge so don't worry it will not go off. I finished that jar (above) in August this month - a long time! However, you will find that the crunchiness is not as great as in the first 1 to 2 months.

The recipe I used was from www.vietworldkitchen.com. I just didn't use the daikons but about 2-3 more carrots for this depending on the size of the carrots.

Do Chua (Pickled Carrot and Daikons)


Makes about 3 cups
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
  • 1 pound (about under 1/2 kg) daikons, each no larger than 2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Place the carrot and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Use your hands to knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, expelling the water from them. They will soften and liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl. Stop kneading when you can bend a piece of daikon so that the ends touch but the daikon does not break. The vegetables should have lost about one-fourth of their volume. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, then press gently to expel extra water. Return the vegetables to the bowl if you plan to eat them soon, or transfer them to 1-quart jar for longer storage.

To make the brine, in a bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, the vinegar, and the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the vegetables. The brine should cover the vegetables. Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Beyond that point, they get tired.



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