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Thanh Phu Restaurant @ Darra, Brisbane

Thanh Phu Restaurant at Darra, Brisbane has got to be one of my favourite family owned restaurants for Vietnamese cuisine! It's pretty convenient since its just about a 2 minute walk from Darra Station and right next to an ATM. It's placed next to the local Vietnamese dvd store and the cheap hairdresser. You can't miss it. Car park can vary sometimes. It's pretty small because people come in and out from the laundromat. There is parking available across the street and off side car parking is available.

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Thanh Phu Restaurant, Darra

The thing I like about Thanh Phu is the friendly service they offer. The food is good for value, the waiters are friendly and most importantly the food comes out efficiently. While you are waiting the owner would come out and have a bit of chat. And after being a loyal customer he will talk to you more and maybe take off $1 off the order lol. Not much but at least it keeps people happy!

The entrance (main area) and the room next door

There are two parts of the restaurant. One is the main dining area around 15 tables (? I don't remember) for customers and there is one next door which consists a small room usually seated with old Vietnamese men prying out on attractive girls that walk towards the restaurant. Who knows? lol. I think it's a special booking room if you want to have dinner away from other customers. However, I always see old Vietnamese men drinking iced coffee and playing cards and they all look out of their area to see who is the next customer lol. What can I say? It's a pretty sociable restaurant!

When you walk inside you will notice the reception immediately with the golden cat greeting you on the way in. The interior and decor is reasonable with traditional paintings of Vietnam girls and the back wall backed with a huge mirror giving the illusion that the restaurant is big. The one thing that stands out is the large carved map of Vietnam hanging adjacent to the reception showing the Northern, Central and Southern Vietnam. Of course there will be music playing in the background and what is it you ask? Typically Paris by Night (vietnamese music variety shows on dvd).

The place can be busy and sometimes quiet. I noticed that the place has an eye for Westerners that come in and enjoy food that I can make at home easily like the famous rice paper rolls. I don't know but Westerners really do enjoy wrapping up rice paper rolls hehe. I remember seeing this large tradie man eat a full course meal and the waiter said "moite don't you think you have enough to eat" worried that the customer might of over eaten lol. This customer I will see all the time in this restaurant. A loyal customer I suppose.

The food that my partner and I usually order is :

  • Phở (Beef Noodle Soup),
  • Hieu Tieu Thap Cam (combination noodle soup) and
  • Cơm tấm (combination rice).

The photos below are taken from the restaurant itself! Looks good doesn't it?

I have got to say this is the best Beef Noodle Soup. It's not too too salty like the others I have tried from other places. The one in the photo is just a normal beef noodle soup that only has the beef slices and balls in it. You can order Special Beef Noodle Soup (Phở đặc biệt') that consists of chewy tendons, meat balls, brisket and tripe. Usually pho is served with garnishes such as fresh bean sprouts, Thai basil, chili and lime. You can also add some hoi sin sauce into it as well. Yummy.

The photo below is called Cơm tấm is basically broken rice which has a weird texture....grainy and chewy and not sticky like normal rice. However when served on a big platter with fried pork, egg, vegetables, shredded pork fat and tofu fish cake or pork meat loaf you will be in heaven! Sweet chili dipping sauce is on the side so you can pour over the grilled pork, egg and rice. Eat in combination with the vegetables and the grilled pork. Very tasty! Notice that there is a fork in a photo and not a chopstick? Well you don't eat this food with chopsticks only the fork and the spoon :).

Lastly and not least is my favourite noodle dish of all time (well next to pho lol). This is called Hieu Tieu Thap Cam or Combination Noodle Soup which is a clearer soup than pho and much lighter. I unfortunately tried to make once but turned out to be a noodle soup disaster! So I rather go out and pay under $10 for this dish to satisfy my craving. You can either have the soup with hieu tieu noodles (thin noodles they are not vermicelli noodles or the cellophane noodles), with thin egg noodles or you can have a combination. I like mine combination!

The soup tastes a bit sweet and savoury at the same time. The photo below is combination noodle soup (seafood and meat). It's surrounded by herbs, loaded with noodles, floating crunchy pork fat (the flavour pops open in your mouth), fish cake slices, bbq pork slices, 2-3 prawns and fried minced pork. Mmmmm. This is the best combination noodle soup in Darra. The one at Kim Thanh (which I will review next time) wasn't as nice as these noodles....

I like to finish all my dishes here with their infamous Vietnamese Iced Coffee or young coconut juice.

I have always been going to Thanh Phu not because of it's food but importantly it's service and smile. That what gets me back! I am thinking of going there again soon!!! I haven't been there for months~!

Overall rating:

Affordability: CHEAP! Anyone can afford this kind of food. Good for value, traditional and delicious!

Food: 8
Ambience: 7
Service: 8.5
Value: 9

Open: Lunch to Dinner
Menu costs: Mains under $30
Takeaway: Yes

136 Darra Station Rd,
Darra, QLD 4076


Phone: (07) 3375 9999

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