I am often asked on my Cabramatta tours where good Vietnamese food can be found outside of the Little Vietnam hubs in Cabramatta and Bankstown… Well, if you live in Sydney’s Inner West, then Nha Tranh Restaurant in Five Dock is worth checking out.

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock

The decor is minimalistic, with appetising canvas prints of menu items.
We appreciate the generous dish of complimentary prawn crackers which I addictively munch on as I gaze over the menu of 70 plus dishes. Service is friendly and swift and before we know it, our starters of goi cuon (summer rolls, $7.90 for 4) and the canh chua tom (tamarind prawn soup, $6.90) are already on the table.

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock - summer roll (goi cuon) - prawns, pork, vermicelli, fresh mint and vegetables wrapped in a rice paper roll served with peanut hoi sin sauce, $7.90

The summer rolls are finely wrapped rice paper rolls consisting of the usual prawns, pork, vermicelli, fresh mint and vegetables. The dipping sauce is topped with fresh ground chilli which we gleefully mix into the peanut and hoisin mixture.
I love the Vietnamese sour soup which has a tamarind base and finishes on a sweet note. Pieces of tomatoes, okra, pineapple, bean sprouts, prawns and herbs such as the sawtooth herb float within the fragrant broth.

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock - canh chua tom, tamarind prawn soup - fragrant tamarind prawn soup simmered with tomatoes, okra, seasonal vegetables and Vietnamese herbs, $6.90

The house special – soft shell crab ($19.90) – is a must order. Wok fried soft shell crab sits on a vibrant bed of pickled carrot and daikon, shavings of green mango, fresh mints and lettuce greens and is topped with a spicy salt mixture of onion, shallots, chilli and garlic. Each bite is so full of flavour.

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock -  fried soft shell crab topped with spicy green mango, pickles and fresh mint salad, $19.90

We also give the special pork spare ribs ($15.90) a go. These succulent cuts of pork are piping hot, glazed with a delicious sticky soy and honey sauce.

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock -  special pork spare ribs with spicy soy and honey, $15.90

Then to finish off the feast, one of my most favourite Vietnamese salads, goi ngo sen (lotus stem salad, $13.90). For a salad to have ‘lotus stem’ in its name, the proportions of these crisp pickled goodies didn’t seem just, but it was still overall a refreshing salad with lots of texture and taste. Simple, but fantastic.

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock - goi ngo sen, lotus stem salad with steamed prawns, pork and fresh mint dressed in homemade fish sauce, $13.90

Nha Tranh Restaurant, Vietnamese in Five Dock - a feast

I’m not used to receiving complimentary fortune cookies after a meal so am delighted when these are presented with the bill on a laquered Vietnamese plate.
I’m super keen to come back and try the phở, but for now, dinner is a definite go-er! Yum!
Nha Tranh Restaurant
213-217 Great North Road, Five Dock
Phone: (02) 9713 2188
Web: www.nhatranh.com.au

Open for lunch, Wed – Sat 11:30am – 3pm and dinner, Mon – Sun 5:30pm – 10pm
Nha tranh on Urbanspoon

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.