Thach’s Quan Restaurant (TQR) in Nedlands Review
Bad food, mediocre service – yet surprisingly honest. Those are the words of which I would describe my visit to Thach’s Quan Restaurant (TQR) in Nedlands. The funny thing is that although I live rather close to this restaurant, I had never been inside it. I’ve always been curious about this place, since I hardly visit any of the restaurants and cafes around my area, so I guess it was TQR’s lucky day!
We ordered the Lemongrass Chicken ($17.50), Pineapple Beef ($17.50), the Seafood Claypot ($21) and steamed rice ($1.80 per person).
The restaurant claims to have earned a reputation for authentic Vietnamese culinary creations and is the ideal place to experience fine Vietnamese cuisine. These culinary creations really dazzled and astounded me. It is such fine and authentic dining, that all three dishes were cooked and served in the exact same sauce.
The Pineapple Beef was alright, I suppose. What I really liked about it was that the beef was lean and tender.
An oddity was the Lemongrass Chicken, as it was described as a “fillet chicken stir fry with lemongrass and chilli”. This is a bit of a fib, because although there was chicken in the dish, it was very hard to detect the chilli – and even harder to detect a single strand of lemongrass in the dish.
Fortunately, the Seafood Clay pot was aptly described. It was described seafood clay pot dish with stir-fried vegetables and bean curd. Yes, it did have vegetables – 2 kinds!
Service at TQR was pretty mediocre. The Waitpersons were friendly, but not very observant. When we were ordering our meal, a Waitress stood in front of my step-father and asked if we wanted anything else. We replied that we didn’t want to order anything else so she turned around and was about to walk away… but not before I drew her attention to the fact that there were only 2 glasses on the table, not 3. In response, the Waitress grabbed a glass from the table next to us but what was puzzling was that she didn’t replace the glass throughout the night my family was dining there.
My mum found the food quite bland, and thought it was so funny the dishes exhibited such culinary talents they were in the same sauces. Being Asian, she asked for cut chilli in soy sauce. A Waitress brought it out in a tiny bowl – but without a spoon.
In fact, the restaurant seemed pretty spoon-less. All 3 dishes did not come with serving spoons, even though we asked them to bring serving spoons to us. There was also no spoon in the rice bucket. I guess it was ‘ok’ since all 3 dishes had the same sauce, so it wasn’t as if were going to disturb the flavours of the lacklustre foods.
Although they do not live up to their public claims of being a great exhibitor of great Vietnamese food, I do appreciate their honesty as it made us laugh. When my step-dad went to pay for the meal, he asked whether it was real Vietnamese food or not – even though my family obvious knew that it was pretty darn fake Vietnamese food.
The 3 staff members who were at the cash register admitted that the food was not authentic Vietnamese food, and was made for Westerners taste buds only. Yes, finally a restaurant that admits they cheat the locals food-wise in the authenticity stakes!
To their merit, all their staff members are from Asia, including their Chefs. Or should I say Cooks since they admitted some of the ‘Chefs’ were just students?
As we walked out of the restaurant in higher spirits through the restaurant staff’s honesty, my step-dad said that perhaps I should start my own restaurant because I can cook way better than those students (and professional Chefs) and actually earn the high prices you have to pay for ‘fine dining’ instead of the crap they served us.