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restaurants and cafes, takeaway, under $20, west end

NOT: Dakbla Restaurant, 65 Hardgrave Rd, West End


We try to have a new food adventure at least once a week. But there are some times when you just need the old locale, a place where you can be guaranteed a quick, cheap and tasty feed. And then you arrive at 8.15pm and find the place packed to the rafters, so you go two doors down the street.

And that’s how we ended at Dakbla Restaurant.

The street signage touts Dakbla to be “Vietnamese and Asian cuisine”. Already, foodies will have been deterred by the boast of being able to produce all of Asia’s cuisines, or worse, lumping them all together. Nevertheless, the place was busy for a Tuesday night, with only a couple of small tables to spare.

I ordered the grilled pork vermicelli salad aka “summer noodles” ($10.90). It was fine – I was hungry and ate it all. But there was nothing special about it. The noodles were quite soggy, there was no separate serving of bean sprouts and coriander, and the vegies mixed in the salad were not terribly fresh. The meat was tender and tasty and probably saved the meal.

My other half ordered the flame grilled pork ($14.90). To me it looked like a plate of chopped pork pieces, on the bone, and a few slices of raw onion. The menu says there was also lemon grass. I am told that although the meat was quite tasty, the dish as a whole was unremarkable.

Service was friendly and efficient. Iced water was provided without having to ask and there were complementary slices of orange at the end of the meal.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that I eat at Dakbla. When I used to work up the road, Vietnamese was a once a week event, and you‘d get tired of eating at the one place, no matter how cheap or how good the food was. I have had at least one great meal at Dakbla – I think it was some sort of vegetarian salad.

However, there’s more than one Vietnamese restaurant in this little strip of shops and Dakbla would not be my first pick. If you must try Dakbla, then maybe lunch, when business is far quieter and the cook has time to prepare a meal, is the best time to go.

Food Bling Brisbane seemed to like it more, check out the review here.

  • Dakbla Restaurant, 65 Hardgrave Rd, West End +61 7 3844 0594

Dakbla on Urbanspoon

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Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. I used to stay in west end , i used to come here alot… it used to be really good and cheap. Then things changed and instead of a big bowl for $8-9 , we’ve got a small bowl for $ 10-15 .
    .-= thatssoron´s last blog ..The Nippon Journey – Osaka Strut =-.

    Posted by thatssoron | March 13, 2010, 11:19 pm
  2. Hi thatssoron

    Thanks for your comment – seems standards have slipped at Dakbla. Do you have any other recommendations for West End instead?

    Jetsetting Joyce

    Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | April 4, 2010, 7:02 pm
  3. I live nearby and have tried Dakbla a few times, mostly when Trang’s is full. It’s always just slightly underwhelming – none of the amazing flavours or freshness that you can find at other restaurants on that strip. Last time was the worst, so I haven’t been back. I ordered what was described as spicy salt and pepper tofu, liking the idea of some heat to liven up some lightly fried, melty tofu. But when the dish came out, it was an unappetising pile of brown (over-fried) chunks on stale fried noodles, with not a hint of spice to be found. It tasted bland and heavy; not the least bit interesting.

    Posted by Lauren | February 14, 2011, 9:56 am

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