Thanh Truc (#29 Eden Center): Vietnamese
Thanh Truc is also identified as #29 in Eden Center (off 7 Corners). Eden Center is modeled after the famous Vietnamese Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City and has even replicated the famous clock. So this review isn’t going to talk about Eden Center as a whole because I could go on for days on the treasured eats in here. I’ll eventually get to each place my stomach haunts in future reviews.
If, however, you can’t wait for me (and I don’t blame you), check out Eden Center’s website. They’ve got a fair listing of some of the restaurants in Eden Center (including Thanh Truc): http://edencenter.com/tag/restaurant/
So back to Thanh Truc…This small restaurant is located inside the market (best to enter the doorway across from Viet Bistro, which is by one of the main gates). When you walk in, look for Shop #29 and there you will find the small restaurant. I consider it a hole in the wall, but I go here for just one dish: The pork chop with fried egg on top.
I haven’t tried anything else at Thanh Truc but this one little dish makes it worth it to keep coming back. The dish is a pork chop with a sunny side-up egg on top (#3 on the Menu). It sits on top of broken rice with shredded pork, pickled veggies, and Vietnamese quiche/meatloaf on the side. I typically break the egg so the yolk mixes in with the rice, pork, and quiche and then pour on the fish sauce. I recommend taking a bite of the pork chop while getting a spoonful of the rice-pork-quiche-egg-fish sauce mixture. The pork chop is nice and tender (you can cut it with your spoon) and combined with the other flavors and textures of the rice, shredded pork, and quiche make it flavorful. It’s a simple but complex dish and the sweet and savory fish sauce kick up the flavors of all the items on the plate.
I also ordered a side of Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk to wash it all down. While the pork chop dish is something I really look forward to, the iced coffee isn’t anything special. If you haven’t tried Vietnamese iced coffee, it’s usually pressed Viet-French coffee and condensed milk mixed together and poured over ice. It’s great for hangovers the next day. However, at Thanh Truc it isn’t very notable. The coffee, while strong, is pre-made and mixed for you when it is served. I usually like mixing / pouring it myself.
So, overall, I can’t really speak to the other dishes at Thanh Truc, but their pork chop and fried egg is top notch. I’ve tried this dish at other Viet restaurants but Thanh Truc keeps me coming back for this one dish. Be warned, though, don’t come here for the ambiance. With old overhead fans whirring around and old, beaten tables / chairs, this place just focuses on the food. It’s also a small place with some tables and tight squeezes. However, the place is always filled with Vietnamese locals.
Food Quality: Pork chop and fried egg – best Viet comfort food that I’ve had that also doubles as a fantastic hangover cure (next to Pho).
Service: This is not the place to be if you’re looking for personable wait staff. They bring you your food and drink and they do it relatively quickly.
Overall Rating: Great Pork chop dish, decent price, but not-so-appealing sit-down (but who cares when the food is good right?).