Talking Shop Bao Ngoc With Ngọc Trần

Cindy Tran named her restaurant after her brother’s Vietnamese name, Bao, and hers Ngoc. (Audrey Bourget )Source: Audrey Bourget

Most days, Cindy Tran wakes up và goes straight to lớn Footscray Market khổng lồ get what she needs for her Brunswichồng restaurant, Shop Bao Ngoc. "I believe there"s a charm in handpicking the fresh produce you"ll cook with. And I"m very picky," she says. 

Growing up in a Vietnamese family, her mum would make her sit and watch her cook so she could learn, but Tran didn"t get interested until she got older. "When I moved out of home page, I lost contact with my mum for a bit và I had to cook Vietnamese food because of the nostalgia I felt. I got obsessed with it," she says. Tran started setting up tables in her bedroom & throwing multi-course dinners for friends.

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The over goal was to lớn open Shop Bao Ngoc, which she did a year ago while working a part-time job và finishing her gold và silversmiths degree (she had khổng lồ cthua down the shop for a few hours khổng lồ go to her graduation). 

"I have the Vietnamese taste and the Western taste, I have sầu those two different cultures so I tried khổng lồ merge them & create something that represents me."

"As a second generation Vietnamese growing up in Australia, I always felt I had a different taste than lots of aunties và uncles who immigrated from Vietnam giới. I have sầu the Vietnamese taste and the Western taste, I have those two different cultures so I tried lớn merge them và create something that represents me," she explains.

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Take her pho, for example. The broth simmers for 14 hours & is spiced with cinnatháng, cloves, cardamom, mandarin peel, liquorice bark, ginger, onion, fennel và star anise. But instead of making the base with beef bones, like it"s done traditionally, she uses kombu, shiitake and other vegetables. "When I cook, I like everyone to lớn eat the same thing. I don"t lượt thích vegan, coeliac and gluten-free people lớn have sầu to eat their own thing. I like the idea of a longmon.vnmunal taste," she says. Sliced scotch fillet, char-grilled chicken or tofu & veggies can then be added lớn the soup.

Tran"s take on salt và pepper calamari sees king oyster và enoki mushrooms deep-fried and served with vegan Srirathân phụ mayo.