Friday, January 18, 2013

Chilli Crabs in Darra, Brisbane - Cam Ranh

I still remembered Cam Ranh from High School (in the 90s)...  This was a popular joint where when we talked about this eatery, we called it the 'My Friend' restaurant due to the owner who was really energetic and calls everyone 'My Friend' and 'See you tomorrow!'  Used to make people laugh so much and crabs and  pho were the most popular dishes.  The place is kind of dirty but dirt cheap!  During the weekend, there's loads of people queuing to get in.  I remembered the owner was still quite young and rumour had it, he was just a lackey at the shop, but when the original owner left, he bought the restaurant and got his young wife as well... ;)

We haven't been to this place (name still hasn't changed) since 'My Friend' left years ago... Afterall, I moved to Melbourne and came back to Brisbane only once a year or so and then I was away overseas for so many years.  The owner has since left and sold the business and he's now working around Darra in different restaurants.  Poor guy had a hard life due to his wife's gambling habits..  But enough about all these gossips and let's talk about the food here!

Cam Ranh
23 Railway Parade 
DarraQLD 4076


Had dinner here tonight with two other ladies.  Nothing really much have changed inside, but it does look a bit cleaner and there's now a fresh tank filled with life fish and when you order crabs, they actually bring out the live crabs to show you.  There's an older woman (whom I presume has to be the owner?) and a young surly man who were both working there.  The young man has the surliest face and looks really unhappy to be there.  I guess it's Friday night afterall!

We came here for crab and crab we ordered.  Crabs were $45 per kg and the young guy insisted we couldn't order just 1kg of crab as we need to order more.  So, we ended up with 3 dishes with rice and a dessert (3 colour drinks) each which brings the total to $106 for the 3 of us.  I guess it's no longer cheap but I was pretty happy with the quality of food (except for the service)

Cam Ranh Tofu ($15.80)  - This is fresh and so delicious and is homemade and apparently their specialty.  The tofu is a whole piece and crispy on the outside and so soft and creamy inside.  The sauce is eggy and made with pieces of seafood such as prawns and scallops and pieces of carrots and greens.   Yummy!
Kangkung Belacan $12.80 -  Can't go wrong with this.  A Malaysian specialty, fresh morning glory stir fried with Malaysian chilli shrimp paste!  Veggies were fresh and crispy!
Chilli Crab ($45/kg)  I think this was slightly over 1kg and they were still wriggling when she showed it to us..  Cooked with onions, carrots, capsicum etc and chilli sauce.  I'm not really a crab lover.. I just love eating sauce with rice and love the body with the eggy and fleshy bits =)
Another shot of all the delicious goodness!
Our dinner with rice for 3 ladies..  I guess we could eat!
3 Coloured drink (approx $4.50) - bottom to top - Red beans, mung beans, green jelly with shaved coconut ice and sprinkled with whole peanuts.  You have to mix them up thoroughly and then scoop to enjoy!
The quality is definitely good, but I think we could get cheaper crabs around Darra.  But seriously, if you want great service, Darra is definitely not the place for you.  I guess cheap good eats are now hard to find in Brisbane.

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