When Hoa Tran came to Australia as a refugee in the early ‘80s, she had no idea she would eventually open one of Perth’s most popular restaurants.
Mama Tran in the CBD – with its authentic Vietnamese hawker food, unpretentious vibe and cheery decor – is so popular that there are now three more locations, including a franchise.
The reason queues snake out the door before 11am? The food is good – seriously, addictively good. Harvey beef is hand-squeezed into beef balls for the aromatic pho. Shark Bay prawns are shelled for goi tom ga and Linley Valley Pork is marinated for the banh mi. The spring rolls deserve their own fan club.
Inside, it’s relaxed and inviting, with long communal wooden tables and a great selection of condiments, sauces and fresh mint and chilli you can throw on with abandon.
There’s also a selection of groceries from Hoa’s parents’ store, Tran’s Emporium, which has been Perth’s go-to Asian grocer for decades.