Dong Ba – Cabramatta NSW Restaurant Review

I’ve been searching for a good bun bo hue ever since my initial transformational experience at Nem Kitchen in Waterloo back in 2020, and judging from the all the internet hype surrounding Dong Ba’s reportedly authentic food I thought I had finally caught the dragon. It is a shame, therefore, that I didn’t really think the bun bo hue was all that great.

The bun bo hue ($14) was quite a disappointment. I thought that the soup was a bit watery, and nowhere near as rich as I had remembered or expected. There was plenty of meaty fillings and fresh herbs and bean sprouts to dunk in, but the thin, low-taste broth really kind of let it down. All of this was also worsened by the fact that we had a piece of plastic in our bowl, and judging from the complaints from this Chinese woman who insisted on speaking Mandarin to the proprietors of a Vietnamese restaurant we weren’t the only ones.

Luckily the banh uot cha lua ($13) was actually quite delicious. The rice noodles were very thin, soft, and delicate, and there was a huge mountain of herbs hidden underneath that gave it an amazing fresh and herbacious flavour. The cha lua was nothing particularly special, but portioned well so that each mouthful could be had with some rice noodle, some herbs, and some pork. The dipping sauce added a nice flavour but also importantly moistness to the meal, and though I don’t really remember what the red thing is (I did at the time), it was also a nice addition. Overall this was a good dish, much better than the bun bo hue whose name is hung on the wall.

The avocado shake (?$6) was actually also quite good. It was very thick with an avocado flavour as well as a white sugar flavour, and extremely cold so I suspect there is some ice blended in also.

Two cats from across the road.

I went to Dong Ba for bun bo hue, but what I found was that their banh uot cha lua was much better. I had hoped that this well known Cabramatta restaurant would become my go to, but unfortunately I’d advise any bun bo hue pilgrims to keep looking.

Dong Ba (John St)
5/117 John St, Cabramatta NSW 2166
(02) 9723 0336