People like the remarkable Bac Cang Nghieu (pictured above with noodlies) who mortgaged the family home to take over Bau Truong in 1995, at the height of Cabramatta’s drug problems. Back then, she was terrorised by drug dealers and addicts, but with a steely determination, Nghieu and her family traded on. Now Bau Truong is one of Cabramatta’s most popular restaurants. She’s one tough cookie, at 67 years, she still walks 1.5hrs to work every morning, seven days.
Or the courageous Thi Nhu Pham of Pho Tau Bay (video above), winner of Sydney’s best pho poll conducted by noodlies in 2010. In 1978, she fled Vietnam by boat while two months pregnant. She started to cook and sell pho from her house on Sundays and within a couple of years saved enough to open the now famous Pho Tau Bay in 1982. She then sponsored her husband to Australia in 1984.
Pham and Nghieu’s remarkable success stories are in my Cabramatta feature, one of the many great reads in this month’s SBS Feast Magazine. The feature also details six of my favourite Cabramatta restaurants and my recommendation of dishes to order.