MSG: The Melbourne Social Guide

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Co Do

with 4 comments

196 Victoria St, Richmond
Phone: 9421 2418
Open daily 9am-10pm
Mains $8-$20
BYO – No corkage
Transit: Victoria St / Church St. Trams 24, 78, 79, 109
.
Located in the heart of the Vietnamese precint in Richmond – along Victoria street. Co Do does a good trade, and is always full, churning out dishes to feed its hungry patrons.
We scoured the 200+ dish menu, and chose a couple from the Co Do  Specials menu including

Steamed mini pancakes with minced prawn and green bean paste ($6.50)
These were also sprinkled with with  mung beans, pickled carrot and radish and spring onion. This dish was served with fish sauce, and tasted reasonable –  the pancakes were a little bit bland, but I am very partial to  mung beans so it got bonus points to me for that. The pancakes themselves were a little average.
Also on the specials menu was the

Bún bò Huế $8.50 – Hue traditional Vietnamese Style Chili Beef soup, sliced rare beef, pork, beef loaf, pork loaf and prawn cake

Bún bò Huế is a traditional noodle  soup from Huế, consisting of vermicelli noodles swimming in a spicy, beef and tomato based soup flavoured with lemongrass.

This is one of Co Do’s ‘signature dishes,’ and is listed underneath all their signage. Thankfully, this version does not disappoint – sweet, sour, spicy it is wonderfully refreshing yet packs a punch with intense flavours.

Bun Rieu (approx $9)

A thick, tomato-y soup with crab meat and drop noodles.

Close-up of the thick ‘drop’ noodles.
This dish was intensely filling, with a thick, tasty tomato-based broth with pieces of crab meat. We could not finish this dish. The flavours were good, but it was definitely very filling!
The accompanying plate with salad, bean shoots, mint and lemon to add to the soups.
We also ordered a Vietnamese coleslaw with jellyfish and chicken. This wasn’t bad, it could have done with a bit more spice, and the several limp pieces of jellyfish were a little disappointing, especially since I ordered this purely for the jellyfish.

Jess’ Ratings

Taste: 7.5. The soups were full of flavour, probably helped along with a little MSG. The bun bo hue packs a pretty good punch, but isn’t overly spicy. Let down by the pancakes and the salad.

Value: 9. You’d be hard pressed to make the broth with the amount of ingredients you’d need to buy for the price. Amazing value, as with most joints along Victoria Street.

Service: 6. You don’t come for the service. At least you don’t have to pay for it either.

Authenticity: 7.5. I’m not Vietnamese, but I think it fairs well in authenticity.

Atmosphere: 6.5. Cheap, cheerful. Quick. It doesn’t pretend to be a fine dining restaurant, but like I said. You don’t pay for a fine dining restaurant.

Overall: 7.5. Great stalwart on Victoria Street. Come for the bun bo hue.

With over 200 items on the menu – it would be impossible for everything to be perfect – though some dishes here are certainly close. I’m very keen to come back and sample some of the other items, and also to try the pho – which Billy of Half Eaten claims to be pretty good.

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Written by glutamatejess

August 3, 2010 at 1:02 am

4 Responses

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  1. The bun bo Hue there is most certainly awesome – the best I’ve tried on Victoria St. I’m not so sure I like the look of that bun rieu, though. No bun rieu I tried in Viet Nam ever looked that thick. But tht might be a trick of the light. I might have to go check it out soon. I’m guessing they do a bun mam there too (a fermented fish-based stock) which hopefully is a damn sight better than Ha Long’s.

    Billy

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

    • It actually was really thick! we couldn’t finish it. It was definitely tasty though, would not like to try and finish one of them on my own. I quite like the bun rieu from thanh ha (now thanh tram or something). That place is my favourite on victoria street – as I am a masssive banh xeo fan, and I also love their steamed rice paper. Any time you wanna venture down for some viet, give us a holler, I love viet :)

      glutamatejess

      August 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  2. Yum, my fav bun bo hue place! but you need to get the version with the blood cake, it is weird the first time you try it, but now im addicted and always ask for extra!
    I’m not a fan of those mini pancake things, mind you i’ve only had them once and they were too sweet imo.
    If you’re feeling really adventurous get the prawn and pork in banana leaf thing, they are kind of in a rice paste and the prawns are whole. weird mix of textures, but i liked them.

    Alex

    August 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    • I don’t like the mini pancake things at co do – i like the yellow ones u can get at thanh ha :)
      will make a point to try those pork prawn things! thanks for the tip!

      glutamatejess

      August 6, 2010 at 9:28 am


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