Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Co Do, Sunshine by Big Fil

In the western suburbs it’s generally Footscray that is associated with good, cheap food, but in some ways I prefer Sunshine.  Vietnamese, Chinese, East and West African, Afghan, Indian, Latin American, it’s all there, even New Zealand pies (my choice Bro). 

Can Do was actually the recommendation of a Vietnamese work colleague as having the best banh xeo in Melbourne.  Now this Vietnamese savoury rice flour pancake is one of mine and Snoozes perennial favourites. Crispy and loaded with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts, served with mint and basil leaves, wrapped into a parcel made of mustard or lettuce leaves.  

Lovely herbacious things to go with the banh xeo

Did Co Do’s version live up to its the recommendation?  Absolutely!  One the true tests of a good banh xeo is the crunch as you bite into it, showing it’s been properly cooked and that the accompanying greens are nice and fresh.  The pancake here is perfect, the filling loaded with bean sprouts, the pork and shrimp much better quality than what you’d typically get around town (although being a little more generous with the shrimp would have been even better).
As we knew that the bahn xeo would take a while to come out we went for the prawn and pork cakes in banana leaves, the name of which I didn’t note.  These surprised me a little when they came out, the ‘cake’ being formed of a chewy, semi-translucent jelly like substance which enclosed the pork and prawn.  The cake itself had little flavour but was served with a sweet and sourish tasting dipping sauce and was an interesting way to start our meal, even if not necessarily something I’d order again.

For drinks both of us loved our fruit shakes (smoothies?).  I didn’t get to try Snooze’s coconut but my avocado was smooth, tasty and very filling.  It’s one of those things that I almost always order when I see it and I thought Co Do’s was the second best I’ve found.

Verdict: we loved it.
Great food, efficient service and nice surrounds makes this one of the best Vietnamese restaurants around town.  Looking around at the other dishes coming from the kitchen everything looked delicious.  It’s not without some minor negatives - better quality means slightly higher prices and it did at times get a little raucous making it hard to hold a conversation.  However,  the biggest recommendation I can give was that the restaurant was near full with satisfied dinners when most of its neighbours were still nearly empty - locals nearly always know best!

Co do on Urbanspoon

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