We were looking for a Vietnamese restaurant with our friends that serve a good broken rice dish. A quick google search landed us at Co Chung at Boat Quay, which is the second outlet of Co Chung. The first outlet is located in B2, Plaza Singapura.
Co Chung is founded by Aunty Chung (Mommy & Head Chef) and Khanh LV. Pham, the daughter in law. When Miss Pham settled down in Singapore with her husband, she decided to bring the authentic Vietnamese taste and made her MIL’s dream become reality by serving Aunty Chung version of Vietnamese food to the foodies in Singapore. I am glad they did.
Pho Beef Noodle Soup ($11.50). We were impressed by the presentation. The pho is served in three parts, the rice noodle and uncooked sliced beef in the bowl, the boiling beef soup and beef balls in an Arabic Coffee Maker pot, and the dipping sauce. Once the pho arrived at the table, we took the photos in double-quick time and pour the hot soup into the pho.
The hot broth slowly cooked the rare sliced beef, allowing it to retain the juicy and succulent texture. The broth tasted clean, yet sweet and robust at the same time; while the rice noodle is thin, silky and delectable. Not forgetting the bouncy beef balls that packed with flavours. It is probably one of the best Pho Bo that we ever tried in Singapore.
Grilled Pork Banh Mi ($9.96). The baguette is light and soft. The pork is well marinated, tender and bursting with flavours. Meanwhile, the combination of the homemade mayonnaise, homemade pate, fish sauce, pickles, scallion oil veggie and cilantro made this sandwich a flavour bomb. They are very generous with the fillings, but I feel it can be better if the bread has a more crisp exterior.
Vietnamese Broken Rice ($12.50). The dish that leads us to Co Chung. True to its name, most of the long-grain rice on the plate is broken, while the grilled pork is well marinated, tender and bursting with flavour, just like the Banh Mi filling. Completing the broken rice dish are the homemade meatloaf (made from shredded pork and pork skin); fried egg and pickle. The sauce for this dish is made from special condensed fish sauce. It reminds us of the version that we usually have in a Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne. Yummy!
Bun Cha Ha Noi ($12.80). The dish made famous by Anthony Bourdain and past US President Barack Obama. The story goes that when Obama and Bourdain were in Vietnam at the same time, Obama reach out to Bourdain and ask him to bring him to try the local food. So Bourdain decided on a Bun Cha spot in Hanoi and the rest is history.
LD and I tried this dish during our visit to Hanoi. I find the dish to be delicate and more like a Vietnamese version of somen. The thin rice noodle (like bee hoon) and fresh vegetables are dipped inside the dipping sauce made with fish sauce, sugar and vinegar; then filled with grilled pork, grilled meatball and green papaya pickle.
Since rice noodle is soft, light and silky, they acted as a sponge that absorbs the delicious dipping sauce. The grilled pork and grilled meatball are well marinated and delicious; however, it is not as fragrant compared to the one served in the broken rice and banh mi. There is an option to add the noodle, I regretted my decision not to add the extra noodle, as it is not enough to go around. However, I am glad I can to enjoy this dish without going to Hanoi.
Vietnamese Nem Nuong ($8.50). Grilled minced pork sausage on a lemongrass stick. Looks like a chicken drumstick, aromatic and delicious. The sausage-like texture is firm, yet juicy internally. The charred on the exterior drew out aromatic flavour from the seasoning.
Fresh Spring Rolls ($2.95 each, min 2). Our favourite appetizer in a Vietnamese restaurant, also known as summer roll. The skin is springy while the fresh ingredients filled the roll almost to the point of bursting.
Thin Cabbage and Chicken Breast Salad ($9.50). Thinly cut cabbage, white onion, chicken, sweet and sour flavour. A healthy dish with a nice multi-texture. I like sweet and sour flavour, but it seems like missing something. Roasted peanuts maybe?
Vietnamese Milk Coffee ($6.80, Cold). It is solid and powerful, yet absent of any bitter taste. It sure perks me up for the day.
We visited Co Chung at Boat Quay on a Sunday afternoon. While most of the shops in the neighbourhood are closed, Co Chung is buzzing with diners. The indoor area of the restaurant is decorated with Vietnamese lanterns, lights and clay roof tiles. The outdoor seating area is without decoration. The tables and chairs are made from solid wood. While the restaurant provides a tabloid-size printed menu, the order and payment were done through a QR code and app on your phone. The service was friendly and efficient.
Overall, I am glad that we choose Co Chung. The food here is authentic and delicious and will return to try the rest of the dishes. One of them is Cha Ca La Vong, Vietnamese turmeric fish with noodles. Cheers!!
Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50
Co Chung Vietnamese Restaurant
5 Lor Telok
T: +65 8876 8137
Mon – Fri: 11.00 – 15.00; 17.00 – 22.00
Sat & Sun: 12.00 – 22.00
68 Orchard Road
#B2-20, Plaza Singapura
T: +65 8876 8137
OH: Daily 11.00 – 21.00