I love walking into a restaurant and hearing patrons busily chatting and eating away who are of the same ethnicity as the place I've just stepped foot in. This type of entry brings joy to my stomach as I know the food on offer will generally be more authentic. At Co Do, this is true.
As we step inside a friendly waiter directs us to a table at the back of the busy restaurant. We pass couples sitting over large steaming and fragrant bowls of pho, filled with vegetables, noodles and meat. I have it on good word from a friend that the soups are delicious. As we sit, another equally friendly waiter brings fresh hot tea in a Thermos flask and plops down black plastic menus.
The menu covers, well...alot! Vegetarians and meat eaters are well catered for here. Turn the pages to find entrees, pho's listed by noodle choice and dishes categorised under pork, beef, chicken, prawn, squid, fish, scallop, duck, omelette, steam boat, combination and vegetables.
Found in Richmond's, Victoria Street, the restaurant reflects similar décor to other eateries here. Trays brim with condiments of chilli oil, soy and fish sauce amongst plastic chop sticks, cutlery and a box of tissues. All are placed to one side of the plastic tables.
Mirrors adorn the length of two walls to reflect your fellow patrons, who are a mix of families, couples and groups of friends of all ages. Many people look at home here, casually dressed as if they have just got up off their couch and stepped into their own dining room. This atmosphere is further set by two large televisions mounted high on the walls at either end of the restaurant. Today, various singers perform to a large crowd on the screen.
My partner and I start our evening with prawn and pork rice paper roles. Fragrant and fresh with generous amounts of stuffing, they are accompanied by a sauce with the right mix of sweet and salty peanut flavours.
Next, the sizzling pork with Mongolian sauce. Its sizzle sent delicious aromas to all the tables around us and fogged up glasses within fifty centimetres of its arrival. The pork sliced thinly was tender and sweet. We did find this dish too sugary for our palates, however I must point out there was none left on the serving plate by the time we had finished eating. Shitake mushrooms cut thick and deliciously juicy completed the plate along with stir fried cauliflower, celery, onion, snow peas and bok choy. All where crunchy and fresh as if just picked that day.
To accompany the pork, we tried the fish fillet in ginger and shallots. What a winner! The fish, hinted with the right amount of ginger, melted in our mouths between chomps of more crunchy stir fried vegetables of fresh celery and carrots.
Noise levels in the restaurant, when busy was loud. This created a great lively atmosphere. Be prepared to bring your lungs with you though, as at times, my partner and I had to virtually shout at each other to be heard across the small plastic table. The noise hummed and flowed so it was not consistently set at this volume.
BYO if in the mood for a tipple. There is a grocer selling liquor four doors down.