There's something completely satisfying about finding a Vietnamese restaurant that has authentic flavours bursting from every bowl and plate. Co Dung Vietnamese Street Food is tucked away in the semi-industrial corner of Belconnen and despite its no-frills look, the dishes speak for themselves.
The menu isn't huge but all of the 'big hits' you'd expect are there: pho, banh mi, rice paper rolls and vermicelli. There were also some daily specials as well as noodle soups and rice dishes. With prices from $5.50 to $13.90 and very generous portions, Co Dung offers great value for money. It did a brisk trade while we were there and although the food wasn't delivered super fast, the regulars were happy to let us know it was well worth waiting for. And they weren't wrong! The spring rolls were as close to fried perfection as I've had in Canberra, flavourful, crisp and mercifully served with a fresh, aromatic sauce rather than a syrupy sweet bottle sauce.
The pho servings were generous and both the beef and vegetarian options were great. The broth had a nice complexity of flavour and the toppings were generous. The sprouts, herbs, lemon and chillis were fresh and fragrant and there were plenty of condiments offered to tweak the flavour to get your perfect pho. Watching the other dishes appear at neighbouring tables, everything looked fantastic.
If you're looking for a romantic or atmospheric restaurant, Co Dung isn't the place but if you're dreaming of hearty, tasty food which is great value for money, definitely check it out.