Fo0die dined as a guest of Co Hanh and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
At the time we visited, the venue was only 3 weeks old, having opened since the start of February 2019. Offering traditional Vietnamese food as well as a modern twist.
What do we mean by modern twist? Vietnamese BBQ and 4 types of fried chicken wings with jug of drinks (which was yet to be launched when we dined and should have launched by now).
Behind every successful traditional Vietnamese restaurant seems to be a story of growing up around parents or grandparents cooking so it comes as no surprise that the name ‘Co Hanh’ is paying tribute to the woman (the owner’s mother in law) behind all the recipes on the menu (which has been commercialised so that it can be cooked in a restaurant efficiently).
On the right side of the venue are tables with BBQ grills built into the table and exhaust fans above. On the wall is a neon red sign that reads in Vietnamese “1, 2, 3, cheers”. Looking to the left side of the venue, normal dining tables occupy the space with a large open kitchen at the back.
Flicking through the venue’s menu, they have quite a good drinks list for a Vietnamese restaurant offering cocktails, mocktails, few beers, sparkling, white, red liqueurs and spirits.
The food menu offers traditional starters such as rice paper rolls, spring rolls and mains such as pho, pork chop broken rice, Vietnamese pancake and braised spiced pork belly.
For our visit, we tried the venue’s half meat and half seafood BBQ set which was served with thin woven vermicelli, lettuce, mints, pickled veggies, rice paper and small sides of corn, watermelon and apple slaw. For the rice paper rolls, the staff recommended we used either the lemongrass beef or the sugar cane shrimp.
We started with the meat set which was beautifully presented with the chicken skewers cleverly held up with the skewer placed through a piece of corn at the base. The menu states that this set provides you a choice of 3 meats however we note that we got 4 for ours; lemongrass beef, chicken skewers, lamb chops and pork belly.
Lemongrass beef was very tasty. As instructed by the staff there, we wrapped these into the rice paper with the herbs and thin woven vermicelli and then dipped the rice paper roll into the light fish sauce, yum! What we noticed was the rice paper is very thin (unlike the ones we have at home) which means shortly after you dip the rice paper into the water, its soft enough to be wrapped. We initially made the mistake of waiting and we had a little difficulty getting it off the plate to wrap the roll.
The chicken skewers, we were advised to sear the two sides and then pull the chicken off the skewer to cook through and as expected, the chicken took the longest to cook. Lamb chops were tender and marinated with a peppery and a slightly sweet sauce. We had the pork belly last; this was thinly sliced, well marinated and a little mushy in texture.
For the seafood half, we had prawn, squid, sugar cane shrimp and scallops which was served with a sour, salty and sweet sauce (was a very interesting sauce!). The prawn was shelled and cleverly kept straight while cooking thanks to the skewer that was threaded through the prawn. Sugar cane shrimp, a favourite from Vietnamese cuisine which we ate as a rice paper roll. Scallops we cooked in the shell over the stove. Both the scallops and squid were spicy.
We finished with a coffee creme flan which overall did not have a very strong flavour. The coffee was also very minimal in flavour. However it was a generous serving size.
Overall an interesting and unique experience for a Vietnamese restaurant. We can’t say we have experienced Vietnamese BBQ before at a Vietnamese restaurant and now we wonder why it took so long for someone to consider doing this! And for those after a more traditional Vietnamese meal, the venue caters for that as well (we cannot comment on the food there but the venue is literally offering the best of both worlds).
Dishes that make up this review
- 1/2 seafood and 1/2 meat banquet; choice of 3 meats and 3 seafood dishes ($38 per person)
- Coffee creme flan; Co Hanh’s take on a Vietnamese dessert favourite. Coffee creme flan served with burnt orange and a drizzle of Vietnamese espresso coffee ($11.90)