Somehow the rainy weather these days make me crave more for Vietnamese Pho.
A NEW Viet restaurant Co Chung has been slowly getting attention from the Vietnamese community in Singapore, ‘hidden’ in the basement of Plaza Singapura (near Cold Storage).
Saw an online review that went ”Finally I could try real Vietnamese foods right in Singapore.”
And mains are affordably priced below $10!
Its opening was met with some challenges due to the timing of “Circuit Breaker”, but it is back with options of limited dine-in (with social distancing) and delivery.
Named after its founder’s moniker “Aunty Chung”, Co Chung offers traditional appetisers, sandwiches, noodle soups, cakes, meat dishes, coffee and desserts.
Aunty Chung was a Head Nurse for 25 years and pursued her dream of creating good food after retirement. The restaurant opened by her daughter, represents not only her country’s cuisines but a tribute her mother and inspiration for cooking.
Some of these street food items and desserts are therefore not commonly found in Singapore itself, and this truly differentiate Co Chung from the rest.
Here are some of dishes to try on your first visit or delivery:
Phở Bò – Pho Beef Soup ($8.90)
When it comes to soup, Pho is a MUST when it comes to Vietnamese fare.
A hallmark of flavour and textural balance, it has pliable strands of rice noodles, crunchy greens, slow-cooked beef, crisp-fried onions, and more.
The piping hot clear broth is made from beef bones, fats carefully removed for a less greasy base, and simmered for 8 hours at least.
The soup is ladled over a bowl of cooked banh pho (flat rice noodles), lean but beef shank slices, fresh cilantro and green onions.
Served with bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges and chili-garlic sauce on the side.
Once I took a spoonful of that soup, I couldn’t stop. It was warm, flavourful, comforting, with a tinge of refreshing-sweetness. And yet not too salty or oily, and you could actually finish the bowl without feeling guility.
Bún Bò Huế – Hue Spicy Beef Noodle Soup ($8.90)
This hearty and fiery bowl of noodles is also a chef’s recommendation. Unlike the pho, this contains rice vermicelli noodles (something like thick vermicelli cu mi fen.
But instead of sliced lean beef and a mild broth, Bun Bo Hue has beef shank, and a red-tinged broth with a spicy chili oil.
Made from boiled beef and pork bones, the broth is livened up with lemongrass, onion, shallot, and ginger.
What you get is a hearty soup that balances spicy, sour, salty and sweet flavours.
Bánh Mì – Grilled Pork Sandwich ($8.90)
To be honest, Banh Mi is not my usual-to-order as it is rather carb-heavy and filling, but Co Chung’s version was actually worthy to try.
There are different choices such as the Traditional Vietnamese (included with roasted pork belly, pate and cold cuts), Fried Eggs, Shredded Chicken, Fish Cake, and Meat Ball Sandwiches.
The Grilled Pork Sandwich or Banh Mi Thit Nuong is the most popular, a crusty baguette filled with layers of a special grilled pork, drizzled with scallion oil and sweet fish sauce, and dressed up with pickles, fresh cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and cilantro.
Chili sauce is optional, so feel free to decide if you are ready for a punch of heat in your sandwich.
Gỏi Cuốn – Fresh Spring Rolls ($2.85)
The Fresh Spring Roll or Goi Cuon is made with banh trang aka rice wrapper or rice paper, encasing a medley of veggies and herbs with pork belly strips, halved shrimps, and vermicelli or rice noodle.
Before biting, dip it into a special homemade peanut dipping sauce to add a nutty flavour to the mild tasting roll. That sauce is what made all that difference.
Bánh Nậm – Vietnamese Flat Dumpling ($6.90 for 3)
I have never had this starter before, so it is good to get a taste of Vietnamese cake with an order of Banh Nam or Flat Dumplings.
Made with a seasoned mix of rice and tapioca flour, the cake batter is cooked ‘til thick with minced pork and shrimps, then wrapped in a banana leaf to a flattened rectangle shape and steamed.
This may remind you of our otah-otah to some extent.
Enjoy by unwrapping each parcel to reveal a savoury cake ready for dipping in a special sweet fish sauce and chilli padi.
Cơm Tấm – Vietnamese Broken Rice ($9.85)
The Com Tam of Vietnamese Broken Rice is a one-dish meal that is a signature dish in Southern Vietnam.
Complete with suon nuong (grilled pork rib), sunny side up egg, fresh sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and cha trung (steamed omelette with meatloaf) all resting on top of fragmented rice.
As a final touch, it is garnished with scallions and oil, and served with a small bowl of nuoc mam pha (mixed fish sauce) as a condiment.
Chè Bắp – Corn Sweet Soup ($5.80)
Go for a traditional Vietnamese dessert in soup form with a bowl of Che Bap or Sweet Corn Soup. B
oiled together in a pot are sweet corn kernels and tapioca pearls, seasoned with sugar and salt to balance the sweet-salty flavours, then topped with coconut milk.
What you get is a viscous almost gloopy bowl of sweetness ready for scooping out.
Bánh Flan – Vietnamese Caramel Flan ($3.88)
The Banh Flan is a popular appealing dessert in Vietnam, derived from European.
This is like the Caramel Pudding, except that this comes with the addition of coconut. Rich dark caramel coating on a wobbly coconuty custard is a combination hard to resist.
When at Plaza Singapura, Co Chung is an ideal venue for lunch or dinner with family or a small group of friends.
Craving for Vietnamese fare but don’t want to leave the comforts of your home? They deliver via Delivery, foodpanda and GrabFood.
GrabFood Promo – FREE Corn Sweet Soup
– With minimum order of $45
– Valid till 30th June 2020
Co Chung – Authentic Taste of Vietnam
Plaza Singapura #B2-20, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 8876 8137
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Cô Chung.