196 Victoria Street
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 3 9421 2418
When you’ve sat through a 10-hour day, filled with feuding colleagues, idiot customers and lots of system errors; when you’re powering on nothing but five hours sleep, coffee and a cup of Suimin chicken and prawn noodles and when it’s pissing down rain outside, nothing welcomes you like the prodigal son’s father than a piping hot bowl of Bún bò Huế. Having been to, and enjoying BBH at Footscray’s Dong Ba and Springvale’s Nam Giao, I figured that there MUST be a token awesome BBH place in Richmond, another epicentre of Vietnamese cuisine (three epicentres? Is there such thing?). A quick Google search led me to Co Do on Victoria Street and soon enough, I arrived for the dinner rush after a long, labourious day at work.
Although the menu spans several pages, BBH is Co Do’s specialty and one need not look any further than the first page of the menu. Without skipping a beat, I ordered a bowl of standard BBH ($8.50), which comes with sliced beef and pork, beef and pork loaf slices and pig’s blood jelly, though next time I will try the BBH Dac Biet, which comes with extras such as pork hock and prawn cakes ($9).
My bowl arrived as quickly as a Southern Vietnamese person’s speech pattern and I greedily dug in. It was a pretty big bowl and not only that, it was super delicious. They were generous with the beef and pork pieces, and also the sprinklings of lemongrass – this, in particular, made me glad as too often, I come across BBHs that are full of chilli but very little lemongrass. This perplexes me because a BBH is, by nature, a beef and lemongrass soup so why be stingy with the lemongrass? I need not have worried here though. There was a harmonious balance between tanginess, piquancy and spiciness in the soup, while handfuls of bean sprouts and herbs kept things fresher than newly washed bedsheets (speaking of which, I gotta change mine tonight). I guess if I was to be fussy, it could have done with a bit more heat but eh, chilli sauces are provided on tables for a reason, right?
What REALLY impressed me, though, was the amount of noodles they shoved into the bowl. While I know a lot of people who don’t like noodle overkill, I LOVE it. I love my carby noodles so the more, the better. Pretty soon, it got to the point where I had ran out of soup that I was practically munching on dry noodles. Call me weird, but I was in heaven. Noodle heaven.
Of course, Co Do isn’t all about the BBH. Apparently their Vietnamese pancakes are worth making the trek to Richmond for which is what I’ll be sampling next time I’m here. And I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try their pho, too. While I wouldn’t go so far to say that Co Do’s BBH pwns all over the BBH served at my favourite BBH place, Dong Ba, it is definitely up there with some of the better BBHs in Melbourne. I know that if the Eastsider in me can’t be bothered trekking to Footscray, I’d definitely be coming here instead.