Fabulous Pho and Delicious Grilled Meat Dishes
Co Do Hue
9524 – 163 Street
Paula E. Kirman
There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of pho on a cold winter day, and in the west end, Co Do Hue is generally my go-to stop for soup. Portions are large, with lots of noodles and meat, the broth is rich and flavourful, and a bowl will set you back only a little over $12.
Co Do Hue, which has two other locations much further north, is also one of my favourite places for vermicelli bowls. The grilled meat is absolutely incredible – so tender and full of flavour. Beef and chicken are my standard choices, while one of my frequent dining companions enjoys the grilled pork.
On an unseasonably warm February evening, I visited Co Do Hue after running some errands in the area. Instead of pho, I ordered another of my menu favourites: grilled chicken on fried rice. It’s great for the days I am super hungry, because the portion is huge. Two large chicken thighs are pounded down thin and grilled to tender perfection. The mountain of fried rice has only egg in it (no vegetables) and is not greasy at all. At almost $15, it’s the most expensive entree on the menu (along with its counterpart, grilled beef on fried rice).
My dining companion, who also usually orders pho or a vermicelli bowl, decided to try the deep fried chicken leg on fried rice for the first time. The chicken had a light coating and was very crispy, although it was cut up into small pieces (including the bone) which he said made it awkward to eat. He also thought the leg itself was rather thin. While he thought the chicken tasted great, he plans to order something else next time.
We also got an order of green onion cakes to start. Fried golden brown, with just the right amount of salt and green onions, they go well with any meal at Co Do Hue. Finally, what would dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant be without some iced coffee? The metal espresso strainers dripping the precious into glasses of condensed milk were brought to us right away, so that the contents were ready to stir and pour into the second glasses containing ice as soon as our meals were brought to the table.
Service at Co Do Hue is always friendly. You order by number at the front counter, and then wait for your meal to be served to your table. It can get very busy during the lunch hour, for good reason. Co Do Hue is easily one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the west end.
Co Do Hue is open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays.