Food Picks: Vietnamese fare at Co Chung, Chinese Western classics at Rex Western

1 week ago 32

Authentic Vietnamese offerings

Family-run Vietnamese eatery Co Chung has expanded its outlet in Boat Quay, taking over the first floor of the shophouse unit next door at 4 Lorong Telok.

The new space, which can seat 50 indoors and 30 outdoors, is modelled after owner Ly Pham's old home in Ho Chi Minh City in the 1970s. The door frame is a replica shipped from Vietnam.

The Instagrammable entrance is flanked by two retro wooden arm chairs on the left. On the right is a corner set up like a provision shop with old-school snacks on display. Ms Pham's aunt used to run a provision shop outside her old home.

Inside are more vintage items on display - from an old television set to vacuum flasks - all sourced from Vietnam.

The eatery has several new items on its menu.

Impossible Pho ($13.50+) is a vegetarian take on pho, which packs up to 18 types of vegetables and herbs in its sweet-tasting stock. Carrot, radish, wintermelon and jicama beef up the meatless stock. Sliced white onion, sawtooth coriander and Thai sweet basil give it aroma.

The minced Impossible Meat Plant Based Beef used in the noodles tastes more like minced pork. The clean-tasting meatless stock impresses with natural flavours from vegetables.

Another dish to try is Vietnamese fish with turmeric and dill ($18.96+). In Vietnamese, the Hanoi dish is known as Cha Ca La Vong. Considered a delicacy in Vietnam, it is found in restaurants.

Co Chung uses wild-caught crystal-eyed catfish, a freshwater fish prized in Vietnam. The eatery imports the fish, which is processed in its food manufacturing facility in Ho Chi Minh and air-flown here thrice weekly.

The fish is marinated in turmeric, onion and garlic, grilled over charcoal then placed in a hot plate of olive oil and shallot oil, and flavoured with leek and spring onion.

The fish comes with sprigs of dill. The herbaceous and tangy taste of the dill complements the fish's smoky tenderness.

The dish is meant to be eaten with...

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