A friend and I caught up for dinner in Belconnen one night and I suggested Can Tho as I’d heard good things about it and had never had a chance to dine there previously. The restaurant had plenty of seating inside, though the decor is nothing fancy. The menu was extensive and it was difficult to pick a dish. I found myself constantly changing my mind. I finally settled on the grilled pork with steamed rice noodle ($14.50). Not really knowing what it would be like, I assumed it would be pork with noodles. I was sort of right. Out came a dish with half a lettuce head, a heap of mint and basil, small meat ball like pieces of pork and sheets of flattened vermicelli. All of the ingredients were to be rolled into a lettuce cup, san choi bao style, and dipped into the sauce. The pork pieces were a little too fatty for my liking with a few gristly bits, but the flavour was all there. They were very hot (temperature-wise) so I cut each piece in half in the hopes of cooling it down. I loved all the fresh ingredients and the crunchiness from the lettuce. Though it was messy to eat, I really enjoyed the dish.
My friend ordered the crispy chicken with tomato rice ($14.50) which made me crave tomato rice. The chicken definitely looked nice nd crispy.
I went back a few weeks later to try the combination broken rice ($13.50). I loved the evenly peppered and slightly crispy pork chop. The colour was superb and it tasted amazing. My only complaint – not enough meat on the chop! I also noticed that the bi (thinly shredded pork mix) wasn’t as flavoursome as it usually is at other places. The fried egg was perfectly runny when I poked it and the meat loaf was soft and stuffed with minced pork and woodear mushrooms. There was plenty of broken rice which I kept stuffing myself with as I had mixed the bi into it and drizzled nuoc mam sauce all over it. I could easily order this dish again, but maybe 2 pork chops next time.
Service was fast and efficient with someone ushering you to a table as soon as you walk in, cold water and glasses provided, and someone taking your order after about 5 minutes of looking through the menu. The food came out quickly and I really had no complaints. I hear the beef pho is also exceptional and I will put it on my list to try next time.
Can Tho can be found at 38 Weedon Close in Belconnen. Open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm.
Value for money 8.5/10
FPJ score 25/30
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