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restaurant review – Can Tho in Belconnen

By bonfire - 3 August 2006 11

Restaurant review – Can Tho

1/38 Weedon Close Belconnen up from Rubees aka Goodberries.

The other night I was feeling peckish and on a whim visited this newly opened restaurant in Belconnen.

The decor is modern with brown and black surfaces, large contemporary Vietnamese decorations on the walls, rectangular patches of red fabric intermittently breaking up empty wall space.

I think Can Tho occupies the former Indian restaurant location, if so, its been completely renovated. To good effect. There is a lot of space and you can see and hear the kitchen and your food being prepared from your seat. The kitchen looked brand new and very clean.

There were already 10 or 15 patrons tucking in when I arrived, I waited at the front counter for a few moments and was then seated and given a menu. There only appeared to be one waiter working that night, but she was very good.

The menu is nicely laid out. Naturally Vietnamese is to the fore, with separate listings for Chinese and Malay cuisine. The takeaway menu does not make these distinctions though, and also offers smaller sizes of pho.

I ordered a serve of fresh spring rolls and pork chop pho with egg noodle.

Service was quick and efficient. I had only just got my copy of ‘the Female Eunuch’ out when the spring rolls arrived. Moments later the pho arrived.

The spring rolls were very nice and although obviously made in advance, had the right mouth crunch feel. The dipping sauce was a commercial satay sauce with a drop of hot chili sauce in it. It had not been stirred through. They were of a good size and at three for 6 dollars, reasonable value.

The pho was very nice. It arrived with a separate plate of bean sprouts, a Vietnamese green I couldn’t identify, some chopped red chillies and a wedge of lemon.

The pork chop had been cooked well and chopped cleverly before the chef slid it into the liquid. It easily broke apart with careful chopstick manipulation. The pho broth was chicken and tasted very good. Flecks of fried onion were floating on the surface. The noodles were nice also. The lettuce was fresh and crispy. At $10.50 it was reasonable value. As mentioned earlier, the takeaway menu lists half size pho at around 6 dollars.

Apart from condiment jars which weren’t clearly marked (the soy sauce, vinegar and chilli sauce all look the same in unmarked bottles) I have no complaints.

The menu is standard with no avant garde chef adventures. The food is reasonably priced, the service efficient and the surroundings pleasant without being garish or dull. This would be a good place to bring a group of 10 to 15 people.

I have already planned a return visit.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
restaurant review – Can Tho in Belconnen
batmantrilogy 6:28 pm 18 Dec 15

these are the kind of reviews i look for .
Seems like a nice place which would have cheap,good and quick food . 🙂

miss molly 12:42 pm 18 Feb 11

I read all of these comments yesterday, and decided to give Can Tho a go. Mostly because I live in Belconnen and would love to find a good Vietnamese restaurant which would save me the drive in to Dickson.

The restuarant is surprisingly big. Quite a modern, clean fit out. But the large flat screen mounted TV blaring Ten News took away from any atmosphere.

The service was fast and friendly. They made a fuss over our baby which I love.

We ordered the pho soup, the beef massaman and vegetarian spring rolls.

My order was taken wrong. I’d ordered the spring roll salad, not just spring rolls, and asked for no meat in my soup but I got a generous serving of rare beef. (My fault probably for trying to mess with a Vietnamese classic! And we enjoyed the spring rolls without the salad, so no problem)

My soup was DELICIOUS! HUGE serve (so big I couldn’t see the spoon on the side of the bowl, and I asked for another one before I found it) I will definitely be going there for my soup fix instead of all the way to Dickson.

And my partner enjoyed the beef massaman. Much spicier than we usually expect. There was a lot of ginger in it. But we like spicy food, so ate it all up.

The total bill was just under $32.

I’ve come to work and told lots of my Belconnen friends about it. And seeing as though I discovered it on RiotACT, I thought I’d put my 2c in.

I’d say 4 stars out of 5! Mostly because I’d prefer daggy asian restaurant music to George Negus’ massive face for company.

bobby 3:13 pm 06 Oct 06

G’day fellow food critiques.

1. First note, interesting stuff about the industrial sabotage, its seems likely that that is the case.

2. Secondly, anybody who has been inside the Can Tho restaurant knows that it is one classy establishment. The boss is a really nice person, she has a friendly tenor and she will go out of her way for her patrons especially when they ask her to bring stuff not on the menu, I recommend asking for “Satay” with your Pho’ for dipping your chosen meat in to mmmmm. scrumptious. Don’t ask me why its called “satay” though, its a little dish that has assortments of chilli in it and chilli oil and you can add soy sauce to it, please be careful though, because it is not spicy to taste, i.e. for dipping but if you put it in your Pho’ you will notice its spices. I think this is because some chilli get spicier the more you eat or something like that.

3. My uncle is a strict critique on hygiene and he always tells me to look in the kitchen and see what shape its in. if any one has been to some of the best Vietnamese food restaurants in Sydney, you will know what I’m talking about. However I have to say that there kitchen is above reproach, i.e., it is immaculate. And I once commended the lady of the house about this, and her attitude, was “off course” and she had told me how she had done extensive training in regards to kitchen, so they are somewhat quite pro.

4. Whilst i was in the kitchen i managed to sneak a peek at the chefs, and it is good to see that men are taking a more active role in the kitchen.

5. the second thing my uncle tells me about restaurants is based on freshness, I have a friend who own Asia Thai Kitchen in Sydney and I frequent the place and I know and have noticed that like many other people in the industry especially Asian Style Restaurants, fresh ingredients are delivered to their door either daily or bi-weekly this is because of the high turn over of produce like “shoots” and to tell you the truth, its refreshing to know that the ingredients they use are as fresh as they come. So from my research I can tell you that you need not be concerned.

6. From the random people I’ve met on my uni campus that live on campus and around the area who have been to Can Tho. I have had the general consensus that the food is cheap, nutritional, and fast. Off the top of my head, I could give you 8-10 sources and they have told me that they would go back, and I’ve actually seen a group of them in their whilst I’ve been there. I personally I see myself going back.

7. “Bon a petit”, or as we say in Farsi, “noosheh joonet”.

RandomGit 4:14 pm 05 Oct 06

Ohhh , exciting bit of industrial espionage this. Can Tho, on the list now.

Thanks bonfire.

bonfire 3:52 pm 05 Oct 06

It is an amazing coincidence that after a few months fallow, this thread is revisited by two people who are quite critical.

And that they both coincidentally post their negative reviews 15 minutes apart.

Lets look at their main complaints:

Id never noticed the waitresses age or beauty or lack thereof. To me a good waitress is an invisible one. One that takes the order properly, advises on the menu or specials, and delivers the food in an appropriate order.

I dined their last week with 8 people, we had the $16 banquet. There was plenty of food for all. It was a pleasant dining experience.

If they have adjusted their portion sizes and prices shortly after opening thats their business. Indeed, portion control and pricing are basic buiness elements in keeping the doors open.

When paying the bill i dont need meaningless gibbering, i need an accurate tabulated account for ease of payment. So she doesnt smile – does this affect me ? not one iota.

Other points are too inconsequential to address.

Absent Diane 3:11 pm 05 Oct 06

I like the one next to the basement (cafe De Chine?). Awesome satay prawns after a few brews.

casella 3:09 pm 05 Oct 06

After dining frequently at the Can Tho I believe that Romeo and Sal must have an interest in some other asian food restaurant in Belconnen and are trying to disparage what I believe to be the best eatery of its type Northside. Either that or they are just total nincompoops who wouldn’t know one end of a spring roll from an inflamed toe (a fairly polite comparison and not my original thought)

I won’t try and follow bonfire’s excellent and balanced review by examining specific dishes but would like to emphasise the cleanliness, decor and wonderfully gentle and unassuming service provided by the staff. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they go out of their way to provide friendly service so often missing in asian restaurants.

Prices are extremely good and if either Romeo or Sal can tell me where I could get quality dishes at the same, or even comparable prices,I would donate a sucking pig to any charity they could name.

Being somewhat of a toper, I would like to see the premises licensed rather than B.Y.O. as the pleasant atmosphere inclines one to stay just a tad longer and the nearest bottlo is a five minute walk away. The good news is that the owners are considering applying for a licence.

To sum up.

Best priced, quality asian food Northside with friendly, warm staff. A place to visit regularly.

Sal 8:31 pm 04 Oct 06

i agree with you !

I have never been to a restaurant with such service ! I will never ever re-enter that place again, a fiend of mine oredered take away and they hung up on him.

Very bad service, the food was disgusting too! I nought vermicelli with pork from the groceries next door which is obvious that it was made at Can Tho, it was so not worth it! No Vermicelli at all, quanity and quality both down!

Service: 1/10
Quality: 5/10
Quanity: 3/10
Unless it has a dramatic change, I will not go there ever again or tell any of my friends, some of friends who WERE frequent customers are now saying how bad it is and prefer Metro in Civic. Where the service is greater, price is better everything is better.

Will someone tell them how frequently they’re losing customers!

romeo 8:16 pm 04 Oct 06

Can Tho was a great dine in place at first however it had been going down hill food dishes, pricing, event the staff. I only ever dine in there now when I have to or when my daughter’s friend is waitressing.

The atomoshpeere isn’t too bad however the staff are noisy, and how many restarunt nowadays have an old woman with a very unfriednly face waitressing it is okay is she was the boss but she isnot all I ever see her do is demend the other staff what to do. She has no right.

The food, well what can I say? Dishes getting there price raised within weeks of opening, desserts getting smaller ( banana fritter), there was one dish in the Vietnamese section which I cant recall the name but the fish was disgusting! How many people eat sweet fish ! It said something about pepper unless everyone my table had soemthing wrong with tastbuds it was horrible! I threw up as soon as I walked outside.

The rice dishes in Vietnamese sections especially are getting smaller and smaller, they raising the price of msot dishes its okay if quantity and quality are getting better hwoever its decreasing dramatically.

Service – Iam noy very happt talking to a waitress who doesnt know anything. All she ever does is give orders to other. Over last month I have dined in twice, and I must say I do not think I will EVER dine int there again unless there is a change.

Chinese section however is great, the food is faboulous! However if I was to eat Chinese food I’d go to Monkey Magic or the one in Fraser since it is near to my home.

Vietnamese food is main reason WHY i dine there, from my ultimate favourite restarunt to the one I least favour.

CONS:
– horrible service
– quanity and quality decreasing
– un needed people [ I have also spotted children working in the restaraunt must as well have a circus of clowns!, i do feel sorry for the sufficient workers who have to deal with stress
– seating [ table of 4 near the counter! how many times do people walk past you?]
– seating there should be a couple tables of 4 in the centre not just big round ones how slack is that setting up table for 10 when it could be space for a table of 6 and a table of 4
– Noise level- music cannot be heard, all that can be heard are people yelling in the kitchen, people yelling at the front, glasses in the bar why install a stereo when you dont need it?
– Mint – they used to give it out but as from 2months back they have not and trust me Iam not impressed at all.
– Cashier- there was one lady there that will not smile whenever collects my money nor tell me to sign the receipt when i pay by credit? and i am pretty certain she is the boss, this behavior is not needed at a restaurant.

In the end I do not recommand this restaurant unless you want to have bad service and all listed above.

S4anta 9:52 am 04 Aug 06

Bonfire, I agree. This place is rather good. Cheap, good food, quick, friendly service and its easy to get a seat.

Xanthomyza 4:36 pm 03 Aug 06

That’s an excellent and informative review. Thanks for sharing.

We’ll have a look on the weekend.

X

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