Monday, August 6, 2012

Co, Charleston, SC

It Started Out So Well, And Then....

Excited to try a new restaurant we headed off to Co the other night.  Co Banh Mi Noodles Bar is a new, contemporary Vietnamese restaurant located smack-dab on King Street.  It’s a very small space but has been appointed beautifully.

If you’ve been to the British chain Wagamama you will know that you have to get used to “family-style” seating.  The restaurant seats about 60 but 30 of those seats are at long tables and if you’re seated there be ready to say, “Howdy Neighbor to your new-found friends.”

Inside Co
We arrived early and our service was quick and attentive.  I tried one of their house made beverages, the petite marnier (vodka, grand marnier, fresh lemon, ginger and champagne.)  Although tasty, I thought that for $10.00 it was a bit overpriced since the glassware they use is very small and I felt like I was having a drink out of a Dixie riddle cup. ‘Just sayin’.  My husband ordered a club soda and it arrived about ¾ full.  ‘Can a brother get a beverage for goodness sake?

We ordered a few appetizers to start and were delighted at our selections.  The Shrimp and Pork Dumplings (4) were a light delicate blend of flavors and for $5.00 quite the deal.  The Pork Belly Buns were served with pickled cucumber, hoisin and scallions and were incredibly flavorful.  “You had me at hello” is an understatement.  We thought we had landed in heaven.  And then… our entrees arrived.

The Shrimp and Pork Dumplings
Pork Belly Buns 
The timing of our meal was great and our entrees were served promptly.  Not feeling adventurous I took the safe route and ordered the Pad Thai with chicken and shrimp.  What a disappointment.  When the server asked me “on a scale of 1 -3 how spicy do you want it?  I said – “4”.  My husband requested the same for his dish.

Pad Thai
Ga Xa
My dish was soooooo bland, actually flavorless.  The 3 small shrimp were good but the chicken completely overcooked and very tough.  The entire dish a big disappointment. A real saving grace though were the two house made sauces that helped to add some zip.  My favorite was the sirracha.  It was an amp’d up chili sauce that packed a punch with some heat, but also had a great flavor.  There was another sauce that was also good.  Smokey flavors and a bit milder, it was also a gem to try. 

The Ga Xa was supposed to be spicy pulled lemongrass chicken with onions, rice and pickled vegetables.  It may have been exactly that, but this dish also lacked any flavor. Zero.  Nada.  Zip.  

Overall the restaurant is quite charming and I hear the bar scene is one of the up and comers here in Charleston, but the food, didn’t live up to the expectations we had. Had we stopped at the appetizers the restaurant would be a solid “5”.  We’ll go back though, the creative menu has us wanting for more. 

Co on Urbanspoon


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