Vietnamese resto Cô Châm makes flavour-rich sandwiches and more at prices that suit post-holiday penny-pinching
Though the holidays are over, many of us are still feeling the strain of the season on our wallets. Fortunately, this week’s review offers the perfect solution to the holiday wallet hangover, with delicious and filling mains starting at just $2.25.
Cô Châm is one of the few places in Ottawa that you can pick up bánh mí. These Vietnamese subs are the stuff of foodie dreams: They’re big on flavour and cost little more than pocket change. The restaurant features a takeout counter if you’re in a rush, but also has a number of tables for those who’d like to take more time to sample Cô Châm’s menu.
Sitting down in the restaurant’s charming interior, I decided to do just that. The deep-fried shrimp and pork spring rolls were delightfully greasy, with a little carrot in the filling to keep any caloric guilt you may have at bay. The shrimp rice paper rolls were also tasty, perked up by loads of fresh herbs and accompanied by a spicy peanut sauce. My date and I washed it all down with sugar cane juice, which was refreshing and surprisingly not too sweet. The avocado shake also went down a treat; it was rich, creamy and thick enough to eat with a spoon.
The vermicelli soup here is outstanding. The soups come in just one size (giant), but the server gave my guest and I the option to split one. We ordered the number 42 with rare beef, beef shank, sliced pork and Vietnamese ham in a spicy broth. The meat was tender, the broth flavourful, and the fresh bean sprouts, lime, and Thai basil toppings plentiful.
But back to the bánh mí, which was similarly satisfying. I ordered up an assorted cold cut sub on French bread. The sandwich was filled with Vietnamese ham, sliced pork, pickled carrots and daikon radishes, pâté, sliced red chilies and fresh coriander. It’s the perfect weeknight supper. And as if $2.25 weren’t already a bargain, if you order five of these delicious sandwiches, you get the sixth one free.
As I left the restaurant, the owners offered me a takeout menu and mentioned that they hope to start doing delivery later this summer. With the Vietnamese Kitchen still out of commission, I hope that they follow through soon.
Cô Châm Submarine
780 Somerset St. W.
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