New Restaurant Offers Authentic Asian Cuisine

Review by Susan Pretty, Photos by Adrian Lysenko

Phuong (Julie) Pham knows her way around a noodle bowl, and that’s probably why it didn’t take long for the word to get out about Coco Bay. Opening their doors on Easter weekend made for a welcome respite from the usual traditional ham dinner. With a trio of specialty dishes—pho, ramen, and the famous noodle bowl—Coco Bay offers diners a splendid opportunity to treat their taste buds.

With over 20 years experience in restaurant kitchens, Pham and her family know how to cook, and the fact that Pham enjoys cooking for others is evident. “I like to make people happy with food,” she says. “There’s nothing better than seeing customers enjoy what’s been prepared for them.” The soup broth is simmered for hours to extract rich flavours, and contains only the best cuts of meat. “They are easier on the knife,” Pham says. 

The ramen is an absolute delight to behold. Generous pieces of pork belly, bean sprouts, bok choy, green onion, and even a cheeky whisper of nori makes for a beautiful presentation. The true showstopper is the lightly marinated soft egg, which is an authentic, umami treat. “The egg has to be perfect,” Pham jokes. “And if it’s not, we eat a lot of eggs around here. Some days we are on an egg diet.”

The pho dac biet is a combination of rare beef, meatballs, and tripe (for the adventurous palate). With an aromatic broth and served with a side plate of lime, cilantro, and basil (Thai basil—Pham insists), it’s a comforting experience like no other.

Bun thit nuong literally means “grilled meat on noodles.” With a glorious array of proteins (beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, or a mix of a select few, or all), and the experience of pouring that secret sauce over the noodles, the bun thit nuong is a sublime dining experience. Generous and tasty slices of spring roll top the dish to complete the meal.

Come hungry and leave stuffed. Coco Bay is open every day of the week till 9. Make it a Coco Bay day!

Coco Bay, 55 Cumberland Street South, 807-344-6789.