Can Tho Kitchen Bar

I haven’t posted much recently on the blog other than weddings. Behind the scenes we are super busy, taking on various photography jobs amongst the jam packed Wedding season. But, I wanted to take a moment to write a bit about a recent photography assignment. The brief was pretty much: we are having a restaurant launch… come eat, drink and take photos.

Can Tho Kitchen Bar is run by husband and wife team Vien and Thao located in Runaway Bay, Gold Coast. Thao’s mother had originally opened up Can Tho Restaurant many years ago. She named it Can Tho after the town in Viet Nam that she came from. The restaurant served the most delicious traditional Vietnamese food. More recently, Thao’s mother retired and sold the business to Vien and Thao. The couple could have continued to operate the restaurant as it was, but inspiringly, they took the plunge to stand out and personalise their restaurant. From a very typical Asian restaurant they transformed it to this:


The first thing you see when you walk through the Can Tho Kitchen Bar doors is a big mural of a photo of Thao and her mother. As Thao’s mother was the original founder and the one who taught them everything  about cooking and running a Vietnamese restaurant, they wanted to pay tribute to her.


As this is a family run business and within keeping to the roots and origin of the restaurant, displays of  old family photos decorate the walls.


I love how the restaurant decor mixes items that are quintessential Vietnamese ( the pillows, statues, Vietnamese writings, artwork, the bottle of Chilli Sauce!) with some trendy industrial looks (the pendants, the bar, the stools).


A bit of behind the scenes… I see Thao busily ensuring orders are on track, while Vien is cooking away for a full house restaurant.


I am a massive foodie, and being Vietnamese, I can sometimes be critical on Vietnamese food. But I absolutely loved the food that came out! The plating of the food and flavours had a modern rustic spin to it… but not too far of a spin that you couldn’t recognise that it was Vietnamese food. Absolutely delicious! To add to the experience were fun cocktails like the ” Saigon Mojito” and if you fancy some Vietnamese beer, they have Hanoi Beer on hand.


The launch was a success with a full-house restaurant. To celebrate the opening and for good luck, there was Lion Dancing!


Vien and Thao were overcome with emotion as they soaked in the big night and the reality of what they have dreamt up of. It was truly wonderful to see… and I am reminded to continue to dream and work towards my dreams! Well done Vien and Thao! We will definitely be back!!!