Nam Nam Noodle Bar @ RafflesCity Shopping Centre : Missin’ Vietnam

Nam, nam, nam, NAM!!!
Back here on Sunny island again in search for more good food in our much beloved city, Singapore. It’s great to be back home after the tramautizing experience I had on the plane last night which just go to show how timid I am when it comes to rollercoaster rides.
Enough of the digression, let’s go back to the topic on food. This time I’m out to savour a newly opened Vietnamese eatery named ‘Nam Nam’ with Wynne at RafflesCity Shopping centre. Prices were reasonable ( even more so than Pho Hoa) and what makes me get out of bed at 8 am in the morning for brunch at this eatery is their $9.90 value lunch set and their tasty MSG-less Vietnamese noodle soup!

The rows of bottled sauces on the table top instantly brought me back to Vietnam where I used to eat at those small eateries along the streets. Fish sauce, soya sauce, Hosin sauce and not forgetting, the must-have chili sauce.

Nam Nam works with a cafe-like concept where you write your orders in the chit sheet and then make your way to the counter to submit your order along with the payment. These days, it’s all about “paying-before-you-eat”. It’s fuss-free and less work for the servers. It’s good news for the customers because that means you don’t have to pay for any service charges. The nett prices are already stated on the menu itself.

That day, we ordered a value set lunch which consists of a drink, pho and a springroll for only $9.90 ! No wonder there’s a huge lunch crowd swarming into this eatery whenever it’s close to lunchtime.
We had ice coffee and lotus tea. It was my first time sipping on ice lotus tea which was pretty unique in flavour. The ice coffee is not quite like the authentic Vietnamese coffee. The coffee beans used here tasted slightly different from the coffee beans produced in Vietnam. Nevertheless, the coffee was quite thick and strong, pleasant to my tastebuds.
Pho beef steak slices
After tasting this bowl of beef noodles, I believe that not many Vietnamese living in Singapore would agree that this tasted as good as the authentic ones served in Vietnam. But I believe that the taste of it was been watered-down to suit the taste buds of the masses residing in Singapore, with lesser herbs, spices and MSG. In fact, I was very impressed by their broths which was prepared without any MSG added. The soup has absorbed every flavour from the meat, bones, herbs and spices added. It’s not too overly flavourful but the essence of the Vietnamese Pho noodles is clearly distinct, not one bit is missing in it’s broth. Because every spoonful of soup I sipped had me go reminiscing my days I spent travelling and studying Vietnamese in Vietnam.
Soft and tender slices of beef
Vietnamese usually adds heaps of herbs into the bowl of pho to give it that succint punch of leafy flavours but I’m glad that Nam Nam did not serve a plate of herbs together with the bowl of noodle soup because many Singaporeans are not acquired to the strong taste of herbs and besides, I believe not many love eating their veggies.
Vietnamese Sandwich- Banh Mi
Once again, it would do no justice to compare the Banh Mi here with the authentic ones available in Vietnam where the baguette is crunchier and softer. The ones I’ve tried in Vietnam has plenty of vegetables and meat stuffed into the halved baguette where taking a bite off the sandwich has become quite a feat. You will need to stretch your jaw wider to break off a chunk from the sandwich. Thank goodness, Nam Nam offered a different version of Banh Mi where the vegetables such as carrots are thinly sliced so that it’s easier for us to masticate and digest. 
Not quite Vietnamese but tasty and delicious enough to make Singaporeans, like myself, come back for more.
Kudos to the Vietnamese head chef who cleverly improvise Vietnamese cuisines to suit everyone’s tastebuds. Cam on nhe! Anh nau ah gioi qua!

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