NAMNAM NOODLE BAR JAKARTA

If you've been to Singapore and happened to see quite a long queue at this particular restaurant but haven't got the chance to try it, well, rest assure as NamNam Noodle Bar, the Vietnamese restaurant brand made famous in Singapore is now in Jakarta. It's such a smart move to place itself at the growing and posh PIK area and located strategically next to SumoBoo! I attended their grand opening last week and here I am covering it for you my dearest readers.

First of all, I must say that I was quite fond of the interior design, I think it's simply designed, proper and I am loving that little industrial and undone feel to it, not to mention, that undone-ness resulting this ethnic touch flashing this little Vietnamese ambiance to the venue. There's an open kitchen where you can notice and see the production process with your very own eyes, a little Bahn Mi bar and separated seating areas for those who smoke. For me, the best spot will always be the one next to the window for me to take some photos!  
The idea to make this Vietnamese restaurant came from the chef himself, Nam Quoc Nguyen, and not only that, he's also the one coming up with the idea of using NO MSG (Monosodium Glautamat) to the food here for health matters, as we know, MSG is used in the kitchen and cooking process to enhance the flavor of food, but Chef Nam substituted that with the imported sauce brought back from Vietnam and the customers are expected to customize the taste by their own preference.

There were some familiar faces and fellow food bloggers on the event and together we all share what they provided us that evening. The food here is of course dominated with the good old traditional local Vietnamese cuisine (you're going to find a lot of Pho, Bahn-Mi and rolls here), repackaged and presentated with NamNam style with a little touch of expectation that it will "Nom Nom" the hell out of the customers! LOL. PS: opinions remain my own!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee
IDR 20k
The flavor of the Vietnamese coffee was actually quite bold and strong despite its pale look, well that's mostly the characteristic of Vietnamese coffee. I love how they served it in the vintage can mug.
Sugarcane Drink
IDR 20k
This I really like! The sugarcane juice was fresh and naturally sweet, but the amount of sweetness was on a good balance! Just matched my liking and palate.

Crispy Fried Prawn & Chicken Rolls
IDR 37k
This was my favorite appetizer of the evening! Not only that I love fried stuff (who doesn't?), I love how they managed to make the coating to be very crispy and the filling to be juicy and moist! The flavor was majorly prawn flavor in a good way.








Salad of White Cabbage, Fish Cake, Grilled Chicken, Fresh Herbs and Peanuts
IDR 38k
This is where the play of texture and flavor really exists! The flavor's slightly tangy but all balanced nicely from the savory flavor of the fish cake and grilled chicken, and the neutral flavor of the white cabbage. The peanuts and the crunchy white cabbage together gave the play of texture.


Crispy Fried Banana with Sesame Seeds & Coconut Milk Sauce
IDR 28k
You can consider this an appetizer or dessert but for me just equally decent! LURVEEE the bananas they picked as I love the gooey and soft banana, it's just perfect when you deep fried it! The coconut milk sauce was also good with mild flavor and balanced sweetness!


Coconut Shrimp Paste Sugarcane Skewer
IDR 35k
I've always loved the idea of replacing the bamboo stick with skewer and when it's executed right, it could be really right. The best thing about this is when you can actually bite and suck the sugarcane juice right at every bite or when you're done with the meat!
Fresh Southern Vietnamese Shrimp Rolls
IDR 28k
Just because I told you I love fried stuff, that didn't mean that I am passing this just like that! The rolls are filled with vegetable filling, vermicelli and topped with fresh prawn before then wrapped in rice paper rolls! The portion was paired with peanut sauce which added the deliciousness even more, I strongly recommend using the sauce along to enchance the flavor and give that uniqueness.
Sauteed Lemongrass Beef, Cream Cheese, Beef Floss
IDR 59k
Bahn Mi is a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of bread (baguette) and toppings, the topping could be quite various starting from the choice of meats (normally beef, chicken and pork), vegetables, pickles and other desired condiments. Some restaurants also have their own take on how they want to present their Bahn Mis, but here in NamNam, the bread was actually on this medium state in between crunchy and fluffy (which then becomes the good point from me), the filling was quite generous and I am liking this sauteed lemongrass beef filling with mild flavored cheese, tangy pickles and additional tasty beef floss.
First of all, before getting to the Pho, let me explain a lil bit about what Pho is (and trust me I didn't Google). It's a traditional Vietnamese soup dish consisting of rice noodles, savory meat broth with various fillings, and when I say various fillings I mean it depends on certain restaurants' creativity, but the most simple one would be chicken, beef with basil leaves and chili.

I tried their Pho Wagyu Beef Slices (IDR 130k), when it got served to the table, the aromatic scent from the ingredients and herb rocketed my appetite, especially since I am a soup person. The broth was this clear and mild soup extracted from the beef bone cooked for hours. The fact that they didn't use any MSG or flavor enhancer, the broth was quite tasty. The topping was beef meatballs, beef slices, tendon, beef shank, but it's the consistency of the meat that won me over: tender and juicy. It was a simple heartwarming dish.

Pho Beef Combination
IDR 75k
This was for me a decent valuable deal with more condiments like beef shank, beef meatballs, beef slices, tendon and honeycomb tripe. The meat might not be as prime as the Wagyu but they cooked it nicely leaving the texture to still be tender, and the beef meatballs were bouncy and chewy!
Soft Shell Crab Noodle Soup
IDR 110k
The noodle soup IS NOT technically a pho type, the trend of this type of dish started to become more popular in the central and southern of Vietnam. This Soft Shell crab had this meaty savory broth with soft and chewy soft shell crab, still with rice noodles and condiments like crab cake, tofu, tomato, bean sprout, and chopped herbs.

Have heard mixed reviews about NamNam Noodle Bar, but from what I experienced, I think they have pretty good tasty menus with quite big range of selections (even from the Pho itself), I indeed expected the flavor of the soup to be a little bolder and you just, just that little extra kick, but other than that, it was pretty good.

Anyway, WELCOME TO JAKARTA NamNam and best of LUCK!!!



NamNam Noodle Bar
Rukan Crown Golf Blok D No. 21-23
Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta Utara 14470
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