I love soupy noodles and Vietnamese pho (soupy rice flour noodles) is just one of my favourites especially when I crave for something piping hot yet light on the palates. I’ve had good ones in Viet restaurants in the States and my mother-in-law makes really good pho too so I am quite particular when it comes to the broth as I think it’s really the broth that makes a good or bad bowl of pho.
NamNam Noodle Bar specialises in Vietnamese pho in either beef or chicken stock, Bahn Mi (French inspired savoury baguettes), noodle dishes from Southern & Central Vietnam as well as Viet desserts.
Most of the time, this place would be packed to the core with endless flocks of customers but I happened to come here almost near to closing time for a late dinner so the crowd was less intense.
On every table sits a row of bottled seasonings and sauces which you can use freely to flavour your noodles. I like my pho with fish sauce (middle bottle) and chilli sauce (last bottle on the right).
The husband ordered the Pho Beef Steak Slices that came with thinly sliced, tender beef which broke apart easily as we chewed into it. The beef broth was extremely flavoursome. We squeezed the lime to further elevate the flavour of the broth with a nice refreshing citrusy taste. I liked how the broth wasn’t seasoned with too much salt so I could add additional seasonings if I want to.
I had the Pho Beef Combination that came with beef steak slices, beef balls, beef shank, tendon and tripe. I wasn’t a big fan of the tripe as it was really chewy and tasteless. What I did like the most were the tendons that were slightly firm yet soft to the bite. Collagen bliss! The beef balls were also springy. And the beef slices and shank were just perfectly tender.
I enjoyed the rice noodles that were cooked till al dente and had maintained this firmness and chewiness in them. While the accompaniments of sliced red chillies, chopped spring onions and coriander gave the pho extra textures and colours, I would have enjoyed this more if there were bean sprouts and mint leaves just like the real thing in Vietnam.
And one good thing? The broth didn’t contain MSG. Well, I didn’t feel thirsty after downing the entire bowl of soup.
My overall verdict? This was a good bowl of beef noodles (a little similar to our local beef noodle soup but the broth here was much better) but not quite an authentic Viet style pho yet. Good broth, reasonable prices. I will return.
What really blew me away were their Banh Mi that I shall blog about tomorrow in Part 2 of this post. Stay tuned.
Nam Nam Noodle Bar
252 North Bridge Road, #B1-46/47
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6336 0500
Opens: 8.00am to 9.30pm daily