I’ve recently been particularly uninspired by the new food offerings lately – which explains why quite a few of my reviews are on rather staid, mid-of-the-range choices. often overlooked for being chains/ old-fashioned/ too common, places like nam nam here don’t often get the hype they deserve from food literature – much like rakuzen, just a post before – cheap, good food with a decent ambience that doesn’t make you feel cheap.
and yes, standards have fallen since I came a while back – but it’s still good enough eating to still make a visit.
nam nam is part of the lauded les amis group, which is known for consistently decent food (as with aoki and their flagship restaurant), and that shows in the cooking: the humble pho retains its easy-going nature here, with not-obviously-MSGed broths cradling silky noodles and tender beef.
I particularly like their bouncy meatballs, which have a good mix of proper meat and gristle – just enough of the latter for a little interest and texture.
their not-noodle menu sections extend to banh mi (which seem popular at lunch, but which I’ve never tried), and delicious appetisers/ sides like a fishcake-topped salad of crunchy pickled vegetables (very delicious and moreish), expertly crispy fried chicken wings topped with a sweet-sticky glaze of onions caramelized in fish sauce, and spring rolls abound with crunchy skins and sufficient filling.
the portions are adequate, but by no means large – so feel plenty free to load up on these (as well as bowls of extra meatballs, please).
my gripe – and the reason why this review is less sparkling than the previous – is that portions are noticeably smaller, and the food seems saltier/ more reliant on MSG than before (though it’s more due to a suspicious sweetness of the food rather than that telltale thirst). it’s still not at a point where it’s too offensive to eat, and this place still certainly retains good value (especially in town) – just that you’ll probably want more than just a bowl of noodles when you’re here.
go big(ger), and do up the meal with a bowl of that pho and loads of sides to bump up both the texture and colour of the meal – and it still serves you plenty good (for not that much money).
Nam Nam Noodle Bar
#B1-131, Suntec City Mall
3 Temasek Boulevard
tel +65 6884 5677
$.5: fifteen-twenty ish