Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nam Phuong

Vietnamese Yellow Pancake (Banh Xeo) - crisp as it should be.

While my dad was visiting, he noticed the AJC review of Nam Phuong and despite the distance from home, we decided to try it out on a Saturday evening. Luckily, we also made a reservation and wound up at one of the nice round tables, perfect for sharing. The restaurant includes two large rooms, the main one encompassing a bar as well as a slideshow of the food - I found this quite amusing!

We started with the combination make your own fresh rolls platter (bun hoi), which was wonderful for sharing. I found the beef wrapped grape leaves to be particularly delicious and might opt only for those next time. We also shared a large bowl of seafood soup, simple and satisfying. Although I am a big fan of most green papaya salads (usually at Thai restaurants), here the salads, which we tried with both chicken and shrimp and pork and shrimp, were quite bland and although tasty enough with plenty of crunch, not something I would order again. The salt and pepper squid was well-received by all - in fact we almost ordered more but managed to restrain ourselves.

The banh xeo (yellow crepe/pancake) offered here is a stellar rendition also, and something I am always looking for. In my hometown of Charlotte I've found the best Vietnamese food and I've never been able to find a better banh xeo. Nam Phuong's version didn't quite make the "better" category, but it was certainly better than any I've had in Atlanta. I also tried the avocado shake, which I enjoyed very much - not too sweet but just creamy enough.

This place is made even more interesting by it's surrounding shopping center: Oakbrook Square. There are several other restaurants that look like they are worth checking out here and the Hong Kong Supermarket provided grounds for a thrilling field trip for us after dinner. Nam Phuong is a restaurant worth going to, for newbies to Vietnamese cuisine and for more seasoned diners as well.

Salt and Pepper Squid.

The AJC's John Kessler recently reviewed Nam Phuong also - and here he provides a demo on how to roll bun hoi!

Papaya salad with shrimp and pork.

Nam Phuong on Urbanspoon