{Public Service Announcement}NAM D

Posted: 11:57pm / 09.04.2013
WORDS BY BETH - PHOTOS BY ALICE

EAT AND GREET'S FAVOURITE VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT NAM HAS OPENED A NEW TAKEAWAY STORE NEXT DOOR. WE POPPED IN TO SEE NIKKI ON HER OPENING DAY YESTERDAY AND LUCKY WE ARRIVED EARLY AS THEY HAD SOLD OUT BY THAT AFTERNOON! IF SUBWAY HAD A SEXIER, FIESTIER COUSIN, NAM D WOULD BE IT. 

So you'd better hot-step it over there for Nikki's Banh Mi Thit.  These puppies are already hugely popular overseas, so it is a bandwagon I'm happy to be climbing aboard early. Basically it is your regular Vietnamese offenders - coriander, chilli, carrot and pickled radish - combined with some delicious additions brought over from France: pate and the crispy baguette. All in all, a perfect collision of that French influence in Vietnam. 

We have already interviewed Nikki but I thought I would just ask her a few questions about bringing Banh Mi to Wellington. 

What made you open up Nam D next door?

We had trialled Banh Mi through the restaurant and we got a lot of great feedback from people. We were selling a lot and couldn't keep up with the demand; we needed someone to make it fresh every time because of the sauces and the pickles can make the bread soggy if you premake it. I had been looking around for a site for a while and then next door became available. It seemed like a good opportunity to give it a go. 

What does the name Nam D mean? 

Di in Vietnamese means "to go". So it is Nam to go! 

Why did you want to bring Banh Mi Thit to Wellington? 

I think I'm at the next stage and want to educate Kiwis about what else Vietnamese food has to offer; it is hard to bring some of the street food to a restaurant environment, so this fresh deli concept works really well. New Zealand has been slow to catch on about Banh Mi - it is really big in Australia and the US. We wanted to launch it here in NZ and do it properly, instead of doing it through the restaurant. My mum makes all the pate for our rolls, it is her secret recipe. I've always loved Mum's pate; growing up I would have it with a french stick all the time. She also makes all the homemade butter. We make everything from scratch. 

What are some memories you have around Banh Mi? 

In Vietnam, first thing in the morning I would wake up and sit on the sidewalk with my coffee and my baguette. I love it.  

Is the Banh Mi Thit you are serving traditional? 

Yes, our "classic" baguette is exactly what you would get on the streets of Vietnam. But we also offer different fillings that you can add, to your own tastes, if you like.

What else can we get at Nam D?

We found we were doing a lot of takeaways at the restaurant - many people will pop in and pick up dinner before they go home, or at lunchtime when they don't have time to sit and eat. So we also wanted to do provide some healthy ready-to-go meals. We are also serving traditional Vietnamese cakes, like you would find in Vietnam. They have stacks of these fantastic desserts outside their shops, like the sticky rice and sago pudding. Vietnamese are very big on having dessert after every meal. 

Do you have anything else you are hoping to introduce us to in the future?

We are hoping to do some Vietnamese fruit smoothies. You can get these delicious creamy fruit smoothies there, with condensed milk. So instead of using lots of fresh milk and ice cream, you add just a little condensed milk to fresh fruit and it just makes this delicious creamy smoothie. 

If our readers mention Eat & Greet can they get 10% off their order?

Sure! 

 

YUM! Right...off you go. You heard it here first, people.

Nam D, 142 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington.

{EDIT}: Another Nam D has opened down Cable Car Lane, just off Lambton Quay.