COMES TO LEEDS
Jim and Melissa Rose spent their gap year in Vietnam and when they returned they brought treasured memories of the country back with them.
They wanted to relive their experiences there and were determined to make what was then a dream become reality and Nam Song was born.
The couple opened their first Nam Song Vietnamese Coffee House, Bar, Kitchen and Restaurant in Sheffield quickly followed by a second one and now their third takes pride of place in New Briggate, opposite the Grand Theatre.
Pass through the doors of Nam Song and you will be more than pleasantly surprised by the orange walls, tasteful décor and art work and brightly coloured lanterns hanging from the ceiling.
Although it was mid-week the restaurant was very busy on both floors with couples, groups of friends and those seeking some social respite after a hard day at the office.
Upstairs wonderful snapshots of Vietnam adorn the walls and there’s the choice to either dine Vietnamese style sat on brightly coloured cushions at low tables or sit at normal rough wood tables with very comfortable seating. We chose the tables and were amazed at the incredible ambience of this place – it certainly had great vibes.
We started our meal with one of their cocktails made with Thai ingredients. My partner chose a favourite, he had often tried when visiting Vietnam, Ha Long Bae – a combination of dry gin, vermouth, aquafaba, lemon juice and home made raspberry syrup whilst my tipple was Dark ‘n’ Stormy Mekhong with Mekhong Thai Rum, Ginger Beer, Bitters and Lime both cocktails had a certain twist to them which made them very palatable.
Nam Song has three menus – a day menu and an evening menu that starts at 5pm. There’s also a Pre-Event Set Menu that’s great for theatre, cinema or concert goers with a valid ticket for any event in the Leeds City Area that comprises of two courses and a drink which at £20 is great value.
We started our meal with a Cracker Platter that’s made for sharing and comes with a dipping sauce. The large dish was excellent value and we kept dipping into the crackers all through our meal.
For starters we decided on Spring Rolls. These were light and very hot and delightfully crispy. The rolls were bulging with a tasty filling of carrots, bean sprouts, spring onion and our dipping sauce of ginger complimented the rolls. Again the portion of rolls was more than adequate.
To accompany the rolls we decided to try the Nam Song Chicken Bites – again quite a large portion and great value.
These crisp thigh pieces were deep fried in a fresh and sticky ginger, garlic and honey marinade and coated with sesame seeds making it a very tasty starter.
For our main we both chose Bun but with different accompaniments. When our large bowl arrived it was absolutely enormous and packed with so many healthy and tasty goodies.
Bun in Vietnamese food is a fresh vermicelli noodle salad with pickled carrot , pickled daikon, cucumber, mint, coriander, crispy shallots, spring onions, Thai basil, black sesame seeds and nuoc cham – a Vietnam dipping sauce on the side.
My partner chose Lemon Grass Chicken Bun and I had the Nam Song Pork Bun. The meat was tender and cut into small pieces so it interspersed with the salad.
Although the food seemed light for once we decided to forgo the ice-cream sweets offered but we could not leave without sampling Ca Phe Trong- an Hanoi Speciality of Phin Filter Coffee served with egg yolk and condensed milk – quite an acquired taste but well worth trying. It’s something I could well get used to
Having food at Nam Song is a great experience. The atmosphere is so relaxing and colourful. It makes the ideal place to unwind and to put away the mobiles and make conversation over a long and delicious meal and as we found out time just flies when you are having culinary fun at Nam Song
Sunday 10.00am – 10.00pm
Nam Song, New Briggate,Leeds (l minute walk from the Grand Theatre)
Tel: 0113 244 4900