If you’ve been lucky enough to spend any time in Vietnam a few things should definitely be clear. Firstly, the country is spectacularly beautify and ridiculously exciting to visit, a real feast for the senses, and food plays no small part in that. Always affordable (read: silly cheap) and served using the freshest ingredients, a lot of people will tell you the ‘real’ experience of eating in this corner of the world involves no-frills establishments that put all their emphasis on mouthwatering flavours, rather than statement interiors (or, in many cases, no interior at all). In many ways, Vnam answers the question of where to find authentic cuisine from the country served as it should be.
While a world away from the plastic chairs and ramshackle eateries of Ho Chi Minh City, this unassuming institution pares things back on the design front to focus firmly on filling plates, bowls, and, finally, stomachs with the best in town. Priding itself on being Manchester’s first Vietnamese restaurant, Vnam played a pivotal role in the development of a small but tantalising group of shops and eateries selling Vietnam’s finest on Oldham Road, which — along with a loyal customer base that have followed to the new Northern Quarter address — gives some idea as to just how good this place is.
Menu wise, you’ll find what might be some of the best Bún and Phở options in the city, but the overall choice is expansive and contains a few dishes less commonly seen in our part of the world. For example, the lemongrass pork, black pepper pork stew, tamarind soft shell crab, and stir fried beansprout with tofu rice. The latter taken from a limited vegan menu. Imported Hoang (draft) and Hanoi (bottles) ensure the beer is perfectly in-keeping, with Vietnamese iced coffee and aloe vera juice among the non-alcoholic highlights.