If Vietnam has been on your travel bucket list for long, you need not wait to go there anymore–just head to the new-on-the-block restaurant Nho Saigon. The restaurant brings the culinary culture of Vietnam to the streets of Mumbai and ensures an authentic experience.
“We bring the drinking culture of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hanoi through freshly brewed beers and meads (an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops), alongside classics like grills and bowls of pho (Vietnamese soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, sometimes chicken). After visiting Vietnam, we wanted to introduce Vietnamese cuisine to the Indian palate,” shares Shaurya Malwa, co-founder of Origin Restaurants, a hospitality startup that owns Nho Saigon.
Spurred by my keen interest in trying Vietnamese cuisine for the first time, I stopped by for a visit. Here’s how it went.
Nice To Mead You
Shaurya introduced me to freshly brewed Meads with an array of options. Before choosing your preferred mead, taste all the six flavours. My favourite was a fruity yet hoppy seasonal mead named Pandawhine. If you like something sweet, go for Nectar (a traditional honey mead), but if you’re attuned to the regular IPA in craft breweries, Hoppysaurus is the ideal choice.
Want to drink more later on? Take your pick from their spice-infused, refreshing cocktails such as Nha Tarang, Ha Long and The Spa.
A Fulfilling Feast
Gordon Ramsay alumnus, Chef Nikhil Abhyankar prepared and presented a wholesome feast while I sipped on my mead. Having trained in the kitchens of Vietnam for 6 months in 2019, be rest assured you’re served with authentic flavours.
I’m not a fan of papaya but bring it to me in the form raw salad mixed with bird’s eye chilis and peanuts, and I’m game. I also liked the rice paper rolls, crispy Viet crepes and their Bánh mì (Viet sandwich), but the Grilled Chicken And Egg Bánh tráng (Vietnamese style pizza with rice paper as the base) and the OG Chao Tom (pork and shrimp charred over sugarcane skewers) emerged as winners.
Bánh tráng (Vietnamese pizza)
For the mains, I tried coconut rice with turmeric and coconut curry. NGL, I was a bit hesitant at first as I’m not a fan of coconut but this flavourful dish changed my mind. And of course, you can’t leave the restaurant without tasting the true essence of Vietnam aka pho. Even after my unabashed devouring, I still had space in my stomach for something sweet; that’s the thing about Vietnamese cuisine–it’s light and healthy. “Lot of our dishes are made without oil or just a teaspoon of oil, and most ingredients are vegan and we don’t use dairy. Most meals are steamed or braised,” shares Shaurya. And that’s exactly why you need to try their desserts!
The Perfect Sweet Ending
Coffee addicts will love the cà phê đá, a Vietnamese iced coffee that is the perfect end to your lunch. Other must-try options include Lop Hanoi (a French-Viet dessert with layers of dacquoise and sponge with kaffir lime creme and toffee) and Chua Cay (a chocolate and coffee tart served with black sesame ice cream).
Right from the food to the community dining style and Vietnamese music (something you’d actually listen to in Vietnamese street shops), you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the Southeast Asian country–worthy of a visit, for sure!
For Reservations, Contact: 7045122211
Address: Plot no C, Unit no 1 B, Ground floor, Godrej BKC, 68, G Block Rd, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai – 400051