From Singapore With Love: Nam Nam Noodle Bar Opens in Jakarta

I was never a fan of Phở (pronounced as /fə/), a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, with clear (and often times, very bland) meat broth, served with a mound of meat and offal as well as coriander leaves and vegetables for toppings. The reason I didn't like it? I ate at the wrong place, that served bland broth and I went with the wrong company, who ordered offal for toppings, while there could be so many more topping options to choose from! When I heard that a place called Nam Nam Noodle Bar (which claims to be THE famous Vietnamese noodle bar from Singapore) opens its first outlet in Jakarta, I was naturally tempted to test what's all the big deal about...
Beef Balls Pho - Nam Nam Noodle Bar (source
So after just opening in Jakarta for a few days, I made my way to Nam Nam for lunch. Finding the place is easy, if you know where Ikkudo Ichi Ramen in PIK is located at, because Nam Nam is just a few blocks before it. Anyway, I like the interior of the restaurant, it feels very south east asian. I can't quite explain properly, due to my lack of knowledge about the proper design terms, so I'll just let my photos do the talking.
Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source

The owner said, the interior retains some elements of the other restaurants found in Singapore, but not 100% replica. Chef Nam incorporates a distinctive element in each outlets to differentiate one from another. For the one in Jakarta, I was told that the hanging lanterns are all handmade and the motif on the fabric is hand-drawn.
Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source

It was quite a hot afternoon, so a glass of chilled drinks (served in ultra cute vintage iron cups), was just what I needed!
Viet Coffee with condensed milk - Nam Nam Noodle Bar (source
Viet Coffee with condensed milk (hot or iced) IDR 30,000

Small Plates (starters)

We sampled a couple of the starters, the Crispy Fried Prawn & Chicken Rolls, the Fresh Vietnamese Rolls (this item is a must, whenever you eat at any Vietnamese restaurant!), a salad, Coconut-Shrimp Paste Sugarcane Skewer and the rice cracker platters.

My favourite was the Coconut-Shrimp Paste Sugarcane Skewer (suck the sugarcane after eating the meat! hehe) and the least was the salad that reminded me of a very mild coleslaw. It tasted alright, but given the limited space in my tummy, I'd rather fill it with other food that I like better. In general, all of the starters were tasty, so it was a good start!
Crispy Fried Prawn & Chicken Roll - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Crispy Fried Prawn & Chicken Roll - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Crispy Fried Prawn & Chicken Roll IDR 35,000 (3pcs)
Fresh Vietnamese Rolls - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Fresh Vietnamese Rolls IDR 28,000
Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
White Cabbage Salad IDR 38,000
Coconut-Shrimp Paste Sugarcane Skewer IDR 35,000

Banh Mi
Banh Mi - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Sauteed Lemongrass Beef, Cream Cheese & Beef Floss Banh Mi IDR 58,000
To be honest, Banh Mi is probably the last Vietnamese food that I'll be ordering. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against it, but I just feel it's too ordinary and reminds me of just another sandwich, but with coriander leaves. Nonetheless, I gave Chef Nam's Banh Mi a try and I'm quite happy to say that I quite liked it. The baguette bun was not too thick and somehow managed to be still crispy by the time we finished taking photos. We tried the Sauteed Lemongrass Beef with Cream Cheese & Beef Floss Banh Mi and 5-Spices Pulled Beef & Beef Floss Banh Mi. It tasted quite sweet (from the beef floss), so if you prefer it savoury, request for less if not eliminate the beef floss.
Banh Mi - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source

Hanoi Phở
As I mentioned before, my first time eating phở was not quite a pleasant memory. So I didn't put much hopes in the noodles. But much to my own surprise, I actually enjoyed devouring the soupy, meaty broth noodle soup! And I'm surprised that they claim to use no MSG in the soup! Well, I shouldn't be overly surprised, the meat broth was boiled over not less than 24 hours to bring out the natural juices & flavours! 

For a bowl of phở that costs from IDR 58,000 up to IDR 130,000, you get a massive bowl with generous toppings, so I'd say it's a very good deal indeed. My favourite is the Phở beef balls (I'm Indonesian, so I'm born with an affinity for bakso lol).
Phở Wagyu Beef Slices - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Phở Wagyu Beef Slices IDR 130,000
Phở Beef Balls - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
A bowl of warm Phở and iced Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk = perfect lunch combo!
Phở Beef Balls - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Phở Beef Balls IDR 58,000

Other Noodles
By 'Other Noodles' at Nam Nam, the term refers to the type of noodles typically found in other parts of Vietnam, such as Southern or Central Vietnam, with Chef Nam's twist for sure. We had the Dry Spicy Minced Beef, Beef Balls Noodles, which actually uses instant noodles, served with bean sprouts, free-range chicken egg, herbs and sambal.
Dry Spicy Minced Beef, Beef Balls Noodle - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Dry Spicy Minced Beef, Beef Balls Noodle - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Dry Spicy Minced Beef, Beef Balls Noodle IDR 58,000

Softshell Crab Noodle Soup, using thick & round rice noodles (looks like udon, but doesn't quite taste like one), crab cake, tofu, tomato, bean sprouts & fresh herb leaves. Thick noodles was not quite my type, but I gave it a try nonetheless. Delicious broth, just as the other soupy noodles.
Softshell Crab Noodle Soup - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Softshell Crab Noodle Soup IDR 110,000

Vietnamese, and pretty much most of South East Asians, love their dessert sticky and daringly sweet. The owner conceded that they had to adjust the flavours from the recipes they use in Singapore, for the Indonesian market, the flavours are made to be bolder, ie: more salty, more savoury, sweeter, more everything. Because otherwise, us Indonesians will complain it to be 'tasteless'.

Crispy Fried Banana with coconut sauce and sesame seeds, don't call yourself an Indonesian if you don't love this banana fritter! Nam Nam does it perfectly by using a certain type of banana that's ripe and juicy molten upon frying. If you're into plantain like, hard banana, I suggest you don't order this. But this one's absolutely perfect for me!
Crispy Fried Banana - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Crispy Fried Banana IDR 28,000

Chocolate fans, you will definitely enjoy this Caramel Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream with Viet espresso, Kahlua & crushed candied peanuts. It is worth the same as a bowl of Phở (lol!), but this cup of indulgence is a truly enjoyable treat. The chocolate ice cream (I reckon it's dark, because the chocolate tastes quite strong and not too sweet), and the robusta Viet espresso, combined with Kahlua, are just perfect!
Caramel Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Caramel Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream IDR 58,000
The chilled / crushed ice dessert are alright, while surprisingly the rest didn't quite like the Chilled Dried Longan, lotus seeds, water chestnut, seaweed, I personally like it. Do you see the longans and lotus seeds beneath all the ice? For the price you get so much filling, totally worth it!
Dessert  - Nam Nam Noodle Bar Jakarta (source
Left & Right: Chilled 3 Colour Dessert IDR 28,000
Middle: Chilled Dried Longan, lotus seeds, water chestnut, seaweed IDR 28,000
Certainly, there are rooms for improvement, but the setbacks are quite minor and nothing that longer operational time can't fix. I honestly enjoyed my lunch here, and cannot wait to come back with my family for another hearty soupy meal. But I'm glad to share that Nam Nam is planning to open soon in one of Jakarta's centrally located shopping mall YAY!!! I'm certainly gonna visit it more often when it finally does!

*) Prices are subject to 10% Government Tax & 7% Service Charge

Open Hours: 11AM - 11PM

Nam Nam Noodle Bar
Rukan Crown Golf Blok D No. 21 & 23 (close to Ikkudo Ichi)
Pantai Indah Kapuk - North Jakarta
Ph: (will update soon)
Instagram: @NamNamNoodleBar 

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