Tag Archives: Vietnamese

NOM Deli UK @ Kirkstall Deli Market

The last Saturday of the month means Kirkstall Deli Market so I popped in to say ‘hi’ to a few people and check out what was going on, with it being a lovely sunny day the prospect of it being a busy one was high.

Within minutes of walking into the Abbey grounds I spotted a street food trader I’d not seen before called NOM Deli UK, so I immediately made a bee-line for these guys. Over the last few months the Vietnamese Banh Mi has slowing become one of the street food styles you’ll see at street food events and food markets, and currently there are two other traders serving up their version of it in Leeds.

image

Run by Vietnamese husband and wife team Anh Dao and Minh Nguyen, who for the last ten years worked in quite a different field of financial services. Having missed authentic tastes of home, their search for it had come up short. Being brought up using techniques which had been passed down over generations, they decided to put their passion and knowledge into practice, setting up a business serving the authentic Vietnamese food they’d been longing to find themselves in Leeds.

The menu had a choice between Banh Mi or Bun noodles, with a choice of fillings or toppings; BBQ pork, fish, or tofu and mushroom. Regular readers may probably know that I don’t need asking twice when it comes to pork, so I had to try their BBQ pork Banh Mi baguette. Other fillings such as tofu and mushroom, suitable for vegetarians/vegans and a grilled fish version were also available.

image

image

image

The pork patties are made from pork shoulder marinated in fish sauce and a caramelised syrup. To accompany the pork are a number of additional extras such as pickles, cucumber, home-made caramelised onion, chilli mayo and coriander with fish sauce to taste.

image

image

image

image

Within a couple of minutes I walked off to chow down with this beauty of a sandwich. The quality of the bread is a fundamental aspect to a Banh Mi, when asked the name of the bakery this was information that would stay secret. I don’t blame them because they were spot on – crisp on the outside and a soft, chewiness inside.

image

The whole thing was a sublime marriage of flavours and textures, with tender, flavourful meat perfectly at home with the extras providing a multitude of dimensions to this humble Vietnamese sandwich – crunch, sweet, sour, salty and warmth.

After the first bite I ran over to Sarah from Noisette Bakehouse who’d gone for the Grilled fish Banh Mi, this was equally as amazing and I would be pushed to say which I preferred the most. Saying that if I’d had more time the Grilled fish version would’ve been my choice for seconds. Regardless, they are definitely the best Banh Mi I’ve had so far in Leeds!

In addition to this, there’s exciting news with NOM planning to open their first Vietnamese deli on Great George Street soon, so bang in the city centre Leeds folk will be able to get their hands on their Banh Mi, Bun, and probably much more. I have a sneaky feeling I won’t be able to wait for Kirsktall Deli Market each month to get one of their Banh Mi!!

Bring on the Banh Mi!

NOM Deli UK
@NomDeliUK
https://www.facebook.com/NomDeliUK
Great George Street (Opening soon!)

Advertisements

Pho @ Trinity Kitchen, Leeds

Pho has been serving at Trinity Kitchen as one of their five permanent eateries since its opening in October 2013, and as far as I’m concerned, it is THE pick of the bunch. I’ve eaten there a number of times and have always walked away very happy. Even though I knew it was healthier than most meals I might have, I’d never really thought HOW healthy until now. Part of Pho’s ethos is to serve healthy, nutritious street food made with the freshest ingredients. They have a decent sized menu with enough variety for everyone, and not too big that it completely baffles you!! So continuing with the theme of ‘New Year, New You’ I visited with Pho the other half and my foodie friend Alice to sample some food.

image

If you want to look at the Nutritional Guidelines of every dish they are clearly shown on their website, and Justina who served us was more than happy to let us look at a copy. It was fantastic to see that MOST of their dishes are VERY health, nutritious and filling too. 

We selected a number of dishes across the menu to get a good overview. I ordered the Super Green Juice made of kale, apple, pineapple and lime – it was refreshing, had a lovely freshness and it was if you knew it was doing you good. 

image

Next up the starters: We tried to be good and choose everything healthy, but we couldn’t help ourselves and had a sneaky little portion of pork and lemongrass meatballs, which are a little bit naughty, but VERY nice!!! Aren’t they always.

image

image

I love the summer rolls, they are rammed with lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and rice noodles so ultra healthy, at only a meagre 115 calories, 0.8g fat (just 0.1g saturated)!! They are accompanied with great dips – peanut sauce, Nước chấm sauce (fish sauce, sugar, fresh red chillies, garlic & rice vinegar).

Our chosen salads were the Gỏi xoài -a  spicy green mango salad topped with pork, dried shrimp & peanuts and Gỏi ngó sen – a salad of tangy lotus stems with chicken, prawns, green bean and sesame seeds. I’m not normally a huge salad eater, but these were both delicious!! Full of fresh flavours, the chicken and prawns were succulent and juicy, they still had a little crunch and tasted great!

Both salads are under 200 calories each!! The mango salad – 175 calories, 8.1g fat, (1.6 saturated) and lotus stem – 194 calories, 4.7g fat (1g saturated) respectively. Crazy healthy and a generous portion too!

image

image

image

The noodles were next: bun noodles are like a thin, soft spaghetti noodle, served at room temperature as they are in Vietnam, accompanied with a lemongrass, fresh herbs, beansprouts, peanuts and a chilli wok-fried topping.  Served with the nước chấm sauce, you mix together all the ingredients to combine all the textures and flavours.

At just 424 calories, 8g fat (0.6g saturated) for chicken bun noodles and 362 calories, 5.1g fat (0.7g saturated) for prawn bun noodles they are both incredibly healthy, low in calories and very tasty!

image

image

My friend had the Phở tái lan with flash fried steak and garlic, served Hanoi style, as a steaming bowl full of rice noodle soup. Part of Vietnamese food is to be adaptable to personal taste, so it comes with a selection of condiments in the form of fresh mint, lime, chillies and bean sprouts so you can choose how to much heat or seasoning you’d like.  At only 347 calories, 5.6g fat (1g saturated), it was a very healthy and satisfying bowl of food.

Pho are proud of the fact that their pho soups are low in fat & saturated fat, are a good source of 10 of your vitamins & minerals including vitamins C, B3, B6, folate, iron and magnesium, which are great for reducing tiredness and fatigue.

They also have a children’s menu and for people with particular dietary requirements, such as gluten, dairy or an egg intolerance, the menu is very well suited to these particular needs, as they use rice paper and rice noodles in a lot of their dishes. Great news which was welcomed by the other half!! 

If you want a lovely lunch, dinner Pho is a great option for those who are after something filling, very flavourful, reasonably priced and healthy and nutritious!!! Food is priced at £3.95 – £8.25.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Pho as a guest so my meal was complementary, but the views are my own unbiased opinions. I would quite happily go back and pay full-price for the same meal though. 

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen,
401 Trinity Leeds,
Albion Street,
Leeds
LS1 5AY
0113 245 6926

Pho Restaurant launch night @ Trinity Kitchen

Thursday night was the Pho Vietnamese Restaurant Launch Night at Trinity Kitchen in Leeds. After reviewing them on the opening day a few weeks ago, I was invited by Libby Andrews their Head of Marketing to the event. Initially I’d thought I couldn’t make it, because I’d bought tickets for the Leeds film festival, but I didn’t think twice once I realised I could fit it in, so invited a foodie friend to join me. It’s obvious that the idea of a launch evening is to promote what Pho do best – produce food with tasty, fresh flavours. We were amongst a number of other Leeds based bloggers with drinks and food in plentiful supply. After a long day at school my friend and I were both tired, with the need to relax after a pretty full on day being paramount. While we put the world to rights we were treated to a selection of dishes from the sides and snacks on the menu.

IMG_4892

Gỏi cuốn: summer rolls (prawn and chicken) with herbs, vermicelli & pickle
Gỏi cuốn: summer rolls (prawn and chicken) with herbs, vermicelli & pickle

IMG_4894 IMG_4895

Chả giò: spring rolls (pork) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (pork) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (veggie) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (veggie) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Nem nướng: pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Nem nướng: pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip

IMG_4903

Mực chiên giòn: tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip
Mực chiên giòn: tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip

I must say that it all tasted great, with their typical fresh vibrant flavours coming to the fore, a great use of herbs, dips and heat from chilli where required. The greedy person that I am thought it was shame we didn’t sample their noodle or rice dishes, it would have given us a better overview of their menu. They are really tasty too, but saying that I was pretty full after all the snacks and sides they treated us to!! My favourites from the evening were the pork spring rolls which were crisp with a good filling and the pork and lemongrass meatball wraps. I’d love to try to make the meatballs at home, they were very moreish, juicy and had great flavour from the aromatic lemongrass.

Once again it showed me how tasty their food is, it’s quick, fresh, healthy, good value and best of all really yummy!!

With this being the only purely Vietnamese place in Leeds City Centre to my knowledge, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been a huge success so far. Asian food always seems to be a winner and be extremely popular. As far other restaurants in Leeds if you want a Vietnamese fix you can get some at Viet-Thai in Stanningley and at Tong Palace on Vicar Lane which serves both Chinese and Vietnamese food.

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen,
401 Trinity Leeds,
Albion Street,
Leeds
LS1 5AY
0113 245 6926

Pho Restaurant @ Trinity Kitchen, Trinity Leeds

Trinity Kitchen has opened and I’d been very kindly invited by Libby Edwards, Head of Marketing from Pho Restaurant to come and meet Stephen and Jules who’d set up the venture. After a trip to Vietnam 10 years ago they fell in love with the food and saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the UK market, opening London’s first Vietnamese street food restaurant in 2005. Since then, they’ve open Pho in a number of different locations in the South, but this is the first in the North of England. Hopefully this will be the spring board for more restaurants in the future up North.

DSC_0656 DSC_0625

I’ve only eaten Vietnamese food a few times, a few years ago when Tampopo had a base in Leeds, but most recently in Berlin, where I had a fantastic meal at a great restaurant called Chén Chè Teehaus near Rosenthaler Strasse, so I had an idea of the type of food they might serve here. The Pho team have a real enthusiasm for the food and it really showed, Libby explained their menu and after a chat about my likes and dislikes she selected a range of items for me to try out. After only eating biscuits all day, I was once again looking forward to a good feed. And anyway, I have an excellent excuse (if ever I needed one before), I need to be carb loading for the little matter of running the Yorkshire Marathon on Sunday!!!!

From ordering the food to collecting it took a matter of minutes, it all looked really fresh, healthy and tasty. One of the best things about the layout of this street food restaurant is that you can see your food being prepared and cooked as you wait for it. I thought I’d tuck into the hot dishes first – my Mực chiên giòn (squid) and Phở tôm – traditional Vietnamese noodle soup (which Pho specialise in) with prawns.

Mực chiên giòn - tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip and Gỏi cuốn - fresh rice paper summer rolls with herbs, chicken vermicelli & pickle
Mực chiên giòn – tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip and
Gỏi cuốn – fresh rice paper summer rolls with herbs, chicken vermicelli & pickle
Phở tôm: with tiger prawns, a side plate of fresh herbs and a Cranberry and orange juice
Phở tôm: with tiger prawns, a side plate of fresh herbs and a Cranberry and orange juice

Now if you’ve read my blog before, you may already know how much of a squid fan I am. I absolutely love the stuff and this reaffirmed my love for it. Tender and soft, no sign of chewiness, crisp tentacles and with its light, crisp coating had a good mix of textures. Libby said that the dip that accompanies it (a mixture of salt, pepper, chilli, sugar and lime dip) really brings it alive. So listening to the advice from someone in the know, I duly followed her advice and went for it. Oh, she was so right, the dip was fantastic, smacking the senses with sweet, salty, sour and heat all in one hit and were an excellent addition to the squid. image

My bowl of steaming hot Vietnamese noodles was light, with a really fresh flavoured stock, the prawns had that barely opaque appearance showing they were perfectly cooked, juicy and plump. I am also a MASSIVE fan of rice noodles and have worked my way through many plates of the stuff, so I know that on their own they have a neutral flavour, making them an excellent vehicle for taking on other flavours. This is where the accompanying herbs play their part – red chilli, fresh mint, thai basil and coriander all add another dimension to the dish as a whole. When drinking the soup stock you really get a hit of all of these and I personally couldn’t get enough of it. My chicken summer rolls (sorry no picture as I accidentally deleted it, oops) were light, the chicken was juicy and moist and all its partners in crime, the pickle and herbs kept it a very fresh snack with lots of texture from the crisp veg. With the dips of hoisin, peanut and fish sauce, there was plenty to keep it interesting and tasty.

image

image

All in all it was a healthy, filling meal with quick service. Lots of choice for carnivores and non-meat eaters alike. Next time I’d love to try the wok fried noodles Phở xào with chicken & prawn.

In terms of prices the sides, starters and salads range from £3.95 – £6.45, whereas noodles or rice dishes are between £5.75 – £8.25. They also have a Pho to go menu too.

Even though I’d been invited to Pho and did not pay for my meal this time, the next time I visit I will be more than happy to pay for it!! I definitely recommend it.

Food: Fresh flavour, well cooked.

Service: Brisk, staff friendly (even though it must have been a very long and busy first day).

Pho TK1
Trinity Kitchen
Trinity Leeds
Albion Street
Leeds
LS1 5AY