Nǎm Sông food review: The Broomhill spot with quirky seating, a cosy atmosphere and delicious Vietnamese food
This site, launched in 2017, was the first of three to open and - luckily for locals - is still going strong
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Nǎm Sông, recognisable as the bright orange Vietnamese restaurant in Broomhill, is a perfect and versatile spot for quality coffee, drinks and meals throughout the day.
One of the first things you notice about Nǎm Sông is that almost half the seating is dedicated to the floor. The comfy cushions and shoes-off policy create a relaxed feel, and is a selling point that - as far as our reporters’ dining experiences can tell - is not replicated elsewhere in Sheffield.
Table seating is of course still an option, and booking in advance can ensure you get the seating you prefer. Silk lanterns adorn the whole ceiling of the restaurant and add to the homely and warm atmosphere throughout the space.
This site, launched in 2017, was the first of three to open and is the only one still going. Leeds’ Nǎm Sông Caphe sadly closed in October 2022, and the nearby Sharrow Vale branch in Sheffield followed just months ago. Undoubtedly, diners will be glad the Broomhill branch is still packed and thriving.
As a vegetarian who spends an alarming amount of time missing eating prawn crackers, I was grateful for the meat- and fish-free equivalent of sesame crackers on offer.
£3.35 got us a generous and shareable portion of almost comically-large crackers. Along with some rich Vietnamese peanut sauce (containing ginger, garlic, and hoisin sauce), these tided us over before the main course.
At about 6pm on a Monday, my experience was well-timed for both a nice buzz to the restaurant and a very short wait for food. With such fresh ingredients and meals prepared to order, there is a good chance that a completely packed restaurant would see you wait a little longer than my very respectable 10 minutes.
The ginger tofu bún, a vermicelli noodle salad, is good value for money with an ample portion at £13.95. The pickled carrot, cucumber, shallots, spring onions, basil and your choice of dressing creates an array of colours and a massive range of flavours that inevitably leaves you full and satisfied.
I also opted to add a ginger and mushroom spring roll for £2 - and in hindsight, my eyes were bigger than my stomach - which was a nice warm snack among the mix of cool and refreshing ingredients in the bún.
With little room left for more, I treated the coffee list as a dessert menu, and had to ignore the large, elaborate cakes on the front counter. Their specialist Vietnamese Phin filter coffee seemed well worth trying, but to avoid too much caffeine in the evening, I opted for a decaf iced latte with condensed milk.
When coffee arrived in Vietnam around the 1850s, condensed milk was used as it was more available and easy to store than fresh milk, and has stayed around ever since. Fun facts aside, use of condensed milk as a sweetener is long overdue in the UK, as it makes for a delicious, sweet and rich coffee.
For its delicious food, quirky seating, polite service, and lovely atmosphere, Broomhill’s Nǎm Sông looks set to continue enjoying success and popularity for years to come.