Saturday, 16 August 2014


At the tail end of last month, Nom Deli, specialising in Vietnamese street food, opened on Great George Street in Leeds.

Joining the plethora of cafes and sandwich bars which the street plays host to, Nom Deli is in an ideal location to become a new favourite lunch haunt for those hungry suits and city workers.

Arriving on their opening day I went to have a little peek at their new place.

A fresh and clean interior, the cafe is small but openly warming. With their business based around serving healthy, delicious and reasonably priced Vietnamese street food, their menu offers the following:

Bánh Mì - Freshly toasted baguette served with carrot and daikon pickles, coriander, chilli mayo, and sauce with either tofu and mushroom, chicken, hoisin duck, grilled fish or BBQ pork (prices from £3.95).

Phở - Traditional rice noodle in slow simmered broth spiced with star anise, ginger and charred onions, served with bean sprouts, spring onion and fresh herbs, with beef or chicken (prices from £5.75).

Cuốn - Summer rolls wrapped with crunchy carrot and kohlrabi pickles, lettuce, vermicelli and fresh herbs (prices from £3.55).

BúnRice vermicelli salad with vegetable pickles, cucumber, fresh herbs, crispy onion 
and served with sh sauce or soy sauce (prices from £4.75).

I got talking to Anh who owns the business and she introduced me to her husband Minh and their co-worker Samantha who also happens to be their next door neighbour!

Ever so friendly and welcoming, Minh talked me through his experience of Vietnamese food and how it differs between cities. With photographs of Vietnam and their street food culture on the wall I was able to picture it for myself.

A hungry bear I was, I ordered a portion of the BBQ Pork Cuốn (£3.55). Two summer rolls with a portion of bbq hoisin dip. Dairy and gluten free this is a feel-good healthy option which was fresh and a tasty little snack. Filled with crunchy carrot and kohlrabi pickles, lettuce, vermicelli and fresh herbs, the pork shoulder was generous in its proportion but still soft and tender.

My friend Duc, also a Vietnamese street food trader from Le Petit Bánh Mì, joined me at this point and we ordered some more food. He dived straight into ordering the Beef Phở (£5.75). I had a good slurp and it was very flavoursome with a great stock. It was also really interesting to hear how many different variations of Phở there are between families, cities and regions in Vietnam. This is one special soup!

I had heard great things about their Bánh Mì from friends who had visited Nom Deli at their stall at Kirkstall Deli Market and eagerly ordered the Grilled Fish Bánh Mì (£4.25).

I have tried several different Bánh Mì's before but I have never been able to try one with fish. A white fish fillet was marinated in caramelised syrup, turmeric, garlic and grilled with dill and spring onion. Bright yellow in colour, the fish kept it's flavour and firm texture making for a substantial lunch. With the addition of the salad, herbs, mayonnaise and sauces this was indeed an absolute delight to eat. The baguette was also soft in the middle but crusty on the outside. The kind that leaves you with a puddle of embarassing crumbs in your lap. Spot on!

It is a pleasure to welcome Nom Deli as an extremely reasonable and delectable lunch venue to Leeds. It's great to see such authentic Vietnamese food grace the city. They are open from 10am-3.30pm Monday to Thursday and can be found at Kirkstall Deli Market on the last Saturday of every month.

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