Restaurant: Nam Sandwich
Location: 874 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 2V1
Price Range: $
Watch out for this new Viet subs that just recently opened next to Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen street West! My friend really wanted Bang Bang Ice Cream that day (review here), so for lunch we went to Nam Sandwich shop to check out their takes on Vietnamese subs (banh mi), as the ice cream parlor was only 15 mins walk away.
Do note that the price range of Nam Sandwich shop is obviously more expensive than the cheap Nguyen Huong (or Ba Le) banh mi in Chinatown. Seriously, you can’t beat the price of $2.75 large banh mi in Nguyen Huong. With that said, Nam offer different takes on Banh Mi compare to Nguyen Huong or any other Viet sub shops that I know of (ex: Banh Mi Boys).
Although the restaurant is small, the space is very clean and open. The large communal table in the middle is perfect for groups while the windows & bar sears are perfect for single people like me LOL jk…
As expected, there won’t be cold cuts or those delicious unhealthy lard/pate on your sandwiches. At a reasonable price point, Nam offers some traditional and fusion touches to your daily Viet subs.
On my visit, the owner said Nam offers a daily/or weekend special, but I totally forgot what the special were lol… Correct me if I’m wrong, I believe it consist of a choice of banh mi + side + drink for $11. My friend and I both paid less than $15 for our meal, so anyhow the special was definitely a steal!
My friend ordered the Lavong fish and seriously, GET. THIS.SUB. I can’t describe how much I love this banh mi, it reminds me of my childhood in Vietnam *sobs* :’). The fish Nam used here was catfish marinated in turmeric, then stir fried in dills and fish sauce. I believe the name lavong comes from a famous restaurant call “Cha ca La Vong” in Vietnam, and Nam’s version of the dish was exactly what I had in Ha Noi. The turmeric give the fish an incredible pop of yellow color, stir fried with dill and it releases the most mouthwatering fragrance. It’s hard to describe the flavor of this sandwich unless you try it out yourself. The ingredients are incredibly simple, yet it definitely delivered a big punch of flavor.
I will say some people might not like abundance of dills and the oiliness from the fish, but this is how this dish is supposed to be. You can always take off the dills, and I supposed you can ask the chef to use less oil, but I wholeheartedly recommend this banh mi :).
I didn’t try the namslaw as I was mesmerized with the catfish lol. But my friend seemed to like it, and she gave a big thumbs up to the Thai Ice Tea as it was creamy and not too sweet.
Another banh mi that reminds me of Ha Noi :). The owner will ask how you would like the egg to be done and I say pick the gooey egg yolk than the more well-done fried egg. The baguette was crunchy on the outside yet incredibly soft on the inside. The fried egg was lightly salted, together with the soft baguette and fresh toppings, the ingredients were flawlessly combined to create a harmonious flavor.
The yam fries were your typical fries, however the curry mayonnaise sauce was the highlight here. The curry flavor in the sauce was light, not overpowering and surprisingly complimented the sweet potato fries very well. I could tell the lemonade was freshly made with no sugar or additives. It was refreshing and not overly sweet, exactly what I needed on a hot summer day.
By now I’m sure you can tell how much I enjoyed my meal at Nam Sandwich shop. It delivered some of the most authentic Viet subs that doesn’t exist anywhere in Toronto. Normally I hate going far west of Toronto to eat, but I wouldn’t mind coming back here for the lavong fish. Now only if the owner would give me some shrimp paste with that stir fried catfish.. ;). And you know, I’m 100% Viet, was born and raised in Hanoi for 6 years, if a Viet person is telling you to get this, you do it k?