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Nom Deli, Leeds

Get your bánh mì fix as Vietnamese food peddlers Nom Deli open a new restaurant in Leeds city centre.

If you’ve been pining for a bánh mì after their appearance at Kirkstall Deli Market in June, then you’re in luck as Nom Deli has just opened its new restaurant on Great George Street. Now, you can feast on bánh mì, bowls of phở soup and many more Vietnamese delights whenever you want.

After years of working and living in Leeds, owner Ahn Dao realised that she wasn’t the only one craving Vietnamese food, “There are a lot of foods in Leeds – Chinese, Thai, Italian, French, but not very much Vietnamese food, which is one of the healthiest, freshest cuisines in the world.”

So she decided to open her restaurant in a place that was close to her heart, on George Street, near where she and her husband used to live and work.

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“Now there are a lot of people travelling to Vietnam, who try the cuisine and would like to have it on frequent basis. We talked to people who encouraged us to open our food venue. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Dao told us.

Inspired by the Đông Sơn bronze drums that were created in Vietnam’s Red River Delta where her ancestors came from, Dao hopes to tap into Vietnamese culture and identity with Nom Deli. The bronze drums which were cast nearly 3,000 years ago, were intricately decorated with motifs depicting animals, boats and river scenes – that were so central to the lives of her ancestors.

You’ll find the same vibrancy and life in their food, which follows the five taste senses of sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty. Spicy bird’s eye chilies, fragrant lemongrass and rich soy sauce are just a few of the ingredients that make Vietnamese cuisine so distinctive.

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Try the delicately rolled Cuốns, rice paper rolled up with crisp lettuce, carrots, pickles, herbs and a choice of succulent meats or vegetarian fillings. Or what about the summery Bún salad of rice vermicelli noodles, cucumber, herbs topped with grilled fish? You can even enjoy it in the sun (assuming the weather allows) in their outdoor seating area.

Unfamiliar with Vietnamese food and not sure what to expect? You’ll be pleased to know that Nom Deli isn’t about strange dishes, but accessible food that is perfectly balanced and fresh. Dao assured us, “Everything is friendly, there will be no shock, but it’s perhaps about the new kind of taste, which fits in very well with people in Leeds.”

Quality is of the utmost importance to Dao takes great care in creating popular bánh mì sandwich, “We have the baguette specially made for us using our traditional family recipe. It’s a traditional method, local produce, freshly made daily,” she explained.

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It isn’t just about the food, Nom Deli is also a café serving up coffee the traditional Vietnamese way, which they source from local Yorkshire coffee suppliers, Limini Coffee as well as coconut juice and teas that will compliment your meal perfectly.

With the success of Trinity Kitchen’s Pho, Dao is certainly meeting a demand in Leeds for Vietnamese food. We hope that this is the beginning of another chapter in Leeds’ vibrant food and drink scene as we welcome more South East Asian eateries to the city.

Nom Deli, 77A Great George Street, LS1 3BR.