It’s no secret that the west end location of the newly opened Nam Tuk Tram Stop has proved to be somewhat of a curse for its many previous inhabitants, but hopefully the curse has now lifted, because the pan-Asian restaurant is getting nothing but positive press.
I decided to head along last weekend to find out what all the fuss was about, and just seeing what they have done with the space has impressed me. The room is incredibly colourful, full of anime wall art, Chinese lanterns and bamboo, all of it making you feel as though you’ve stepped into an Asian street food market.
Their menu is incredibly diverse, with fusion at the heart, providing dishes inspired by Japan, China and Korea. The main pan-Asian dishes are all starter size, with the idea of sharing a few plates between a group, which I was pretty pleased about as there was so much I was keen to try. Whatever your taste, I think this menu caters to all, with sushi, curry and noodle dishes all featuring.
Due to my love of all things dumpling, I naturally ordered the gyoza to share, along with the Duck Ma Khaam, while my trusty dining partner Sarah opted for Gai Satay Skewers and fried rice. The service was friendly and fast, and I loved that you could see into the kitchen through the ‘ticket office’ window.
The gyoza, which had a pork filling and a side of soy sauce, were some of the best I’ve had. The pastry was a little thicker than you might get elsewhere, but it was so crisp and light, and the pork filling was meaty and delicious paired with the salty soy sauce. My Duck Ma Khaam, which was described as crispy fried duck breast, fried onion and tamarind sauce, was incredible. Coated in a crispy breadcrumb, the meat inside was soft and tender, the tamarind sauce was sweet and sticky, and I think it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with crispy fried onions, isn’t it?
Being the greedy person that I am, I decided that this just wasn’t enough food, so I went ahead and ordered the Salt & Pepper Squid. I was worried about ordering a second dish after we’d already started eating, but I needn’t have worried, it arrived at our table less than ten minutes later! The Chinese style crispy squid came with chopped spring onion, pepper, sweet chilli sauce and, you guessed it, more crispy onions, hooray!
Just like the duck, the squid had a lovely crisp coating and tender, perfectly cooked flesh inside. The sauce could have done with a bit more chilli heat, but other than that, it was another stellar dish, and the best part was, even though I’d technically tried (and eaten most of) three different dishes, I didn’t feel that horrible, kill-me-now feeling I normally get after eating too much Chinese takeaway. The dishes were all surprisingly light and the perfect portion size…I know they’re meant for sharing, but I won’t judge you if you eat it all yourself like I did!
Our bill, for five dishes and two soft drinks, came to just over £30, which I thought was pretty good value for money, and the quality of both the food and the service throughout our meal was impeccable. I really, really hope Nam Tuk doesn’t fall victim to the curse of its location, because the food is honestly delicious and there are so many things on the menu I still want to try, particularly the Tako Yaki octopus balls (they sound weird, I know, but I Googled them and they look AMAZING), and I can’t wait for them to get the Korean BBQ section of the menu up and running!