Nu Eatery: My favorite restaurant in Hoi An
It was probably for the best that I discovered Nu Eatery with only a few weeks left in my stay, otherwise I may have caused irreparable damage to my travel budget.
Down a narrow alley not far from Hoi An's Japanese Bridge you will find Nu Eatery; a charmingly humble hole in the wall with bright colors, simple design, and bold food that speaks for itself. The first week I may have eaten at Nu Eatery five times—maybe six.
With seasonal dishes ranging anywhere between 80,000 to 200,000 dong ($1 USD is equal to 22,000 dong), Nu Eatery isn’t cheap by Vietnamese standards—but wow is it good. The menu is simple, almost minimalistic. Each dish is complex in flavor and composition and no plates bowls taste the same.
I discovered their peanut spring rolls on my first visit and ordered them every time I came back. Fresh spring rolls are a staple in central Vietnamese cuisine and many places purport to have the best rolls in town. Of all the fresh spring rolls I sampled in Hoi An I believe Nu Eatery has the best. The rice paper is pulled to a perfect tension so that the roll doesn't fall apart after first bite. The gentle mix of herbs, nuts, and spices compliment each other in a way that no single flavor stands out from the rest.
I sampled several dishes from the menu but found myself coming back to their vegetable rice. I tried the similar pork rice, but I found that the saltiness of the pork obscured the clean taste of the vegetables. Vegetable rice is portioned perfectly for lunch, or paired with a soup (I suggest the pumpkin soup) and spring roll for dinner.
I’m not a big fan of desert but the ice cream at Nu is is really something special. With only three flavors — ginger, lemongrass, and chili — the decision won’t be too difficult. The chili ice cream is a bold deviation from ice cream norms. I applaud Nu Eatery for their creativity but I found it a bit too spicy for my taste. The lemongrass was a perfect balance of sweet lemony flavor and creamy ice cream goodness.
Local beer can be had for 20,000 dong and a decent wine selection (by the glass or bottle) is available. Standard Vietnamese coffee is available (hot and iced, black and ca phe sua da style) as well as sparking water and sodas.
Nu Eatery is a great spot for lunch or dinner (or both if you’re like me). The first floor is open during the daytime with about seven or eight tables available. The second floor and balcony will open when it cools down in the evening.
There is a sense of comfortable cohesiveness about Nu Eatery that has kept me coming back. I appreciate restaurants that take time to consider just how much design and atmosphere can influence one’s dining experience. With top notch food and an a unique ambience, you wont go wrong dining at Nu Eatery.