You’ll need oodles of patience if you’re planning on eating at Nest: a tiny space with around ten seats, decorated with brightly coloured colanders (doubling up as lampshades) and a light wood counter – so make sure to come around 1.30pm when all the hungry office workers will have finished their lunch break.
Its popularity comes as no surprise however: this is Vietnamese cuisine at its trendiest. Go for the banh mi (€8.90) and you’ll find that the traditional Vietnamese baguette has been traded in for a plump bun (similar to brioche), served with coconut-flavoured tofu, pickled carrot and – yet another twist – a sprinkling of truffle oil. This is one daring sandwich.
And if you’re keen on bo bun (€13.90), their version with rice-based vermicelli, raw vegetables, fine herbs, nuoc-mâm and a generous helping of prawns (replacing the typical nems) ought to tickle your taste buds – just a touch more coriander or mint and it would have been absolutely flawless. We round off our meal with a portion of banh bo nuong (€3.90): Vietnamese-style flan with tapioca flour, coconut cream and padan leaf.
And – good news – Nest now has a little brother on the gastronomic rue de Nil.
Nuoc-mâm – A fish-based sauce
Nem – spring roll
TRANSLATION: LEONIE CATER