With the authentically tiny plastic stools and national flag T-shirts strung up across the courtyard like bunting, you could almost be in Vietnam. This Ekoda restaurant’s superb bánh mì add to the sense of being somewhere else; it helps that owner-chef Yumiko Adachi is a renowned expert (and cookbook author) on these baguettes stuffed with meat or fish, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs and chilli. She originally studied South American cuisine but got hooked on the local food during a holiday in southeast Asia and has never looked back. She still travels to Vietnam three times a year to search for interesting new recipes, some of which end up on the short but sweet Ecoda Hem menu.
Her bánh mì are a must-eat, with soft, squishy bread developed in partnership with a local bakery, stuffed with grilled pork marinaded in lemongrass and specked with garlic. That same delicious pork can also be enjoyed alongside steamed rice and chả trung hấp, an omelette of steamed vermicelli, egg and minced pork. Best of all, this youthful, contemporary space spread over three buildings offers fantastic Vietnamese coffee (authentically made with sweetened condensed milk) as well as a rotating keg of craft beer. Recent offerings have included brews from Kiuchi Brewery, the team behind the acclaimed Hitachino Nest brand, and global hipster fave Brooklyn Brewery.
|Venue name:||Ecoda Hem||Contact:|
1-74-9 Asahigaoka, Nerima-ku
|Opening hours:||Mon, Thu, Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat, Sun 12noon-3pm (last orders 2pm), 5pm-10pm (9pm) / closed Tue, Wed|
|Transport:||Ekoda Station (Seibu Ikebukuro line)|