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Nam Phuong, proof of Jim Leff's gloomy asessment of N.Y. Vietnamese

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Nam Phuong, proof of Jim Leff's gloomy asessment of N.Y. Vietnamese

Eddie Bennet | Mar 10, 2001 04:59 PM

In the begining of March someone asked for a sugestion for Vietnamese. Jim replied that there realy was no place worth suggesting. How right he was. A friend of mine was craving Vietnamese. After perusing the board, I had gleaned a few positive reviews of Nam Phuong on 16 and 6th. I had dinner there this past Thursday and it was nothing short of awful. Pork filled spring rolls, instead of being wrapped in a thin, delicate and crisp skin were encased in a thick greasy covering. It was similar to something that you would find in the frozen food section of a supermarket. The dipping sauce I crave at good Vietnamese restaurants (outside of N.Y) was missing the balence of sweet and sour that the Vietnamese have mastered. In addition, it was served with red leaf lettuce and mint leaves to wrap around the spring rolls. The lettuce and mint were drenched in water, rendering them useless. Rare beef salad was very tough and dressed with the same poorly flavored dipping sauce as the spring rolls. Rice Vermecelli served with shrimp was enough to make one want to walk out. The Vermecelli were soaking with water and worse yet, the shrimp were not fresh. The shrimp had such a strong fishy taste that it left me wondering wondering when the onset of food posining would arrive. Finally, chicken in a spicy peanut sauce was not at all spicy and was swiming in a watery dull sauce (water appears to be a big theme here).
Can someone explain to me why we Manhattanites are cursed with no source for the great food of Vietnam? Is it simply the case that the Vietnamese have not setteled here in any great numbers?

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