NNQ - Nghi Ngan Quan
Use your nose, not your eyes, to find NNQ. The air surrounding the former Woodville bank branch is filled with the smell of spiced beef broth, pork belly clay pots and sugar cane prawns.
In 2014, Huong Ngo ditched NNQ's darker, dingier spot at Ferryden Plaza for this bright and spacious new location. Now there’s tall ceilings and stylised crockery in place of TV screens and pop music. Despite the expansive room, it somehow still feels like you’re elbow to elbow with your neighbours. But regardless of the noise or numbers, it’s never uncomfortable.
Thick with choices, English and Vietnamese names sit side-by-side as the menu goes from barbequed quail rolls to steaming clay pots. NNQ has always been known for a menu that goes beyond the usual cold rolls and stir-fries. For something more fun, order grilled meats that you cook at the table.
The fresh juices, smoothies and Vietnamese iced coffees don’t quite have the same effect they do on a steamy day in Hanoi, but the drinks menu is cheap and extensive. NNQ is fully licensed, and on top of the wine and beer lists, there are interesting cocktails using fish sauce, muddled kumquats and pho syrup.
Ngo's daughter, Jennifer Luong, runs two city offshoots: Little NNQ and 3rd by NNQ.