The Fountain Street block is one of Sydney’s great suburban eating hubs, and Nguyen Brothers fits right in. The name comes from Yen and Le Nguyen. Marrickville residents will recognise them as the owners and chefs of popular restaurant, Yen for Viet.
The rest of the Nguyen family is also involved. The brothers’ mum and dad help with food prep. Their aunt is to thank for the restaurant’s perfectly gelatinous, steamed tapioca dumplings. The new menu also features a part of Vietnamese cuisine that is absent from Yen for Viet – barbequed meat. The brothers have installed a small chargrill for skewered meats and make charred pork and sugar-cane-prawn sticks for the restaurant’s DIY rice-paper-roll kit. Fans of the original Marrickville restaurant will be pleased to find Yen’s Vietnamese pancake, for which the pork belly is stewed in young coconut juice; and the extremely popular caramelised-fish clay pot appears here, too.
There’s a mix of Asian beers, local guys Batch Brewing Company and a short list of Asian-inspired cocktails. The modish fit out is a far cry from the typical, casual Sydney-Vietnamese style that Yen for Viet is an example of. Interior-design firm Blank Creatives has mixed herringbone, brass and mid-century furniture, in keeping with Fountain Street’s concrete semi-industrial space.