The closure of patisserie Canele has paved the way for Comnam, a spinoff of Vietnamese chain Nam Nam Noodle Bar by the Les Amis group.
Comnam is focused on serving Vietnamese dish Cơm tấm, where tấm refers to the broken rice grains, while cơm refers to cooked rice.
Funny how broken rice which was previously meant for poorer people, and supposedly has lower fiber and nutrients, is making their way to restaurants. But, why not. Food evolves.
I know there are many fans of Nam Nam. Their bowls are reasonably priced for the office crowd, but I never really thought they are that worth-while to queue.
With that said, I think Chef-owner Nam Quoc Nguyen’s new take would continue to ride on its wave.
The rice bowls are wallet-friendly, from $8.50 to $9.90, with GST included and no additional service charge.
A Comnam bowl is a filling one, not stingy with ingredients. My Marinated Fried Pork Cutlet ($9.90) comes with chicken ham, steamed egg, tender pork, fungus, pickles with a choice of broken rice or kimchi fried brown rice (that’s weird).
I thought the broken rice worked better in the soup version. The Grey Featherback Fish Balls with soft-boiled egg ($7.90) bowl reminded me of Teochew style porridge, where rice is added to soups. The grains being shorter, soaks up the soup and sauces better, and thus each spoonful and bite was quite flavourful. Plus, no MSG.
The small plates may also steal some thunder from the mains. Again, all at friendly prices. I say go for the Crispy Squid ($5.50) – think deep fried calamari (I wished it was not so oily though) and Grilled Chicken Salad with roasted peanut ($5.90).
Many Singaporeans generally favour noodle dishes in restaurants, going for ramen rather than dons. Similarly more should go for pho next door rather than cơm tấm. But it’s only a matter of time these deliciously broken rice dishes would set customers queuing. My verdict: Very promising.
Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road #B1-46/47, Singapore 179103 (City Hall MRT)
Tel: +65 63347377
Opening Hours: 8.00am – 10.00pm Daily