Liège-native Linh Nam, son of Vietnamese refugees, first worked for Google in the Big Apple. Once he’d delivered the goods and his upward social mobility was complete, he settled in the Belgian capital on Rue du Bailli, opening up Nyyó where Habibi once stood. The result? A restaurant that oozes both Vietnamese and New York vibes, in equal measure: limewash walls, hidden alcoves, round wooden tables, wall lights in keeping with the rest. There’s not a thing out of place! But where it does overflow is on the plates, like with the extremely tender okra swaddled in pork belly, served with lemongrass chili oil for dipping, or the sumptuous chicken liver pâté paired with toasted bread from Renard Bakery, plus pickled carrot and daikon for added zhuzh. A traditional eggplant dish gets fried before being glazed with ginger and showered with fresh herbs, and the bánh mì burger (potential infamy!), with its lacquered beef, chicken liver pâté and sriracha aioli, leaves you at a loss for words and blissfully happy! And to finish the meal (quite literally) on cloud nine, there’s the Liège cà phê, a sort of sabayon made with cognac. In short, there’s all the traditional dishes of Vietnamese cuisine, but dismantled and reassembled on the other side of the world! // Héloïse Baertsoen
FEELING THIRSTY? It’s all kicking off in Brussels too, with a well-crafted cocktail menu: Boonies Negroni (€13) made with Campari, Bombay Sapphire gin, banana liqueur and vermouth, or Bushwick Afterparty (€15) mixing Partisan vodka, Jose Cuervo tequila, Cointreau, white rum, pineapple syrup, lemon and ginger beer. Otherwise, opt for a natural wine by the glass (€6-8) or by the bottle, like Pablo, a Loire Chenin from Philippe Delmée (€45).
PRICE: Sharing plates €9-19.
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