The truth is, I’m not a fan of Vietnamese fare. I tried Pho Hoa four years ago and I have never looked back since. It was not memorable, didn’t pack enough flavor for me to ever want to come back, and back then, I just didn’t see the appeal of Vietnamese food when I can just go for tastier alternatives. Then I recently discovered Annam Noodle Bar, and it completely changed the way I looked at Vietnamese food.
Annam Noodle Bar is a quaint little joint located at the first floor of 1880 Eastwood, just across Project Pie. It has become a destination for the residents and professionals working in Eastwood City not only for its healthy menu items, but also for its dark roasted Viet Ca-Phe. Its exterior design doesn’t call enough attention to itself, but to regulars, it is like seeing a familiar face in a sea of strangers. Its interiors and atmosphere provides a cozy retreat in the middle of the bustling streets of Eastwood.
Annam originated from Namnam Noodle Bar in Singapore and Jakarta. The restaurant was named after its director and owner, Chef Nam, who spent five years planning and strategizing the maiden debut of the noodle bar in Raffles City Shopping Center in Singapore on October 15, 2012.
Its mission is straightforward: to serve value for money, fresh and healthy Vietnamese street food in a nostalgic setting with a modern touch.
Food: One of my favorites in Annam is their Fresh Southern Rolls! It’s Php 170 pesos for two pieces of tasty rolls with prawn, pork, and the perfect combination of herbs that are great for whetting the appetite. They also have the Vegetarian Southern Rolls (Php 170) for those who would like their rolls meat-free.
I also love their Green Mango Salad, which packs a moderate level of spiciness in its fresh combination of thin slices of green mango, beef jerky, and fresh herbs and spices.
The Banh Mi is incredibly filling and surprisingly tasty! I have already made my way though my half of the Banh Mi when I realized that it’s MSG-free. In fact, all of their dishes are devoid of MSG, and they rely only on their herbs and spices to bring out the overall flavor of their meals.
The Pho’s serving was HUGE! It’s good for two (or maybe even three people if you’re ordering other main dishes!) people at least, and the soup was unlike anything I’ve tasted before. They serve the meat medium rare to allow it to cook while immersed in the warm soup.
The Lychee Pandan Iced Tea also proved to be a great companion to our meals. It wasn’t too sweet, and it successfully helped take away any sense of umay from eating too much. The addition of lychees to the drink makes it extra unique and provides something tasty to chew on.
Of course, don’t end your visit to Annam without trying out their Vanilla Pudding. IT’S. THE. BEST. I’ve never tasted anything like it, but the flavor is like creme brulee meets leche flan and taho. Its light and creamy texture combined with the sweet syrup made from palm sugar makes it the perfect sweet (and guilt-free) ending to a healthy meal!
One of the things I love about Annam Noodle Bar as a brand is that they go the extra mile in delighting their customers. They keep their local and global customers engaged with various contests, like their ongoing weekly pho-to contest, and their Pho Eating contest, the first of its kind here in Manila. I am looking forward to the Pho Eating contest and even invited my friends to sign up for it! For those interested, registration is free, but there will be a screening process to narrow down interested participants to a total of ten on D-day.
Annam Noodle Bar
Unit 1880-4 Ground Floor, 1880 Building, Eastwood Ave,
Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City, Philippines 1110
Contact No: 901-0070