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A Vietnamese food pop-up is hitting the streets this August long weekend and is serving up authentic Vietnamese eats!
Chef Philip Nguyen, the chef specialist of OC Hospitality and Brian Nguyen of Toronto's acclaimed Vietnamese sandwich shop, Banh Mi Boys, have teamed up to bring authentic Vietnamese street food to Toronto.
The new pop-up is named after fish sauce, a key ingredient in all Vietnamese cuisine. Nuoc Mam [nook— mUM], was created by the two Toronto chefs in hopes of introducing locals to lesser-known Vietnamese dishes, including nuoc cham [nook— chUM], the daunting pungent dipping sauce that few venture to try.
"Nuoc cham is one of those things that all Vietnamese families make, except everyone's is a little different from each other. It's a staple in Vietnamese cuisine -- we put it on everything," says chef Philip Nguyen.
"The reason we went with 'Nuoc Mam' and not 'cham' is because it's the mother sauce. It's the main source -- the bloodline in Vietnamese cooking. Our mothers ignited this passion for cooking in us and so we wanted to pay homage to them."
Inspired by Vietnamese cooking traditions and the women cooks in their lives, the guys behind Nuoc Mam still use original recipes and traditional home-cooking methods passed down from their mothers today.
"In Vietnamese culture, food is about family. Some of our earliest childhood memories are sitting around the table with a dozen of our aunts and cousins rolling spring rolls and skewering pork sausages. Nuoc Mam was founded on the premise of honouring our family and sharing this tradition with everyone," says co-founder, Brian Nguyen.
The cousin cooks will be dishing out some Vietnamese favourites, including fried pork spring rolls wrapped in crispy rice paper and served with their signature dipping sauce.
Also featured on the menu are Nem Nuong, grilled pork sausages topped with a glazed finish; Chao Tom, fried sugarcane shrimp; and Bo La Lot, ground beef wrapped in a spicy betel leaf and served with roasted peanuts and scallion oil.
You can get each item solo or as a combo served with vermicelli, herb salad, pickled carrots and daikon radish, and of course, their signature fish sauce. If you're coming with an appetite, double down and get any two items served combo-style or order the big platter to taste everything!
The team collaborates with boutique coffee shop, Maderas Cafe, for the pop-up and will also be offering Vietnamese iced coffee, slowly dripped over sweetened condensed milk.
The highly anticipated pop-up is happening this Sunday, August 2, at Maderas Cafe, located on 456 Ossington Avenue. The take-away event kicks off at 11 a.m. until they sell out and will be accepting debit and credit only.
Organizers of the event will be enforcing strict social distancing measures and masks are mandatory.
Come hungry and come early because the pop-up won't be around for long!