NamNam Noodle Bar (Raffles City)

The buzz: A fresh arrival courtesy of the Les Amis folks and Annam Vietnamese Cuisine’s owner/chef Nam Quoc Nguyen, this noodle specialist’s moniker also means yummy in Danish—Nguyen grew up in Denmark.

The vibe: It’s casual and minimal, with plenty of pale wooden tables and stools that can sit about 80 hungry souls, and red lantern fixtures hanging from the ceiling. In line with that, be prepared to do a little bit of work. You order and pay at the counter and your food’s brought to your table after—remember to check your table number first (hint: it’s usually on the side). Fast on the heels of its success is their second outlet, which threw open its doors at Wheelock Place late last month.

The food: It’s all about simple Vietnamese fare here, with a particular emphasis on noodles from northern, southern and central Vietnam. Think dry yellow curry duck noodles ($8.90) and a full-flavored flower crab noodle soup ($13.90), with an entire deep-fried soft shell crab, tofu and tomato. The star is the pho (but of course), with chicken ($7.90), a combination of beef balls, beef shank, tendon and tripe ($9.90), and even Wagyu beef ($16.90). The concise menu also has starters such as fresh rolls with shrimp, egg and herbs ($4.90) and if you’re not feeling like having noodles, then opt for bánh mì (all sandwiches go for $5.90), stuffed with ingredients like five-spiced pork belly and pork pâté (our top pick).

The drinks: There’s Vietnamese coffee available hot or cold (all $2.50), as well as beers like 33 and Huda (both $7.90) from Vietnam.

Why you’ll be back: You’re not going to get the most amazing pho ever, but it’s a good, affordable option for a fuss-free meal, especially since they offer value-for-money sets for breakfast ($5.90) and lunch ($9.90), which are great if you’re in the area.