Cult Vietnamese cafe Vnam is opening in the Northern Quarter

The favourite Oldham road spot will close this week and the new one in the old V Rev site opens in January

By Kelly Bishop | Last updated 11 January 2023

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We’ve got some big news pho you. Vnam is opening in the Northern Quarter.

From V Rev to V Nam, it’s all change on Edge Street, as a long standing Oldham Road Vietnamese cafe is on the move for 2023.

Established in 2010, Vnam was one of the first places to popularise Vietnamese food in Manchester with its steaming bowls of fragrant pho and light and fresh summer rolls (gỏi cuốn) served in a simple cafe setting. It soon made it onto many foodies’ lists of faves as word spread about these dishes, as well as other good stuff on the menu – salt and pepper crab a strong highlight. Another draw was the Vietnamese drip coffee – with or without condensed milk.

Some of the incredible Vietnamese food at Vnam. Image: Vnam via Instagram

But one thing that hampered repeat visits was its location, especially before Ancoats boomed, that sometimes felt a bit of a mish if you didn’t drive or live nearby. So rejoice at the news that Vnam is moving into the significantly more central spot recently vacated by lauded vegan diner V Rev in between Ad Hoc Wines and Luck Lust. The Oldham Rd venue will close this week ready for the new one to open in January 2023.

Vietnamese food is already well represented in Manchester City centre with the likes of I Am Pho and Pho Cue in Chinatown, Viet Shack and NAM in Ancoats and Banh Vi in New Century all doing a roaring trade and keeping the fish sauce industry afloat. But the NQ certainly has room for a bit of lemongrass pork on its colourful streets.

What’s on the bar and food menu at the new Vnam?

VNam is known for its BYOB credentials but that’s all changing in the new gaff. Ops Manager Phillip Williams told us there will be a proper bar in this one selling East and South East Asian beers so expect the likes of Tsingtao, Hanoi and Saigon amongst other bevs. He also hinted there will be some fun Asian-themed cocktails on the menu, think boozy bubble tea and spirits infused with classic South East Asian flavours.

Owner Jason Hoang’s heritage is part Vietnamese, part HK and his recipes are homestyle ones passed down through the family. His bone broth is simmered for 18 hours to get that proper depth of flavour. If you are already a fan of Vnam on Oldham Road, don’t fret, the main menu is more or less the same so all your old faves will be there. Desserts will be making a comeback too, having been on hiatus since the lockdowns.

The broth takes owner Jason Hoang 18 hours to cook. Image: Vnam via Instagram

They’re keeping schtum on the decor front though, that newspaper is covering the windows for a reaon – no peeking. The new look is top secret for now but we’re told you can expect traditional Vietnamese elements with a modern edge.

Phillip told us they’re excited about the move: “The area where we are, it’s been great. It’s done us for 12 years fine, otherwise we still wouldn’t be here. However, it is a bit out of the way and a lot of people don’t venture that way. So [the move] just means we get to cater to a lot more people and a lot more people get to experience Vietnamese food.”

We’re buzzing about this news. Bring on 2023 and all the new openings on the way.

Visit Vnam on socials to keep an eye on the move as it happens.

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