Claus Meyer is best known for kickstarting the New Nordic Cuisine movement, as co-owner of top restaurants noma and Radio and for his chain of delis and bakeries. So when he opened Singapore restaurant Nam Nam on Copenhagen's Vesterbrogade in May 2012 together with Michael and Tin Pang-Larsen, it was a new direction for the Meyer food empire.
Casual yet colorful decor is key to the street kitchen dining experience at nam nam — Photo courtesy of Meyers
Meyer’s love of Peranakan cuisine, which his partner Pang-Larsen describes as ‘the quintessence of slow food,’ dates from memorable nights at the restaurant ‘Nams Kusine’ in nearby Dragør, which closed in 2005. Meyer wanted Nam Nam to be as informal as a Singapore street kitchen and filled with the diverse flavors and influences that characterize Singapore cuisine, which is something of an Asian melting pot and typically includes coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, galangal and tamarind.
While guests are welcome to go solo when choosing from the menu, it has been put together in a way that encourages you to share the dishes with your fellow guests. “Claus has opened Danes’ eyes to so many under-appreciated edible things – perhaps he will succeed in doing that again with Singapore cuisine,” says Michael Ping-Larsen.
“New Nordic Cuisine has never been against mango or cilantro,” says Meyer on his website. “We must never forget the importance of meeting the unknown with curiosity and excitement.”
Nam Nam offers a wide selection on its lengthy menu, including snacks, main courses, veggie options and even a similarly exotic children’s menu – and there’s a good wine list, too. Healthy and reasonably priced, dining here is casual and laid back – but after such a hyped opening season, phoning ahead wouldn’t hurt.