Summer Rolls | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Summer Rolls

photo by Anne Fishbein

The restaurant formerly known as Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa closed briefly not too long ago, emerging from its nap completely made over, with a new paint job, new furniture and a new name that roughly translates its former one into English. Other than changes in aesthetics and in signage, though, Summer Rolls’ heart and soul remains the same; this is still the Central Vietnamese restaurant you’ll want to go to when the mood for nem nuong — charcoal-grilled sausage patties — strikes. The nem nuong can be ordered wrapped and rolled up with vegetables in rice paper, but surely the more fun way to do it is to do it all yourself, in which case the meat, a stack of dry rice papers, a bowl of warm water to dampen said rice papers and a forest of herbs and vegetables will arrive in quick succession for you to wrap and roll at will. While you’re doing so, you might notice that most every table also has at least one order of the steamed rice cakes called banh beo, and the woven mats of toothpick-thin rice vermicelli called banh hoi. You’d do well to follow suit. —Tien Nguyen