I had the best lunch yesterday – a tangy, flavorful Roasted Chicken Chimi Sandwich from Num Pang Sandwich Shop. It. Was. Incredible. Following in the footsteps of NYC's recent banh-mi craze, Num Pang offers finger-licking-good Cambodian-inspired sandwiches, in addition to noodle bowls, rice bowls, and salads. It's an example of Asian-American fusion done incredibly well, with sandwiches that are portioned just right, and a wide selection of alluring flavors to please just about any palate.
Where does the name come from? Easy question to answer – "num pang" means sandwich in the Cambodian language, Khmer.
Each sandwich begins with a thick semolina roll, which is topped with pickled carrots, crunchy raw cucumber, a veritable bouquet of fresh cilantro, and Num Pang's homemade chili mayo. What follows is up to you – choose from Pulled Duroc Pork, Peppercorn Catfish (which I've heard is unreal), Hoisin Meatballs, Coconut Tiger Shrimp, Roasted Cauliflower (not as unassuming as it sounds!), Roasted Skirt Steak, or one of many seasonal offerings like Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly or Spicy Organic Tofu. And if a sandwich isn't your thang, you can try one these entrées over a rice or noodle bowl! But don't go thinking that the bowl means less fun for your mouth – they're loaded with veggies and sauce, maybe even moreso than the sandwiches!
Another awesome reason to check out Num Pang (and let's be honest, a pretty important determining factor for my empty wallet): it's cheap! Most sandwiches are in the $8 range, with salads and bowls a bit more expensive (think $11-$13). But it's excellent value, and high quality food. For another $3 or $4 dollars, you can get one of their healthy, delicious side options like Kale and Apple Salad, Spicy Cambodian Slaw, or Grilled Corn on the Cob. Totally unnecessary, considering the amount of food you get. But I would recommend spending the extra $3 to $4 bucks for one of their delicious fruity beverages: blood orange lemonade or, during the summer months, watermelon juice. WATERMELON JUICE.
The Spicy Pork Noodle Bowl and Coconut Tiger Shrimp Sandwich were both recommended to me by a former employee as her overall favorites. You get 6 shrimp, perfectly grilled and coated in crunchy coconut flakes. Mmmm.
The Roasted Chimi Chicken Sandwich was recommended to me by the woman who took my order. She'd know best, I figured; and she did not steer me wrong. I love you, anonymous cashier. <3
Finally, some friends who went raved about the firm, satisfying Peppercorn Catfish Sandwich with homemade sweet soy sauce.
There are 6 Num Pang locations in and around NYC. Here are the details for their Flatiron district/NoMad location:
1129 Broadway, between 25th & 26th St.
Hours of Operation:
Mon. - Sat. 11am-9pm
Directions for Public Transportation:
N, R train to 23rd Street. Walk north 2 blocks along Broadway to W.25th - W.26th St.
For more locations, go to http://numpangnyc.com/locations.