Thursday, October 20, 2011

Num Pang

Num Pang not so recently opened up a new location in Midtown East. It's a far walk from where I work but I keep hearing goo things about it. So, I did what any other food lover would do, I walked through the warm weather to get me some sandwiches. Cambodian sandwiches.

When I arrived close to noon, the line was pretty long already. But that didn't discourage me. It moved really quickly and it allowed me to think about what I wanted to eat. The pork belly sandwich seemed to be a big winner. Then as I got closer to the order window, I saw a sign for a new sandwich: boneless spare rib. I love ribs and since they didn't have it as a side this time around, I went for the sandwich. And don't worry, I got the pork belly sandwich too. Yeah, 2 sandwiches for lunch.

To cool off and feel somewhat healthy, I also ordered a fresh squeezed watermelon juice. This was really nice. Completely refreshing, fresh, and pure. This certainly helped my hunger pangs as I waited inside the shop for my order to be shouted out. It got pretty crowded quickly. But again, the crowd ebbed and flowed as each sandwich maker brought out handfuls of their masterpiece to be packaged and placed in the customer's hands.

When I got back to my desk, I couldn't wait to tear into the sandwich. I wanted to try the spare rib one first. I opened the container and there sat between two soft piece of bread with crackly crusts was a slab of pork rib meat topped with lightly pickled carrots and cucumbers, and a few sprigs of cilantro. Slathered on the bread was some mayo mix that was generously applied to this sandwich.

One bite and I knew it was something good. The boneless pork spare rib meat was fatty in a good way and lots of flavors swirled around my mouth. The mayo added more fat to the meat while the vegetable tamed the richness and the bread held everything together. This was a decadent sandwich indeed. One that would satisfy my hunger without being overly large. Yes, it was small in size but the heft was large.

After eating that first sandwich, I was full. Not overly full but in a very happy place. But I had another sandwich to eat. This actually seemed daunting to me since the first one was so heavy and yet so delicious. I expected the same from the second: the pork belly sandwich. And I was right. Thick sliced fatty pork belly slathered with even more special mayo topped with grilled Asian pear and pickled vegetables. Oh and don't forget about the few sprigs of cilantro. For me, the Asian pear did nothing. I couldn't really taste nor detect it. It was lost. But the pork belly was glorious and the vegetables made it easier to eat by cutting the fat just enough. The bread again, held up well to this messy sandwich. The mayo this one was out of control. I ate carefully over the container making sure it caught all  the drippings (which there were many).
Although the sandwiches at Num Pang aren't very large, they make up for that in taste and heftiness. You will eat the whole thing and think, "wow, how did that fill me up?" Well, the meat they use is fattier so that makes your stomach happy. It also makes your taste buds happy because fat is flavor, right? Out of the two sandwiches, I liked the boneless spare rib better. The whole sandwich with less mayo, more meat, and pickled veggies tasted better for me. But I know people will ask, "how can you pick pork rib over belly?!". Easy, it just tastes better. Duh!

I really liked everything about Num Pang and will definitely keep going back. Even though I have to walk cross town for it, I'm determined.

Num Pang
140 E 41st St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 867-8889‎


  1. I am also a big fan of Num Pang.

    Great unique sandwiches! Worth the extra money.

  2. I'm impressed by your 2 sandwiches! I'll definitely be back there soon to try that spare rib sandwich.. yum!

    I really liked the pork belly sandwich, but could've used a little less mayo. It was SUPER messy (fortunately, I was eating it at home with lots of extra napkins)

  3. Wow, this is very interesting, I've never had any Cambodian sandwich/ food before. I'd love to try those sandwiches one of these days.

    Jen@blooming tea


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