Embark on a unique culinary journey at the newest addition to Williamsburg’s restaurant scene, Nem’s Japandi Bistro. Nestled inside the National Sawdust building at 80 North 6th St, this 20-seat establishment is the brainchild of Greenpoint local and Bangkok native, Supranee Phramdang, who goes by Nem.
Drawing inspiration from a harmonious blend of Japanese and Scandinavian cultures (Japandi), this cozy, minimalistic space with a spacious outdoor patio enlisted Executive Chef Koichi Takayama, who hails from Saitama, Japan to create a menu that celebrates local, seasonal produce with a nod to sustainability. From fresh smoothies to all-day brunch, dinner delights, specialty coffee, ceremonial teas, and a thoughtfully curated selection of wines, sakes, and cocktails – Nem’s has a lot to offer.
Phramdang describes the culinary experience as “Teishoku sets meet Smorrebrod open-face sandwiches, and miso scrambled eggs washed down by a Viking Blood-based cocktail or a chilled Oslo Pilsener.” One must-try is the Teishoku set, an ensemble featuring seasonal fish, seven-grain rice, miso-glazed eggplant, housemade pickles, gobo, homage, tamagoyaki, and seasonal veggies.
Also on the menu are Smorrebrod open-faced sandwiches. One includes house-cured salmon, dill, tarragon, and honey mustard on rye bread, and another features fresh mushrooms and leeks on sourdough bread.
Hidden above the restaurant is a speakeasy-style izakaya bar Koi, intimately set with 18 seats and 30+ options of Japanese whiskey and sake. An impressive 12-foot-long Koi fish made of wood veneer lights up the bar.
Locals may already be familiar with seasonal pop-ups of Nem’s Smoothie Bar outside of the now closed Fabbrica but Phramdang’s journey began at the tender age of 10 when she not only helped her parent’s small restaurant but also ran her own smoothie stand.
Having fallen in love with Japanese cuisine and culture during her travels, Phramdang and her husband, who shares her love for food, found themselves drawn to the minimalist philosophy of both Japanese and Nordic lifestyles. “I found that Japanese and Nordic not only share the same minimalist philosophy but also a way of life based on simplicity, slow-living, and contentment,” she told Greenpointers.
For Phramdang, opening Nem’s in North Brooklyn was a no-brainer. “I’ve always loved the cool cafes, the lively atmosphere, the hip restaurants, the repurposed factories, the music venues for outdoor concerts, food markets,” she shared with Greenpointers.
Nem’s Japandi Bistro’s grand opening is on Sunday, January 21st at 5PM. Regular hours are from 8AM to 10PM. Koi’s Izakaya bar, open from 5PM to 1AM.