Atlantic City, NJ 08401
- Cost: $$
- Credit Cards: All Major
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Street, Metered
- Take Out: Yes
September 17, 2013
Skip the crowded casino buffet and enjoy some excellent Vietnamese comfort food at this simple store front restaurant only two blocks west of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Cơm tấm, “broken rice,” might be the perfect hangover food. Here, you can order the broken short grain rice (cơm tấm) under various combinations of shredded pork, BBQ pork chop, steamed pork cake and fried eggs. The plate includes sweet pickled carrots and cucumbers, and homemade fish sauce for dipping (or just pour it over the rice pile as I did). The pork chop is thin and grilled in a sweet sauce that calls for picking it up to get every last bit of meat off the bone.
From all appearances, Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều is the Atlantic City spot preferred by Vietnamese customers. According to the owner, Michael Nguyen, he ran a restaurant of the same name in Saigon for twenty years before arriving in New Jersey in 1993. Like Hủ Tiếu Miền Tây in nearby Pleasantville, this restaurant gets busy quickly, and large tables were filled with extended families when my wife and I visited on a summer long weekend.
The menu includes vermicelli (bún) plates, rice porridge (chao) dishes, and many different soups. The phở (rice noodle soup) at Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều is the best I’ve tried in Atlantic City – an extremely clear and flavorful broth with thin, tender beef slices still pink in the middle. Since it was breakfast when we ate here, delicious Vietnamese coffee was an excellent drink choice. A traditional Vietnamese coffee (cà phê đen) is brewed in a single-serving metal French drip filter set over your cup at the table. For an intensely sweet treat, order your coffee with condensed milk (cà phê sua đá). Our server reminded us to stir up the condensed milk from the bottom of the cup and gave us a thermos of hot water so we could dilute the coffee as we drank it. You can also try multiple flavors of sinh tô, the Vietnamese fruit smoothies made with condensed milk, with or without tapioca balls.
In an area with lots of Vietnamese options, Cơm Tấm Ninh Kiều stands out among the spots in Atlantic City proper, and is one of EthnicNJ’s top five Vietnamese restaurants in the state.
Com Tấm Ninh Kiều
1124 Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401