Num Pang Lands in Boston This Week
Have you ever had a traditional Cambodian num pang? Boston gets a taste of this Southeast Asian sandwich with the latest fast-casual import touching down this week. Num Pang Kitchen opens inside the Prudential Center food court on Wednesday, May 10.
The New York City-born brand introduces itself to Boston with a locally exclusive num pang, with crispy pork belly and lobster. Similar to a Vietnamese banh mi, num pang packs crunchy cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and a slick of mayo onto a baguette—the “lob-stah” special has a Thai chili mayo and a green apple slaw.
Other sandwiches have coconut tiger shrimp, and five-spice glazed pork belly with pickled Asian pear. The menu also offers rice and super-grain bowls (farro, quinoa, and brown rice) with seasonal grilled vegetables and proteins, like lemongrass-braised beef short rib; salads, sides, and fresh drinks, like lemon gingerade. Check out the full Boston menu on the company’s website.
Culinary director Ben Daitz cofounded Num Pang with partner Ratha Chaupoly in 2009, after their own careers in the restaurant world. Chaupoly was helming his own restaurant based on the cuisine of his native Cambodia, and Daitz had staged at fine-dining spots like Bouley, Daniel, and Le Cirque, and worked at Danny Meyer’s now-shuttered Indian-spiced Tabla.
The duo, who met at Clark University in Worcester, noticed the success of the casual sandwich and filled a niche with the hip hop-inflected Num Pang. Now, they have seven shops in New York, and have earned national attention from the likes of Zagat, New York Magazine, and QSR magazine. Last year, Daitz and Chaupoly published a Num Pang cookbook with Houghton Mifflin, 100 Recipes to Revolutionize Your Dinner from New York’s Favorite Sandwich Shop. The Boston location has been in the works since last summer.
Num Pang has seating for eight people and additional standing room inside its Prudential location. The New York City graffiti artist Serve, who has done murals inside all of the company’s existing restaurants, collaborated locally with Boston artist Kems on Boston’s art. The fun mural features Num Pang’s signature rooster appropriately donning the Celtics mascot’s green derby hat and Larry Bird’s No. 33.
To say hello to the new ’hood, Num Pang is dishing out signature sandwiches and more for free from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on opening day. Going forward, it will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
800 Boylston St., Boston, 857-239-8535, numpangkitchen.com.