By Quentin Marais
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Good news for lovers of Vietnamese dishes: a new restaurant dedicated to Vietnamese cuisine Vietnam opened in the center of Toulouse. On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, it is the establishment “Chez Nico” who embarked on the adventure, at 49 rue Pargaminières.
Cooking, the red thread of a lifetime
This issue is only the culmination of a passion. That of Nicolas Diep. Her story is obviously linked to that of her parents, who arrived from Vietnam in 1980.” I was bathed in the traditional kitchen, I always saw them cooking. So it was innate. In 1994, they moved to the open-air market of Lavaur, and sold spring rolls and samosas there, before opening a restaurant in the same town in 2000.
Twenty years later, when his parents decided to retire, Nicolas Diep and his sister open a food truck which criss-crosses Gaillac and Lavaur in particular. But 2022 is a turning point. “I decided to launch myself on something that is close to my heart, a product that looks more like me and share the love of cooking through my dishes,” he says.
Flying with his own wings, after having learned everything alongside his parents and his sister, this is Nicolas Diep’s new challenge. But the decision was carefully considered. “I live in Toulouse now, with my partner and my brother-in-law, with roommates. I cook a lot and Cosimo too. One thing leading to another, it worked for me and I needed to get out of my bubble and try to hurt myself. Because indeed, Nicolas Diep is not alone. Cosimo Visconti, who is therefore her brother-in-law and also passionate about cooking, accompanies her in the project. “I needed someone, and that was the person I trusted. »
Everything accelerated in the spring and early summer for the duo, which took over “Au Cul de Poule”, the omelette bar that previously occupied 49 rue Pargaminières. “For the works, we only did readjustment, from refreshment, testifies Cosimo Visconti. We have sanded and varnished the floor, and we have lowered the bar. We put in a bigger sink and a tapestry. » The premises of just under 30m², which has 12 covers, is ready to take off.
Homemade in the advantage of localization
On the menu side, if there is an expression to sum up Nicolas Diep’s state of mind, it is “homemade”. And it all starts with “NicoBan”, a burger he made himself. “It’s a round artisan bread that we associate with all our homemade marinades, with a homemade Vietnamese brown sauce, revisited with five spices, ginger, soy sauce”, explains the designer. A curry sauce house is also in the game.
“On the menu, we have dishes with rice, homemade marinades, beef, minced pork balls, caramelized with lots of flavors: five spices, ginger… We tried to create the vegetarian too, that the “We present in round sandwiches, or with rice. And all the marinades go very well with bread as well as with rice. For fried foods, we also have homemade, Vietnamese mayonnaise, which we make.”
And the location of the restaurant, positioned between the Capitole and Place Saint-Pierre, does not leave the two men in charge of it indifferent. “We mix a lot of people here: families, students, young people, tourists. It’s very mixed, and that’s what’s interesting, appreciates Cosimo Visconti. It’s really going to be a mix. »
“We’ll see how the first few months go”
After starting take-off, the duo will remain attentive: the next few hours of flight will be essential. But not crucial, for Nicolas Diep and Cosimo Visconti, who wish to address future deadlines with serenity. “We are going to take hands quietly. We are open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., note the first. On Sunday noon, we will be closed. » The 12 place settings placed inside will be able to see four more disembark in the winter. A third person could support the two men and, the map, her, evolve. But once again, Nicolas Diep is attentive: “we will see how the first months go”.
Restaurant Chez Nico
49, rue Pargaminières
Open Tuesday to Sunday
Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
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