In Downtown Wilmington, Candle Nut Restaurant To Fill Saigon Bistro Spot

By Jessica Maurer, posted Apr 19, 2017
Candle Nut Restaurant, which is occupying the former Saigon Bistro space in downtown Wilmington, is in the works for an expected summer opening. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)
After spending nearly 30 years abroad, Jeff Rickert and his wife, Novi, have settled in the Port City and are opening an Indonesian-Malaysian eatery called Candle Nut Restaurant, in the downtown space formerly occupied by Saigon Bistro.
Novi Rickert grew up in Suravaya, Indonesia, and as part of the culture, she spent much of her childhood learning to cook.  Jeff spent the better part of his career working throughout Southeast Asia and enjoyed both the diversity and crossover he experienced in the region’s cuisine.
“Southeast Asian cooking is so rich in flavors from bold spices such as turmeric, ginger and star anise,” said Jeff Rickert. “And Indonesia has such intersection of cultural influences, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese just to name a few.”
The restaurant’s name comes from the candle nut, a nut from the same family as the macadamia nut, that is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking, often ground into a paste to use in curries and soups or sauces.
The Rickerts say customers can expect both vegetarian entrees as well as beef, lamb and chicken dishes and plenty of curries and soups at the 21 N. Front St. restaurant.
“Candle Nut will be very unique,” Rickert said. “I think there will be some crossover with other Asian restaurants, but I think people will find that it’s quite different than what’s being offered here in town.”
The restaurant is currently under renovation, with new paint, furniture and lighting planned to give the space a new look. Candle Nut Restaurant will serve lunch and dinner and is expected to open by early summer.
Have a tip for Restaurant Roundup? Email [email protected].

Story On The Map

Ico insights



Dram Shop Cases & Underage Purchasers: What NC Business Owners Should Know

Chris Hinnant - Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, PLLC

City Club Membership: Good For Business (And Pleasure)

Jonathan Weiss - City Club of Wilmington, LLC
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Things to Think About When Filing 2017 Business Tax Returns

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - University of North Carolina Wilmington

Trending News

Developer Again Seeks Military Cutoff Rezoning With 'less-intensive' Plan For The Avenue

Cece Nunn - Mar 16, 2018

N.C. Ports Recovers From Hanjin Bankruptcy, Gets Fitch Upgrade

Christina Haley O'Neal - Mar 16, 2018

In The Current Issue

MADE Winners - Food And Beverage Category

Apple Annie's Bake Shop, Goodness Gracie Gourmet Foods and Wrightsville Beach Brewery made it onto the MADE Winners - Food and Beverage Cate...

2018 MADE Honors Region’s Makers  

In the third year of our MADE Awards competition, the winners covered a wide range of products being conceived and produced in the local mar...

MADE Winners - Functional Product Category

Flow Sciences LLC, Maverick American Spearfishing and Surgilum made the list of MADE Winners in the Functional Product Category....

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with John Gizdic, CEO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2017
2017 Health Care Heroes