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Thursday, 24 September 2009
In a delightful write-up by Charmaine Mok in Time Out (July 09), I read with great interest about Bánh Mì, a Franco-Vietnamese creation now to be found in the streets of London.
So what is a Bánh Mì? Bánh Mì is a Vietnamese sandwich made from an incredibly light and crisp French style baguette (made of 50% wheat & 50% rice flour) and stuffed with richly spiced pork/chicken liver paté, sliced pork meat (cha lua), julienned strips of sweet pickled carrots and radish (do chua), slices of crunchy cucumber, coriander and smothered in a rich, eggy mayonnaise.
Armed with my July 09 edition of Time Out and an ever so rumbling stomach, off I went to Broadway Market to visit the stall of Bahn Mi11. This delightful stall is set next to Ca Phe VN, the Vietnamese Cafe, already a fixture of that market and a real East End institution. With small tables and chairs around the stall, Bahn Mi11 is very reminiscent of similar street food eateries in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
I ordered a cup of the chilled green tea, and their classic Bánh Mì with extra fillings at £3.50. As expected, the baguette was incredibly light and crispy. The combination of the various ingredients was spot on – the sweetness of the liver pate, the sourness of the pickles; the sliced pork meat and herbs adding extra layers of complexity making the sandwich very nicely balanced. I was hooked!
After devouring my Bánh Mì, I had a lovely chat with the Vietnamese women behind the stall. Their enthusiasm and passion are contagious. I hope that they will be successful in popularising this wonderful Franco-Vietnamese creation to a wider audience in London.
Verdict – Street food at its best and at very reasonable prices. Charming service, and great location make Bánh Mì11, a must to anyone visiting Broadway Market.