Whaam Bánh Mì, London

4.19.2015

Perhaps one of the best love of London is the multiculturalism. I'm not on about the people, but food. Fair enough, there are loads of nice friendly people from different ethnics. In terms of food, you can find food from all over the world ranging from Chinese cuisine to Ethiopian to French to Peruvian. There's always something that satisfy practically any cravings in the bustling British capital.

On one sunny lunch time, I found myself queuing up for a bánh mì. I must have gone crazy. For a fact, bánh mì is a Vietnamese style sandwich or more specifically it is a filled baguette. Typically filled with a salad of cucumber, carrots, daikon and an optional of coriander, also a choice of cold cuts of meat with liver pâté. Topped with a range of different condiments such as spicy chilli sauce, sliced chilli. mayonnaise and cheese.

Luc Lac Brisket Bánh Mì and Prawn Summer Roll

Vietnam is a country that I have yet to step into. There are loads of Vietnamese restaurants in Hong Kong but none that is truly authentic since it has now adapted to the taste of Hong Kong. In London, the good Vietnamese restaurant seems like a trek to get to as it is outside zone one. This is my first bánh mì, it's good but it wasn't special. The baguette is different to a French baguette, it has a thinner crust and a more airy interior. Easier to bite into. I had the luc lac brisket for my banh mi filling, with salad and topped with sriarcha sauce and lemon mayonnaise with fresh chillis and crispy shallots. There was only three pieces of the beef brisket, wish they can give more as it feels a bit stingy. The flavour did not explode, couldn't taste the fragrant herbs nor the spiciness from the sriarcha sauce. Along with a prawn summer roll which had too much salad and i don't even recall having prawn in it but it looked miserable with a limpy lettace wrapped around it.

There was a queue, waited around 10 mins at least during a weekday's lunch. It did not filled me up, leaving me in search for something sweet afterward. The bánh mì lacked excitement, frankly if it was not bought at a specialised bánh mì shop I would have not thought of it as a Vietnamese sandwich. It doesn't taste much different to a normal filled baguette.

Score Rating: 3/5
Price: £5-10/head (50% soft launch, £4 for one person)

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