When it comes to Vietnamese food, most people are familiar with pho, or Vietnamese noodle commonly served with beef or chicken. Well, Just like many other cuisines, our neighbour up north has quite a lot more to offer, and today, we’re going to look at banh mi – or bread in Vietnamese.
Banh mi is basically short baguette that’s first introduced to Vietnam by the French. The crust should be crispy while interior soft and airy. Within the baguette can be any sort of ingredient that’s mainly savory in nature, from egg, pork, to ham, sardine, and more. Banh mi makes for a good on-the-go meal, not entirely unlike subs or sandwiches.
Menu translation, left to right, top to bottom (thanks Yuri)
- Vietnamese sausage + ham
- slide pork skin (not crispy)
- grill ground meat
- floss meat
- pate + fried eeg
- fish cake
- canned fish
- xíu mại trứng muối = shumai + salted eeg
- thịt nướng = grill pork
- bánh ướt chả lụa nem chua = steamed thin rice pancake + Vietnamese sausage + fermented pork
- xôi mặn = sticky rice (mean steam sticky rice then add all kind of toppings)
- chả lụa = Vietnamese sausage
- dăm bông = ham
- chà bông = floss meat
- xíu mại = shumai
- bì = pork skin (not crispy)
Lucky for me, there’s a unofficial “Vietnamese town” located between Klang Parade and Taman Eng Ann, and we’ve recently discovered Vi Bread House, a specialty store offering banh mi. In fact, this store is so original it basically has only Vietnamese language on the menu, which makes ordering a bit tricky if not for the fact that the lady also speaks Mandarin.
For our first try, I simply opted for the first item on the menu that turns out to be meatball with salted egg yolk fillings. There’s also red chili, cilantro, cucumber, carrots, and those juice from meatball and more that completes the sandwich. I also liked the fact that the baguette is re-toasted to ensure crispiness right before serving.
There are over a dozen different banh mi varieties to choose from here, priced between RM 10-12, guess I’ll have to try more of them next round, this one was an excellent first taste.