Table for one: Banh Mi Kitchen

banh mi kitchen
I always misspell BANH MI, forgive me.

Banh Mi Kitchen has been one of my go-to favorites whenever I need that quick fix of a no-rice heavy meal. There’s only two branches I know of—the one in Pearl Drive where I would normally go since it’s near my workplace and the other one is in SM Megamall and I’m not even sure if it’s still there. This signature Vietnamese sandwich is something that everyone should try because in my opinion, it’s healthier and more socially acceptable when it came to quality and price.

Let’s take a closer look of what it is made of.

the anatomy of a banh mi

The bread. I’ve read somewhere that white bread is bad. They provide excess calories and since they are pre-sliced and packaged, they mostly consist of highly-processed simple carbs that is digested quickly and do not really provide many nutrients (Medical News Today, 2017). This Vietnamese baguette which is most probably average pre-packaged white bread is so crunchy the sound will make your forget the bad things in every bite, I believe? And I suppose fast foods are worse because their burgers can sit outside the fridge for 6 months without being infested by flies or maggots and their owners have monopolized the agriculture industry otherwise offer contractual jobs.

The sauce. A thick amount of pâté, which I think is simply our liver spread, is smeared through the bread followed by the meat. Then there’s mayonnaise and hoisin sauce, which also add some more unwanted calories but hey, Asian food must be as tasty as hell okay? These sauces actually give that flavorful taste to the sandwich.

The meat. There are different types of cured meat to choose from. There’s lemongrass chicken and lemongrass pork, Vietnamese ham and roasted pork, and wagyu, just to name a few. They’re tender and easily one of the most flavorful cured meats out there.

The veggies. Oh yes, there’s shredded carrots and lettuce (that’s coleslaw Beth!), plus cilantro and sliced cucumber. Your typical 150-burger from fast food doesn’t necessarily have these things which are essential to your every meal especially when you call yourself a health and fitness buff. Kidding aside, I like the fact that the cucumber slices are thick and generous because its refreshing flavor goes well with the savory ingredients of the sandwich.

Vietnamese coffee is damn strong

damn strong bahn mi kitchen vietnamese iced coffee
in celebration of Vietnamese-Philippine friendship that fateful night in the sea

damn strong bahn mi kitchen vietnamese iced coffee
this is still iced coffee, though

I’ve tried both the iced and hot versions of this Damn Strong coffee which they claim to be authentic Vietnamese coffee. I’ll choose this over my signature double tall hot caramel macchiato on a particularly busy day just to keep me going. But of course, I can still sleep peacefully at night after having consumed two regular-sized cups (more than the 300-gram caffeine limit that a person should have in a day) and that’s actually one of the fundamentally wrong things about me. 

What is your go-to sandwich?