Calling all Banh Mi lovers
District: Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Cuisine: Vietnamese – Banh Mi Thit
How much: $88
Best for: A quick and delicious lunchtime treat
Must order: The only thing on the menu – Banh Mi Thit!
As a huge fan of the fellow Black Sheep restaurant, Le Garcon Saigon, I was more than excited to try out the group’s new offering, little brother (and neighbour!), Le Petit Saigon.
Since there’s only one thing on the menu, I knew exactly what to order when I strolled up to the cute little shop bang on 12pm: Banh Mi Thit. For those who don’t know, Banh Mi is a Vietnamese speciality – a sandwich made of French bread, pâté and cold cuts, along with a whole host of Vietnamese pickles, herbs and spices. For Le Petit Saigon, Head Chef Bao La uses the most perfect flaky baguettes, and fills them with five different cuts of pork (from shredded and belly to fromage de tête and pork floss), chilli, pickles, coriander, shallots, chicken liver pâté and mayonnaise.
The result is perfect: crisp, flaky bread with a soft chewy centre. Each element in the sandwich marries together beautifully, to create the contrasts of flavours and textures, which are so typical of Vietnamese cuisine. Just be prepared to get a little messy as you get stuck into this sarnie! The baguette may be delicious, but I can guarantee you’ll come away covered in crumbs, though as criticism goes, it could be worse…
For a true Vietnamese experience, enjoy your sandwich curbside (or take it back to your desk!), for a lunch you won’t be forgetting in a hurry. As a self-proclaimed Banh Mi super-fan, I have to agree with Chef Bao when he states, “It’s everything you could possibly want in a sandwich. Nothing compares.” I just wish our office was in Wan Chai, rather than Sheung Wan, so I could head here more frequently.
Le Petit Saigon is currently in its soft opening, and will officially open on weekdays from Monday, 12 June (closed on weekends… for now!).
Sassy Mama Tip: Banh Mi Thit is available daily at Le Petit Saigon from 12pm until stock runs out. As this little spot is sure to get super popular with lunchtime crowds, try to arrive early to make sure you don’t miss out!
Le Petit Saigon, 16 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.legarconsaigon.com