The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Banh mi galore @ Banh My Ngo and Banh Mi 25, Hanoi (Vietnam)

Banh mi, the Vietnamese street sandwich with a French colonial past, is one of my favourite sandwiches in the world. What's not to love about a sandwich made with bread very similar to the French baguette, with a crispy crust and a soft chewy interior? A good baguette is delicious even on its own - something I happily indulged in everyday during our trip to France two years ago. Adding delicious protein, fresh herbs and vegetables only elevates the baguette experience, which is what the Vietnamese people have done. When we were in Hanoi a few months ago, I made sure to include banh mi on our eating itinerary. I would have us eating banh mi everyday, but I already had a lot on our foodie must-eat list. Banh mi was extremely cheap, costing under 25000VND (~US$1) each. The first place, Banh My Ngo was recommended by the affable chap at our hotel's front desk. He was a wealth of information for good street eats in Hanoi, and we enjoyed everything he recommended. The second banh mi stall we tried, Banh Mi 25, only opened earlier this year, but has already garnered a lot of attention and sits near the top on Tripadvisor. We prefer the banh mi experience at Banh Mi 25 - the atmosphere, the friendly owner (and his parents too) and the free banana were all awesome, but the sandwiches themselves were amazing.

Inside the small Banh My Ngo shop. The menu on the wall lists only five types of banh mi:

The three we tried on our first visit:

The Traditional:

Hoi An-style:


Banh My Ngo
65 Hang Bong Street
Hang Gai, Hoan Kiem,
Hanoi, Vietnam

At Banh Mi 25, only four types of banh mi were on the menu. The outdoor setting was a bit uncomfortable with two kids under rainy conditions, but the delicious banh mi more than made up for that. The free bananas on the table helped sweeten the experience more. The attention this humble stall has received is well-deserved.

Banh Mi 25 operates in front of the stall-owner's parents' shop:

The ingredients mise-en-place for quick assembling:

The Banh Mi Xa Xiu (barbecued pork, like the Chinese charsiu:

The Banh Mi Dan Du (barbecued pork, French ham, sausage):

Banh Mi 25
25 Hang Ca Street
Hang Dao, Hoan Kiem
Hanoi, Vietnam

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