Thursday, 27 September 2012

Banh Mi11, Berwick Street Market

How things change. If you were to wander down Berwick Street market this time last year then you would have been greeted by only a smattering of food stalls. Frankly if you weren't in the mood for a bagel or fried rice then the likelihood is you would need to wander further afield to get your lunchtime food fix. Fast forward a year and if anything there's almost too much choice. The bagels and fried rice dishes are still there and are still worth anyone's money, but now you can get burgers, pizzas, Indian wraps, burritos and thanks to Banh Mi11 Vietnamese baguettes, noodle salads and soups. Its a greedy mans paradise.

Banh Mi11, (for those wondering the 11 stands for "11 bites of love" which is apparently how many mouthfuls you get when devouring a Banh Mi baguette. I haven't tested this, I trust them) is quickly becoming one of the success stories of the London street food scene. They have stalls at Eat St Kings Cross, Broadway market, Clapham Common and of course Berwick Street. Plus they are even trialing a permanent shop in Shoreditch, which is sure to be successful especially if they serve Vietnamese coffee then I am sure the hipsters would flock like pigeons to Trafalgar Square.

A large Noodle Salad
Whats their secret? Simplicity, freshness and quality of ingredients. You have a choice of 6 fillings for your baguette or noodle salad - pork belly, BBQ pork, catfish fillet, coconut and lemongrass chicken, Tofu and Steak with pear BBQ sauce. All cost £5 to £6 for the baguette, as do the noodle salads depending on whether you go for medium or large. The large is a generous size, I haven't tried the medium, for the obvious reason that it is not the large. Both the baguettes and noodle salads come with carrot, daikon (radish) pickle, coriander and cucumber. With the noodle salad however you get the added extras of peanuts, iceberg lettuce and dried shallot. It takes the salads to the next level, a level above the baguettes. Plus with the salads I reckon at a rough guess you're getting over 20 possibly as many as 30 bites per portion. I don't need to tell you that 20 and indeed 30 is more than 11, your smart enough to figure that out for yourselves. One slight word of caution, you will be asked how hot you want it. If you say hot, be prepared, it is. We're talking 'licking the sun' hot.
Banh Mi11 doesn't promise the world, it promises Vietnamese street food, and that's what you get, freshly prepared and delicious.

Rating: 3.5/5
Cost: ££

Open: Mon - Fri 11-3


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