125B Hai Ba Trung, P. Bến Nghé
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Banh Mi… Oh, Banh Mi. One of my fave things to eat everrr. I still remember the first time I had it, at Banh Mi Saigon under Manhattan Bridge, when it was still US$2.50 at the time. Crusty baguette bursting with generous fillings of barbecued pork, cha lua, paté, pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber strips, cilantro, and with a dash of addictive Maggi soy sauce, it was cheap, delicious, and most satisfying for the starving college freshman that I was (circa early 90’s).
Sometime last year when my overseas-Vietnamese friend Cara was traveling the region and visiting Singapore, she hand-carried banh mi for me straight from HCMC and gawd, the heavens parted and a legion of chorusing angels descended in golden rays as I sunk my teeth into that sandwich. It was a beautiful moment. Needless to say, having banh mi in HCMC was at the top of my “eat-inerary” hit list!
Unfortunately, because there were simply too many things to eat but too little time, I didn’t get to go to the allegedly most-famous-banh-mi-joint, Banh Mi Huynh Hoa – which bloody opens at 3pm in the afternoon, nor this other allegedly the-ultimate-banh-mi-joint-that-defines-banh-mi (according to my overseas-Vietnamese friend Liz who’s living in Saigon now) – which also opens for business only at 3pm in the afternoon… WTH, I wanted it for breakfast!
In desperation I ‘resorted’ to settling my banh mi fix at this random kiosk at the corner of the same street at InterCon, called Daily Bread. I was skeptical at first since the place looked too clean (haha) so I ordered only two at first, just to be conservative. The sandwiches turned out to be
good fucking awesome so the morning after that, with two hours left before I had to head to the airport, the following conversation took place.
Me: Pls call the place for me, tell them that I want twelve banh mi, two I will be eating for breakfast (which is now), while the other ten should NOT be assembled and all the fillings are to be packed separately. But can I request for individual ingredients to be bundled together instead of into ten separate small bags? I will come pick up in ten minutes, thanksssssssss!
Concierge: Yes, Miss.
Banh mi place: *chaos while preparing my order*
Me: (thinking “Hmm, maybe I should’ve ordered twenty.”)
I don’t bring souvenirs back from trips, man. I bring back stuff that I want to eat! The banh mi from this random kiosk named Daily Bread did not disappoint one bit, but the next time I go to HCMC again, I’ll definitely check out Huynh Hoa and investigate first hand what the hype’s all about. *reminding self to pack tupperware and ziplock bags to transport more banh mi back to SG*