New eats: Banh Mi Kitchen goes beyond Vietnam staple

Jeeves de Veyra

Posted at Jul 04 2016 06:22 PM

(From left) Entrepreneurs Gab Sobrepena, Miguel Santos, Rammy de Claro and Raf Sobrepena pose with Banh Mi Kitchen's specialty. Photo by author

MANILA -- Vietnamese cuisine has been gaining popularity in the Manila food scene such that pho and bahn mi are now considered comfort food by local foodies looking for healthy and refreshing grub.

The latest restaurant to take on this trend is Banh Mi Kitchen, which recently opened at the fourth level of SM Megamall.

Banh Mi Kitchen began when entrepreneurs Miguel Santos, Atty. Raul Gerodias, Rammy de Claro, Gab and Raf Sobrepena teamed up for a food concept that offers on-the-go food that was easy to prepare and accessible to shoppers.

They eventually decided to specialize in this French-inspired Vietnamese sandwich.

The Traditional and Lemongrass Pork banh mis with Vietnamese iced tea. Photo by author

The crunch of the baguette is a sign of a well made banh mi and the bread that Bahn Mi Kitchen uses was meticulously sourced to pass the owner’s “crunch test.”

The folks behind Bahn Mi Kitchen are not afraid to be experimental. Apart from The Traditional, the classic banh mi with roast pork and Vietnamese ham, it also offers unlikely combinations that go well with the staple pickles and liver spread used in the sandwich.

Take the Wagyu Sunrise, a breakfast banh mi that nicely complements a fluffy omelette and the saltiness of its Wagyu tapa slices with the traditional banh mi ingredients.

Another example is the Beef Rendang variant, a tasty blend of the Vietnamese and Indonesian flavors, while the Kani Bonito combines a mayo-kani mix with the pickled vegetables.

Beef Rendang banh mi. Photo by author

If you’re looking for a heavy meal, the Protein Monster will satisfy a heavy appetite.

Wash these down with Banh Mi Kitchen’s Vietnamese coffee (P60) or Vietnamese iced tea (P60), which is an interesting variant on the orange Thai iced tea, with an aftertaste of lemongrass.

All the bahn mis come in two sizes: small (starting at P99) and large (starting at P149).

Although it just opened at SM Megamall, the owners of Bahn Mi Kitchen are already looking at opening a branch at the Bonifacio Stopover Pavilion in Taguig soon.