I always talk about the saturation of lunchtime options in central London and although this is true, there are also a few gems lying within the city. You just need to look for them.
Banh Mi Bay, is a Vietnamese take-away/cafe situated in the High Holborn area serving pho, noodle salads, summer rolls and many other Vietnamese dishes including the French baguette but with a Vietnamese twist. ‘Banh Mi’ is Vietnamese for baguette/sandwich and since the cafe is named after its speciality, I had to try one for myself.
The baguettes served at ‘Banh Mi Bay’ are perfect for a spring lunchtime. The pork filling was sweet yet had a rich smoky flavour and the pickled carrots and cucumber complimented the pork making the baguette feel like a ‘light’ lunchtime option. I was disappointed with my particular baguette as mine was lacking in coriander and chilli, I was getting some of the amazing flavours but not all. This may have been due to the lunchtime rush and the servers were ‘haphazardly’ filling the baguettes. Alas, my baguette could have been so much more…
Another slight niggle was the bread. Out of a choice of three (white, brown, Vietnamese), I chose Vietnamese which is supposed to be softer and more floury than the usual baguettes but I honestly didn’t think there was much of a difference between this and normal baguettes and found the ends to be a little too crispy.
Overall ‘Banh Mi Bay’ was a pleasant surprise and although the baguette wasn’t perfect it was very enjoyable. The place was busy and the food that was being served to diners was fresh, aromatic and looked very inviting. My advice – avoid the lunchtime rush. Dine-in and enjoy the aromatic food that ‘Banh Mi Bay’ promises to offer.
– Banh Mi Bay, Holborn