Lately it seems like Vietnamese restaurants have been growing in numbers here in the Philippines. One of the most popular ones here is the Pho Hoa, alongside Banois and Pho Bac. Just three months ago, Banh Mi Kitchen, brought us their Vietnamese sandwiches. I wonder if other restaurants would follow suit and then sandwiches will eventually become a trend in the food industry.
I was able to go to Banh Nam in Almanza, Las Piñas City on its opening day. It is actually a franchise that was brought here in Manila by Henry Nguyen, a former schoolmate of mine, who is actually Vietnamese. Banh Nam originated in Ho Chi Minh, and was born out of the desire to provide fresh and authentic Banh Mi sandwiches for those who are always on the go.
“Bahn Nam” is actually derived from “bahn mi,” which refers to the Vietnamese sandwich made of baguette, pickled dalkon, carrots, cilantro, pate, mayonnaise, and meats. The Vietnamese word “nam,” on the other hand, refers to the the five flavors that need to be balanced out in each Vietnamese dish, namely, spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet.
Out of so much excitement, I got to try three of Banh Nam’s banh mi that they were serving that day. I had their liver paté variety, which is their Banh Mi Que, and the roast pork one, which is the Banh Mi Heo Nurong, notable for being fatty. My fave from the three would have to be the grilled chicken variety, or the Bahn Mi Nurong. The tenderness of the meat actually complemented the crunchiness there is to the baguette. The fresh veggies added an extra oomph to it with its variety of flavors. I think all it needs is a little bit of sauce so it isn’t too dry.
Of course, my Vietnamese food journey wouldn’t be complete if it’s not accompanied with the famous Vietnamese iced latte, Ca Phe Sua Da. This authentic Vietnamese coffee is not for the faint of heart. I figured this coffee is too strong for my liking. I’m pretty sure that coffee fanatics will get the caffeine kick they need from this one.