Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Banh Mi Bay Vietnamese Restaurant | London

If you are a regular reader of my blog, it will come to no surprise that I am a huge foodie, and love trying new food. I sometimes find myself in phases wanting to eat a certain item or a certain cuisine, and the latest phase was Vietnamese. Now, between you and me, I have not found a decent Vietnamese in central London in or around Chinatown but a friend of mine managed to trek one down a stone's throw away from Chancery Lane - home to the Holborn location of Bahn Mi Bay's restaurant.
I hadn't been to this particular restaurant but my friend had visited one of their other branches (they are also found in Fitzrovia and St. Paul's) mentioning good things so I had high hopes of this place. For those who have not tried Vietnamese cuisine, I find it fresh and fragrant. From their banh mi's (spicy filled baguettes) to their pho (rice noodles in a wonderful broth), their summer rolls (think spring rolls but healthier) and their buns (not cakes or breads but rather a vermicelli noodle salad), it is all rather lush and yummy, and perfect to eat all year round. 
Banh Mi Bay Holborn
The interior is quite cute with wooden tables and mismatched chairs, a wooden dresser and feature wallpaper on one side, the restaurant is small but perfectly formed on the one level. It seats more than the above picture show, there's room for about 20 or so other people to the right of this picture with a total seating capacity of 50 odd - reservations highly recommended!! The floor below has access to the kitchens and the toilets (one for males and one for females) and to the left of this picture has a bar/counter/takeaway pick up service area.

Pretty sure every Vietnamese restaurant serves sriricha sauce on their tables! You can also usually find fish sauce (not as grim as it sounds I promise!) but not at this particular joint

Banh Mi Bay Summer Rolls

I discovered summer rolls just before summer 2015 started and have fallen hopelessly in love with them. I always ordered them every time I'm at a Vietnamese restaurant. They are stuffed with a protein of your choice (prawns/beef/chicken/tofu or simply veggie), wrapped with fresh lettuce leaves and cooked vermicelli and wrapped in edible rice paper ready for you to eat. Don't forget to dip them in the nuoc mam - the amazing fish sauce based dipping sauce. Trust me on this one!

I love my green tea so obviously opted for the Vietnamese green tea while my friend ordered the Vietnamese iced coffee
Banh Mi Bay Pho

Scrummy looking bowl of pho - perfect for winter nights. Think it may be the equivalent of chicken soup to the Brits?!

Banh Mi Bay Holborn noodle salad

Just look how AMAZING the food looks. Was soo yummy - but pretty sure that's my craving screaming at me haha. Would have personally preferred for the chicken to be sliced up rather than served as one big lump but hey ho. Also, the restaurant normally serves grilled chicken but the day we visited, their grill was broken so they had oven baked chicken as a substitute. 

Website: http://www.banhmibay.co.uk/
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