September 16, 2018

New Creations and Refreshing Drinks at Banh Mi Kitchen

My first exposure to Vietnamese cuisine was when I dined in a Vietnamese restaurant at Eastwood but I only got to try pho and fresh spring rolls and I love both of them. When I planned a trip to Palawan, I was surprised to find out while researching places to visit that there are a couple of authentic Vietnamese restaurants in that area. Owing to the fact that Vietnamese refugees once settled in Palawan.

It is then that I got to know banh mi, chao long noodles and Vietnamese coffee – which I totally loved eating while I was on that trip. Vietnamese food is an underrated cuisine in the Philippines but lately has been gaining popularity in the Manila food scene. And I think we should all need to explore it more as this fare is considered healthy and refreshing eats.

 Let’s talk about banh mi though. Bánh mì refers to a kind of sandwich that consists of a Vietnamese single-serving baguette, which is split lengthwise and filled with various savory ingredients. A typical Vietnamese sandwich is a fusion of meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese cuisine such as chả lụa (pork sausage), coriander leaf, cucumber, and pickled carrots and daikon combined with condiments from French cuisine such as pâté along with jalapeño and mayonnaise.

The baguette was introduced to Vietnam in the mid-19th century, when Vietnam was part of French Indochina, and became a staple food by the early 20th century. During the 1950s, a distinctly Vietnamese style of sandwich developed in Saigon, becoming a popular street food. Following the Vietnam War, Overseas Vietnamese popularized the bánh mì sandwich in countries such as the United States.

Now were are being acquainted with banh mi thanks to Banh Mi Kitchen. 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. At Bánh Mì Kitchen, the proprietors pride themselves in bringing us Filipinos unique and innovative bánh mì flavors enclosed in a seriously crunchy baguette.

Last September 15, Banh Mi Kitchen launched their healthiest Vietnamese sandwich ever and new refreshing drinks to go with their sandwiches. Lucky me, I got to get dibs on this new menu items together with fellow foodies at Banh Mi Kitchen’s new branch at Rockwell Business Center in Sheridan St., Mandaluyong. Their place is under the escalators but it’s a small air-conditioned store that can sit around 15 people. A perfect place to grab and go something for lunch or snacks.

Vegetarian Satay Banh Mi - the newest and by far the healthiest premium creation of Banh Mi Kitchen. This replaced the Singaporean Chili Crab banh mi. This hearty sandwich filled with Quorn pieces toasted together with sautéed bell peppers and onions, pickled veggies and cilantro. Finish it all up with a delicious satay sauce for that sweet flavor all inside a crunchy baguette.

Quorn™ is a deliciously healthy meat-free protein that lets you enjoy healthier versions of your favorite meals with its ready to cook options like Nuggets or ingredient-type products like Grounds and Chunks. With Quorn™, you can cook up tasty and meat-free versions of many family favorites like spaghetti, caldereta, lasagnas, and more. After 18 years of research and development, the team behind Quorn™ was able to perfect the product using mycoprotein. They skillfully capitalized on the fibrous characteristic of Mycorpotein™ to replicate the texture of meat and allow it to absorb flavors without any aftertaste.

Quorn™ is different from other meat alternatives. Its main ingredient, mycoprotein, gives it superior taste and texture compared to veggie meat or TVP. Our research also consistently shows higher consumer preference to Quorn™ foods than veggie meat or TVP. Quorn™ is healthy because it is made from mycoprotein, a nutritious form of quality protein that is: a source of protein; a source of fiber; low in saturated fat and has zero cholesterol.

I love that the Quorn cubes did not tasted like those other veggie meat that tasted fake. It has its own distinct flavor without imitating another flavor. The sandwich fillings were also very generous and the bread has a thin super crispy crust with white airy crumb.

Wagyu Tapa Banh Mi - an original BMKN Creation which contains wagyu tapa, fluffy omelet, pate, mayo, cucumber, pickled radish and carrot. This is an old menu item and one of the best-sellers that we also got to try along with the new Vegetarian Satay Banh Mi. This banh mi reminds me of my favorite tapsilog sans the rice and replaced with a crispy baguette instead. My only concern is that it had too much cilantro which I am not really a fan of. But that ain’t a problem as I can always remove them or ask the staff to put less of them.

Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea - the new refreshing drink being offered by Banh Mi Kitchen. I loved this one as this had the aftertaste similar to the gulaman being sold almost everywhere in Metro Manila.

BMKN Damn Strong Viet Coffee - intensely strong and authentic Vietnamese drip coffee. Well, darn right! Vienamese coffee is the strongest I’ve tried so far. But being a regular or almost a caffeine addict for drinking coffee for a straight 8 years to keep me awake at night when I was working the grave yard shift, I somehow have formed an immunity to most coffees. But this one is so forthright, it’s like a jab-straight-hook combo. The flavor is just so strong. They even put a warning that it can cost palpitations. Either way, I liked it!

BMKN Milk Tea – I love milk teas and this one was super similar to the ones I drank when I was in Bangkok. And Ilove Thai Milk tea so much so basically, do the math, I love this too!

BMKN Damn Iced Coffee - still uses Vietnamese coffee but lesser in flavor and caffeine.

With Banh Mi Kitchen, it is a service guarantee that promises to serve every Banh Mi in a crunchy baguette. If it is not crunchy enough, Banh Mi we will replace it, no questions asked. True enough their baguettes are super crunchy so no need to replace mine. As for the drinks, you may opt to ask to add tapioca pearls with it for only Php 12. I love it when my milk tea has pearls. Our only feedback is that the pearls were too soft, generally people love that they can somehow chew the pearls.

 Lemongrass Pandan Iced Tea with Pearls

GF, Rockwell Business Center, 
Sheridan Corner United, Highway Hills, 
Mandaluyong City
Contact Nos: +639202454492

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Banh Mi Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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