Banh Mi Bay Vietnamese Baguettes and Pho Café @ Clerkenwell

先日バスに乗ってる時に見かけた、クラーケンウェルに最近オープンしたベトナム・カフェ、Banh Mi Bay(バンミー・ベイ)に行ってみた。インテリアが素敵でカジュアルなベトナム・カフェは、ロンドンではあまり見かけないので、バンミー・ベイのオープンは嬉しい。その名の通り、バゲットに肉、キュウリやチリ、ハーブなどを挟んだベトナム風サンドイッチ、バインミーもあるるけれど、それ以外にもフォーBánh canhの麺類、Bún(ブン)と呼ばれる麺を使ったサラダ、ご飯の上に串焼きの肉類などをのせたCom Dia、生春巻きや春巻き、そしてデザートなど、他のメニューも豊富。

ベトナム・レストランに行った時はいつもフォーを頼むんだけれど、今日は初めてBánh canh Thit Heo(£6。写真手前)にトライしてみた。豚からとったスープに、米粉やタピオカ粉、または小麦粉を混ぜて作った、半透明でモチモチした食感の太麺と、トッピングの豚肉とカニ肉が入っている。正直、この太麺はあんまり好みではないけれど、スープはコクがあるけれどもさっぱりしていて美味しい。サイドディッシュの生春巻き(£3.50)は、通常の材料以外にスライスした豚肉が入っていて、その塩味が隠し味となって、なかなかいける。でも個人的には、ピーナッツの入った海鮮醤(HOISIN SAUCE。中国の甘味噌)のたれより、魚醤のほうがさっぱりしていて好きなんだけれども。食後は、コンデンスミルクのたっぷり入ったベトナム風アイスコーヒー。カロリー高そうだけれど、やっぱり美味しい。

Banh Mi Bay * 4-6 Theobalds Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8PN * tel 020 7831 4079 * nearest Tube: Holborn | Chancery Lane

We went to Banh Mi Bay, newly opened Vietnamese café in Clerkenwell. I found the café when I was looking outside in the bus. It is hard to find a cute and casual Vietnamese in London, and the opening of Banh Mi Bay is welcome for us. As the name suggests, Bánh mì, a Vietnamese baguette sandwich, is their specialty, but also a variety of dishes like Phở and Bánh canh noodle soup, Bún rice vermicelli noodle salad, Com Dia (steamed rice served with meat of your choice or tofu), and a selection of appetizers such as summer rolls and spring rolls are also available, as well as deserts.

I always order Phở every time I go to a Vietnamese, but today I tried Bánh canh Thit Heo (£6, left in the photo below) for the first time. Bánh canh is half-transparent thick Vietnamese noodle that can be made from a mixture of purified rice and tapioca powder or wheat flour, and their Bánh canh is in light pork broth, with pork shoulder and some crab meat on the top (front in the photo below). I am not a big fan of the glutinous noodle, but the soup had good flavor and was quite nice. We got summer rolls as a side, and their summer rolls are made of sliced pork as well as usual ingredients inside, and it adds extra nice savory taste to the dish. But I don’t fancy thick and sweet Hoisin sauce, and I wish I had the summer rolls with fish sauce instead. The Vietnamese iced coffee with plenty of condensed milk after the meal was tasty (of course because it was sweet!), though probably very high in calories.

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