Trời ơi ngon quá!! OMG so good! — Bánh Mì Saigon on Victoria Drive

A new bánh mì (Vietnamese sub) place opened up on Victoria Drive and 38th Ave called Bánh Mì Saigon (Instagram). They bake their own bread! Now it’s not only Tung Hing and Ba Le that bake their own bread. Tung Hing used to be a favourite but they’ve skimped on fillings over the past decade and I was ready for a new bánh mì go-to place. BMS are even closer to my place than TH, and also conveniently on my bus route home, so fingers crossed!

NOTE: these guys have been selling out before they close at 7pm, so be aware!

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Special (Dac Biet) on top and Meatball (Xiu Mai) below.

Banh Mi Saigon are open daily from 7am-7pm. They also have a grand opening special 20% off until May 2! For my virginal visit, I got a #1 (Special aka Dac Biet – $4.50) and a #7 (Meatball aka Xiu Mai – $3.75). You might think this is a bit expensive for banh mi, but I really don’t mind paying a bit more to actually get what I want, without all the cutting corners and bullshit.

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Look at that crackly crust on the bread! Vietnamese baguettes are very different from your classic French baguette. They incorporate rice flour, resulting in a thinner and lighter crust. People that try to do a nouveau banh mi using a French baguette just don’t understand banh mi.

This was only my first experience, but I think I like BMS’s bread better than Tung Hing’s! I wonder if the baguettes make that “singing” crackly sound when they take them out of their oven…I’d like to be there when that happens.

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All sandwiches include cucumber, pickled radish & carrots, cilantro and jalapenos. The Special contains Vietnamese ham, headcheese, meatball, pork roll (they call it “meat loaf”), pate, homemade mayo, and soy sauce. Soy sauce is ok in banh mi but I prefer Maggi sauce! But since I got it to-go, I could easily add Maggi sauce to my taste 🙂

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Special (Banh Mi Dac Biet) on the left and Meatball (Xiu Mai) on the right.

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Cross-section view. Sorry for switching positions 😛 it’s Meatball on the left this time, and Special on the right. When we ate it, it felt like a GOOD proportion of meat & filling to bread. Tung Hing has been slipping into skimpy filling territory for me…

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The Meatball opened up for your viewing pleasure. It’s a mash-up of French, Vietnamese and Chinese influences. The “xiu mai” is adapted from Chinese siu mai (those pork dim sum dumplings) but the Vietnamese have turned it into a spreadable, loose, ground meat paste. I like how it’s not weirdly pink-coloured here. Those jalapenos weren’t that spicy in this one, but the ones I had in my Special sub were painful! It’s totally random whether those peppers are gonna be spicy or not. But that’s part of the fun 😛

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Banh mi and a beer has been a favourite lunch ever since our Los Angeles trip. This time I paired the subs with Brassneck Free Radical White IPA. The first rule of beer pairings is to drink what you like! That said, Belgian tripels (for some mysterious reason) REALLY work well with banh mi. You gotta try it sometime.

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We kicked it up even more with with a dash of Maggi sauce. Tung Hing uses Maggi sauce but they’re so stingy with it, I can hardly taste it. It adds this kick that once you try, you can’t live without it. Banh Mi Saigon do a great banh mi but this little customization takes it to another level 😀

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Closeup of the Meatball sub with Wicca’s sriracha addition and the housemade mayo just oozing out. She loved BMS’s generous mayo. We might even like the Meatball sub more than the Special!

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I saw these Pâté Chaud on their Instagram feed. Another confluence of French and Vietnamese cuisine.

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We’re pretty sure the filling is the same meatball (xiu mai) filling from the banh mi. In the flaky pastry it comes off like a Vietnamese take on sausage rolls. Not bad!

Already VERY PLEASED with our banh mi experience. Totally going back to Banh Mi Saigon.

Banh Mi Saigon on Urbanspoon

PS. Hey SoftRockin’ Revue, hot peppers in banh mi isn’t strange at all! You had them in your Tung Hing banh mi too! Tung Hing usually asks you if you want chili peppers. Banh Mi Saigon puts them in automatically. 😛

PPS. I gotta say, the people at BMS were much friendlier than other banh mi places in town. So refreshing.

10 thoughts on “Trời ơi ngon quá!! OMG so good! — Bánh Mì Saigon on Victoria Drive”

  1. Awesome, another option in town for great BM. I get mine at Tung Hing most of the time because it’s convenient for me. Unlike Ba Le or Kim Chau (both of which are quite good in their own rights), I like to see my banh mi being made right in front of me, where I can also tell the staffer exactly what, and how much, of each ingredient I want ….. that’s important to me.

    I’ll hope to check out BMS soon !.

      1. Deary me, that’s fab. Those pate chaud look soooooo good. Tung Hing’s are ok but I have no other reference besides them, and TH’s filling is skimped. One aspect of TH I’ve never liked is their service ….. the three ladies are never all that friendly, sometimes downright curt, and seems to prefer avoid eye contact (esp. the oldest-looking one).. Owner dude used to be seen often but hardly ever now, he seems too busy in the back of the store.

        This BMS interior looks great ….. so good to have fresh BMs made and be able to sit down comfortably right away to enjoy it. Another aspect of TH ….. such waste of space on the left corner of the store, I’ve stopped suggesting to them to put a couple of small tables/chairs there ….. they’re too set in their ways with status quo. Ba Le (Kingsway) isn’t terribly better to stay and eat. The “new” Ba Le on Main is horrendous. Kim Chau has no option to stay and eat.

        I know what and where one lunch for me will be next week 😀

  2. Will deffo be trying this out soon. I don’t know of anywhere else in Vancouver you can get pate chaud so nice find!

    1. Tung Hing has pate chaud, GE. Like I said above, they’ve been the only place I’ve bought and eaten them from, so I have no other points of reference. So I’m looking forward to checking out BMS !

  3. Whoops, missed that, sorry! I’ve never had anything I liked at Tung Hing from the pastry selection, alas. And there were no pate chaud today at BMS. I couldn’t make out whether they sold out earlier or didn’t have them at all. Perhaps tomorrow.

    The banh mi were solid — really generous fillings, longer bread than perhaps all but Kim Chau, good value. I miss the nem nuong option which is my favourite at both Ba Le and Kim Chau.

    Looooong wait though as it was super slammed even at 2:30. Also tried a tamarind drink which was so sweet we cut it by more than half with water we’d brought. I

  4. Yikes, my memory must be failing me then. That’s good to know. Perhaps I’ve been eating some rather bad banh mi or something then, aside from Tung Hing and here of course, since I generally haven’t had much of any peppers in my subs, or at least been offered them!

    I noticed you mentioned pairing beer with your subs, interesting concept. Have you tried their iced tamarind juice? They’re really trying to get everybody to have a glass with each sandwich.

    Anyways, great in-depth post! I’m going to have a gander at your other adventures now 🙂

    SoftRockin’ Revue

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