O Bahn Mi, 1 Utama

O Bahn Mi

I want to eat bahn mi, my better half told me. “Pan mee?” I said, aghast. I hate the stuff. I had misheard. She meant the Vietnamese sandwich inspired by the French. We were at 1 Utama coz she wanted to look at mooncakes. O Bahn Mi is located on the ground floor and I thought I had been to one of their branches before (turns out not, that was quick bites). It also serves other Vietnamese street food.

Bahn Mi 1Utama

The place was packed on a Sunday morning which is surprising since the other F&B outlets were practically empty. O Bahn Mi is a popular destination due to their extremely quick turnover and relatively lower prices. You order at the counter and the food gets delivered to you a minute or two later. Besides bahn mi sandwiches, they also have pho and broken rice – one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes in Melbourne.

Grilled BBQ Pork Sandwich (RM 10.90)

Grilled BBQ Pork Sandwich

O Bahn Mi actually has a wide range of bahn mi sandwiches. This is one of their most popular ones. It’s served in a Vietnamese baguette about the size of a 6″ sub. I’ve been to Hanoi before and eaten this. We’ve also had bahn mi in Cambodia during our trip there. It’s a great option for breakfast, it’s sold out of carts in Vietnam and people eat it in the mornings. The one here is pretty decent too.

Combination Beef Pho (RM 14.90)

Combination Beef Pho

I didn’t feel like eating bahn mi so I had their pho instead. The pho at O Bahn Mi is awesome! The soup is beefy and has tenderloin, brisket and meatballs inside. The also serve lots of herbs and aromatics on the side, including Thai basil. You really need this to make the pho better. A lot of places skimp on the fresh herbs and it’s not the same without it. This place makes it right. Delicious!

Caramel Flan (RM 5.90)

Caramel Flan

I love crème caramel. It’s actually a very common desert in the 80’s in Malaysia but not everyone knows that. Our house had a box at all times and in the past, coffee shops would serve this. Nowadays it’s very rare to find it while eating outside except at Ramadan bazaars. I’ve only seen it once when my dad came over to visit. We went to a random place and found it on the menu. The sprig of mint on the dessert adds a lot.

O Bahn Mi Us

I didn’t realize it at the time but they only charged me RM 1 for the Vietnamese coffee by upgrading me to one of their meal sets instead of charging it separately, which would have cost more. The meal for the two of us cost RM 31.60 at O Bahn Mi. It’s very reasonable compared to our usual brunch bill. The food is pretty good too. There are so many pho places nowadays compared to a few months back and there’s no one happier than me by this development coz I love pho!

Lemongrass Chicken Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi) @ quick bites, Publika

Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi

We were out really early this morning to do some Chinese New Year shopping in Publika and decided to have a quick breakfast before we hit the aisles. My better half wanted to try this shop on the same level as Ben’s Independent Grocer, right beside the food court – it serves bánh mì!

Quick Bites Publika

I was quite intrigued by the different sandwiches they have, especially the unusual combinations. I have been to Vietnam before and eaten a lot of interesting things in Hanoi, the most popular notorious being dog meat. This is far from that though, the Asian themed Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi) sounds really good.

Banh Mi

We decided to share a Lemongrass Chicken Egg Combo on a regular baguette. I found out during my travels that Vietnam was once colonized by France, which leads to the introduction of the baguette into their diet. I went for the set, which comes with gỏi cuốn (Vietnamese spring rolls).

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

You get an option of shrimp or chicken Vietnamese spring rolls and we went for the former. It’s pretty good, the dipping sauce has crushed toasted peanuts inside and a fiery hot sauce that will sear your tongue, but it’s wonderful. It’s better than the Vietnamese spring rolls I made anyway. The set of a sandwich with a starter of spring rolls and a drink will set you back RM 16.50.

Banh Mi Sandwich

We both loved the Lemongrass Chicken Egg Banh Mi! The chicken pieces are nicely seasoned and you can taste the lemongrass in the sauce. There’s also an egg and lots of vegetables in the baguette, and there’s just something very satisfying about biting into a baguette stuffed with ingredients and tasting fish sauce as an end note.

Vietnamese Sandwich

The baguettes are baked daily and it’s crunchy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. It’s really delicious! quick bites claim to be from San Francisco and I couldn’t verify that but they certainly make the best and most authentic banh mi I’ve had in Malaysia!

Banh cuon in Hanoi

goi choon start

Banh cuon is a term used to describe rice flour rolls in Vietnam. I was wondering along the streets of Hanoi when I decided to pop into a street stall to try one of their offering. I don’t quite remember where this was as I was just walking along and taking in the culture but it was really good.

Goi Cuon stall

The Northern part of Vietnam (including Hanoi) has a slightly different varient of Banh cuon. It’s a “rolled cake” which contains pork, shrimp herbs and rice vermicelli wrapped in rice paper.

Goi Cuon woman

You can see them prepare it fresh right in front of you!

Goi Cuon plate

This version also has a healthy sprinkling of pork floss on top and it’s served with a dipping sauce which has lime, sugar and fish sauce called Nuoc cham.

Goi Cuon preparation

It costs VND 15,000 for a plate (about RM 2.40) for a plate of four rolls and unsweetened iced tea is on the house.

Goi Cuon dip

I love the yin and yang concept of Vietnamese cuisine – they always have raw vegetables and herbs to complement the dish.

Goi Cuon dish

The dipping sauce is something awesome too. I ate it without the dipping sauce first but with the nuoc cham it makes it all the more better. Street food FTW in Vietnam!

Bun dau in Hanoi, Vietnam

bun dau hanoi

Bun dau is the cousin of the famous bun cha. It is essentially the same but bun cha has grilled pork as its main meat dish instead of tofu. I was wondering around the streets of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam when I saw this small bun dau place that is full of locals.

bun dau shop

The place piqued my interest, even though I’m not a huge fan of tofu. I reckon I could use some food to wash down all the fresh local draft beer that I had. smirk

bun dau frying

The bun dau place is quite a simple setup with a place for frying and cutting tofu and the ubiquitous pieces of meat in flour and seating arrangements inside and outside.

bun dau meal

I was overwhelmed by the chunks of rice vermicelli, deep fried tofu, and the veritable forest of herbs and vegetables that came so I started eating it with the dipping sauce (made of fish sauce – as most Vietnamese dishes are).

bun dau girls

There was a table of three girls sitting beside me and after watching me for a while, one of them came over and showed me how to mix the dipping sauce:

bun dau dipping sauce

You’re supposed to put some bird’s eye chilli and squeeze a couple of limes into it for the taste to shine through.

bun dau me

It tastes pretty good but I have to admit, I had a lot of trouble finishing it coz I really dislike tofu.

bun dau clientale

The place attracts a lot of people from different walks in life – I saw everyone from office workers to stall owners at the Old Quarter pulling up a chair and ordering some bun dau.

bun dau

The chunks of rice vermicelli have a very interesting texture. It has no taste per se, but the way it rolls around and unravels in your mouth when you dip it is quite an epicurean experience that is worth noting.

The best part is that it only costs VND 20,000 with a bottle of Bia Ha Noi! That works out to slightly over RM 3 – not too shabby for a tofu dish. ;)

Hoa Tran @ Springvale

Hoa Tran @ Springvale

I went with my friends to Springvale for lunch this afternoon. Or
was it yesterday afternoon? I’m very, very disturbed at the disastrous
loss of my short term memory, which I hope is not permanent. I also
hope that I can remember things I’ve only said two minutes ago without
having concentrate for two full minutes but that’s a different story.

Interior 1 of Hoa Tran

Anyway, I’m pretty sure it happened today, yeah I’m sure of it. We
went to Springvale and went hunting for someplace to eat where we
haven’t eaten before. We stumbled upon this place called Hoa Tran
somewhere in Springvale.

Interior 2 of Hoa Tran

The interior was pretty nice, had some statues and such around the
place. I had broken rice with pork chop and everything. It’s very nice,
especially when you pour all of the chili on top of the dish. I’ve
always used to do that since I first had broken rice in Good Dragon at
Monash College. I had a friend in college who used to mix every sauce
(oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, chili sauce etc)
together with salt and SUGAR and use it as a dip. Sick, sick fuck.
That’s what I thought until I tasted it. It was strangely disturbing,
yet great!

Vietnamese Broken Rice with everything :)

I digress. Anyway, the pork chop broken rice (with everything hehe!)
was good. The egg tasted really nice for some reason and the sauce was
great too. It’s cheap as well, it cost A$7 and it comes with soup.
Anyway, everyone came back to my place after that and we watched movies
and I copied some HK movies over to my hard disk. I love showing the
explicit version of Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up and Cradle of Filth –
From the Cradle to the Enslave to people who hasn’t watched them
before. :)

Link of the day: Buy Ecstasy and speed legally over the counter! [news.com.au],

So called “party drugs”, including ecstasy and speed, would be
sold in licensed drug shops by medically-qualified staff at prices
which would undercut the black market.

Vote for the Greens! I would do so too if I lived in NSW and I was a citizen. :)

P/S – Please read veritas’s report below. He tool 4 hours to write
it (not including the pictures) and many hours of actual field work.

Suzanne's Corner

I had lunch at Suzanne’s Corner with my girlfriend today. The place is
beside Pathlab in Blacksmith Road, I heard of it through my father, who
gave me a brochure.

The place is run by Vietnam born Suzanne who is also a member of Wesley
Church. I had Vietnamese Pork Chop Rice (RM3.50) and my girlfriend had
Vietnamese Chicken Rice (RM3.50). We also shared a plate of Vietnamese
Spring Rolls (RM3.50). It’s probably the only place in Sibu you can get
Vietnamese food and the food is really good. Friendly service too, so if
you’re in the vicinity, do head over there. Don’t forget to try the New
Zealand Cheese Cake (RM4.50). =D

Vietnamese Pork Chop Rice

Suzanne of Suzanne’s Corner

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