Bánh Bánh continues to bring a taste of Vietnam to the streets of London. Whilst their store started in Peckham, South East London, instead of Vietnam in South East Asia – it still manages to blur the miles and borders between each country with vibrant flavours and a historically influenced menu.
The coastal geography of Vietnam is mirrored within the exotic cuisine, where fresh green herbs replace the reliance on spices and rice is crafted into every dish. Bánh Bánh embodies these Vietnamese traditions and brings authentic Vietnamese culture and flavour to London.
Yet, one small restaurant to represent flavours of a whole country cannot suffice the foodies of this capital city. Bánh Bánh is bearing to Brixton to join the bustling streets and diverse atmosphere. Their second restaurant brings a new series of dishes and even a larger space to enjoy them within.
Their 11 AM Friday to Sunday opening cannot be recognised by clouds of smoke from street-side grilling like it is in the streets of Vietnam – although, the same fresh flavours will be provided in an even better atmosphere.
This welcoming family impression mirrors the relationship of the five Nguyen siblings, who founded Bánh Bánh. Their menu was pieced together with inspiration from their grandmothers’ recipes and experience as a chef in Saigon, Vietnam back in 1940. Yet, the influences behind the Vietnam cuisine are far beyond and before this kitchen in Saigon.
Similar to many cultures, history has influenced the Vietnamese cuisine with what food is eaten and how each meal is prepared. In the tenth century, Mongolia brought beef to the North within the invasion. The Chinese through 1,000 years of domination inflicted cooking techniques of stir-frying, deep-frying and the use of chopsticks. Spices, chilli and coconut milk were brought from the South neighbours, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Whereas, the French colonisation introduced foods such as baguettes (French bread), pâté, coffee and dairy-based products. Although, this line of history has just brought additions to the existing fresh based food culture. Enabling the Vietnamese cuisine to become a creation of aromatic flavours and balances between sweet and sour, spicy and cooling.
Bánh Bánh menu reflects this history, featuring their perennial favourites – beef in betel leaves, Bánh Khot pancakes and Eggs Bò Né Baguette. However, they also combine a take of the 21st century with a selection of Vegan dishes and an innovative series of cocktails.
Overall, the Brixton location of the venue is more accessible and affordable than a flight to Vietnam. The food is kind to your soul and equally as kind to your wallet with each meal standing below £11. So gather your friends and family to feel the warmth of love from the Nguyen siblings and taste the love and history planted within each dish.