The History of Banh Mis

While fusion cuisine falls in and out of fashion, the Bánh Mì Thit is an iconic sandwich that has stood the test of time, the original East meets West marriage. A result of the French colonisation of Vietnam in the 1800’s, banh mi meaning ‘bread’ and thit translating to ‘pork,’ the sandwich celebrates two different cultures coexisting deliciously between fluffy slices of bread. The French introduced baguettes, pates and terrines to Vietnam and Vietnam interpreted these ingredients and added their own fresh vibrant herbs and spices to make this sandwich their own. The result is something so much more than the sum of its parts.

“Bánh Mì Thit are the best sandwiches in the world. No sandwich is more comprehensive; five different cuts of pork (from shredded and belly to fromage de tête and pork floss), chilli for heat, pickles for acidity and crunch, coriander and shallots for herbaceous freshness and pâté and mayonnaise for richness. It’s everything you could possibly want in a sandwich. Nothing compares” says Chef Bao La of Le Petit Saigon.

So Chef Bao got thinking – if these two cuisines colliding could create something so wonderful, what would happen if we took the bánh mì on a trip around the world? The Bánh Mì du Monde series celebrates the many different cultures, cuisines and talents of chefs at Black Sheep Restaurants, inviting them to create their signature bánh mì inspired by their own heritage and culinary backgrounds.

This exclusive line-up of collaborations will only be available for four weeks at a time at Le Petit Saigon. Expect flavours from the world’s most dynamic cuisines including Taiwanese, Japanese and Punjabi, all wrapped up in our signature freshly-baked baguettes.

First up is Chef Jowett Yu of Ho Lee Fook, who has created a Taiwanese bánh mì inspired by the popular streetside vendors who sell fried chicken chops to eager visitors of the Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung markets and beyond. His bánh mì sees crispy fried chicken topped with Thai basil, garlic sauce, coriander, pickled cucumber and mustard greens and is available 22 June-12 July, both in-house and for delivery every day until the kitchen runs out.

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