New Restaurant Alert: Banh Mi Kitchen at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
Quick, filling sandwiches, the Vietnamese way
Banh Mi Kitchen
4/F SM Megamall Building A, Mandaluyong City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Living in the big city can be difficult. You rush out in the morning to beat the dreaded traffic, oftentimes sacrificing breakfast for a few extra minutes in bed—minutes that could also spell the difference between avoiding the rush and spending hours in it. Come midday, lunch breaks would feel too short or too inconvenient that you eventually just have a harried meal. You end up working hungry, unfocused, stressed, and distracted by the grumbling in your stomach.
Gab Sobrepena, his brother Raf, and friends Raul Gerodias, Rammy de Claro, and Mon Santos know this scenario all too well. It’s their familiarity with the struggles of undernourished cubicle-life that inspired them to open Banh Mi Kitchen. Vietnamese sandwiches are their solution for what most office-dwellers are looking for, if not need—something quick, handy, but substantial.
The showstopper is, obviously, the famous Vietnamese sub. It’s a baguette stuffed with Vietnamese cold cuts and pickled vegetables. It’s filling enough to revitalize you, but not too much that you’ll be lulled into a food coma afterwards. With herbs, protein, and that crusty bread, it’s a mélange of beautiful tastes and textures.
For those who are beginners to banh mi, Banh Mi Kitchen offers The Classic (P99 to P149). It is, for lack of a better word, their basic item: a refreshing combination of cilantro, paté, mayo, hoisin sauce, pickled vegetables, and sliced Vietnamese ham. The crunchiness of the baguette is astounding, and its muted flavor ties together the bright filling.
Banh Mi Kitchen serves sandwiches exclusively, but there’s a wide enough range to go from heavy to light—or lighter, at least. Those who aren’t too hungry, for example, can try the Kani Bonito (P129 to P189), which replaces the ham with crabstick and adds a sprinkling of tuna flakes.
If you’re not craving pork or seafood, Banh Mi Kitchen also presents other options, including the Beef Rendang (P129 to P189). The rendang features the flavors of smoky beef and light coconut milk, combining to give you a savory punch. Complemented by a cup of refreshing specialty iced tea (P60)—sweet and milky, with a hint of spice—this sandwich is something you can have any day, any time.
Banh Mi Kitchen is a perfect office lunch solution. Now all we need is for them to deliver. Soon, perhaps?
Photos by Criselda Carreon