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Despite its side street location away from the Piccadilly Circus crowds, this banh mi takeaway makes its presence felt with a bright-yellow frontage and upbeat, friendly staff. Whaam was set up by a British street-food entrepreneur whose passion for banh mi saw him spend a year researching in Vietnam. The kitchen produces light, Vietnamese-style baguettes with flavoursome slow-cooked fillings, plus extras such as made-to-order summer rolls and mixed salads. The banh mi are carefully assembled in front of customers (the production line could do with being speeded up to ‘Wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ levels). Meaty fillings such as rich luc-lac (aka ‘shaking beef’) brisket or zingy lemongrass chicken are well made, but the herbs that in Vietnam are added to banh mi almost by the handful are sadly just a garnish here. Still, this is a solid fast-food option just moments from the tourist swarms.
Owner of Whaam Banh Mi Tom spent several years in Vietnam, so its safe to say he knows a thing or two about the Vietnamese sandwich banh mi. He’s also been fine crafting the recipes for over a year whilst serving as a vendor at street food festivals.What is banh mi? It’s a French baguette in layman’s terms. But the filling is very much Vietnamese. I went with lemongrass chicken, luc lac brisket and BBQ shredded pork (£7.50). Here come the meat sweats. I can easily recommend all three; the meats are extremely tender and flavourful. Vegetarian options are provided in the form of thai fishcakes and cripsy tofu...
More from I'm Wandering and Positive »
On the Asian continent of curries, noodles, stir-fries and broths, the Banh-Mi sandwich of Vietnam stands out as a marked point of difference and highlights the strong influence the French had in Vietnam. But it’s not just a standard French baguette, the Vietnamese have taken the very best of French bread and made it their own with the creation of the Banh Mi.It used to be that there were only a handful of places that could get this sandwich right and that number is on the up. On the streets of Soho, right by Piccadilly Circus, this can be found at Whaam Banh Mi. It’s a casual sort of place, barely any...
More from inher30s »
It’s only three months old but is already doing a roaring trade among stiff competition, and their success is growing. Whaam Banh Mi is on the Piccadilly side of Soho on Great Windmill Street, and aims to bring fresh, punchy Vietnamese street food to the lunchtime masses.Owner Tom spend five years living in Vietnam whilst working in finance, and subsisted on the banh mi. Having trained as a chef prior to that, it was a no brainer that he get stuck into the Soho lunch scene on his return, and here we are!...
More from Feeding Franklin | Welcome to the greedy business of feeding Franklin »
Perhaps one of the best love of London is the multiculturalism. I'm not on about the people, but food. Fair enough, there are loads of nice friendly people from different ethnics. In terms of food, you can find food from all over the world ranging from Chinese cuisine to Ethiopian to French to Peruvian. There's always something that satisfy practically any cravings in the bustling British capital.On one sunny lunch time, I found myself queuing up for a bánh mì. I must have gone crazy. For a fact, bánh mì is a Vietnamese style sandwich or more specifically it is a filled baguette. Typically filled with a...
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