Featuring Banh Mi Thit by Star Baguette, Ăn Là Ghiền
Terence Ong
Terence Ong

How many of you love banh mi? The Vietnamese variant of the ubiquitous baguette, it’s usually filled with meat and vegetables of your choice. The humble Banh Mi Thit by Star Baguette in Geylang is one of the better places for banh mi in Singapore. And you can tell as it’s frequented by the local Vietnamese community.

A good banh mi is one that’s crispy and crusty on the outside while the inside is light, soft and airy. Banh Mi Thit hits all the right notes. When I took my first bite, I could feel the crunchy texture.

They make their banh mi from scratch and it’s evident as you’re greeted by the delicious aroma as you walk into the shop.

Choose from pork, ham, egg, beef and chicken. I had the ham banh mi which contained slices of ham and sliced pork belly. It’s slathered with a layer of pork liver pate (yum) and filled with coriander, pickled carrots and daikon, onions and chilli. A special seasoning sauce is drizzled on the ingredients to finish off.

My friend had the chicken banh mi.

Any variety sets you back $4.50. It’s extremely affordable for a pretty gourmet sandwich by Singapore standards. Top up $1 and you’ll get a drink including Vietnamese coffee.

I love eating clams. This was a simple yet tasty dish. The clams were generally fresh and the garlic seasoning was pretty light as compared to what you get at zi char places.

Nothing extraordinary. I wished there was a bit more ingredients in the pancake. Eat this fast as the pancake skin gets soggy quickly. The fish sauce dipping (nước chấm) is good though.

I never had Vietnamese barbecue before and I have also never been to Vietnam. But going to An La Ghien is the closest you can get to having a Ho Chi Minh City street dining experience in Singapore. Besides Vietnamese BBQ, you can try the Vietnamese-style hotpot or the usual suspects such as pho. With the low tables and wooden chairs, it’s an elevated replication of what you probably will experience in Vietnam itself.

So we went for the BBQ and you get to barbecue your food over a charcoal grill. We ordered BBQ Platter 1 ($34.90). Good for two to three people, you’ll get a variety of meat and seafood. From beef to baby octopus to prawns to chicken. It’s a rather decent selection for the price.

The meats are fresh and lightly marinated but there isn’t a very distinct flavour. We also added some sliced beef ($6.90), frog leg ($3.50) and red tilapia fish ($3.50). Don’t expect anything fancy (no wagyu or kurobuta) but just decent Vietnamese BBQ. And you’ll have a savoury orange-brown sauce that you can dip your food into. I wonder what goes into the sauce though.

The camera always eats first. Instagram: @eaterries

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