Review: Báhn Mì Bay, Bloomsbury.

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I’d been wanting to go to this friendly looking Vietnamese café for a while, and I conveniently found myself starved and in the area yesterday.  I was pleased to find upon our arrival that the café is really pleasant inside, spacious and light with friendly staff.

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We started with a Vietnamese coffee each; one iced, one hot. These were great, both very strong coffee but with just the right amount of condensed milk layered at the bottom of the cup.  The hot one was served with a jazzy on-cup coffee filter which I loved, and found I was also able to buy for only £3.50- bargain.

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We ate lunch, having one dish each with a side salad to share, which was far more than we needed.  Be warned, the main dish portions are huge.  My sister had the Com Dia Chicken Satay Curry (£6.50).  The curry was thin and could have been a little more seasoned for my taste.  The chicken thigh was really tasty, and the spicy potatoes in the curry were delicious.  The dish was served with sticky rice and a quite endearing little salad garnish.  We both shared a Goi Prawn and Pork Salad (£5.50), which was the highlight for me.  It consisted of vermicelli noodles with grated carrot, spring onion, peanuts and various other treats and was seasoned perfectly; spicy, salty, sweet and sour.  It was a generous size for the price, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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I had the Nanh Canh Noodle Soup with Pork, Prawn and Crab (£7.90).  This was a hefty bowl of soup, with a good serving of all 3 meats.  It was also served with fresh lemon and chilli for you to add to taste, which I liked.  My only beef with the dish was that the homemade noodles were perhaps a little thicker and gummier than I would have liked, but overall I really enjoyed it, and felt thoroughly satisfied, if a little heavy, by the end of the meal.

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As you might have noticed, we didn’t try the Báhn Mì, largely because it was such a horrible day that we felt in need of something warming, but I definitely intend to go back and give them a go.  However, the dishes we had were pretty decent overall with a special mention for that amazing Goi salad.  Given the price, I would definitely return for a speedy, but tasty, lunch.

3/5

Báhn Mì Bay

4-6 Theobald’s Road

WC1X 8PN

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