When it comes to ethnic cuisine, there are a couple of hard and fast rules in identifying if a restaurant serves authentic food.
- If the servers / staff are mostly from that ethnic group; and
- If a large proportion of their customers are also from that ethnic group.
Banh Mi Cafe in Bandar Puteri Puchong is one of these places, and it is one of my fam’s go-to spots whenever we’re craving authentic Vietnamese chow.
The resto has undergone some renovation since our last visit; the dining area is much more spacious now and they’ve even made a couple of raised wooden ‘gazebos’ indoors. The corner for imported Vietnamese snacks and sundry (noodles, sauces, paste, etc.) has also been upgraded. The open outdoor seating is now covered, which provides some shade from the heat in the daytime.
Fans of Vietnamese food will recognise some firm favourites from their menu: banh mi, pork belly stew, spring rolls, shaking beef, lemongrass chicken and grilled pork chops (above), served with soup, pickled vegetables, rice and an egg/meat pate. Portions are hearty, and the grilled pork has a nice, sweet flavour.
Another dish I recommend trying is the lemongrass chicken with fried rice. Lemongrass is a popular herb used in many Vietnamese dishes, and the flavour permeates throughout the tender, juicy whole fried chicken thigh.
I tend to order the same dishes whenever I visit (namely banh mi). This time around, I got the pho (beef noodle soup) but requested for no beansprouts.
The noodles are nice and silky, and there are generous portions of thinly sliced beef within. I can see why people like pho coz it has a very herb-y, refreshing taste (especially for those who like basil) – but I don’t think I will be ordering this again. Nothing against the pho – it’s just my personal preference.
Service is fast, and most of the servers speak Mandarin as well as Vietnamese. Prices have increased since the beginning of the year, but they are still within the reasonable range.
BANH MI CAFE
No.1, Jalan Puteri 7/10,Bandar Puteri Puchong,47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Tel : 603-8060 0127
Opening hours: 1030am – 10pm (daily)