The pleasure of pork skin: Banh Mi Bi

banh mi bi

Vietnam is one of the few places on earth that you can eat a sandwich whose prime ingredient is roasted pork skin and feel virtuous for doing so. Banh mi bi must rate as one of the world’s perfect sandwiches: crispy pork skin with a luscious hint of creamy fat, perfectly balanced with a tart pickle, streetside mayonnaise, shredded spring onions and red hot chilli; all contained within an hours-old mini-baguette. It’s a world ahead of your average pâté-packed banh mi, if only because the meat tastes like it came from a very happy swine. To double the meat pleasure, Tiem Banh Gia Phat on Phan Dinh Phung street in Da Lat topped it off with pork floss, a meat condiment that is in my estimate, second only to bacon.

banh mi vendor, dalat

The only reason that I picked Tiem Banh Gia Phat was for their surgically clean banh cart. It looked like somewhere that with a tray of scalpels could double as a roadside operating theatre. The bakery out the back also seemed to do a vigorous trade in Vietnamese simulations of French patisserie.

Price: 8000VND (US$0.50)