My craving for Vietnamese food is sporadic – it’s not my favourite cuisine per se but when the craving hits, it can last for weeks. Sometimes months. And during one of those “days”, Jien and I visited Banh Mi Café in Taman Desa; said to be the home of fresh Vietnamese baguette and street food.
There are several branches of Banh Mi around Klang Valley but Taman Desa is closest to where we live. We shared a portion of Grilled Pork Banh Mi (RM9), Beef Pho (RM13.50) and Cha Gio/Goi Cuon Set (RM15), plus an iced Vietnamese coffee (RM5.50).
Prices are reasonable and portion is generous. For RM13.50, the beef pho comes with a good amount of rare beef slices and the broth is moderately beefy with an underlying sweetness from the onions. A squeeze of lime livens up the broth – no need for any additional sauces to build on flavour.
Jien and I like the baguette here; crisp on the outside with a light and fluffy centre. The pork slices are tender and nicely seasoned, layered with Vietnamese pate, cucumber and carrots for crunch and sweetness. I reckon this is one of the better banh mi (RM9) I’ve eaten so far.
I like the goi cuon (fresh spring roll) better than the cha gio (fried spring roll) as the former is lighter and refreshing, especially with the dipping sauce. The fried version didn’t quite hack it for me – for some reason, it tasted like any other fried popiah. The house platter (RM15) also comes with goi ga, essentially chicken and cabbage salad tossed in a dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and chilli.
Coffee (RM5.50) is average in my opinion. I feel it’s not as rich and dark as I want it to be, so the coffee becomes watered down as soon as ice is added. Vietnam Jie in Cheras serves a pretty decent version if you’re into Vietnamese coffee.
Overall, food is decent and prices are reasonable if you’re looking for Vietnamese food that doesn’t put a dent in your wallet. That said, I still prefer the food at Vietnam Jie.
Food: 6/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Try the banh mi and beef pho.
Banh Mi Cafe
266, Jalan 4/109f,
Taman Danau Desa,
58100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-7971 6527