Viet Baguette – an oasis of quality comestibles in the cultural desert that is Woolwich

As far as horrible, horrible Woolwich goes Viet Baguette is a veritable stream of bat’s piss – by which I mean it shines out like a shaft of gold when all about is dark. The opening of this Vietnamese sandwich (Banh Mi) and coffee establishment has finally brought the possibility of a brilliant lunch to the prole-tastic pool of festering scum that is Woolwich and in doing so has made the whole area markedly less of a woefully depressing place to live.

For those who have not been subjected to my [link2post id=”308″]enthusiastic ravings about Banh Mi[/link2post] or have avoided the popular food press throughout this year I’ll provide a quick recap of the whole ‘sandwich of the moment’ Vietnamese baguette experience.

Banh Mi, the Vietnamese sandwiches I love so much, are baguettes filled with bits of meat (often Vietnamese-style paté), grated vegetables, fingers of cucumber, chillies, occasionally mayonnaise but always a garnish of coriander leaves. You may be thinking that baguettes don’t seem terribly Vietnamese, but if you recall that Vietnam was once a French colony things might become clearer; the Vietnamese have assimilated this bread into their food culture (with the slight change of usually including some rice flour in the recipe). The Banh Mi are generously seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper and many purveyors add a dash of Maggi seasoning sauce to them. The resultant sandwiches are powerfully characterful with a combination of meaty, spicy and sour flavours, and a complex melange of textures.

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Viet Baguette, on Macbean Street opposite the Woolwich branch of every odious chav’s favourite supermarket Lidl, is a brisk five minute walk away from me. They make excellent, characterful Vietnamese sandwiches which never fail to put a smile on my face. I had to go into Woolwich at midday so I took the opportunity to score a baguette and call it lunch. I decided to have a Vietnamese pork roll Banh Mi and on the left you can see plenty of pork roll being stuffed into my baguette.

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Just to prove that I will eat vegetables when they are good here you can see my sandwich being stuffed with grated carrot. I suppose carrot isn’t green so it is less bad than it could be.

And the final sandwich? Here is the beauty:

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It was quite delicious.