A colonial remnant revamped for hungry office workers

Banh Mi & Bros variations on the classic sandwich include shrimp. Photo supplied
Banh Mi & Bros variations on the classic sandwich include shrimp. Photo supplied

A colonial remnant revamped for hungry office workers

Banh Mi & Bros is a new, small eatery specialising in the much-loved Vietnamese street-food specialty, the banh mi sandwich. Diners can enjoy the tasty remnants of French colonialism in chic surrounds with prices not too much higher than you might find on the streets of Saigon. Brent Crane spoke with French co-founder Adrien Deshays to get the scoop on his casual little bistro.

What is Banh Mi & Bros?

Banh Mi & Bros is a new venue offering tasty and healthy sandwiches. We offer seven different sandwiches ($2.80 to $4.50), as well as chicken curry soup ($3.75), beef stew ($3.75) and homemade desserts ($1 to $2.50). We also plan to come up with new sandwich recipes for special occasions and work with a French bakery for our baguettes. The idea is to bring the Vietnamese street food item into a clean, hygienic environment, with good service and a price as affordable as possible.

Who brought this idea to life and how?

Banh Mi & Bros is the story of four childhood friends who wanted to open a business together. The chef, Ben, worked for four years cooking French cuisine in Shanghai. Ben got in touch with three childhood friends, Daff, Sebastien and me, Adrien, who were living in Cambodia. While Ben was creating the sandwich recipe, Daff, Seb and I analysed the Cambodian market and looked for an available place to open the restaurant. Once we found it, it took about two months to renovate the place. We finally opened in March. By coincidence, we have heard from friends that banh mis have become popular in Paris recently.

The cozy spot is also being marketed as a place for after-work drinks. Photo supplied
The cozy spot is also being marketed as a place for after-work drinks. Photo supplied

Do you have a special twist on the normal banh mi?

The classic banh mi found in Saigon can be simplified as bread, cha (pork sausage) pate and sliced daikon and pickled carrot. Banh Mi & Bros rearranged the banh mi, which is heavy, with a lot of meat, in order to create more freshness. We import the cha from Vietnam, home-make the pate as well as the mayonnaise and changed out the pickles for a crudité of lettuce and cucumber. We integrate Asian favourites such as Chinese-style caramelised pork, chicken satay, lemongrass beef and fish amok.
 
What do you hope the place becomes down the line?

We expect our sandwich shop to become a popular place to have lunch for people working and living in the area. But we also expect to welcome after-work meet-ups, as we offer beer, wine and cocktails and plan to offer gourmet appetisers soon. The ideal customer would be someone who wants to enjoy tasty and affordable food with fast and friendly service in a comfortable and modern atmosphere. Everybody is warmly welcomed to our sandwich bistro!

Banh Mi & Bros is located at #157 Street 63 and open seven days a week 8am to midnight. Tel: 085 400 880. Interview edited for length and clarity.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s