Open just long enough to build a devoted following and a deafening buzz the brothers behind Banh Mi Boys closed their restaurant for renovations over the winter. The much slicker and more colourful space has reopened this week and I don’t think they need to worry that closing dampened anyone’s excitement.
If anything, the original menu options have improved a notch or two from my visit back in December. For instance, they’ve found the right balance between meat and veg for the five-spice pork belly banh mi ($5.99). Items held over from the previous menu have the same prices except the grilled chicken banh mi that has ticked up a notch to $5.49.
Pause before you order and consider some of the new menu’s offerings. The squid taco ($3.99) and fried chicken steamed bao ($3.49) are both mouth-watering options that I’ll have to try on a future visit. Yesterday, I stuck with the beef cheeks steamed bao ($3.49) and was rewarded with large chunks of savoury, just-chewy enough beef.
The kimchi fries ($5.99) also seemed wildly popular, presumably because anything with kimchi must be healthy, right?
Their four-man assembly line has improved its efficiency but at least for now traffic is heavy. If you live or work in the area and can avoid the peak meal-time rushes you won’t wait as long. While winter holds on by his fingertips I’d avoid the front table that is bathed in cold air every time the door opens.
For an in-depth profile of the owner-operators, David and Phil Chau see Karon Liu’s story on The Grid’s website.