Sherman's Food Adventures: Bánh Mì Très Bon

Bánh Mì Très Bon

Once again, there is another restaurant that people question me: "you haven't been there yet???"...  Yes, I haven't been to Bánh Mì Très Bon and really, it was on a long list of places that I should try.  But as I've said over and over again, there is only that much time and so many places to eat at!  Actually I almost kinda forgot about the place.  However, when Nora suggested we meet up there with Lesley and Joyce, I figured it was as good as any other time to make it out to Richmond...  in rush hour...  Sigh...

Since we had to order food at the counter, we didn't get our dishes organized properly.  Hence, we ended up double-ordering the Tapioca Dumpings filled with pork and shrimp.  It wasn't a bad thing though as they were on point.  The delicate yet chewy exterior of the dumpling was just the right thickness.  Inside, the filling was a nice balance between tender ground pork and whole shrimp that still exhibited a snap.  We also got an order of their Garlic Chicken Wings that were beautifully fried.  They were lightly crisp on the outside with rendered skin while the meat was succulent and juicy.  There was enough seasoning for impact including a balanced garlickiness.

Onto their Pho Tai Bo Vien, the broth was clean and flavourful.  I actually found the broth rather interesting because it wasn't rich per se, but it was aromatic with a deep sweetness accented by the background licorice-flavour of the star anise.  There was also a certain meatiness that was fairly evident.  If there was ever an example of proper texture, the rice noodles here were perfect.  They were chewy but not hard and not clumpy at all.  In addition to the meatballs, the sliced beef was light and tender.  We also had the Pho Ga which was surprisingly impactful.  There was this natural chicken flavour that was sweet with only a modest amount of salt.  Once again, the noodles were perfectly al dente.  In addition to tender slices of chicken, the chicken meatballs were fluffy and really tasty.

Of course we had to order the Banh Mi Trio consisting of meatball, cold cut and chicken.  I found their bread to be a bit different than many of the other ones in the GVRD.  Rather than being crusty with bits shattering all-over-the-place, the bread was firmer and slightly chewier.  However, it worked since it wasn't too dense.  I found the pate to be generously applied, but it was a touch bland.  The meats were on point, especially the meatball since it was moist and nicely spiced.  Our last savoury dish was the Vietnamese Beef Stew served with a baguette.  This was chock full of tender carrots and even more tender beef.  The stewing liquid had a reduced viscosity which meant it wasn't watery.  Flavours were full-bodied with the star anise coming through.  There was also a nice spice level. 

For dessert, we were presented with some complimentary Macarons consisting of raspberry, blueberry, mango and earl grey.  These were no charge since they had lost our original order which meant our food too a bit longer to arrive.  Nice touch on their part to make it up to us!  The macarons were quite good with a crispy exterior giving way to a tender chew.  They were just sweet enough and really did taste like their descriptions.  Overall, I thought the food at Bánh Mì Très Bon was solid and reasonably-priced given the care put into the food.  Nice people too.

The Good:
- Carefully prepared food
- In general, the food tasted great
- Nice people

The Bad:
- When it is busy, tables are hard to come by
- Since it is counter service, this further compounds the problem when it is busy

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