On the hunt through Saigon, in search of the past, present and future of the banh mi.
By Simon Stanley. Photos by Vinh Dao.
“Chili!” says the elderly Vietnamese lady, ushering me closer.
She seems eager to help and apparently already knows what I want. Taking one of the pre-made sandwiches from the counter, she slips off its paper wrapping to reveal the short, golden bun inside. Its crackled crust is splayed to demonstrate its contents. After two years in Vietnam, and countless banh mi breakfasts like this one, it seems I still look like a tourist.
“Chili,” she repeats. “Chili okay?”
Published online June 2016 – Roads and Kingdoms