Search

Restaurant review: Aobaba, N22

10:27 07 August 2012

The Banh Mi are fresh and delicious

The Banh Mi are fresh and delicious

Archant

A couple of years ago I went motorbiking in Vietnam. It was an epic, 1,000-kilometre adventure across sweeping verdant hills, via unspoilt beaches to the dizzying hustle and bustle of Saigon.

Breathtaking scenery wasn’t all I found – I also discovered the Vietnamese version of the sandwich, the banh mi.

These supercharged French bread sarnies kept me going when veggie food was hard to come by. There was a stall on nearly every corner – and now they’ve come to Wood Green.

Vietnamese cafe and shop Aobaba quietly opened up in the High Road a few months ago serving a small menu of treats, with the banh mis taking pride of place, alongside shelves stacked with exotic imported goods.

The sandwiches are an intoxicating blend of Vietnamese cuisine’s influences, with the familiar chilli kick of south-east Asian food, as well as soy sauce, beansprouts, fresh coriander, and pickled carrots all stuffed into French baguettes – a throwback to the colonial days.

Restaurant info:

Aobaba 162 High Road, N22 6EB Tube: Wood Green Tel: 020 8888 9080 www.thegaterestaurants.com

Mains: Banh mis from £3.50

Drinks: From £2.50 (no alcohol)

Disabled access: No

Children welcome: Yes

For meat-eaters, there’s pork too, while I had a veggie, soya-based substitute.

These are sandwiches as fresh and delicious as you’ll ever taste – and almost indistinguishable from the real thing back in ’Nam – down to the specially baked bread, which is lighter and crunchier than your average supermarket French stick.

Why did I never think of sticking soy and fresh chilli in a baguette before?

Aside from banh mis, Aobaba’s other speciality is bubble tea, which I’m told is a Taiwanese import. These are sweet drinks filled with squishy little balls, known as tapioca pearls. They come in all sorts of flavours, some fruity, from lychee to mango, and others are milky. They were delightful – though you’ll need a sweet tooth.

I’d love to return to Vietnam one day – but until then I’ll certainly be back to Aobaba for my banh mi fix.

Tom Marshall

Latest News

16:12
Dunlin Calidris alpina, wader roost at Copperas Bay, Stour Estuary RSPB reserve Pic: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

North Kent Marshes are protected by European law

16:02
Abby and Bethany Williams

Abby and Bethany Williams will meet people from all over the world

11:13
Bob Neill

Bob Neill says there is a different excuse for delays each season

08:47
Dartford Crossing

Congestion between tunnel and Darenth interchange

08:22
Operation Stack

Everything you need to know about Operation Stack

Yesterday, 17:42
Louis Pettipher training

Louis Pettipher is hoping to win the Doggett’s Coat and Badge race

Most read

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today E-edition


Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder