You’ll have to hand it to the people at DD Mau for brazenly opening a banh mi shop in the middle of Yaletown – a part of town that could use a little more Asian culture. What better concept than a savoury sandwich loved by many Vancouverites- it’s a great option for take out.
Now, this place isnt your regular Vietnamese bakery that serves just any banh mi. I would define this sandwich shop as a gourmet banh mi, (made with local ingredients). They have a selection of 5 different sandwiches to choose from and 2 daily specials that may be a little more interesting than the conventional cold cuts (Crispy Roasted Pork anyone?). To your banh mi, you can add an egg or pate for an extra $1.50. They also have an assortment of spring and salad rolls, bowls and drinks.
When we arrived, we must’ve just missed a big flurry as they were refilling most of their items. We were greeted warmly by, I’m assuming the owner of the place as he explained that the Lemongrass chicken was being made and it would take a couple of minutes – but we didn’t mind the wait at all.
Since today was their first day of business, they had a twitter special where if you order a drink, you get a 6″ for free. Awesome. We ordered the DD Mau Iced Coffee ($3.50) and paid for just those.
We sat down and began to sip our iced coffee, this was the first time Liane had ever experienced Vietnamese-style coffee – and let’s just say after her first couple sips, I could barely understand what she was saying since she was speaking 10,000 miles a minute!
We were both admiring the flowers they received for opening day and the foliage of the store, and not too long afterwards our sandwiches arrived. I love how they’re wrapped in paper that’s similar to ones you’d get at a butchers!
We ordered the Classic and the Lemongrass Chicken. The Classic was served in a torpedo-style bread as opposed to the big and fluffy french bread you may find at other places. I liked this bread better, as it was crispy on the outside but soft on the inside without being too overbearing.
The ingredients were packed into the sandwich fairly well and they put some pate on the bottom of the sandwich, which gave it an even better, meatier and heartier taste. The sweet, pickled radish and carrot, the cucumber and the cilantro gave this sandwich crunch. If you’re not a big cilantro fan – I can assure you that this cilantro is very mild.
The Grilled Lemongrass Chicken is my favourite of the two, I’m not sure whether it was because we had to wait for them to make a fresh batch – but it was amazingly tender, juicy and delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh lemongrass chicken made for me ever – and this was spectacular. The taste of the grill and the balance of sweet and salty tastes made this sandwich a fantastic choice and I barely wanted to share it (sorry, Liane!).
After we were done, the owner came over and offered to refill our iced coffee – we gleefully accepted! He even called it “rocket fuel” – and if you’ve never had Vietnamese coffee before, try it once and you’ll know why he calls it that!
Check out their website here.