The last Saturday of the month means Kirkstall Deli Market so I popped in to say ‘hi’ to a few people and check out what was going on, with it being a lovely sunny day the prospect of it being a busy one was high.
Within minutes of walking into the Abbey grounds I spotted a street food trader I’d not seen before called NOM Deli UK, so I immediately made a bee-line for these guys. Over the last few months the Vietnamese Banh Mi has slowing become one of the street food styles you’ll see at street food events and food markets, and currently there are two other traders serving up their version of it in Leeds.
Run by Vietnamese husband and wife team Anh Dao and Minh Nguyen, who for the last ten years worked in quite a different field of financial services. Having missed authentic tastes of home, their search for it had come up short. Being brought up using techniques which had been passed down over generations, they decided to put their passion and knowledge into practice, setting up a business serving the authentic Vietnamese food they’d been longing to find themselves in Leeds.
The menu had a choice between Banh Mi or Bun noodles, with a choice of fillings or toppings; BBQ pork, fish, or tofu and mushroom. Regular readers may probably know that I don’t need asking twice when it comes to pork, so I had to try their BBQ pork Banh Mi baguette. Other fillings such as tofu and mushroom, suitable for vegetarians/vegans and a grilled fish version were also available.
The pork patties are made from pork shoulder marinated in fish sauce and a caramelised syrup. To accompany the pork are a number of additional extras such as pickles, cucumber, home-made caramelised onion, chilli mayo and coriander with fish sauce to taste.
Within a couple of minutes I walked off to chow down with this beauty of a sandwich. The quality of the bread is a fundamental aspect to a Banh Mi, when asked the name of the bakery this was information that would stay secret. I don’t blame them because they were spot on – crisp on the outside and a soft, chewiness inside.
The whole thing was a sublime marriage of flavours and textures, with tender, flavourful meat perfectly at home with the extras providing a multitude of dimensions to this humble Vietnamese sandwich – crunch, sweet, sour, salty and warmth.
After the first bite I ran over to Sarah from Noisette Bakehouse who’d gone for the Grilled fish Banh Mi, this was equally as amazing and I would be pushed to say which I preferred the most. Saying that if I’d had more time the Grilled fish version would’ve been my choice for seconds. Regardless, they are definitely the best Banh Mi I’ve had so far in Leeds!
In addition to this, there’s exciting news with NOM planning to open their first Vietnamese deli on Great George Street soon, so bang in the city centre Leeds folk will be able to get their hands on their Banh Mi, Bun, and probably much more. I have a sneaky feeling I won’t be able to wait for Kirsktall Deli Market each month to get one of their Banh Mi!!
Bring on the Banh Mi!NOM Deli UK @ https://www.facebook.com/NomDeliUK Great George Street (Opening soon!)