HACKNEY | E8
Banh Mi Hoi An is a cracking little Vietnamese joint moments from Hackney Central train station, serving a range of warm, crunchy baguettes and comforting pho.
Available all day, their meal deals start from £7 and allow you to try a couple of their classics in one sitting.
I had the baguette meal deal (one banh mi plus half a portion of pho soup), and went for roasted pork belly in the sandwich - butter-soft and wonderful, with fresh salad and crunchy carrot fillings. Other choices include five spice chicken, spicy tofu, curry meatballs and omelette, though they may run out of some towards closing hours in the late afternoon.
The pho took my lunch to the next level; aromatic and full of delicate chunks of chicken (add prawns for 50p). Served with lime and chilli on the side, only add the chilli if you are serious about your Scoville units.
There are a few bar tables inside, but this is a mostly a take away place, targeting the weekday lunch trade, hence the quite early closing time. Note: cash only.
Words and photography | Steph Chan