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Ba Buông Bánh Mì: Hidden Viet gem with affordable overflowing bánh mìs

Vietnamese cuisine has shaped up to be a favourite among Singaporeans, with abundant eateries speaking for its popularity. Of the many Vietnamese delicacies, bánh mì takes centre stage in my bread-loving heart.

I first heard about Ba Buông Bánh Mì from my extended family of Jurong residents. All it took were the words ‘BBQ Beef Cheese bánh mì’ to get me all excited about giving it a whirl.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Storefront
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Storefront

Ba Buông Bánh Mì is a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese eatery that boasts a menu of 12 types of bánh mì and a variety of Vietnamese beverages.

It’s nestled in Jurong Gateway, a walk away from Jurong East MRT Station. If you’re not familiar with the area, you might want to keep Google Maps open.

After a walk through 2 coffeeshops and much wandering about, I found the little shop sandwiched (ha ha) between a mama shop and a nail salon. I was thrilled to see that there wasn’t a queue, probably since it was a quiet weekday afternoon.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Baguettes
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Baguettes

My eyes were immediately drawn to the stack of beautiful golden-brown baguettes lined up in a glass box on the countertop. I couldn’t wait any longer!

A cheerful Vietnamese lady immediately came to my assistance the moment she saw me perusing the menu. She promptly took my order and handed it over to another lady who was in charge of preparing the bánh mì. You can watch her skillfully assemble your sandwich with a variety of toppings!

While it technically does takeaways only,  Ba Buông Bánh Mì shares a space with the adjacent coffeeshop and you can enjoy your food at their tables.

Each bánh mì comes packed in a convenient paper bag to eat out of. You can also request to have your sub sliced in half for ease of sharing.

What I tried at Ba Buông Bánh Mì

Ba Buong Banh Mi - BBQ Beef Cheese Banh Mi
Ba Buong Banh Mi - BBQ Beef Cheese Banh Mi

My first order was none other than what drew me to Ba Buông Bánh Mì in the first place – the BBQ Beef Cheese bánh mì. While it costs S$7 on its own, I opted for the S$8.50 set together with a cup of iced Vietnamese coffee.

I was taken aback by the hefty package thrust into my hands when I went to receive the order. To describe this bánh mì as ‘huge’ would be an understatement.

The baguette was stuffed to the brim with 4 chunky beef meatballs atop a healthy serving of pickled vegetables. The meatballs were drizzled with a dark red BBQ sauce and mayonnaise, then topped with an oh-so-inviting layer of melted cheese. The mere sight of it had me drooling.

Judging by the irregular edges, the meatballs seemed to be handmade.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - BBQ Beef Cheese Baguette
Ba Buong Banh Mi - BBQ Beef Cheese Baguette

As someone who’s had her fair share of bánh mìs, I’ve concluded that the quality of the baguette is a huge defining factor of bánh mì greatness. Nothing ruins a sandwich experience like the cuts on the roof of your mouth caused by over-toasted bread.

For good measure, I first sampled a small piece of the baguette. It tore apart without much effort and was simultaneously fluffy and crispy. Perfection.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - BBQ Beef Cheese Banh Mi
Ba Buong Banh Mi - BBQ Beef Cheese Banh Mi

Don’t be fooled by their dry appearance – the meatballs were teeth-sinking tender! I deeply enjoyed the textural contrast between these delicate morsels and the crunchy pickled vegetables alongside the light crisp of fluffy baguette. 

With a teriyaki-esque marinade on top of the BBQ sauce, the meatballs had a sweet flavour profile that was complemented well by the tangy pickled vegetables, savoury cheese and smoky pink pâté spread.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Vietnamese Coffee
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Vietnamese Coffee

I felt like the cup of Vietnamese coffee could shake me awake better than kopi peng could, despite an identical appearance.

It was bold with a mild nutty undertone that tasted simultaneously sweet and earthy. Refreshed, I was ready for my second bánh mì.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Roast Pork Banh Mi
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Roast Pork Banh Mi

If you thought Ba Buông’s bánh mì couldn’t get any more loaded, wait till you see their Roast Pork (S$7) variation. The baguette was stuffed with a copious amount of sio bak, to the point I could barely hold it together!

Like its BBQ Beef Cheese counterpart, the Roast Pork bánh mì was lined with the same pickled vegetables beneath its overflowing meat layer. The sio bak pieces were slathered in chilli sauce and mayonnaise, then topped with parsley and chilli padi.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Roast Pork Banh Mi
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Roast Pork Banh Mi

The sio bak pieces could compare to what you’d find at a great roast meat stall – succulent pork complete with a satisfying crunch from its salt crust.

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Roast Pork Banh Mi
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Roast Pork Banh Mi

Contrary to my expectations, the sio bak didn’t overpower the bánh mì with its saltiness.

I particularly appreciated the flavour balance provided by the mildly bitter, herbal notes of parsley combined with the sweet mayonnaise and chilli sauce, all tied together wonderfully by the buttery baguette.

Final Thoughts

Ba Buong Banh Mi - Banh Mi Overview
Ba Buong Banh Mi - Banh Mi Overview

Everything about Ba Buông Bánh Mì screams value-for-money.

Not only are their bánh mìs priced more affordably than those at other Vietnamese eateries, but they’re also some of the heftiest I’ve ever come across. Above all, they’re downright delicious and brilliantly balanced in terms of both texture and flavour.

The humble eatery is pretty fresh and hence a lesser-known gem, at least for now. Give it time and it’ll soon cement itself among the greats, as far as bánh mì eateries go in Singapore.

Expected damage: S$4.50 – S$8.50 per pax

Order Delivery: foodpanda 

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