Rating: 6 / 10
Having purposefully walked past this place a million times, peering in and convincing myself that no serious Vietnamese place would call themselves Miss Gin, today I finally decided to try it. Struggling to find a Banh Mi in Oslo that I would return to, I whipped in, ordered the pork and sat waiting whilst assembly and wrapping was completed in the microscopic kitchen.
I paid and headed over to the park on the other side of the road, found a sturdy bench and allowed my mind to wander back to the epic sandwiches I had eaten in Vietnam over the years. Banh Mi 25 in Hanoi, Banh Mi 37 in Ho Chi Minh, the crisp bread, the pate, the crunchy pickled cucumbers, the strands of carrot, the spiced meat, all came flooding back as my fingers shook in anticipation.
First bite was a letdown. The bread was not really a Banh Mi baguette, it was more like the one's they serve at Upper Crust at Gardermoen. There was no pate whatsoever, the cucumber had just been sliced, shredded carrots added a wetness to it, but the main culprit was the pork. It was rather dry, not lacking in flavour but fatty and chewy. I found numerous times having to spit out large chunks that were impossible to crush between molars. The fatty parts were raw and unpleasant, not the decadent taste of perfectly cooked pork belly.
The lady had asked me three times if I wanted chilli to which I said "yes a lot please". She then asked once more just before making the sandwich and I again said YES PLEASE A LOT... but whatever I said had not registered and there was a tiny tiny speck of chili sauce right at the root of the sandwich, almost down far enough to where I had given up eating.
Due to her complete disregard for my instructions, the only bite I really enjoyed was the final one when the smokiness of the chilli paste mixed perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.
With a little more care and attention, this might step up from mediocre to decent.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"