EAST MEETS WEST IN A SANDWICH!

March 20, 2009

Last week, I met up with a couple of friends for lunch. Both of them are currently working in the Raffles place area and our fortnightly meet-ups have usually been over lunch in the crazily busy disaster zone (CBD). When they suggested a Vietnamese place for lunch i was pleasantly surprised for a few reasons, firstly, I’ve been craving for Vietnamese (food i mean. of course!) for the longest time and second, how many Vietnamese eateries do you see around, and in the CBD?! Ever since completing my three years of undergrad studies in Melbourne, I’ve been constantly missing the Vietnamese eateries with its piping hot delicious Phở (pronounced “fur”) white rice noodles in clear beef broth with thick slices of beef, the BEST thing to have in the cold winter months, Cơm tấm (never knew how to pronounce accurately HAHA), broken rice served with grilled pork, shredded pork skin, fried egg and meatloaf, and last but not least, the most affordable for us poor students….. Bánh mì!! I’ll explain what this is later on!

baguette_deliThis quaint little shop situated in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the CBD has been open since 2006 by Wei Chan. Surprise surprise! The reason that he chose to open a Vietnamese eatery in Singapore was that it reminded him of the time he studied in Canada and longed for the flavours of Singapore. Vietnamese cuisine was the solution for him as it was relatively affordable, simple but yet refreshing. That’s what inspired him to open “Baguette-The Viet inspired Deli“.

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Back to Bánh mì, the national sandwich of Vietnam! It is traditionally made with the type of baguette you can find in Delifrance, and the sandwich is filled with slices of thinly sliced pickled carrots and radish, onions, cucumbers and topped with cilantro and chilli. Fillings include slices of grilled chicken or pork, Vietnamese ham, paté and a mayonnaise-like spread. It was the result of French colonialism in Indochina, the people creatively combined French Western ingredients like the baguette and paté with Vietnamese ingredients like coriander and pickled vegetables. The result was nothing short of perfection i must say!

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My experience at Baguette was a pleasant one. I had the Curry Baguette, possibly a creation by the boss who probably thought including a Singaporean element to this already amazing fusion sandwich would make it even better! The baguette did not disappoint with its contrasting but interesting flavours. The fragrance of the curry from lemongrass and other spices and the crunchy texture of the fresh vegetables (I’m no vegetable lover but this still passed the test!) made it a good choice! My friends had the Meatball Baguette while the other had Curry Rice, basically meatballs as the filling in the baguette (fusion at work once again!) and curry rice was just the same curry i had but with rice instead. The drinks on the menu seemed interesting and I decided to try Soda Chanh (the guy taking my order told me “It’ll remind you of summer”). Despite being refreshing, I couldn’t get used to the taste of sour plum in my drink. OH of course you could order it without sour plum, personal preference! 🙂 Vietnamese “drip coffee” was another beverage that seemed interesting but i didn’t get to try. maybe next time!

With the limited number of seats available, its inevitable that they’ll be a relatively long queue during lunch time. So do try to avoid the mad lunch time rush. OH last but not least! prices range from about 5-15 dollars.

If you ever pop by the Raffles place area, and want to have something different, do give this a try!

P.S there’s a unit next to #01-39 that’s shared between Baguette and the dessert stall next to it. The ones owned by the dessert stall are marked by the reserved sign. SO! if you don’t want to get scolded by the auntie that works over at the dessert stall do remember to stay clear of their tables! She seemed awfully displeased with a few expats and told them off. In the end they had to order desserts just to sit there while waiting for their baguettes! 😦

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Baguette, The Viet Inspired Deli

Market Street Car Park #01-39
(diagonally opposite Lau Pat Sat)
Tel/Fax: (65) 6536 5426
Operates Mon – Fri from 0800hrs to 2000hrs
Sat & Sun Close

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