Thursday, July 05, 2007

Trang Tiem An, Joo Chiat Road

Banh Mi

This was an old recommendation that we finally got around to checking out tonight. All the way out near Geylang Serai (82 Joo Chiat Road at the Eastern Wind coffeeshop) was a little stall serving what seems to be the closest thing to real Vietnamese in Singapore...that I've been able to find, anyway. We grabbed quite a few things, but the best of the bunch was the banh mi, which featured super light bread and tasty pate to beat the pants off that Baguette place at Raffles City. We liked these so much that we got seconds.

We of course also grabbed an obligatory bowl of pho, which did indeed come out with very spicy chili peppers in it. Unfortunately the broth was a bit sweeter than I prefer, and that taste also carried through into another random bowl of something that featured short stubby rice noodles and some kind of mystery meat. Really - I had no idea what those little squiggly things in my bowl were. I just told him to give me the dac biet, or "special," and I got cuts of what appeared to be some tube-like thing, some other dark organ meat (with a not-so-pleasant taste to it, I might add), as well as a knuckle or something. Even if I didn't like it, it did remind me of stuff that I did find in Vietnam. They had Vietnamese snails if you wanted them, and even though the goi cuon was sitting pre-made in the glass case, it was still much fresher, livelier, and firmer than those horribly limp things at Pho Hoa.

Some dac biet surpriseNow, before anyone comes rushing here expecting a nice elegant meal (especially the person who seemed to take issue with "mistresses" dining near them some time ago), be forewarned that you're going to find what appeared to be "staff" from some of the neighboring pubs down the street eating here. But if you ask me, I'd consider that to be a bit of an endorsement, even if the sweetness of the pho will discourage me from making another run at this place.


meng said...

nice. been looking for good bahn mi forever. what kind of hours are they open? isit a lunch thing? or are they open for dinner?

Anonymous said...

For sure it's open for dinner as you would have noticed that BMA mentioned he went at night :-)

Anonymous said...

I went over tonight, and they didn't serve banh mi.

Then on my way home, I came across another Trang Tiem An branch on Geylang, and they didn't have banh mi either!

Anonymous said...

Trang Tiem An is no longer at Eastern Wind coffeeshop. The businesswomen and ah peks were there as usual, but the stall's been replaced by another Vietnamese (can't remember the long name).

The lady who attended to us couldn't understand me and thought I wanted toasts (thus directing me to the drinks stall). I wonder if banh mi is pronounced bun-mee?

Anyway, we tried their beef pho and spring rolls. The pho was a tad bland for me but the rolls were fresh and wrapped so firmly it felt like rubber band on the lips.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone's looking for them, there is one further down Eastern Wind Coffeeshop, at 169 Joo Chiat Road. Not sure if they do banh mi - they weren't open when I passed by around 4ish in the afternoon.