Banh Mi Special at Caphe House, Bermondsey

10 Aug

LOCATION: Caphe House, 114 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TX [map]


BREAD: White baguette

FILLING: Roast pork, ‘salty pork pate’, pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber slices, red chilli, coriander, WEIRD ASS GRAVY.

PROS: Double pork.

CONS: WEIRD ASS GRAVY. Weird ass chicken tasting gravy all over my banh mi special. Sounds like a euphemism that, doesn’t it? Well, it’s meant as such. Use your imagination.

In all my banh mi eating experience I have never encountered this type of sauce. Chilli sauce? Yes. Mayonnaise? Yes. Sweet, shiny (yes, shiny) goop that tastes vaguely of chicken but mostly of something I can’t identify but which I definitely don’t like? No. Every time I take a bite it stretches out into alarming quivering strings which dangle briefly before flinging themselves suicidally against my chin.

The texture meets its match in the taste which is unique in its power to be so absent and yet so totally overwhelming. I try scraping it out with no success; the stuff has oozed into every available space. Becoming increasingly enraged at its presence I eat half the sandwich, pack the other half up in a huff and head towards home with plans to modify it once I get there. I am determined to salvage some enjoyment from this experience.

I extract as much WEIRD ASS GRAVY as possible and slap in some mayo, thinking that I might be able to at least taste the rest of the filling and judge whether or not it could actually be good sans WAG. Sadly not. The pate is barely noticeable. The pickled carrot and daikon need a lot more pickling. There’s a good amount of chilli but it isn’t hot which is baffling. Sigh.

I’m sorry Caphe House, but your banh mi isn’t up to scratch and that’s coming from someone who really tried to like it. Lose the WAG and while you’re at it lose the sweet yet ultimately pointless side salad of iceberg, carrot, sweet chilli sauce and um, prawn crackers. Mmmm dusty crackers on my salad…

SCORE: 2/10 


21 Responses to “Banh Mi Special at Caphe House, Bermondsey”

  1. hollowlegs August 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Ass gravy sounds like it has the texture of JIZZ.


  2. Donald August 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    How were the staff? Spunky?

  3. Chris August 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I wrote a song about this sandwich. It’s set to the tune of “Prince Charming” by Adam Ant:

    Bum gravy
    Bum gravy
    I don’t want no gravy in my banh mi
    Don’t you ever
    Don’t you ever
    Give me gravy, showing me your ass sauce

    That’s just the chorus but you get the gist.

  4. meemalee August 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Where can I find the best banh mi? I’ve never had one which made me think “YES!”.

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      Im going to sound like a right tosser now but the best one I’ve had is one I made myself at home and really put the effort into. I’ve yet to find an amazing one either but funnily enough, I”ve heard City Caphe is very good! That’s CITY CAPHE, people, not CAPHE HOUSE (TEE HEE!)

      • meemalee August 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        Well, d’uh – of course home-made is best – but I’m LAZY 😉

      • meemalee August 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

        Oh, I’ve had the City Caphe one, and the Banh Mi 11 one, and while both good, they weren’t amazing. I’ve not tried Keu – that’s meant to be pretty awesome.

        Btw, I had a look at the Caphe House website and randomly they have an exhibition of Burmese art on, so I might have to visit despite the ass gravy…

      • londonreviewofsandwiches August 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

        Keu are hugely over rated trust me. I went recently and was very disappointed.

  5. Donald August 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi Mimi, Bahn Mi 11 were a little disappointing, I’m kind of with Helen in that the best ones I’ve ever had have been knocked up using left over pork belly or some such…

  6. Catherine August 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Oh. nasty. I had a not very good Banh Mi the other day at somewhere I used to like – Panda Panda in Deptford. The carrots were on the turn and it reeked of something hideous. Wish I had complained now. Did you complain about this one?

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

      Well no complaining seemed wrong because there wasn’t anything off or absent or technically ‘wrong’, I just hated the sauce. I assume it’s actually supposed to be like that.

  7. Alicia (foodycat) August 11, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    How very disappointing. I really like the banh mi from the place on Exmouth Market (the name has escaped me) – double pork, but hardly any pate unfortunately. But no WAG.

    • Sarah August 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Cafe Viet on Denmark Hill is faultless – really.

      • londonreviewofsandwiches August 17, 2012 at 7:01 am #

        Hi Sarah, I work right next to Viet Cafe and while it’s okay, I wouldn’t say it’s the greatest banh mi in the world. That said, lunch options are not exactly that plentiful in Camberwell so I’m a regular consumer of their chicken satay banh mi!

  8. Richard Dixon (@drdickdixon) August 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I’ve had that one too – didn’t taste like other banh mis I’ve had and naff baguette too. I’ve not used the word naff in ages, it was that naff. The one on Whitecross Street wins it for me. Incidentally I assume you’re aware of this?

    • londonreviewofsandwiches August 17, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      I am and I’ve been loving it! Also, naff is an awesome word. I shall be re-using it instantly.

  9. Lou May 19, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    I know this seems like a long way to go! But for me the best banh mi is at Hong Ha in Sydney… If you visit Sydney I know Mascot is out of the way, although is near the airport. It’s perfect, plenty of chilli and coriander… If you go to Sydney you have to try it, I’ve been searching for anything as good since I got back and haven’t found anything close, even my homemade versions just aren’t quite as good. They make their bread fresh daily which helps soak up the flavours. It’s really good.

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