Bella Banh Mi Café – Honolulu, HI

I love myself a good banh mi. I love the mixture of salted meats with the pickled daikon and carrots…creamy mayonnaise, crunch of the fresh cucumber and to top it all off…the cilantro. I know get people who don’t like cilantro, just give me your cilantro and call it a day. Anyway, my only experience with banh mi in the past has been with Bale. Nothing wrong with that but I think you’re really missing out if you don’t try it at different places and I think I found my favorite place thus far….Bella Banh Mi Cafe!! They are located on Liliha Street and open on the weekdays and luckily now on Sundays! I called in my order beforehand and pick-up was a breeze.

Had to open it up to show you the innards. They include fresh jalapenos! No worry, not too many seeds so wasn’t too spicy though I may not be a good judge on if something is not spicy.

Saigon Special | $8.50
combination sandwich – pate, vietnamese ham, pork belly, pork floss, mayonnaise, parsley, cucumber, pickled carrots & daikon

Oops their description doesn’t include jalapenos but you’re welcome for that information. I’ve had combination banh mi sandwiches at other places and I was always disappointed because it was always too salty. Not here! This sandwich was perfect, and the bread was nice and toasted but not hard and chewy like I’ve had elsewhere. I would definitely recommend this and can’t wait to get it again!

BBQ Pork Bun (Noodle Bowl) | $9.00
lemongrass & vietnamese fish sauce, vermicelli noodles, basil, mint, cucumber, pickled daikon, and peanuts

Another winners dish. I love the sauce for the noodles and the BBQ pork had the perfect charcoal/grilled taste, really enjoyed it! Love a cold noodle dish.

Shrimp & Pork Summer Rolls | $7.75
shrimp, pork, rice paper, vermicelli noodles, basil, mint, cucumber, lettuce

Awesome summer rolls, and you know what I like most? No raw bean sprouts. I can’t stand raw bean sprouts and some places put them into their summer rolls….so thank you Bella for not using bean sprouts. I think it’s a great deal for this dish and the dipping sauce is delicious! What is the ice cream stick for? Not sure, I just dipped the rolls right into the sauce.

Just wanted to show you a shot of the roll inside! Nicely wrapped together, was delicious. In fact, this is inspiring me to make summer rolls at home. To be continued.

6 comments

  1. Honolulu Aunty says:

    Looks ono! I used to get my banh mi sandwiches from Saigon cafe in Kaimuki way back when they had the grandma make them. They also had good bun cha giao.

    Bale on Ward makes a good lemon grass chicken one but my favorite now is from Olena’s by Chef Ron Simon on Republican Street across from the Hawaiian Chip place that makes taro chips. He uses good bread and his chicken ban mi sandwiches are da bomb! He used to have the option of pate, but lately, no pate.

    Hmmm. Just thinking about it I think I will go tomorrow.

    • Jenny says:

      Oooh I never heard or been to Olena’s before but I just saw their menu and it all looks so ono! Thanks for the tip Aunty! I will check them out soon!

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