I’ve been walking past the Bang Bang Vietnamese Canteen on Warren Street for some time, meaning to head in; the constant stream of people scuttling in and out, not to mention the endless hunger-inducing posts on their Twitter account has had me pining for a visit for sometime.
Armed with the promise of delicious steamed Bao, I coerced a bunch of colleagues and headed on down Friday lunchtime to give it a whirl.
The canteen is a relaxed affair; wooden tables, stools and benches greet diners, whilst old-partitions, a film noir vibe and a lively soundtrack add to the laid back vibe. The service matched the atmosphere, speedy but with a smile. Bang Bang is cool, it’s trendy and it’s very London as my regional friends (think RobsRibs) would say; right up my street, then.
Over a Saigon beer, I opted to start things off with Goi Cuon (crispy duck summer rolls to you and I), which arrived promptly, much to my delight; whilst these looked great, after a little inspection I was actually a little underwhelmed as I found them rather light on the crispy duck front, a sentiment shared by a colleague who had also followed my lead. Nonetheless, the rolls were fresh and a nice little appetiser.
Next up was the steamed Bao that I had been so looking forward to; I decided to go for the belly pork Bao which I am pleased to say was absolutely delicious. That soft and fluffy bun was the perfect vehicle for the mouthwatering belly pork, each bite a sensation in itself.
It was only a light lunch, but overall I found the food good value, bursting with freshness and flavour; it would potentially be worth revisiting the quantity of duck provided in the appetiser rolls, but the belly pork Bao was simply mouthwatering, which went very nicely when paired with my Saigon beer over a Friday lunch. My colleagues who went for the Pho noodle soup all commented on how good their dishes were (which I have to say, looked awesome) and would be something I’d want to try at some point in the future.
I like the chilled vibe at Bang Bang, I could quite happily sit with good friends / colleagues and kill a couple of hours over some delicious food and drink.
Bang Bang Vietnamese Canteen, London: Review Verdict
Is the Bang Bang Canteen worthy of the one-star review posted on London’s so-called ‘social bible’, TimeOut? No. No I don’t believe it is.
I found Bang Bang’s service friendly, the atmosphere relaxed and the food well presented, fresh and tasty. My colleagues enjoyed their dishes which varied from Bao to Pho, and we left rather pleased with ourselves, in agreement Bang Bang put in a better show than our recent trip to Dim t on Charlotte Street.
Be under no illusion, Fitzrovia / Soho is in no shortage of quality cheap(ish) eats that do a very good job of the lunchtime rush, but Bang Bang easily makes the cut of places that I shall head back to time and time again for a quality and tasty lunchtime treat.
Sorry TimeOut, you got this one wrong.