A cool and contemporary Vietnamese restaurant with arguably the best banh mi in Bangkok.
This younger spin-off the longstanding Vie Halong restaurant spotlights modern Vietnamese street food. That means banhi mi that goes beyond the classic cold cuts (liver pate, Vietnamese pork sausage and Chinese pork sausage) to a newer hoisin-slathered ribeye beef creation. The crisp-yet-fluffy bread is a step above most of the competition. They also do straightforward staples like pho, spring rolls and Vietnamese-style drip coffee.
A spin-off of the longstanding Vie Halong restaurant (near BTS Udom Suk), this chic space looks to take Vietnamese food in a younger, more playful direction. While the hipster wet-dream decor of red bricks, bare concrete and plants might set alarm bells ringing, Muine delivers some seriously satisfying flavors.
Despite what’s claiming to be a street food-focused menu, the dishes here are pretty far removed from what you find on the streets of Saigon. That’s not necessarily a drawback but arguably a reflection of superior produce. Take the mixed pork vermicelli (B210), a version of bun cha with three types of delectable pork. The charcoal-grilled pork shoulder is juicy with just the right fattiness, the fried spring rolls plump with protein and the minced pork patties tinged with sweetness. The mix of pickled carrot and daikon is spot on, too.
The place’s main claim to fame, though, are the banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches), which are up there with the best in town. Again, don’t expect authenticity with the premium ribeye option (B245) option, though its hoisin-slathered strips of beef don’t disappoint. Even the classic cold cuts banh mi, with its layers of pate, sliced Vietnamese pork sausage and crispy sweet sausage (B185), tastes more buttery than we’re accustomed to (that’s a compliment from us). Muine’s secret weapon is undoubtedly the baguettes which are pre-baked to be finished on-site. The crisp-yet-fluffy bread is a step above the competition, though if pushed we’d probably pick the more traditional sandwich stylings of Banh Mi Crispy (which also happen to be half the price, from B90).
The baguette can also be enjoyed with the chicken curry with sweet potato (B200), a heavily spiced coconut curry that’s more like a stew than its rich and heavy Thai counterparts. The beef pho (also available with chicken, both B180) is also a heady mix of cloves and cinnamon, but we can’t help but feel it lacks the depth of flavor that comes with a slow-simmered broth. However, we do appreciate the side of crisp greens.
Muine may not be Bangkok’s most authentic Vietnamese experience, but that’s not really its mission. Throw in some well-priced Thai craft beers from Golden Coins (B165) or a super-strong Vietnamese drip coffee (B165) and you’ve got one cool little space that’s probably your best reason to venture to Sansiri’s out-of-the-way Habito mall.
This review took place in December 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Muine, 2/F, Habito, Sukhumvit Soi 77, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||August, 2016|
|Opening hours:||daily 11am-9:30pm|
|Nearest train||BTS Bang Chak|
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