A Vietnamese sandwich shop is paying homage to its local coal miners.
Unlike most banh mi baguettes which are golden brown, the shop’s onyx-colored loaves are made with squid ink.
The restaurant’s name Bamimo is a play on two words banh mi (bread) and mo (mines). It’s located in the Quang Ninh province which is the largest coal mining community in the country, nicknamed the “land of coal mines.” One of Bamimo’s cofounders Nguyễn Văn Quyết said the idea came from co-owner Trần Khắc Tuấn’s father’s job as a miner.
“In the past, the baguettes were specially made for the miners’ meals,” Nguyễn told Newsflare. “His father and other relatives brought the baguettes home for him. So he thought why not elevate the baguettes and sell them.”
The bread gets its unique color from squid ink from Ha Long Bay. The cooks tried multiple different inks and 20 different recipes before settling on the perfect one.
Bamimo’s sandwiches are different from the typical Vietnamese fare not just with its bread, but with its filling too. One is minced, fried squid with hot sauce made of onions, tomatoes, carrots, oregano and shrimp heads. There are also crab sausage, grilled beef and roast pork options.
“We first thought about banh mi that could be served to coal miners between shifts, wanting to also introduce the specialty of squid cakes to tourists. From there, black bread became a reality,” Trần told VN Express of the unique menu.
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