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Apr 23, 2009 02:30 AM

Tung Hing - Banana ..erm.. beignet?

i went to tung hing bakery several months ago to pickup banh mi in the never-ending search for the best one(s). and while it was perfectly decent, serviceable, better-than-average and even perdy good, it didn't quite make it as a top seed for the title of "best". but while i was there i also happened to pick up a banana-filled fried bao-type nibble whose memory has been haunting me ever since. it was a disc about 2.5cm thick, about the size of my palm, deep-fried to a golden brown, and filled with banana (or plaintain, or something similar). and it was really really good. fragrant, not too sweet, nice textural balance, yummy! it was even good a day later and reheated.

does anyone know what this beignet-like object is called in vietnamese (preferably) and/or in chinese? are there other places that make this? if so, who do any of them make it better? thanks!

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  1. Now you have me intrigued...I go to Tung Hing for their bahn mi (and a few pastries) fairly regularly, but I have never had the item you are describing. Next time I'm there I'll make sure to try it our and ask.

    1. Here you go ken ivorous:

      (Bahn Choui Chien)

      14 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        wow fmed, that was quite speedy! i hope it was tasty. looks like you got some bo luo bao's too. are those good there. do they compare well with those from lido?

        1. re: ken ivorous

          They are both good. These ones, however, just came out of the oven. Very fresh...topping was nice and still soft.

          1. re: fmed

            thanks much! that sounds really good right now

        2. re: fmed

          Ooh! I just moved into a place a few blocks away from here! Must try the banh mi.

          1. re: peter.v

            Check out this foot-long beauty ($2.75)...

            1. re: fmed

              Hey fmed,
              Finally got around to posting about banh mi in Vancouver. We tried 5 different banh mi in one afternoon. Here are the final rankings:

              1. Tung Hing (good balance of ingredients, yummy cold cuts and pâté)
              2. Au Petit Café (delicious house made meat balls)
              3. Ba Le, Kingsway location (good traditional banh mi)
              4. Kingsway Deli (boring flavor but I would eat it if I had no other options)
              5. An Nam, Richmond (strong flavored pâté, too many pickled veggies)

              Here's the full link if you're interested:

              1. re: now_me_hungry

                Thanks now_me_hungry!

                The banh mi at Tung Hing still reigns supreme (for me anyway). I was thinking that I would like to sample more places...but Tung Hing manages to be both excellent and fast so I haven't bothered.

                I just read your other blog posts as well (eg the Richmond Night Market etc)....Nice! Did you have the lamb skewers?

                1. re: fmed

                  It would appear that the Giraffe's favourite is Au Petit, which I have yet to try :-). I so wish we were closer to the best banh mi places as I feel guilty carbon-footprintwise driving across town for a $3 sarnie :-(. That is one of the reasons we get from Golden Garden so frequently as we are often in that hood for other reasons...

                  1. re: grayelf

                    LOL! Au Petit was definitely Sophie the giraffe's favorite, those house meatballs were really yummy. And may I suggest a bike ride or leisurely jog to main street (no carbon footprint and you burn up calories on the way back).

                    1. re: now_me_hungry

                      "a leisurely jog to Main Street" from Kits would kill me and then I wouldn't be able to eat the banh mi :-). But seriously, I'm wondering if Au Petite or anywhere else has the "chicken seasoning" filling that is my current favourite...

                  2. re: fmed

                    Thanks, fmed! No, we didn't get to try the lamb skewers that night because we were way too full (yes, very shocking for piggies like us but we had just eaten an embarrassing amount of food at Imperial Court that night while conducting spot prawn 'research'). I will remember to try them next time :)

                  3. re: now_me_hungry

                    Thanks for the post, now_me_hungry! Good to hear I should continue to stick with Tung Hing and Au Petit Cafe. I find Ba Le's sandwiches too onion-y and the bread isn't great.

                    Grayelf - Au Petit Cafe is definitely worth the drive for a sandwich and the beef stew!

                    1. re: twinkienic

                      I've had their beef stew but I'll deffo try to get by for the banh mi :-).

                      1. re: twinkienic

                        I think I like Ba Le so much because it makes me nostalgic over my highschool days :) And thanks for the tip about Au Petit's beef stew - will make sure we try it on our next trip!

              2. After reading this post, I became intrigued by the banana beignets (Bahn Choui Chien) and the bahn mi so I put it on my list of places to check out while in town on my latest visit. I went to Tung Hing earlier this week and tried the lemongrass chicken banh mi for lunch. I loved the texture of the baguette. As for the lemongrass chicken.. the texture was a little interesting... it was a little on the soft (mushy?) side and the visually not very appealing (chicken was kind of grey/brown looking). However, looks aside, the chicken was very flavourful and i could definitely taste the lemongrass. All in all, I thought it was a tasty banh mi... perhaps a little different style than what I'm used to (in Calgary we have hot banh mi with sate chicken or sate beef, etc). I would go back to Tung Hing for banh mi again but probably try a different filling.

                As for the banana beignet, I thought it was tasty but it didn't wow me... I agree that texture wise it was nice and the filling wasn't too sweet. Definitely glad I checked it out.. don't know if I'd go out of my way to get them, but it'd be a nice snack if I happen to be in the neighbourhood.

                4 Replies
                1. re: miss.foodie

                  Nearly always order a House Special which I note has gone up in price from $2.75 to $3.00. An excellent deal for a 10" sub. I still haven't found a place that serves hot banh mi here. That could be a business case for some Vietnamese entrepreneur - a Thi Thi Vancouver would be great! It can serve the transplanted Calgarians who miss hot sate banh mi.

                  1. re: fmed

                    I think I told you my corner store does the hot banh mi. She has pork & beef sate....though it's corner store quality (buns are great though)...

                    1. re: ck1234

                      Right! OK ck1234 what is this place called. I'll definitely try it out now.

                      1. re: fmed

                        I've never looked at the name. It's right on Findlay at Commercial on the back side of the Croatian Ctr. They're inbetween 2 hair salons. When I said it's corner store quality, I mean, it's heated by microwave or toaster oven. On her cold banh mi, all she puts on is carrot & cucumber & the hot sauce comes from a bottle. My son eats the meatball subs there, I have the special which is full of white mystery meat! Buns are good, but there is no comparison to Tung HIng. They're $3 to $5 in price. I think the hot ones are $5 but don't quote me because I don't order the hot ones very often.