Street food is Britain’s latest culinary trend.
Now that pulled pork and wonky supermarket veg have enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame, food originally cooked on street corners in more exotic parts the world has become the next big thing.
If that is the case, Le Duc-My is streets ahead, having opened his street food shop, Banh Mi 8 on Wakefield’s Cross Square two years ago. The 36-year-old was certainly not looking for a niche in foodie fashion, it’s more of a devotion to what he sees as the best food in the world - the banh mi.
Translated, it means Vietnamese bread, and the baguette-like sandwich influenced by French colonial cuisine was a staple part of Le’s daily diet when growing up in Ninh Binh, 60 miles from the capital, Hanoi.
He bakes the special bread - made with green flour which contains less gluten - each morning, and fills them to order with a choice of meat or tofu topped with fresh salad and vegetables.
“I grew up with this food, it’s mine and my family’s favourite food,” he says while busy putting together a big order.
“It’s fast food, but I make it all from scratch.
“People who go on holiday to the east taste the food then come back to my shop, they love it and most of them keep coming back.”
But it’s not all sandwiches. There is Vietnamese Pho - a rice noodle and meat in a broth, and variations of grilled meats and rice. There’s a real feel of South East Asia in the shop as well, there’s a handful of tiny chairs and tables, a few conical hats on the walls and even the TV plays a bit of daytime Vietnamese programming.
Opening Times: 11am to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm, Monday to Saturday.
Popular menu choices: The Banh Mi chicken skewers and Thit Nuong (barbecue pork). Topped with mayonnaise, cucumber, coriander, caramelised onion, pate, sweet and sour diakon carrot, sweet and sour pickle. There is also the specially-blended Vietnamese icy coffee to enjoy.