For £5, Hai Café makes one of London’s finest bánh mìs. This little arm’s length-wide spot in Lower Clapton heftily fills its short baguettes with a combination of spiced pork belly and lemongrass chicken, an intriguing - and wholly delicious - crushed black sesame seed spread plus pickled bits, green chilli, a slice of head cheese, and, of course, crispy shallots. The pork belly in its classic sandwich (though there is a tofu and mushroom option) is bolshy: caramelised chunks that will undoubtedly fall onto your lap before being transferred deftly into your mouth. There’s pho, rice bowls, and salads on the menu as well as specials, like Vietnamese beef stew, weekly.
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The Vietnamese sandwich - be it with lemongrass pork, stuffed with tofu, and always in a baguette - is a crowdpleaser. Here are London’s best.
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