YOUNG kids are the best covid protection you can get.
That’s because office workers don’t want to sit beside them when you’re out for a family meal, in case they act up.
So when I took Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles to Bunn Mee for lunch on Tuesday, we had a whole table to ourselves.
Not all schools had a teacher training day, so I also copped a few “I’m gonna call social services” looks from suited punters, adding to the slightly surreal air.
Situated on the busy stretch of Oxford Street, the popular Bunn Mee was packed out with office workers milling about outside, waiting for their takeaway.
The small eatery specialises in Vietnamese street food and its staple is banh mi, a short baguette with crispy crusts and savoury asian fillings.
The menu had a small range of pork, chicken and vegetarian banh mi, as well as spring rolls and mains including spicy noodle soup, ‘shaking’ beef and rice, and crispy Vietnamese pancakes.
I ordered my kids a chicken and a grilled pork banh mi (both $9.50).
My daughter is normally quite a picky eater but she wolfed down the large, lightly toasted roll crammed with shredded chicken, carrot, onion, cucumber and a liberal heap of coriander.
She had to raise the white flag with a quarter of the roll left, so I had a sneaky taste.
The soft chicken had a lovely marinated flavour, the bun was incredibly light and fresh, and the carrot added a sweet reprise. Extremely delicious and filling.
My son was enjoying his banh mi, packed with long wide slices of grilled pork, which were slightly bright in colour, almost like char siu.
It was a salty, hearty treat on a cold day, but I preferred the chicken as it had a ‘cleaner’ light flavour.
With the temperature plummeting and the rain pouring down, I decided to go for a comforting beef pho noodle soup ($18).
It was nicely presented with the decorative bowl accompanied by a side plate of bean sprouts, chillies, coriander, a wedge of lemon and a small tub of paste.
It meant you could add ingredients according to taste and was a nice touch.
The main attraction – the bone marrow broth – had a clean flavour and wasn’t too salty and didn’t have an oil slick on its surface. A solid foundation for the meal.
The hand-made rice noodles were tasty and when you chucked everything in, the pho really came to life with the chillies and lemon zapping your palate into life.
My only disappointment was the “thinly sliced beef served medium” which was in fact thick chunks of well-done beef that were tasty enough, but not super high quality.
A tasty and filling pho let down by the protein.
The eatery was nicely fitted-out with the ceiling festooned with colourful lanterns.
There were quite a few asian diners, so clearly the street food was authentic and it wasn’t just paying lip service to westerners.
Vietnamese coffee, tea and shakes were available, but I washed down my meal with a refreshing lychee juice ($6.50).
Despite the cheesy name, Bunn Mee was a hit and I’ll be back to try their signature pork three-ways roll.
But with Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles now back at school, I might have to take along a couple of child dolls for protection.
By STEPHEN POLLOCK
112 Oxford St, Leederville