Saturday, December 6, 2014
Khong River House's Bomb Banh-Mi
This week, I was lucky enough to find myself in Miami for the annual Art Basel fair as well as other art happenings around town. I was working there, as part of my day gig and happened to pop out for a yummy lunch at Khong River House near Lincoln Road. Even though I've been there earlier this year, I hadn't written about my experience yet, so I thought to take that opportunity here.
Coming in for a late lunch after 2 p.m., I found the atmosphere chill and not too crowded. Since I came in on my own, I thought to sit at the bar, which was a good choice, and I got helped right away.
The bar is a thing of beauty boasting tall wooden fixtures including high shelves that house pretty clay pots and various types of earthenware bowls. Even though it was fully bright outside, the lighting at the restaurant is dim and subdued, and gives off a sexy vibe no matter what time you come in. The bar stools are nice and wide and therefore comfortable - a perfect place to relax after being on your feet the whole morning.
There were lots of tempting choices as far as the menu was concerned but I quickly zeroed in on the chicken meatball banh-mi, which was calling my name (especially since it also included taro chips). Aside from sandwiches, they also have things like curry, chicken wings, noodles and the like.
Chicken Meatball Banh-Mi - A very generous portion, this hearty sandwich was served on a 6 inch baguette split in two. The contents were plentiful and filled with two medium sized chicken balls on each baguette. A healthy dose of red curry sauce sealed the deal for me, and is also what made this taste like a real banh-mi. The crunchy topping of Asian slaw, cilantro, carrots and slivers of spicy jalapeños added nice texture and an injection of heat. I have to admit that I omitted the latter ingredient, since I didn't want an overly spicy lunch - but maybe next time I'll be braver.
Service and Cost:
Since the bar wasn't crowded, the service was excellent and dare I say that I think it would've been regardless. The bartender was friendly and responsive but also very relaxed in that she let me hang out as long as I wanted. I never felt awkward for being a solo diner and in fact noticed a few other folks doing the same thing.
Costs are moderate, but totally fair for the high quality food you're getting. My lunch set me back about $20 including tax and tip. This is Miami Beach after all.
Khong River House - 1661 Meridian Avenue, Miami FL 33139