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Bánh Bánh Vietnamese street food restaurant opening in Peckham

By Sophie Witts , 08-Mar-2016
Last updated on 08-Mar-2016 at 15:47 GMT2016-03-08T15:47:27Z

Bánh Bánh Vietnamese street food restaurant opening in Peckham

The five siblings behind Vietnamese street food pop-up Bánh Bánh are opening their first permanent restaurant in Peckham later this month.

The Nguyen family are moving from their residency at South London’s Bussey Building to a 50-cover site on Peckham Rye.

Bánh Bánh's menu is inspired by the sibling’s grandmother, who worked as a chef in Saigon in the 1940’s, with dishes ranging from Pho to Banh Khot (crispy turmeric, prawn and coconut pancakes), and Fried Mango Snapper.

An Nguyen told BigHospitality the though the pop-up had been ‘really successful’ the move to a larger kitchen would allow the team to expand their menu.

She said: “The pop-up was a tiny space pretty much the size of a postage stamp. It didn’t even have a proper kitchen so we had to prep everything off site.

“We’ve always had a vision to serve the food we grew up eating and our grandma used to cook in the 40’s, and we definitely needed more space to be able to do that.”

Family business

While opening a business with five siblings may sound off-putting to some, An said the restaurant ran as a well-oiled machine with her two brothers cooking in the kitchen and the three sisters front-of-house.

She said: “We’re a very tight family and there’s an honesty there that you don’t get from working with friends or colleagues. That allows us to be more receptive and push each other to be the best. So there can be a few cross words, but it’s dealt with pretty quickly.”

Staying authentic

Though the public appetite for Vietnamese cuisine is growing, the Nguyen’s are keen to keep Bánh Bánh as a family-run business rather rolling it out as a chain.

An said: “Our ethos is around family and home-cooking and we definitely like to be very hands on in the restaurant.

“We’d be open to having another restaurant but would really want to keep one of us on the ground for quality control and continuity of service, so we’d never open more than five [sites] because there are only five of us.

“The thing with Vietnamese cooking is it’s not ridiculously complicated, it’s about getting the freshest ingredients and treating them with care and respect

“Our grandmother was an incredible woman who was still cooking huge banquets in her mid-seventies and we want to keep some of that dedication alive.”

Bánh Bánh opens at 46 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR later this month.