Lit Canteen launches Sydney’s first DIY Banh Mi Box

Sydney, Australia. Inner-city Vietnamese eatery Lit Canteen is bringing the Sydney-loved banh mi to people’s dining room tables, with the launch of Sydney’s first DIY banh mi box.  

Whilst the café has seen an uptake in orders thanks to Alexandria residents supporting local during lockdown, the idea for the banh mi boxes was born out of missing human connection. 

“Vietnamese culture is all about coming together to share food with loved ones. Furthermore, it’s the act of putting on a feast to show our love, which is so important. You just have to look at pho which requires one day’s labour - or two days in our case - but is a staple in bringing many families together,” says Lit Canteen Co-founder Ly Dan.  

“With all of us missing out on that luxury right now, we wanted a way for our friends and family to still experience communal eating during lockdown,” she said. 

The feedback on the banh mi box as care packages was so positive that Lit Canteen are now launching it across Sydney. 

The banh mi boxes are made fresh daily and includes ingredients for 4 individual serves of banh mi. As a nod to the banh mi’s French origins and for a playful twist, Lit Canteen have included croissant in each box so customers can create their own banh mi croissant. 

A vegetarian banh mi box is also available and features both vegan mayo and pâté, panko crumbed mushrooms, lightly fried but super fluffy tofu, and of course pickled carrots and daikon. 

When conceptualising these boxes, Lit Canteen co-founder David Phan explains the banh mi isn’t a dish you would traditionally make at home, because of the specialty ingredients required. 

“The traditional banh mi contains 3 different types of Vietnamese cured meats, and our Vietnamese mayo and pâté is made fresh on-site from a secret family recipe,” said David.  

“Even in Vietnam, you would just walk down the road to the local street vendor to get your banh mi fix,” he added. 

“The bread rolls are also an important component to get right. To get the Lit Canteen bread rolls fluffy and crisp, we get the bread rolls specially mixed by a local baker,” said David.