(Photo by Theo Lowenstein)

As food concepts go, the humble sandwich is about as simple as it gets, and is enjoyed in various forms all over the world. Rosemary Kitchen and Sandwicherie is one of a growing number of Hanoi sandwich joints taking a step away from the locally revered banh mi in favour of sliced bread and more imaginative fillings.

 

Opened in April 2015 by friends Hanh Nguyen and Hanh Bui, they have baked and buttered their way to the forefront of the Hanoi sandwich scene with an impressive portfolio of shared skills. In charge of the menu and quality control is Ms Nguyen, while Ms Bui, a keen cupcake connoisseur, sees to the managing and marketing side of things.

 

(Photo by Theo Lowenstein)

John Montagu’s Legacy

 

Despite boasting a popular delivery service, I recommend a visit in person. Rosemary is tucked away in a characterful back street near to St. Joseph’s Cathedral in the Old Quarter. Enhanced with colourful photos and mellow music, a handful of tables in a modest dining room are the ideal location to enjoy the simple glory of the sandwich.

 

The first-ever Rosemary menu was almost as simple as the order of cold meat between two slices of bread attributed to the eponymous 18th-century British statesman, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Today’s menu, however, is almost unrecognisable by comparison. Grilled toasties and filled croissants have been added, while the flavours on offer have also markedly increased, with nine fillings for sandwiches and toasties, and six types of salad and croissants now available.

 

Only homemade bread is used here, coming in either whole-wheat or dark rye varieties. It’s so good that they sell it by the loaf to sandwich enthusiasts all over Hanoi. Our meal began with a nostalgic taste of home, as the roasted beef sandwich (VND59,000) tasted like Sunday on sliced bread. Pieces of tender beef layered with caramelised onions and green peppers dripping in a gravy sauce — delicious.

 

(Photo by Theo Lowenstein)

Do You Want Muffins With That?

 

Despite every order coming with a free side of potato wedges or side salad, we decided that at least two more sandwiches would be needed to satisfy our big Western bellies. Next up was the heroically named Olympian’s choice sandwich (VND59,000). Roast chicken, smoked bacon, fried egg and some token leaves and tomatoes all played second fiddle to the sublime sauce within. Ms Nguyen told me it’s a mayonnaise-based sauce livened up with some chilli, yoghurt and black pepper.

 

In a laughable attempt to be healthy, we finished off with the veggie lovers’ sandwich (VND54,000). With pesto sauce and a filling of grilled eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and imported cheddar cheese, it was not bad. Unfortunately, even that thick, gooey layer of cheesy goodness couldn’t compensate for a slightly bitter veggie after-taste.

 

The salads (VND39,000 to VND49,000) offer further options to those watching their waistlines, while the muffins act as an almost guilt-free treat to end the meal, in flavours such as banana and oats, or whole-wheat blueberry (VND25,000). The drink selection includes smoothies, soft drinks and teas; and they even stock Saigon Beer. Rosemary is a great place for visitors to get a break from pho without paying over the odds, and for Westerners living in Hanoi, Rosemary is the comforting taste of home. 

 

Rosemary Kitchen and Sandwicherie is located at 7 Tho Xuong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. Open daily from 9am to 9pm. Delivery is available on (04) 6259 2206

 

(Photo by Theo Lowenstein)

Edward Dalton

Ted landed in Vietnam in 2013, looking for new ways to emulate his globetrotting, octo-lingual grandfather and all-round hero. After spending a year putting that history Masters to good use by teaching English, his plan to return to his careers adviser in a flood of remorseful tears backfired when he met someone special and tied the knot two years on. Now working as a wordsmith crackerjack (ahem, staff writer) for Word Vietnam.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Online Partners

Top