Vietnamese chefs and restaurateurs, David Le and Jimmy Yeung, owners of Bang Bang Vietnamese Canteen, introduced us to the story behind their ‘FiIm Noir Noodle Bar’ in Warren Street.
What exactly is the Bang Bang concept?
The restaurant is at the centre of a multi-platform back story. The first part of a hard-boiled Film Noir narrative, involving mobsters, double crosses and a few signature Vietnamese dishes, is told on one wall of the restaurant and in fragments across the menus and napkins, with additional scenes, clues and new plot developments to be revealed on social media. The menu introduces the story and characters, and the restaurant itself features in several key scenes. The inspiration comes from theatre company Punch Drunk’s work, as well as 1940s Film Noir.
And what about the food?
There’s a menu of amazing Vietnamese street food, the overriding theme is real Vietnamese flavours, presented with a cool inner city edge, selected from recipes passed down through David and Jimmy’s family and encounters on their travels. With an amazing wine list from trendy independent wine merchants, Vagabond.
What makes Vietnamese cuisine stand out from other Asian cuisines?
It fits with current health-conscious trends, and has fresh, punchy, banging flavours. As Vietnam is becoming more popular as a destination for travellers, more and more people are aware of the cuisine and its amazing tastes.
What specialities should we try?
Our Bang Bang Baos, steamed buns with pork belly and bang spicy wings, are a firm favourite. And, of course, our 18-hour Pho broth is synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine and with Bang Bang, since it’s a recipe that’s been passed down through the Le Family.
Why did you choose Fitzrovia?
With its diverse mix of cool people and businesses, it’s the perfect area to showcase what we have on offer.
What are your favourite local places to eat, drink and shop?
Honey and Co on Warren Street does amazing food and is a favourite.
Describe Fitzrovia in three words.
Bang, bang, banging!