A bacon-centric sandwich bar at the edge of the Pham. By Chris Mueller. Photos by Lee Starnes.
This small, two-month-old shop on Cong Quynh Street, at the edge of the backpacker district, serves bacon sandwiches. Honestly, does anything else really need to be said? Bacon is one of those things that you either love or hate. And if you’re a fan of bacon, it won’t take much to convince you to try the Hungry Pig, and you’ll be glad you did. If you’ve already forsaken these crispy bits of pig flesh for “better” health, then you need to get your priorities straight and come back to the tasty side.
Health debates aside, there is no argument that the Hungry Pig has some pretty amazing bacon. Owner Christian Taylor knows his pigs and the 24-year-old Brit painstakingly tracked down a Vietnamese farmer he could trust to raise some delicious and organic swine. This allows Taylor to get his bacon delivered twice a month, which not only ensures freshness, but also means he doesn’t need to add nitrates, those pesky preservatives some say are the most worrisome ingredient in bacon.
Although Taylor has plenty of American-style bacon (prepared from pork belly), he doesn’t have any back bacon yet, to the bane of British bacon lovers. But he says it won’t be long before these thicker cuts are on the menu. He also expects to be bringing home enough bacon in the near future to actually sell packs of it in the restaurant.
As for the menu it’s pretty simple. Grab a laminated card at the counter and mark off what you want. You can either choose set options, such as the classic bacon lettuce and tomato (VND 65,000) or the Notorious P.I.G (VND 100,000), which comes with maple bacon, chorizo, honey ham, mozzarella and rocket on a baguette. Or you can make your own sandwich. First choose your bread: a baguette, white or wheat toast, bagel, or Panini. Then the bacon: pine smoked, maple, chilli and pepper, or cayenne (you can also opt for chorizo, ham, or salami). To top it off there are four different types of cheese, and a bunch of vegetables and condiments. If you still love your bacon, but want something a little healthier, three salad options for under VND 100,000 were recently added.
While bacon has always been popular, it has become a fad over the past few years, used in everything from desserts and chocolate bars to expensive cuts of steak. But the Hungry Pig is a no-frills restaurant that isn’t following any trends. Instead, it puts bacon back where it belongs, between two pieces of bread.