Annigje Jacobs chows down on some well-travelled bites in District 1, at Journeys Sandwich Bistro. Photos by Romain Garrigue.
Most of us share the highlights of our trips by telling stories and showing pictures. Restaurant owner and chef Kevin Nagle takes it a little further. He turns his travel memories into menus, or more precisely, into sandwiches, side dishes and salads.
Kevin opened his aptly named Journeys Sandwich Bistro in 2017. Just a stone’s throw away from his first restaurant Journeys Sandwich Café that was bursting at the seams within a year of opening. And for good reason: Kevin serves consistently great food. He takes pride in using only the freshest ingredients: all the meats are roasted in-house, the 10 varieties of bread are freshly baked throughout the day and almost all of the sauces, jams and dressings are homemade.
On the menu of Journeys Sandwich Bistro, you’ll find around 30 sandwiches plus 10 different salads from around the globe. Every single one is inspired by a place he has visited. “Sometimes people ask me to put an Indian sandwich on the menu,” he said. “But I can’t – I haven’t been there yet.”
Luckily, he has travelled to many places – and we got a taste of five of them. We started with the bestseller: The pulled pork grilled cheese (VND140,000) – a hearty American classic from the memories of this New York-born chef. SO good. Next was the Uruguayan chivito (VND180,000). Deliciously comforting, the tender meat alongside tasty roasted bell pepper, crunchy romaine lettuce and homemade salsa golf. You can’t not finish it even if your stomach tells you you’re full. Our third sandwich, my personal favourite, was the peri peri chicken (VND130,000). It’s a little spicy (or very spicy, depending on your taste) and creates a real zing in your mouth. I’ll definitely be back for this beauty.
And Kevin hasn’t overlooked his new home, bringing a taste of Vietnam with four new banh mi variants. We tried the dac biet (VND75,000), which is an excellent example of the chef’s talent of breathing new life into familiar flavours.
All the sandwiches are generously-sized and served with cassava chips and a side of your choice. If you’re not in the mood for bread, try the mouth-watering curry mango chicken salad (VND135,000).
There are plenty of drinks to choose from, too: natural juices, smoothies, coffee, craft beer and heavenly cocktails. The tropical boost (VND50,000), coconut coffee (VND70,000) and Mekong sling (VND155,000) were all delightful.
Kevin’s high standards don’t only apply to his servings but also to his service. He puts a lot of time and effort in the development of his staff. And it shows. His lovely employees welcome every customer with a genuine smile, they’re knowledgeable and always ready to help and advise.
You’ll find Journeys Sandwich Bistro in the heart of the city, right next to Ben Thanh Market.
Enter through the eye-catching gold shop and take the stairs to the first floor. You can’t miss it. And you wouldn’t want to – it’s a real taste of the world.