BMNC – Banh Mi and Noodle Co
Address: 42 Halpin Way, Dandenong VIC 3175
From a conversation with Michael that has been edited.
I’ve added some tweaks, a bit of a fusion style and modern flavours – for example, using Sriracha mayo, crispy tofu and chicken cooked on a char-grill – and, through word of mouth, it has become busier over time.
Hopefully that’s due to the fact that our food is fast, fresh and has a nice balance of flavours.
I grew up eating Vietnamese food quite frequently.
I was raised in Springvale and - during high school - we’d eat out a bit, and I’d get a lot of inspiration from that. There’s a big Southeast Asian community in Springvale, and there are a lot more Vietnamese food options around there compared to Dandenong.
I think the baguettes that we sell are prevalent throughout all of Vietnam, but our style of noodle bowls reflects more of what people eat in South Vietnam.
And, for people who are coming in for the first time, I’d recommend the chicken and the pork baguettes. The chicken is really special because it’s from the char-grill, so you get this really wonderful smoky flavour, and our pork is roasted for 5-6 hours, making it really nice. Our pork, beef and chicken noodle bowls are delicious as well.
Cooking has become a business, but it’s still a passion of mine. I’m trying to do what I enjoy so I don’t have to work. But I still have to work pretty hard.
I started BMNC in Dandenong because I was familiar with the area, and I thought that our food would go well here.
But Dandenong is changing a lot. There’s so much going on, and new businesses are popping up all the time.
I’m really grateful for our excellent staff, local business owners – such as Gavin from Feen Cafe – who have advised and supported us, and everyone who has checked us out. I don’t think we would have survived our first year without the support of the Dandenong community.
I can see where I wanted to be when I envisioned BMNC two years ago. We’re almost there, but I think the morning trade needs a bit of work. We have great breakfast options – like egg and bacon rolls, salad rolls & pastries - and we use the roaster Seven Seeds with Jersey milk for our coffee.
People see us as more of a food place, but we’ve tried to make our coffee a bit more obvious by placing the machine in a prominent area. Our biggest challenge is getting people from the train station to us. It’s hard, but we’re working on it.