I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening of Yellow Fever ever since the signage first went up on Botany Road a couple of months ago – there was something about the typeface that convinced me that I was really going to get along with this place. It’s a Vietnamese-inspired cafe offering up a pleasingly tight menu of bánh mì, rice paper rolls, and vermicelli salads, all modern-takes on the traditional street food classics. Coffee and pastries are courtesy of Little Marionette and Brickfields respectively, the former served the standard western way, or Vietnamese-style over ice. The interior is slick and minimalist, and there are a couple of tables out on footpath that are perfect for people-watching.
I first sampled bánh mì from a street cart in Nha Trang many years ago, and ever since I watched the lady behind the counter slather a freshly baked baguette in pâté, this traditional Vietnamese sandwich has been a firm favourite of mine – the combination of pork, pâté, pickled veggies, spring onion, mayo, coriander, chilli, drenched in that amazing mystery dressing ticks all the flavour and texture boxes. My current go-to bánh mì joint is Eddy’s, a classic French-Vietnamese bakery just down the road from Yellow Fever, where the pork rolls come jam-packed with so many ingredients that they’re physically challenging to eat, and at $5 a pop they’re an absolute bargain. Naturally, I gravitated towards Yellow Fever’s bánh mì offering on my first visit there – they’re a little steeper at $8, with a choice of chicken, tofu, five-spiced pork, and a fun-sounding breakfast version with spam, eggs, and pickles. I went the incredibly tasty and well-balanced pork option, which sadly isn’t laced with lashings of pâté, but does come topped with tasty crushed roasted peanuts.
While I remain a staunch Eddy’s devotee in the bánh mì department, I’m a huge fan of this new kid on the block and will definitely be back to sample the rest of the menu.