WTF: Hing Won Now Selling Chinese “Banh Mi”


Just when you thought the whole banh mi craze couldn’t get any crazier, Hing Won (on 48th btw. 5+6th) has added banh mi to their menu.  Yes, my favorite fast food Chinese place, known for their Chinatown style meats, soups, and noodle dishes is now serving Vietnamese sandwiches.  W…T…F?  My gut instinct is to laugh this one off and- in what should be a surprise to no one- it’s not a completely “authentic” banh mi, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

Check out what they’re serving, after the jump…


Basically if the thought of eating Hing Won’s delicious roast meats in sandwich form appeals to you, you should be excited about this news.  The sandwiches cost $6 ($6.45 for the duck) and are served on french bread, topped with “pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, jalapeno, and cilantro”.  Sadly there’s no pate, and the meat options are strictly Chinese (roast pork, roast duck, two kinds of chicken, and “crispy Chinese pork belly”) but it’s a pretty good effort considering it’s coming from a Chinese restaurant.  They also have a vegetarian version with portobello mushrooms.


I didn’t actually try a full sandwich (I had already eaten), but they did have little samples.  I tried the crispy Chinese pork belly, which wasn’t very crispy- but still tasty.  The bread isn’t the greatest of all time either, but overall I’m definitely interested in returning to try a sandwich.  I love Hing Won’s roast pork… what could be bad about eating it in sandwich form?  Initial impression from the free sample: not as Vietnamese as Boi Sandwich (on 3rd btw. 44+45th), or as tasty as Baoguette (on Lex btw. 25+26th)- but might end up being my favorite new sandwich option near Rockefeller Center.  Early adopters, let us know how the full sandwiches are.

It all started with Hing Won… one year ago this week
Original Hing Won Post (6/8/06)


  • Chinese style banh mi. It sounds interesting. Price might not appeal to moi if hero isn’t sizeable. :P

  • That looks like the same meat in their new special “Roast Pig Over Rice”, not to be confused with the “Roast Pork Over Rice”. Definitely pork belly, but seriously lacking on the crisp.

  • @Tom – Whoa! I haven’t tried this “roast pig over rice” you speak of. Is it good? (Despite not being crispy?)

  • It is good, but not great. There was a little bit of crispy skin on some of the pieces, but not enough. It was a little tough too, they should have cooked it a lot longer. It can’t compete with szechuan gourmet’s pork belly, but it is a little cheaper and a lot closer so I may get it again.

    Grabbed a roast duck banh mi today and it’s about what you’d expect if you’ve had their roast duck. My biggest complaint is that there is barely any spice. They really need to up the amount of jalapeno and fish sauce. They’d probably make it spicier if you asked, I just loaded up on hot sauce after I got it and that made it much better.

    The portion is a little small for me, about 8″-10″ long, but I eat a lot. It’s more expensive, smaller, and just not as good as what you can get in chinatown. But this is midtown, so by that standard I’d say it’s good and will get it again.

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    Had the roast duck banh mi today too. Agree w/ Tom, not very crispy, could be spicier and definitely could have been cooked a little longer. But that said, it was delicious! I’d never been to Hing Won because I’m usually not a fan of chinese for lunch, but I’ll be back soon to try their other banh mi’s.

    Unlike Tom, I thought the sandwich was a decent size and quite filling – although that might have been because I was chowing down on a couple of samples while waiting for my food.

  • No pate? Forgetaboutit!

  • If Tom thinks it’s a bit on the small side, then most likely in my case too. Might as well take the subway to Chinatown then. The extra two bucks can go towards an iced coffee or something. :P

  • Banh Mi has become the new cupcake…

  • im still waiting on a banh mi truck… someone make it happen!

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    Authentic or not, it looks yummy.

  • @Zach/Tanman: The first paragraph was about the pork belly, the 2nd/3rd were about the banh mi. Should have made that clearer

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    Ok … this definitely isn’t “real” banh mi, but I like the idea of Chinese-style meat served this way. I had the roast pork and it definitely worked with the pickled veg and the cilantro. Needed more hot stuff and the bread was very weak. I disagree with some posters about the size of the sandwich, mine was pretty big. Nice to see someone serving something kind of like banh mi in this area.

  • you’d be surprised how pitiful banh mi is in vietnam outside of the major cities/tourist traps :(

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    Perhaps you are unaware that probably half of the “Vietnamese” restaurants in New York are run by Chinese people? There are also a fair number of Chinese run sushi and Thai places, not to mention Mexican. I would say authenticity always take a back seat to quality especially when it comes to a modern fusion food like Banh Mi.

  • As a point of reference to the size comment, I also find Hing Won’s roast pork over rice and noodle soups to be a little on the small side. For me. For most people I’m sure it’s fine.

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    It’s really not the aunthenticity that’s the problem i guess its the bread … too chewy not crisp. All in all though glad I have this lunch option now.

  • I think size is def. very important. There’s no such thing as too much good food (The bigger-the better minus any easy spoilage and add the possibility of saving it for later) – only when there’s too much of bad food (like muffin bottoms – not even the homeless want it.)

    Not only quality of the midtown lunch but also quantity of it adds the value of the meal. That’s why I can’t eat expensive fancy sandwiches often. Taht’s why I prefer the cheap, delicious and huge street meat plates.

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    Don’t let the lack of pate deter you! I was born and raised in Vietnam, and had banh mi for breakfast every other day for 15 years. At first sight of the news, I was thinking, what, Chinese people trying to make banh mi, pttf. But the roast duck sandwich swiftly won me over at first bite. The meat is tender, the bread is warm and moist despite the lack of pate, and the flavor is spot on. As a native, I can tell you right now that this is closer to the real banh mi than Boi To Go ever gets. That one is really a disgrace of banh mi.

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    Love the roast pork banh!
    I heard that the guy that runs Hing Won and set up this banh stand, is a friend of the guys that run the Banh place on 12th and University.

    Soy sauce chicken over rice is also a favorite.

    If you feel like you’re coming down with a cold, I recommend roast duck noodle soup and add dumplings.

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