Kolette’s Kitchen Pushes the Banh Mi Boundaries With Chicken Shawarma
I’ve been curious about the kosher banh mi sandwiches at Kolette’s Kitchen (on Lex btw 55+56th) since Amy told us that the Classic wasn’t half bad. Well, if they could do a respectable kosher (aka no pork) version of our beloved banh mi, what about this other hybrid sandwich we heard about, the Chicken Shawarma Banh Mi? What is that all about? Spicy, chicken deliciousness apparently!
I made my way to Kolette’s a little later than my usual lunchtime, to a nearly empty storefront. A few people were there eating soup or sandwiches, and the people working there were friendly to all of us in some way. Just like we’ve been hearing, this spin on the banh mi came on fresh bread, and you get to choose your level of spiciness. Since I was still getting over being sick, I decided to go with the medium level. The bottom piece is slathered with mayonnaise and their veggie paté, then topped by the chicken. I found the chicken cooked to tender and in a well seasoned sauce. Carrots, cucumbers, and cilantro top the whole thing off, and you have a Vietnamese Chicken Shawarma Banh Mi.
For $7.50, I found this to be a good-sized sandwich. They’re generous with the chicken, enough to fill you up, but not so much that you end up in an afternoon food coma. Plus, all of the flavors combine together nicely. The medium heat was just enough for me without becoming overwhelming. The carrots add the necessary banh mi crunch, which may be heightened by adding some pickled daikon. Toss in the fresh bread, and this sandwich is completely worthy of being added to the Midtown East rotation.
Kolette’s Kitchen, 672 Lexington (btw. 55+56th), (212) 593-2222