Com Binh Dan in Vietnamese means ‘Working People Food’, so it’s fitting that HOP has now opened in the heart of the city. Located in the Square Mile, HOP is the brainchild of Paul Hopper who used be a city worker himself until his travels to Vietnam in 2012 inspired him to open his own lunch venue.
Inspired by the whole country, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, Hopper has succeeded in capturing Vietnam’s authentic flavours and the rich aromas of their food.
Being a former French colony the Banh Mi Baguettes are popular both in Vietnam and among HOP’s customers. On our visit, we couldn’t resist the Lemongrass Chicken hot meal box. Together with coriander and caramelised onions, the chicken is superb. The assortment of steamed rice, shredded salad, pickled and green veg leaves you feeling very full and content afterwards.
There are two things that you HAVE to try when you’re here: 1) the summer rolls. We opted for the mackerel and beetroot and were not left disappointed; and 2) the iced Viet coffee, it was recommended to us by Hopper himself and my word, it is sublime.
Hopper’s story is an inspiring one and is testament that we can get that lightbulb moment at any time in life. You never know, you might even get yours while lunching here one day.