Banh mi and sweet potato lattes coming to the Annex
New café offers authentic street food and raises money for coffee farmers in Vietnam
Husband and wife duo Tri Ngo and Hang Vu are bringing authentic Vietnamese fare and coffee to the Annex in the form of Rustle & Still Café. The café will recreate the kinds of street food popular on their home turf of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It will offer banh mi, goi cuon (rice paper spring rolls) and other snacks in a modern space teeming with greenery. The two are set to open their doors this month, but first, they shared a bit about the café with Post City.
Why open a Vietnamese café?
We want to pay homage to where we come from. We’ve been here for 10 plus years, and when we tried to search for Vietnamese food in the city, we found there were really only Pho restaurants.
What’s the story behind the wraps with a newspaper motif?
When we think about street food, its accessible and casual. Local newspapers or banana leaf was a convenient and cheap way to serve street food in Vietnam. It’s become a custom for us. Every morning we would go to school and take a quick wrap of banh mi. We want to replicate that kind of experience.
What’s great about your coffee?
Vietnam is actually the second largest exporter of coffee. But not a lot of people know that. Most of the coffee beans here in Canada come from Brazil and Costa Rica. We focus on espresso-based and specialty drinks like matcha latte, hojicha latte and sweet potato latte. We also work directly with our coffee farmers through a not-forprofit organization Filanthrope. On Jan. 31 there was a fire that destroyed this year’s harvest, so we’re raising money to support them.
Why open at Bloor & Bathurst?
We’re actually in Koreatown, and we found a lot of our customers are either students or more geared toward Asian food. It’s just the perfect spot for us (605 Bloor St. W., 647-350-8893).
L–R: Rustle & Still Café owners Tri Ngo and Hang Vu