Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bánh Mì: Vietnamese pork roll taste off

Chop Chop, $6.50

I've fallen into the lovely routine of two unofficial lunch clubs. One with friends from the DTWC and the second with a group of a group of food bloggers.

At our previous lunch at Minum there were parting calls of "Vietnamese rolls next time?". Those calls led us to Wynyard park on a sunny Friday with a collection of Vietnamese pork rolls from around town.

It might be a food blogging crime, but I have to admit I know very little about Vietnamese food. Should I order regular or BBQ pork? Chilli or no chilli? And what constitutes a good bánh mì anyway?

I'm still largely clueless. The bread is obviously important in any sandwich, as is the preparation so you get some of every ingredient in each bite.

No one likes a dry sandwich. Moistness comes from the paté and a little bit of mayo (I think). But you don't want too much so you have a big gloopy mess. Fresh vegetables and the pork complete the deal. The chilli in a bánh mì seems to be of the fiery variety, so I prefer it to be applied sparingly or not at all.

Phuong from Hunter Connection was my choice. A total steal at only $4. Flavour wise it was one of my favourites with a nice balance of paté, pork and vegetables. The disappointment was the bread. It was a fluffy torpedo roll.

Red Roll from Wintergarden had a crunchier roll. However, overall it was a bit sweet and the strong chilli nearly took my head off. I couldn't taste a lot other then the chilli.

Taste Baguette's roll felt like the premium product of the day, but at only $6.50 was in the middle of the price range. A French style baguette with lots of fresh salad. There was a little voice at the back of my head asking if it was an authentic bánh mì?

Chop chop could have used more filling and it was a fluffy white roll which isn't my favourite.

Phuong's filling in Taste's bread would be the winner for me.

Phuong, $4

Red Roll, $6.90

Taste Baguette, $6.50

F10 Hunter Connection
7-10 Hunter St
Phuong BBQ Pork Roll on Urbanspoon

Taste Baguette 
Met Centre
1a/68 Market Street
Taste Baguette on Urbanspoon

Red Roll
The Wintergarden, Shop 13, Level 3
1 O'Connell Street,

Chop Chop
36 York St 
Chop Chop - SubYork Café on Urbanspoon


  1. I love these comparisons, well done!

  2. My husband & I have been going to Hong Ha (Red Roll) @ Botany - price $5.00. Depending who serves us, contents may vary slightly. The roll is fresh (as they are baked on site), salad is fresh, can't wait to have the roll again next weekend/Anzac Day.