Banh mi Vietnamese pork roll $3.00
Is the humble banh mi not God's gift to tastebuds?
Each mouthful is a contrast between crunchy baguette and fluffy innards, creamy pate and peppery spring onion, sweetened pork and pickled carrot, and salty fish sauce with soothing cucumber. A scattering of lettuce adds crunch, slivers of raw onion will linger for hours later, and the prized lone sprig of coriander is always placed with delicate precision.
The Vietnamese pork roll is prolific throughout suburban bakeries across Sydney but few are so publicly lauded as those from Hong Ha Hot Bread.
The queues have been snaking down the street since 1986, apparently, and each time we arrive there is indeed, always someone waiting in line.
Three measly dollars is all it takes to provide a feast for the all senses. That and the patience to wait until it's finally your turn at the head of the queue. As a result I usually start chomping on my roll even before I've left the bakery.
And the definitive difference between these and your everyday suburban pork roll? We certainly notice the difference in the baguette, which is much crunchier and flakier in crust than most. Banh mi aficionados swear that the slices of pork meat are marginally thicker too.
Your Hong Ha banh mi fix is not necessarily a Saturday drive away either. In addition to branches in Hurstville and Cabramatta, Hong Ha are also the people behind Red Roll, the fancy pork roll shop inside World Square in the Sydney CBD. Sure the price has been jacked up to $4.90 but that hasn't stopped flocks of city suits liberally adorning themselves with a trail of tell-tale bread crumbs down their fronts.
Hong Ha Hot Bread
1151 Botany Road, Mascot, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9667 2069
Shop 10.25 Liverpool Lane East
World Square, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9264 6228
Hong Ha Hurstville
324 Forest Road, Hurstville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9580 1268
Hong Ha Fresh Rolls
Shop A18/53 Park Road, Cabramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9723 0702
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8/09/2006 10:46:00 pm