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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Mam Mam, Bankstown

Grilling pork meatballs for bun cha at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown

Sydney might be awash with Vietnamese restaurants but finding traditional dishes from Hanoi, in the country’s north, is more difficult. That’s where recently opened Mam Mam in Bankstown comes in. This stylish arcade café is already a hit with locals. Don’t know your bun cha from your bun nam? Don’t worry, the slick full-page menu photos will eliminate any guesswork.


Bun cha Hanoi smoky grilled pork meatball vermicelli salad at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown
Bún chả Hanoi smoky grilled pork meatball vermicelli salad $13

If you’re going to order anything from the menu, make it the bún chả, a Hanoi classic of grilled pork meatballs and pork slices with vermicelli noodles and salad. You can even watch your pork sizzle on the barbecue through the front window. Pick up your jaw from the ground when your feast arrives, spread out on a gigantic woven platter. Place a little bit of everything in your bowl, drench it with the salty sweet soup and savour the smoky char of pork against soft noodles, crunchy pickled vegetables and fresh herbs.

Bun dau mam tom fried tofu vermicelli salad at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown
Bún đậu mắm tôm fried tofu noodle salad $13

Want to level up? Try the bún đậu mắm tôm, a similar bún chả set-up that substitutes the grilled pork with poached pork slices, fried tofu puffs and pork intestines. The accompanying sauce made from fermented shrimp paste packs a fishy punch, in the best possible way. You’ve been warned.

Bun mam spicy and sour soup at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown
Bún mắm spicy and sour soup $14.50

Bún mắm ($14.50) is a spicy and sour soup holding a jackpot of plump prawns, tender squid, pork belly and thick chewy noodles. Transfer the side plate of shredded banana flower, cabbage and bean sprouts into the soup and then head on down to flavour town. There’s a key ingredient behind the soup’s addictively pungent umami earthiness: fermented fish paste. Don’t be afraid. It’s just an echo versus a punch in the face but it’s definitely there.

Sredded banana flower, cabbage and sprouts for the bun mam at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown
Shredded banana flower, cabbage and sprout accompaniments for the bún mắm


Nem ran Hanoi-style pork and prawn spring rolls at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown
Nem rán Hanoi-style pork and prawn spring rolls $7

Have we saved the best until last? You bet. You need an order of the nem rán – that’s the North Vietnamese version of spring rolls – wrapped up in rice paper sheets (the same ones used for your favourite rice paper rolls) and deep-fried until golden. They’re super crunchy with just a hint of chewiness. Order them as an entrée ($7) and wrap them up in lettuce with pickles or have them as a side to vermicelli noodles and herbs ($13).

Iced white coffee and iced tea at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown
Iced white coffee $4 and iced tea $1

Hanoi cuisine at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown

Hanoi cuisine at Mam Mam Vietnamese restaurant in Bankstown


Mam Mam Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mam Mam
1/313 Chapel Road South, Bankstown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02 9709 5662

Opening hours
Daily 10am-9pm


This article first appeared in Time Out Sydney. Read this article online or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/18/2018 06:00:00 pm


5 Comments:

  • At 11/19/2018 1:25 pm, Anonymous Sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    All looks so good, but I have my eye on those spring rolls. Seems a trip to Bankstown is in my near future.

     
  • At 11/21/2018 12:32 am, Blogger Nicholas Jordan said…

    Wow, this looks so good.

     
  • At 11/24/2018 6:46 am, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    I so want that bun mam!

     
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