The round-up: bite into some of Brisbane’s best banh mi
When it comes to sandwiches, we are connoisseurs. As long as there’s bread and some kind of filling, we’re interested. No sandwich gets us as excited as banh mi, though, and we’d hazard a guess we’re not the only ones. In an age where people are pushing the boundaries of food fusion, banh mi is an established and culturally rich blend. The meeting of French and Vietnamese cuisines has resulted in what could be the best sandwich in the world, and when you get a glimpse of the crusty baguette filled to bursting point with scrumptious ingredients you’d be hard-pressed to disagree. Brisbane’s got a booming banh mi scene. Want proof? Check out this list and see what all of the fuss is about.
Mrs Luu’s, various locations: With numerous locations around town, Mrs Luu’s is one of the most reliable locations to get your hands around a crusty Viet-style French baguette. If you are into variety, Mrs Luu’s offers six banh mi baguettes to sample. Not only have you got the option of chicken or beef, but Mrs Luu’s ups the ante with omelette, tofu and pork chop banh mi, as well as a seriously impressive Three Little Piggies baguette, filled with Viet porchetta, BBQ pork, and Viet ham. You can find Mrs Luu’s in South Bank, Bowen Hills, Milton and the Brisbane CBD.
Scotts Road Deli & Darra Takeaway, Darra: The trusty suburban deli is often the best spot for a brilliant banh mi, and we’ve heard great things about Scotts Road Deli in the heart of Darra. The Vietnamese rolls come with a range of interesting combinations, from the classic pork or chicken rolls to the roast pork and gravy, Vietnamese roast pork and the intriguing ‘special’ roll.
Kim Thanh Hot Bread, West End: This humble West End bakery is known to locals as the best spot in the suburb to get a banh mi fix. All of the classic flavours are available, from pork and tamarind chicken to tofu and beyond. Spice lovers can opt for a hearty sprinkling of chilli, giving your banh mi an extra kick in the flavour stakes.
Minh Tan Bakery, Inala: In the heart of Inala is a charming Vietnamese bakery that is known for producing some of the best banh mi sandwiches around. Freshly toasted baguettes are lovingly lathered in butter and pate before being stuffed to the brim with your choice of pork, pork mince, chicken, pork loaf or a combination of the lot.
District 1, Fortitude Valley: The Ann Street-end of Chinatown Mall in The Valley is where you’ll find District 1 – a Vietnamese street-food eatery that should be at the top of your hit list when you need banh mi in your belly. All baguettes are served with liver pate, traditional Vietnamese butter, cucumber, house made pickled carrot and then filled up with your selection of slow-roasted pork belly, pork and water chestnut meatballs, lemongrass sirloin beef or sauteed mushroom and caramelised onion.
Cafe O-Mai, Annerley: Banh mi for breakfast? Don’t mind if we do! Cafe O-Mai in Annerley brings a Vietnamese spin to Australian cafe culture, plating up brunch bites with a twist. The all-day banh mi selection can be filled with the likes of bacon and egg, house made crackling pork, chargrilled tamarind chicken, pulled beef-brisket, barbecue pork, omelette or tofu.
EatMii Cafe & Bar, West End: Another worthy entrant in West End’s bountiful banh mi scene, EatMii on Boundary Street plates up baguettes stuffed with the likes of crackling roast pork, chicken, nem nuong (grilled pork sausage), xiu mai (Vietnamese meatballs) and tofu.
Mission Vietnamese, Coorparoo: Coorparoo Square’s own home for Vietnamese cuisine is a handy spot for a grab-and-go banh mi. Although great to eat on the move, one bite of this monster and you’ll want to stand still and savour. In addition to the cucumber, coriander, chilli pate and pickled carrot, you can top your baguette with lemongrass pork strips, chicken, beef, crispy chicken avocado or fried tofu.
My Street Food, Woolloongabba: Woolloongabba street-food seekers flock to My Street Food at lunchtime to get a taste of its incredible range of eats. The perfect choice for the time poor is a banh mi, which can be easily consumed on the move. In addition to the traditional pork roll, patrons are spoiled for choice with the likes of flame-grilled pork patty rolls, triple pork, lemongrass pork and spicy lemongrass chicken. It’s okay – you can order two, we won’t judge.
Banoi, Bowen Hills: King Street’s own Vietnamese eatery bangs out some impressive banh mi baguettes for lunch. It’s hard to look past the classic pork option, but those that mix things up will be rewarded. You could opt for a different flavour every weekday, with the likes of grilled garlic and soy chicken, crispy pork belly, barbecue pork, silken tofu and salad rolls also available.
Little Hanoi Cafe, Holland Park West: Holland Park locals would hate that we’re giving their suburb’s secrets away, but sharing is caring. Little Hanoi Cafe is a choice Vietnamese eatery that serves up Vietnamese baguettes chock-full with sour carrot, butter, cucumber, pate and coriander, plus mouth-watering fillings like barbecue duck, crackling pork, grilled chicken and grilled pork meatballs.
Grumpy G’s Kitchen, Fortitude Valley: Just off Brunswick Street in The Valley is a hidden canteen that those in the know seek when it’s banh mi time. Grumpy G’s stuffs a crusty baguette with pickled carrot, daikon radish, cucumber, coriander, and your choice of Vietnamese cold meats, pork patties, grilled chicken or tofu.
Lucky Egg, Fortitude Valley: Although known primarily for its crispy fried chicken burgers and slaw, every Thursday Brunswick Street’s Lucky Egg whips up some delicious Togarashi banh mis. These beauties are only $5 a pop, so doubling up is encouraged.
Know of a dynamo banh mi spot that we’ve missed? Let us know! Send an email with your recommendation to [email protected].
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