Vietnamese pork roll banh mi thit

Sydney’s Best Vietnamese Pork Roll (Banh Mi Thit)

After 6 weeks of pork roll chomping, the search is over, click on link for Sydney’s best pork roll/banh mi.

By Thang Ngo

And here’s a video review of all 14 finalists – watch and decide for yourself.

Vietnamese pork roll banh mi thit

Help find Sydney’s best Viet pork rolltweet this.

The French might have showed us how to bake bread rolls (banh mi) that are crusty golden outside and fluffy and light inside.  But the Vietnamese raised the stakes by shoving in different types of meat (thit), pate, mayo, pickles and sauces.  Thus banh mi thit, or Vietnamese pork roll was born.  As the community spread around the world, this special Vietnamese food has grown in popularity. In the north America, lovers of banh mi thit share their passion through the Battle of the Banh Mi online community.  In the UK, banh mi has been added to the Oxford Dictionary.

This quintessential Vietnamese east-meets-west food is known by many names:

    • banh mi thit (bread with meat) in the Vietnamese community at home and abroad
    • banh mi is used in the UK, banh mi was added to the Oxford English Dictionary on 24 March, 2011
    • Vietnamese sandwich in America
    • banh mi sandwich in America
    • pork rolls or Vietnamese pork rolls in Australia

In this post, I’ll use Vietnamese pork roll as that’s probably the most commonly used name in broader Australia.

It’s a perfect fast food and you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner – even as a late night snack; there’s a couple of hot bread shops in Cabramatta that are open 24 hours.

Best Vietnamese Pork Roll in Sydney – the search is on…

Noodlies, Sydney food blog grew up eating it in Vietnam and from what I can remember, Sydney does a pretty good Vietnamese pork roll.  I’m now embarking on a search  for Sydney’s best Vietnamese pork roll.

I’ve set down five criteria:

  • bread: the essential foundation
  • meat: variety, taste, balance
  • vegetables: variety, freshness
  • added sauce and flavouring: often neglected, this actually binds everything together
  • value: what you get for the price

Of course, there are other versions, including chicken rolls, but for the purpose of this review, I’m going for the classic Vietnamese pork roll.

Stage 1: Nominations (now)

The shops below are on my list of potentials for review based on my experience and your nomination:

  1. Viet Hoa, Cabramatta, $4
  2. Kim Thanh, Cabramatta, opp station, $4
  3. Hoan Cau, Cabramatta, John St, next to Pho Viet, near station, $3.50
  4. Marrickville Pork Rolls (PR), Illawarra Rd, Marrickville, $4
  5. Hong Ha, Botany Rd, Mascot, $5
  6. Tina’s, Canley Heights, $3.50
  7. Bay Ngo, Bankstown, $3.50
  8. Vinata’s, Cabramatta, $4
  9. Jamison’s Bakery, Penrith, $3
  10. Nam Fong, Bankstown, $3.50
  11. King’s, Hurstville $4
  12. Minh Hung, Hughes St, Cabramatta, $3
  13. Flourland Bakery, Liverpool, $3
  14. KK, Cabramatta, $3.50

Of course, I’m sure there a lots, lots more places, but in the six weeks available, these 14 nominees are the places I’ve been able to get to.

I’ll be posting videos of my reviews progressively here, so make sure you check the post regularly for updates.

This is only the beginning, it’s by no means an extensive list.  I’d love your thoughts on other places I should try.  Please put their details in the comments and why you think they’re good.

I’m intending to review up to 10 places and score them against the five criteria above.  I may tweet when I’ll be visiting these places (follow @thangngo) and you’re welcome to join me, I’d love a second, third or fourth opinion!

Stage 2: Announcement (end of April)

Of course, it’s completely subjective, but noodlies, Sydney food blog will publish the scores against each criteria and announce the winner of Sydney’s best pork roll on noodlies at the end of April.

How you can help noodlies find Sydney’s best Vietnamese pork roll:

  • nominate your favourite Vietnamese pork roll shop and why – use the comment section of this post
  • retweet and share this post on facebook and other social media to help broaden the search (sample tweet below)
  • follow me @thangngo, I’ll tweet review times and join me if you’re free

 Sydney’s best Vietnamese pork roll.. the search is now OVER

After 6 weeks of pork roll chomping, the search is over, click on link for Sydney’s best pork roll/banh mi.




There are 69 comments

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  1. Joey

    In Canley Vale, the place near Richard’s on the Park pub is pretty good, especially for chicken rolls. It’s always busy.

  2. Tony Hollingsworth

    Great idea Thang,

    Definitely Hong Ha so glad its on your list. It is my favourite (and my local) – I’ve been going there for 10 years I reckon. It’s in a busy strip along Botany Road but you can usually snare a park or head behind to the car park and walk around – visit Christopher’s Cakes while you’re in the area – Greek baked goods for the win!

    Hong Ha also manage Red Roll in the Wintergarden, O’Connoll St CBD so check that out too: https://foursquare.com/v/red-roll/4bfdce30e529c928698bbb8c

    I look forward to trying the Cabramatta places – I bet they are fantastic.

  3. kaerb

    Kings Hot Bread in Hurstville (a little further up from the train station, past Westfields) was the Vietnamese Pork Roll of my childhood. I can’t give you a foodie critique or anything, but the overarching feeling in its food is freshness. Freshly baked bread rolls (still warm, if you get there early enough), fresh fillings, and the mayonnaise is to DIE for.

    It’s not as cheap as it was in, what, 2000 when the pork roll was about $2.80, but it’s still a fair price. Even after moving halfway across Sydney, it’s still something I must get whenever I go back.

  4. casceru

    My top 2 would be:
    Kim Thanh Hot Bread, Cabramatta
    Banh Mi Thit, Marrickville

    Hong Ha in Mascot was once one of the best, but it’s really slipped down in quality these days (although I still go there – I had one for breakfast just yesterday).

  5. Margaret

    Have you tried the one in Hunter Connection in the Sydney CBD? Apparently it’s amazing!

    There’s also a joint in plaza on Miller St, North Sydney that also does pho and pork rolls albeit a bit pricey.

  6. Claire Corbett

    Hi Thang – perhaps we could lure you to Leura? Saigon Sandwich in Wentworth Falls does a nice banh mi though I don’t have a lot to compare it to. We need your expertise west of Penrith. Help advance the cause of good Vietnamese food outside greater metro Sydney.

    Claire

  7. Miss Piggy

    I like Xcel Roll in Parramatta – probably as it’s the only one in my hood, but I think it’s pretty decent. I’d LOVE to know what you think of the Taste Baguette version of the Pork Roll…just out of curiosity.

  8. Audrey

    This is going to sound strange, but there’s this place in the University of New South Wales Roundhouse building called Tropical Green and they do great Banh Mi Thit and Pho.

    In terms of pork roll, it’s great traditional style bread; the toppings include pate, jellied meat, mayo, sliced grilled pork with just enough chilli and sauce (which I think is a little different to straight soy) and something like $3.50 (last time I looked). They have two outlets on campus but the Roundhouse one is much better.

    If I was going to buy one from somewhere else I’d go the Marrickville Road place and then the place on Botany Road.

    • Nam

      They’re okay but I wouldn’t rate it high – $4.50 is on the expensive side.

      Didn’t know there is one in Roundhouse, should check it out.

  9. Riley

    Banh Mi Bay Ngo in Bankstown specialise in pork rolls and makes the best ones by far in my opinion. The pate they use is so smooth & creamy! Plus the bread is so fresh, crusty but still soft at the same time. My favourite in particular are the BBQ pork rolls. You must definitely add them to your list and check them out! :)

    • Tina

      Agreed :) As I’m typing this comment, I’m having a bite of their pork rolls. You are so right, their bread is much better than all the other banh mi thit places around Bankstown. I used to eat from the bread shop next to Thai Son butchery, but my family and I stopped buying from the place because the bread was too chewy and soft. Bay Ngo is really popular amongst the Bankstown folk, must say :)

      • Tina

        Oh right, the one I was referring to that’s next to Thai Son is called Nam Fong. That place shouldn’t be on the list, it’s not as good as Banh Mi Bay Ngo. And the rolls are only $3.50 each!! :)

  10. Boyd Chan

    You must try Little Devil Cakes & Bakery in Glebe. I did a quick YouTube review of them @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycQk9pamPn0 if people are interested.

    Their ingredients are fantastic with spring onion also making an appearance and the creaminess of the pate and egg butter is just awesome.

    I also did another review with my brother-in-law @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid=RAKMH2mEI_U&annotation_id=annotation_443650&feature=iv&v=XJCamvf-5hc of two places in Hornsby but I reckon Little Devil has it all over them.

    We also went and did a day trip to Cabramatta and tried about ten different places to work out which one was the best in our opinion which ended up being at 44 Park Road (Minh Hung Hot Bread Shop). They seemed to have the best all round combination of ingredients, egg butter, pate and chilli (very important). They also had a deal whereby you got one free pork roll for every ten that you bought.

    Would love to hear your thoughts though!

  11. Nikki

    Bai Ngo in Bankstown. It’s on the upper part of the main street, past the large mural, and next to an optometrist. Loooooove Cabramatta banh mi thit but Bai Ngo has to be my favourite.

  12. Kevin Cheng

    Jamison’s Bakery in Penrith. Every day at lunchtime, there’s a line that stretches down the street, with workers, cops and anyone who wants a good feed. They offer the standard pork or chicken roll with meat, spring onion, carrot, mayo, soy sauce and chilli. All for $3. I don’t know if it’s the cheapness, but definitely the best I’ve had. Winner is the pate I reckon.

    • Jay Cutler

      i work in penrith cbd and go to this place a few times a week, highly recommend it.

      and what kevin said, their pate is what makes it stand out of all the pork rolls i had in sydney.

    • Jen

      I agree, the pate there is so delicious. There’s ALWAYS a huge queue there at lunchtime. One time I went and I was probably the 20th person in the queue! But so worth it. Their chicken salad rolls are a winner too. Probably the best in penrith in my opinion.

  13. Jo

    I can’t believe anyone would put Marrickville Pork Roll on the list and not Delish which is right next door! Sure, the hole-in-the-wall one has a following, but Delish is even busier and with good reason.

    I’ve tried Marrickville Pork Roll and never gone back. Delish is much better. Their rolls are fresh and the perfect stage of crunchy/soft. They include the pickled daikon, which the other doesn’t!!!! Plus, the fresh chili is always fresh, whereas at Marrickville Pork Roll you can tell it’s a fair few days old. All the ingredients are much better quality at Delish.

    Marrickville has a lot of competition now, Rose Sunrise has opened on Marrickville Road, and another bakery has opened just near the Chemist Warehouse on Illawarra Road. I haven’t tried the new ones to be honest, because Delish is so good.

  14. Anna

    i think vinata’s hot bread is the best! (Shop 13, 1 Hughes St Cabramatta) i think thats the address its between superdish and the Hughes St entrance of cabramatta plaza! i’ve been coming back here for their pork rolls and cheese and bacons since 2003 ish ? theres always a line here… even at 5am!

  15. dc

    Great post! And a topic very, VERY close to my heart :) I hope you don’t mistake my passion as arrogance…

    Being Vietnamese and being local to Cabramatta I have eaten LOTS of pork rolls in my life.

    Unless a new bakery has popped up and I haven’t spotted it – and I will spot it, I have sources ;) – I have probably eaten pork rolls multiple times – and maybe even a pie, sausage roll and cheese and bacon – from every bakery in Cabramatta, Canley Heights, Canley Vale, Bonnyrigg and then some in the couple of decades I’ve lived here.

    I’ve been to many of the other ‘famous’ places outside of the area too (but not all, and always on the lookout!). Those worth singling out include Taste in Surry Hills (+ its various branches), Hong Ha in Mascot (and winter garden) but it’s a relative newcomer in Cabramatta that has me floored…

    If we’re sticking purely to Bánh Mì Thịt Nguội (cold cut pork) then I have to say that KK Hot bread down one of the arcades about 3/4 of the way up John St does it best (sort of across the road from Gloria Jeans, children’s clothing store at the entrance of the arcade).

    Although their prices are lower than most the crustiness of KK’s hot bread, combined with some of the baddest home-made pate & ‘butter’ and the certain way they cut some of their meat and veges (in croquettes as opposed to slices) puts them at #1 for me and by a significant margin too which is quite surprising seeing as the race for 2nd, 3rd and 4th – and everyone else for that matter – is pretty close

    The Bánh Mì Nem Nướng (grilled pork) is also pretty special and grilled to order and worth waiting around for if you have the time. On the other hand if we were talking about Bánh Mì Gà (chicken), Bánh Mì Xíu Mại (hot, saucy pork meatball) or cheese and bacons then that changes everything completely.

    But I’ll save that for another poll :)

    dc

  16. Jack Hoffman

    I’m a veteran of “Marrickville Pork Rolls” and “Hong Ha” and love their creations with a passion.

    Consider there are few places in Chinatown offering banh mi thit so you should add this place as a reference.

    Please consider this place at Eating World in Chinatown.
    http://www.streetfood.com.au/2011/09/phuong-special-vietnamese-banh-mi.html

    It might not be up to “Marrickville Pork Rolls” and “Hong Ha” high standards, but it is in Sydney’s Chinatown.

    The rolls were $4:50 each. $6:00 with Vietnamese coffee.

  17. Chasada

    i have tried pork and chicken rolls in Cabramatta , Hong ha in mascot , little devil in glebe , but for my opinion i think in Bankstown the best !!! very testy both of chicken and pork Pate very testy for the second one i gave to Cabramatta i don’t remember the name it in the Alley the 3rd for Hong ha , for little devil i think so so i was so disappointed …i heard in Marrickville very good too but haven’t try yet …

    anyway in Bankstown the best , varieties pork testy chickens , and best pate !!!

  18. Evan Lee

    The hole in the wall, Marrickville Pork Roll, at 236a Illawarra Road, Marrickville is exceptional. The queue outside says it all. Cheap and fantastic. The more upmarket decor of the pork roll and juice shop accross the lane must be wondering what they are doing wrong. Virtually empty by comparison. Give the hole in the wall a try. You won’t forget it.

  19. Peter

    KEN’S PIE SHOP of Wyong.
    Hard to find good Vietnamese food on Central Coast, but Ken’s Pork rolls match those I have had at Mascot and Bankstown. Great crispy on outside, and fluffy on inside fresh bread rolls.
    Fresh vegetables & all the meats and sauces for $4.20.
    The locals dont know what they are missing.

  20. @Redbec

    Two for the Northsiders!

    Mondial Bakery in Neutral Bay (Rangers Rd, near Military Rd), you can pick different kinds of buns and rolls, choose from pork, chicken, BBQ Pork and meatballs… Great pate and their pickled carrots are so juicy and the whole texture is great. Fresh!

    The other one is in Walker st in the food court under the AAMI building (street level), they have an interesting twist, Baguettes in different styles.. delicious baguettes… and they do the traditional style as well as things like lemongrass chicken, satay beef etc…. and they are pretty generous with their fillings! The owner is passionate about his offerings.. Well worth a go-see… not open on weekends though :(

  21. Julia Hunter

    I nominate Taste in Foveaux Street Surry Hills. But that’s the only pork roll I’ve tried and love it. Look forward to trying another when you’ve selected the best. Didn’t realise it was standard Vietnamese fare! Cheers Julia

  22. Cat

    Omg this list is incredible! But my vote is for King’s Hot Bread, Hurstville. The crunchiness of the crust and the soft pillows inside combined with meat and CHILLI. YUM

  23. Larah

    I’m a little bit late to the party but I thought I would mention Pottery Green Bakers in Lane Cove on Longueville Rd. I can’t vouch for the pork but the tofu banh mi is surprisingly good and close enough for a lunch time excursion :)

  24. Portia

    I have 2 nominations!
    My favourite is DTN Hot Bread – it’s also in Mascot (just down the road from Hong Ha and Vee Vee!)
    Also, I love the chicken rolls (I’m sure the pork must be amazing too!) from King Hot Bread in Eastlakes.

  25. Chloe Braithwaite

    I’ve tried something similar to your campaign ~ and failed miserably! I highly recommend Hot Bread in Strathfield, just outside the plaza side of the station, next door to ANZ. I’ve been snacking on their rolls for nine years, and have to say they’re the best I’ve come across. The owner is so lovely, with such a good memory ~ always knows exactly my usual, and makes it ready for me when she sees me coming :)
    http://foodisourreligion.blogspot.com.au/2010/02/hot-bread-shop-strathfield.html
    I’ve found this. Hope it helps your quest! Can’t wait to see how you go!

  26. Bruto

    as a pork roll lover for 10 years + id say you can beat cabra. living in Parra Xcell roll is the best of poor options. $5 is on the pricey side for a pork roll… my issue with Xcell roll is two things

    1. the rolls are not genuine viet rolls …….they are very hard and too much bread….very dense……

    2. they are very tight with the filling.. never give you more than “one of everything”……

    there is a bakery near office works parramatta in the arcade.. they are even more expensive 5.50 and taste is average..

    i love fairfield heights ($4) across the road from the food for less which has been knocked down

    my number #1…… is the 24/7 John St Bakery!!! you cant beat it!!

    i’m not sure the actual name. but i’m sure its the only 24/7 365 days bakery

    this page is great , i too am on the search for sydneys best pork roll

  27. Bruto

    Last post from me – Fairfield heights is called Tran and Son bakery @ 205 the boulevard

    and i see you have done the cabra one i mentioned .. Viet Hoa..

  28. Nicole

    How about the Sunshine bakery at Haberfield – us locals swear by them but it’s been a while since I worked in cabra (20 years!) so really haven’t been doing much comparison tasting. Seems a great mix…good coffee across the road…gelato all about… come and check out Haberfield !

  29. Peter Tu

    Hey!

    Love pork rolls?? We have put a modern twist on it
    We have 12 inch pork rolls in a place you wouldn’t generally find them: Darlinghurst, Sydney!

    Drop by and tell us what you think, come at 12:30pm and see the line!

    Check us out at facebook.com/rollsonoxford

  30. Mike

    HI, go to Campsie, turn left as you exit the station, cross the crossing:first bakery you see: a tiny humble vendor run by one person. The BEST ive ever had, hit all the good markers: firm shell of bread with moist inside, heaps of (yet tradition) options, veges up to standard, sauce is unique (light brown, bit but not too viscous, it had abit of garlic on it but not overwhelming) and the guy makes it in a flash with the kindest smile; cons: they use conventional onions rather than spring onion, but hey its OK; also they put tomatoes without asking, i always take the tomatoes/ask for it but im not sure how traditional it is.. i actualy had this roll just today, it was SOO good i had to google reviews, came up with this site hahaa :D cheers

  31. Mike

    i know this isnt my blog, but to me my top factors for the best bahn mi in order= 1 glossy (but no additive) super tense yet hollow spongelike bread that doesnt scrap the palate and isnt chewy 2 service that shows that they know what their doing, they should be able to do it in an instant no troubles 3 veges small enough that it doesnt get caught in between teeth 4 meat/spreads and fillings not too salty, or too much 5variety of extras 6 and last, one that doesnt get too soggy, not too important because you wanna take your time eating whats good and it almost always ends up happening – bahn mi/viet rolls are awesome!

  32. Greg

    In Marrickville, try the bakery in Station St right outside Marrickville station. I must confess I don’t know the name of the place, but it’s an absolute peach. I think the bread is a bit of a standout there, but they also handle the ingredients very well – you always get the sensation that everything is very fresh. They also take the time to do things like season the chicken meat (yes I eat the occasional chicken roll as well). All in all it’s a bloody good package.

    Personally I’d go here before Marrickville Pork Roll

  33. grapsta

    I’ve tried about 20 different places in Sydney now and one of hte best kept secrets ( aside from us locals) is Maroubra Bakery in Maroubra Junction…not quite as good as Marrickville Pork Roll….but really good. Whats good about it is the special sauce is thicker than most places….almost hoisin-like. Also they have ready made half rolls for $2 ! …great if you want 1.5 rolls as I often do. Be warned though there is a similar bakery nearby that aint as good ….you need to go to the one near mall with RTA .

  34. Ata

    You have to try Hong Loc Hot Bread in CAMPSIE – next to the World of Fruit! Ive been on the hunt for Sydney’s best Pork Roll too.. haha. And this bakery’s up there!

  35. Aeneid

    I ‘ve got to say over the years Ive tried many a Vietnamese Pork Roll and there have only been 2 memorable ones – Jamison Bakery Penrith and Tina’s of Canley Vale.. Not only are their prices very cheap at $3 and $3.50 respectively but the quality of the bread rolls are just superb.. Light and crunchy on the outside and velvety soft on the inside..LOVE IT.. Im sure once you’ve tried it you’d love it too..

    • Thang Ngo

      Good call, I love both esp Jamison.. crazy value, I did a story with them for the Penrith local paper to promote them, the sweetest people. Tina is our fav bread shop locally, their rolls are yum!

  36. Jas

    I am very lucky to find the best vietnamese Pork roll at my back yard suburb “Top Ryde”. It is located at the lower floor of Top Ryde Shopping Centre. They are reasonably priced at $4 each. It is freshly made, yummy, generous topping and fulfilling. Highly recommended.

    PS; I have tried vietnamese roll in the city, Cabramatta, Parramatta and Inner west – very disappointing result)

  37. Clo

    Hi all!

    I plan to be a new initiate into the world of banh mi – except for one problem! I live far, far northside.

    Has anyone ventured into Epping and can recommend a good place for banh mi there?

    Cheers

  38. Jordan

    If you go to Redfern on Botany Rd next to the IGA there is a place called Eddies Bakery, definitely the best Chicken or Pork Roll out there! Moist and yummy and the chili is hot! super tasty!


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