Phillip Pham’s original plan was to set up a banh mi cart on a Fortitude Valley street corner, but council bylaws shut down the idea. He didn’t give up, though, and eventually opened District 1 just a short distance away.
The venue’s bright neon signage and wide wooden tables are inspired by the original District 1, a hip and vibrant neighbourhood of Ho Chi Minh City. All the traditional Vietnamese favourites are here, including vermicelli noodle salad bowls, fresh rice paper rolls and of course, banh mi.
Banh mi rolls are baked in-house, and come with modern twists, such as lemongrass sirloin beef, marinated spiced chicken, slow roasted pork belly and sauteed mushrooms.
This contemporary take on traditional dishes also extends to District 1’s snack options. You can find sweet potato fries dusted with cinnamon; crispy dumplings stuffed with pork, vermicelli and quail egg; as well as the deep-fried potato noodle-wrapped prawns.
Beverage options offer a refreshing respite to warm Brisbane days. Go for the frozen coconut slushie infused with lychee or pineapple, or go Saigon retro with a lemon soda or Vietnamese iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk.