Take a walk along William Street at lunchtime and down an unsuspecting alley you'll see a long queue of people outside a brightly coloured shopfront. You've found Roll'd, a new Vietnamese food-stop already attracting a mob of sharp suits thanks to its location in the heart of the city.
The food on offer here is not quite to the same standard as what you’ll find on Victoria Street, but it's all beautifully presented and undeniably convenient.
That long queue moves with military efficiency. All the Vietnamese classics are on offer here, even if the menu gives the dishes kitsch names like ‘Roll'd Soldiers’ instead of rice paper rolls and ‘Mr Bun Mee’ instead of banh mi.
Christening issues aside, the rice paper rolls are delicate, bursting with freshness and offer some great flavour combinations like pork, prawn and lemongrass, and crab and avocado. Pho is often the measure of a good Vietnamese kitchen and Roll'd's beef pho has a clear and delicate stock, although the beef itself was overcooked and slightly tough.
Roll'd may offer a somewhat sanitised take on Vietnamese cuisine, but the arrival of this little cafe is a boon for busy city workers at the oft-neglected west end of the city.
Goldsbrough Lane, 181 Williams St, Melbourne
(03) 9600 1088
Mon to Fri 11am–3pm