Huoang La’s family knows all about feeding people. Her uncle opened the much-loved City Provisions deli, husband Loi works at one of the bakeries keeping the Vietnamese community well-stocked with crusty baguettes, and children Joanne and Anthony work alongside La at her Girrawheen sandwich shop, BMT.
As the name suggests, banh mi thit – Vietnamese pork rolls – are the store’s calling card and these specimens figure among the city’s best. Like the rolls served at City Provisions, BMT’s namesake is notable for its garlicky pâté and hefty filling-to-bread ratio (having said that, springing an extra buck for a roast pork power-up is never, ever a bad idea). They’re reason enough to make the trip to Girrawheen, but La’s talents run well past excellent French-Viet sangers.
Ease into your self-guided Vietnamese food tour with cups of tri-coloured jelly (thach rau cau) and containers of nem chua, a slightly sour pork sausage and God’s gift to sports viewing. Trays of cooked blood sausage and stewed chicken’s feet await more advanced eaters.
La might outsource the baking of the pâté so – it looks like a golden bowler hat – but the stout pork pastry is as delicious as any of her own productions. Time your visit around 11am and enjoy warm soy bean milk before it goes into the dispenser to cool. Otherwise, the lure of squeezed-to-order sugar cane juice is hard to resist, especially once you learn the cane is grown at La’s farm near Gnangara.