Though a dripping, chilli-laden traditional bánh mì on a soft white bun is nothing short of greatness, we’re open to exploring new things. Here are three local variations on this Vietnamese lunchtime staple.
The Modern Mì
By Lucky Pickle
Created by Arash Katrak, a bartender at Surry Hills tequila bar Tio’s by night, petite sandwich shop Lucky Pickle’s take on the bánh mì is one that’s all about incorporating the best ingredients available. Thick slabs of sugar- and salt-roasted pork belly are combined with a layer of rich duck liver paté, strands of pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, coriander, mayo and a slightly spicy sambal, all on a gorgeous crusty white baguette that is a touch chewier than the more traditional soft French roll.
The Mini Mì
By Ms G’s
It’s all about the bold and the brash at this boisterous Merivale nook, where traditional dishes and flavours are given new life thanks to the creative mind of chef Dan Hong. The bánh mì here come as bite-sized snacks rather than the main event, though don’t let their mini stature fool you into thinking you've been short changed on flavour. A choice of pork belly braised in fragrant master stock, or a crunchy chicken katsu filling come snug inside a small, sweet white bun.
The Traditional Mì
By Marrickville Pork Roll
There’s no messing around in this tiny hole in the wall that used to be a public toilet block. Be prepared for a line that snakes around the block, though the staff work double- time to prepare and dispatch their huge rolls as efficiently as possible. An original pork roll – either hot or cold – arrives with all the trimmings. Piquant onion, red-hot slivers of chilli, coriander sprigs and a few slices of cured-pork cold cuts that look a little like mortadella, a little like Spam. Don’t hold back.
Illustrations by Paolo Sta Barbera at hellofever.com