Finding a quick, cheap and delicious lunch can be a challenge, but a roll (if it’s good) ticks all the boxes. From juicy pork to lobster and soft-shell crab, these are some of the best rolls around at the moment.
Bánh mì at Marrickville Pork Roll
The pork rolls at Marrickville’s popular hole-in-a-wall are famous for a reason. Owners Khiem Du and his wife Nga serve traditional Vietnamese bánh mì, a crunchy white bread roll stuffed with paté, fresh or pickled vegetables, sliced chilli and either hot or cold pork. Expect a line to be trailing down the footpath, but it rarely lasts long – the rolls are prepared quickly. And for only $4 each you could even get two.
Soft-shell crab roll at Johnny Lobster
Crows Nest fish and chippery Johnny Lobster is creating a splash with its rolls. The crab is sustainably caught and served with Sriracha mayo, slaw and spring onion; triple-cooked chips must be ordered as a side. Rolls are served quickly, perfect for consuming in-house or taking back to the office and are also available served in a jumbo lettuce leaf for the gluten intolerant.
New England lobster roll at Waterman’s Lobster Co.
This is a lobster roll for traditionalists. Childhood friends Matt Swieboda and Tristan Blair serve New England lobster rolls two ways, Connecticut or Maine style. The Maine variation features chilled lobster meat, mayo, butter and lemon. The Connecticut-style serves the lobster slightly warm, with warm butter and seasoning. The lobster is sourced from Maine and all other ingredients are local.
Beef monster at Monster Rolls
No longer just a food truck, Monster Rolls is serving its oversized rolls at a stand-alone store on Crown Street. Freshly baked baguettes are stuffed with slow-cooked Wagyu brisket, horseradish butter, coleslaw and house-made chilli sauce. Protein-specific sauces are poured across the meat, completing the generous roll. Vegetarians don’t despair, it also offers a monster roll with hearty barbequed mushrooms.
Porchetta panino at Capriccio
An Italian twist on the (not so) humble roll, Capriccio’s spelt panino can’t be missed. Baked in the restaurant’s giant wood-fire oven, a feature of the restaurant, they are then filled with thickly sliced porchetta, crunchy fennel and radicchio. Add a lunchtime beverage of a classic Aperol Spritz; it’s light, refreshing and pairs perfectly with the roll.
Bocadillo at Encasa Deli
A bocadillo is a traditional Spanish sandwich, typically made using thick baguettes, cut and stuffed with cured meats and a range of marinated ingredients. Encasa Deli on Pitt Street not only sells quality Spanish ingredients, but also specialises in making these delicious Spanish rolls. Fillings range from fried calamari and pork leg, to Spanish omelette and charred eggplant; however, our favourite is the boquerones. Made using white anchovies, piquillo peppers and roasted garlic aioli, they are the ideal balance of salty and sweet. Pressed for time? Encasa offers online ordering; your roll will be ready when you get there.