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Bánh Mì Maniac

Divine Consumption

Shop TG10, Goldsbrough Lane, 181 William Street

Price: $6.20
Filling: 4/5 (Pork Loaf)
Dressing/Salad: 2/3
Bread: 1.5/2
Total: 7.5/10

I hate shopping complexes. When caught inside I feel queasy, I feel disorientated, it’s awful. The blaring downlights and mirror floor tiles, the sickly commerical focus, and the strategic trails, manipulating one’s mind to purchase average goods, too much. Food courts, at least in Melbourne, are just as bad (there are exceptions). Mostly chain stores serving up mediocre, over-priced food on a plastic tray in a sad enclosed space. Well I have to say, if I was a suited business man, I’d eat at Roll’d, in a newly-developed sterile complex better than most.

Roll’d is completely office-worker oriented in the western area of the city. It closes at 3pm and doesn’t open on weekends, so it has been a real challenge to make the trip. I’m in the city a lot, playing video games and I’ve heard only positive things about the place, why not give it a go? Many new pho joints have been opening recently with clean fit-outs and a fresh approach and Roll’d (who also serve pho, gọi and bún) look to capitilize on the new-wave Vietnamese dining. In fact, it is the first bánh mì joint I’ve been to that wasn’t a bakery. While these restaurants are heavily focused on healthy, good-quality ingredients, the food comes at an extremely higher price and many will say, including me, that the experience and taste is not the same as the traditional places. At $6.20, bánh mì at Roll’d is the most expensive I’ve seen and the crackling pork option (which I heart so much) bumps it up a dollar.

I went with a friend not long before closing time and we were served, apparently, the last two bread rolls. Despite the time, the rolls were very good, crunchy and big. Not prepared to shell out coins on the roast pig, I orderered the ‘classic pork roll’ which was basically pork loaf, but better. The slices were tasty and served in good quantity, not random bits shoved in like some places. The salad was abundant and great, with the odd inclusion of spring onion strips and a thick smear of (homemade?) mayonnaise/pâté caps it off. I don’t think soy sauce was used, so the mayonnaise was strong and the main dressing.

What was a very satisfying bánh mì left me questioning, is it worth it? Well, compared to many other things around, yes, especially in this area, but I’m not on a wage like the people who go here regularly and it remains in doubt whether I’ll return any time soon. Typical of their image, Roll’d name the dishes on their menu strange names, like Mr. Bun Mee, Roll’d Soldiers (rice paper rolls) and Uncle Pho, luckily the friendly young Australian-Vietnamese staff knew what I want, and it was pretty good.

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