I’ve noticed that banh mi sandwiches or “pork rolls” are fairly common in Sydney. They’re commonly sold in shops with signs that say “hot bread” as the name of the store and there’s one in every neighbourhood. In fact, these hot bread shops are open super early in the morning like at 5am and close early around 4pm. I discovered this as I had to get up at 4am for a flight to Melbourne and the shop I passed by was getting ready to open. Banh Meats & Co are stepping up the game for banh mi sandwiches with exciting protein options like soft shell crab, fried chicken and fried eggplant for the vegetarians. They are located in a side street next to Burwood station.
Banh Meats & Co is probably more popular as a lunch spot than a dinner spot as it was pretty quiet during my dinner visit. I noticed the gigantic slab of roast pork right away and I knew we had to get it! For their sandwiches, you can choose from a long bun or a round bun. They also serve the same proteins as salad bowls or rice bowls for the same price in case you don’t feel like eating a sandwich.
We ordered the Roast Pork Banh Mi as a combo with fries and a drink (after you pay you can help yourself to whatever drink you fancy from their fridge full of options). As you can see from my first photo, they slice off a long slice of roast pork from the slab and put it directly into the sandwich! The sandwich also came with the usual accompaniments like pickled carrots, onions and cilantro. The roast pork was tender, succulent and juicy with just the right crispiness to the skin. It was the perfect cut of meat and not too fatty either. The bread was not as crusty as I expected but still firm enough to hold on to all the ingredients while still being soft on the inside. The fries were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside but perhaps a tad too salty. Also, if you don’t want fries with your combo you can get “gems” which are what they call tater tots. Not sure if this is an Australian thing?
We also shared a Smoked Beef Snack Pack and once again, you can choose to have it with fries or gems. I learned that a snack pack here means a halal snack pack which is basically kebab meat on top of fries. Almost like a Middle Eastern poutine! I actually haven’t tried one yet for myself but this was Banh Meat & Co’s interpretation of it. I thought the smoked beef could’ve been more flavourful or it needed some more sauce. It paled in comparison to the roast pork. The grilled beef might have been a better choice in this case. I haven’t had tater tots in ages so this felt like a treat. The side salad was also a nice touch as well.
Banh Meats & Co is double the price of your usual banh mi spot but the quality and flavours were good and I liked that they served tater tots. If you feel like treating yourself to an upscale sandwich, then look no further. If you’re looking for a cheaper roast pork roll, the one from Destination Roll is a great option.