The name says it all, really. From a tiny hole in the wall on Illawarra Rd in Marrickville, you get pork rolls. Or Banh Mi Thit, which is the correct Vietnamese term.
No fuss, no fancy signage, no deals, just pork rolls. Well, there’s also chicken, tuna, pork meatball, BBQ pork (which is weird red shit that resembles no BBQ pork I’ve ever seen. Tastes good, apparently), pork skin and, finally, salad rolls. But most of us stick with the pork roll.
There is very little room for the staff to make the rolls and even less for customers to wait for them, but people still come and will stand in a line going up the street just for these rolls – I even saw Neil Perry standing in the line with his daughter once. Hong Ha Bakery, eat your fucking heart out.
Once they’ve finished making your roll, you’re handed this little package of lunch time heaven.
Inside is a crispy baguette, sharp enough to cut your gums, with your chosen meat and a variety of salad fillings.
So what’s in it?
Your roll is smeared with what I *think* is mayo, but it looks a lot like margarine, and pate of unknown origin. They usually place the meat of your choice in first, then add a carrot/onion mix, a large baton of cucumber, and equally long piece of spring onion, sprigs of coriander, and chilli, if you prefer. This is topped off with two different sauces, both thin and brown in appearance, but I have no idea what they are. One of them could be fish sauce. Or soy. I really have no idea.
The best part about ordering a pork roll is that you get four different kinds of ‘pork’. I really have no idea what they are, they are just four differently coloured pieces of processed meat. It could be anything. I don’t think the staff even know. It’s one of the great mysteries of life.
Of course, it goes without saying that the rolls are absolutely delicious. If Neil Perry will line up for one, they must be good.