Jimmy Wah’s, Burleigh Heads: In true form, there’s a little bit of modern magic sprinkled on Jimmy’s banh mi. The fresh baguette is served at lunch and dinner (in either a half or full size) and comes brimming with a mouth-watering tempura soft-shell crab, crunchy cabbage slaw, fresh coriander and plenty of chilli. Spice up your life and chase it with one of Jimmy’s famed chilli margaritas.
Thanh Binh Bamboo, Coolangatta: A three-meat banh mi? Yes way! This seaside Vietnamese eatery, nestled in The Strand, is filled with roasted marinated barbecue pork, seasoned ham and crispy (bacon-like) deep-fried pork. The baguette is lubricated with lemongrass-garlic butter and a housemade Hennessey Cognac-infused pate, before being filled with coriander, shallot, cucumber, pickled carrot and chilli sauce. Seriously, what a mouthful.
My Saigon Tuckshop, Burleigh Waters: This Burleigh Heads smoko joint is a true hidden gem. It’s open on weekdays and only for a few hours a day to capture the local workers – expect to be met with a line up, but the popular $10 meals are pumped out lightning fast. You’ll find grab-and-go banh mi filled with either chicken or pork, pate and a rainbow of pickled vegetables for just seven bucks.
Backbone Bar, Tugun: Pry yourself away from Backbone’s delicious baos and dumplings and get stuck into their tasty banh mi rolls. Choose from either the slow-cooked pork belly or haloumi version, which both come jammed with pickled carrot, cucumber, daikon, house pate, Kewpie mayo and fresh coriander.
Bam Bam Bakehouse, Mermaid: Bam Bam has put a slightly sweet spin on traditional banh mi by subbing out the baguette for a fresh handmade croissant. It’s served brimming with lashings of crispy slow-braised pork belly, pate, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, fresh coriander and sriracha mayo. Feel like living on the edge? Swap the croissant for a shiny milk bun.
VN Bakery, Southport: Nestled in Australia Fair, this is a go-to for fresh and authentic Vietnamese dishes and baked goodies. Alongside rice paper rolls and piping-hot pho, you’ll find delicious banh mi baguettes made to order with tasty pork, chicken or meatballs served with all the usual banh mi trimmings.
Stellar Vietnamese Street Food, Southport: Another gem in Australia Fair where you’ll find very authentic fresh-made banh mi rolls – the soft-yet-crunchy baguettes are served with the likes of barbecue pork, lemongrass chicken, beef or tofu, before being schmeared with pate, mayonnaise and topped with fresh pickled vegetables.
Byron Banh Mi, Byron Bay: If you’re up for a road trip, then venture south to Byron Bay’s first dedicated banh mi bar. Here you’ll find a succinct menu of banh mi baguettes, but you’ll be hard-pressed going past the crispy roast-pork version, which features pork crackling for a textural mouth bang.
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