MELBOURNE | One of the many things that I love about Melbourne is how many food gems there are to discover, that open without fanfare. No hype, no press releases, Little to no online presence, no invites. Bánh Mì Stand, a hole in the wall bánh mì stop down the Southern Cross Station end of Flinders Lane, is one such place. I recently visited to get some photos for What’s On Melbourne.
It was opened by Ngoc Huynh in August, a way for her to tap into her passion for the beloved sandwich from her homeland, and as an escape from the office 9-5. The entire venue is just a few square metres, with a window to order facing the street. The only seating, a handful of plastic stools, the kind that will be familiar to anyone who has eaten streetside bánh mì in Vietnam.
The menu is concise. Five bánh mì, dim sims, spring rolls, and chips. They’re all generously filled, using top quality local produce, with perfectly light and crunchy baguettes baked daily. The succulent braised roast pork is the most popular bánh mì on the menu, and it’s excellent. Try it, but also don’t sleep on the spice Vietnamese sausage, my favourite of the lot.
The flavours are big and bold, not at all toned down. Personally, I think the heat level is just right, but if you’re not a fan of spice, be sure to let Ngoc know in advance.
To drink, it’s Western-style espresso based coffee drinks brewed on a La Marzocco machine using Five Sense beans. There’s also a selection of Vietnamese filter coffee drinks too, of course. I always find it hard to go past the classic cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee). If you want to try something different, try the Hue-style salt coffee, with its sweet cream and salt.
Bánh Mì Stand
547 Flinders Lane
Tue – Fri: 10:00am to 3:00pm