Being from the wilds of Minnesota and then Arizona, Tucson Trevor had only ever tried bahn mi once. More surprisingly despite spending the best part of three decades as a Melbourne girl Snooze had never tried them before at all. To remedy these deficiencies, the three of us plus surprise special guest Mr H headed off to Springvale to indulge in one of Vietnam's finest exports.
There are a number of bakeries selling these Vietnamese rolls scattered around the shopping centre and without sampling each it's hard to be certain which is best. There is a place nearer to the train station where I normally head, dragged in by their very generous way with the crispy pork rolls. But I'd been interested in trying Bun Bun Bakery for a while, mainly because of the write-ups pasted on the window where The Age named it one of Melbourne's best 10 sandwiches.
So what is a bahn mi? Well, Vietnam was once a French colony so some of its food shows this cultural mix. Think of a fresh baguette, sliced length ways and filled with a mix of European salad (sliced carrot, cucumber...), Asian style herbs (coriander and chilli) and meats (sliced pork, lemon grass or grilled chicken...). The result is a punchy flavoured sandwich, filling but not something which will weigh you down and these days generally priced at around $4 a roll.
Bun Bun bakery offers a variety of rolls including sliced and crispy pork, lemon grass chicken and the chicken kebab. My choice de jour was the lemon grass chicken, just for a change from my normal pork. So what was a sandwich classified as one of Melbourne's 10 best like? Well, as you'd expect it's a pretty good sandwich. Nice crispy crusted but softly fleshed bread, fresh salad and herbs and much better quality meat than you'd expect for a generic $4 sandwich. I'd have liked it to be a bit more generous with the meat though, as it felt like it was at least 80% salad.
I didn't get to try any of the others choices, whether the pork or the chicken kebab, but we were all impressed by Mr H's ability to deal with a large amount of the fairly fiery chilli he asked for with his roll.
It's good, but I don't think it's the best Bahn Mi I've had in Springvale. It did seem to be pretty popular though, even more so than the place I prefer. And that moral of that is I think that its good we don't all love the same places, otherwise we'd never be able to get a seat!
Food - 7.5
Service - 7
Ambience - 6
Price - 8
288 Springvale Road
Springvale VIC 3171
Tel: (03) 9547 8289