Ah yes, the humble bánh mì – an absolutely sensational Vietnamese breakfast or lunch staple which has risen to popularity here in Perth. If you’re unfamiliar with such things, the bánh mì is a savoury sandwich of sorts, traditionally made up of; juicy morsels of cooked meats, or vegan meats these days, pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, coriander, chilli, a layer of buttery mayonnaise and pâté – all stuffed into one crusty baguette to form a harmonious escapade for your taste buds. Without further ado, here are the seven best places in Perth to find a crazy good bánh mì, as voted by you.
1. Le Vietnam, Perth
Le Vietnam has slowly, but surely, become a bit of a household name when it comes to bánh mì in Perth. They’re known to concoct revolutionary bánh mì and they aren’t afraid of producing unusual flavour combinations. While a lot of their bánh mì are far from traditional, they certainly are scrumptious.
On their menu you’ll find rolls containing the likes of; char siu BBQ pork, chargrilled pork meatballs, vegan cheesy chicken, vegan Philly cheesesteak, and Peking-style tofu – just to name a few of their exciting baguettes. The filling to bread ratio is just right too – the bread wraps around the fillings instead of wedging the innards to one side of the roll, making for mouthfuls complete with all of the good bits.
It’s said that, “If you haven’t eaten at Le Vietnam, you haven’t lived,” and “You will not get a better bánh mì anywhere, ever!”
Find them at 1/80 Barrack Street, Perth.
2. DJ’s Willagee Lunch Bar, Willagee
On the outisde, DJ’s Willagee looks like your classic neighbouhood deli – it’s nothing too flash, but usually that’s when you know you’re in for a good feed. As for the inside of the store it’s quite the same story – relatively plain and complete with a few shelves of standard corner shop goodies, namely; potato chips, packets of lollies and chocolates.
The main attraction is their food warmer, where you’ll find all those juicy bánh mì fillings just waiting to jump into a roll and straight into your gob. The golden fare on display makes for bánh mìs with the likes of; grilled minced pork, crispy chicken, and vegan tofu rolls. Their cold cuts do not go astray either.
“The flavours are incredible,” so they say – and if that isn’t enough reason to get down to DJ’s, we don’t know what is.
Visit them at 84 Archibald Street, Willagee.
4. Bibra Lake Lunch Bar, Bibra Lake
Bibra Lake Lunch Bar is one of those places – if you didn’t know about it, you probably wouldn’t stop if you drove past. It’s a no-frills eatery that isn’t pretentious in the slightest. However, the hidden gem has a bit of a cult following, offering plenty of outdoor dining space for their hungry and loyal customers.
The Lunch Bar’s bánh mì menu is vast, offering around 15 different lunch rolls including; the Vietnamese ham, pork meatballs, runny fried egg, lemongrass chilli beef and shredded pork – amongst others. Setting this eatery apart is their carefully considered range of vegan bánh mì, offering; vegan pork belly, vegan pork meatballs, and of course the stock standard tofu bánh mì – which all look just incredible.
One happy customer says, “money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you a giant bánh mì.” They’re that good, so beware of the queue on a Saturday!
Find them at 1/40 Port Pirie Street, Bibra Lake.
3. Viet Kites, Fremantle
The Fremantle Markets are an experience as is – whack a mouth-watering bánh mì into the mix and you’ve got yourself a mighty fine day at the port. Visually, Viet Kites is a calamity of different colours and fonts – displaying most of their menu offerings via images that line the hole-in-the-wall-type stall.
Viet Kites are known to stray from tradition with their bánh mì specials, notably using croissants and charcoal bread instead of the standard plain baguette. However, you can still find familiar bánh mì with their; steamed chicken breast, roast pork belly, and vegan tofu – all packed nicely into an open box for your devouring convenience.
Apparently the Viet Kites bánh mì “cannot be beaten.” Check them out at 74 South Terrace, inside the Fremantle Markets.
5. Let’s Eat Lunch Bar & Cafe, West Perth
Let’s Eat in West Perth is taking the quick and easy lunchtime experience a step further, offering convenience with a side of tranquility as you tuck into their bánh mì underneath the shade of a gum tree, al fresco-style. The shop window open up on to the street, where your order can be collected – a very Covid-friendly business design.
The game changer here is that their bread rolls are warm and they’re more-so an elongated shape, opposed to the typical, plumper bánh mì bread. Inside the store you’ll find huge hunks of roasted pork and deep-fried chucks of meaty goodness in the warmer.
The Let’s Eat best seller is their Q&T special bánh mì, containing; rolled pork belly, Vietnamese pork sausage, BBQ pork, roast pork, grilled pork pâté, butter, pickled carrot, cucumber, coriander and chilli – holy smokes. And with that in mind, they surprisingly enough offer a vegan-friendly option for our plant-eating pals.
Give them a suss at 3/79 Colin Street, West Perth.
6. Sunshine Cafe & Lunch Bar, Mount Lawley
Tucked in amongst a complex of other lunch eateries and a hardware store, you’ll find the quaint Sunshine Cafe & Lunch Bar. It’s another unassuming neighbourhood shop with a diner-style feel, complete with black and white checkered, vinyl flooring.
Here you’ll be welcomed by a variety of foods – from Aussie deli classics like the humble meat pie, to a fare of Vietnamese nourishment. As far as their bánh mì go, Sunshine’s provide modest options without lacking in flavour. These include; the traditional pork, traditional chicken, and Vietnamese grilled pork sausage, along with their vegan tofu bánh mì – to mention a few. Each baguette is tightly wrapped in paper and cut in half for your demolishing ease.
Give them a go at 683A Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley.
7. Munch Box Lunch Bar, Balcatta
Ah yes, Munch Box, the upscale lunch bar of sorts – boasting a renovated space with bright murals and a colour scheme to boot. The vibrant store offers a mixture between Vietnamese meals and a display of Aussie snacks that just can’t be resisted at times, notably, them cheeky potato chippes and chocolate bars.
The bánh mì on offer are loaded with fresh ingredients every dang time and no matter which roll you choose, each bursts with heaps flavour. Their menu provides fillings such as; original cold cuts, honey soy chicken, grilled minced pork, shredded tofu, and so fourth, with the occasional fusion bánh mì gracing their menu, such as the bacon and egg roll pictured below.
Apparently white shirt operators should be warned, it’s going to be a messy ride. See what they’re all about at 3/108 Erindale Road, Balcatta.