19 June 2014

Pork Roll Round Up ~ Vietnamese banh mi - Redfern and Waterloo

In Redfern or Waterloo and need to grab a good and cheap lunch? Try one of the classic Hot Bread shop pork rolls along Botany Road or up around Cleveland Street, we search out the banh mi action.

Along Botany Road in the heart of Redfern starting near the sculpture 'The Bower' and down to the studios near FBI radio at Waterloo are at least four hot bread bakeries selling banh mi.

We tried them all out using a simple set of rules:
1. Ask for a pork roll and only a pork roll. No chicken, meatball, fusion or 'specials'.
2. Different types of pork are allowed, including pulled or roast pork if that's all they do.
3. If asked for chilli say yes.
4. No variations, even if it means tomato or loads of lettuce added.

Terry's Hot Bread
First up at the top of the strip is Terry's Hot Bread.

While the roll is crisp, there is a swirl of sweet of mayonnaise added at the end that gives a  creaminess to the salad rather than mixing in with the pate layer. $4.50 for a pork roll here.

Terry's Hot Bread is technically on Cope Street, but you'll see it as you step out from the train station walkway through to Botany Road.

5 Cope Street Redfern. Ph 02 9318 0980.

Terry's Hot Bread on Urbanspoon

Eddy's Bakery
Stay on this side of the road for a walk down Botany Road toward Eddy's, a classic working bakery with lamingtons, hot pies and other lunchtime essentials.

The pork roll here is a classic. Good crisp roll, plenty of fillings, generous pate and mayo and great value at only $4. Always happy with a strip of pickled radish, something other rolls often miss.

Eddy's Bakery is at 11 Botany Road, Waterloo, next to the IGA. Ph 02 9319 0409.

Eddy's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Daily French Hot Bread
Heading down into Waterloo is the last of the old time bakeries.

Although there was a little bit of sneaky lettuce in this roll, it still had good crunch and fillings. A generous shake of pepper is visible in the strip of green onion. $4, which seems about the standard price around this street.

Daily French Hot Bread is at 39 Botany Road Waterloo. Ph 02 968 8136. This bakery has been around so long their signs haven't been updated with the extra '9' added many years ago to Sydney phone numbers.

Daily French Hot Bread on Urbanspoon

Waterloo Hot Bread
The last along the strip is opposite Abbot's Hotel on Raglan Street, a small newer bakery that serves a good roll. They do lovely bright lemon tarts and raspberry jam tarts too, at around $1 a pop.

While all you might see straight up is carrot, there's a good wedge of roast pork in there. Again, $4.00 for this lunchtime wonder sandwich. There's a bain marie of love in this bakery with hot meatballs and chicken pieces you can throw in for a bigger lunch.

Waterloo Hot Bread is at 136 Raglan Street, opposite The Rag Land cafe.

Waterloo Hot Bread on Urbanspoon

While it doesn't do pork rolls, the Wild Cockatoo Bakery across the road from Daily French Hot Bread does a great line in after lunch cakies.

P.T Crown Bakery

A no signage bakery tucked deep inside a side street store. Thanks to reader Eloise who spotted this place.

Eloise described the rolls here as 'soggy' and we can only agree. Besides a not so crispy bun there's also tomato and lettuce, it's quite a salad fest. The fish sauce juices dribbled all the way down the arm, so be prepared for a clean up afterwards. At $4 it's not too pricey.

The bakery does do a wonderful little neenish tart for $1.50, the base is crisp and the pink and chocolate brown top is icing sugar sweet. Grab one when you get a coffee at the uber cool Scouts Honour next door.

P.T Crown Bakery is at 116 George Street Redfern.

P.T Crown Bakery on Urbanspoon

Vietnamese Healthy Rolls

Away from the train station area in the heart of the Little Lebanon on the very border of Redfern and Surry Hills is a Vietnamese roll shop doing a good line in pork rolls and noodle soups.

The roast pork in this roll was incredible, a big wedge of pork that made it more of a hearty protein fill with good seasoned greens. While it was pricier than an average roll at $6.00, the price reflected the quality of the ingredients.

Vietnamese Healthy Rolls is at 573 Elizabeth Street Redfern.

Round up completed ... or is it? Any we have missed?

For more rolls, we've been mapping where we eat on a Pinterest board on banh mi in Sydney. So much pork, so little time to try them all.


  1. I'm an Eddy's advocate. I gave this no-name place on George St in Redfern a go, but it was soggy and I was sad.


    1. I love Eddy's too. I'll have to try out the George St place and see how soggy it was.

    2. You were right - it was soggy indeed! Shame they don't use crispy rolls either. I've added it to the round up, thanks again.

  2. I used to work in the technology park near Redfern and always saw my manager getting a pork roll for lunch. As a noodle person, I go for the Pho place near IGA all the time but never thought about trying the pork rolls. Now I'm biting my nails regretting I didn't give them a try.

    1. I've worked in the area for seven years and only just got down to some of these places. Is that Yen's you go to for pho? We quite like Thai Thai as well down that end of the strip.

  3. I know the owners who work at P.T Crown Bakery and that definitely isn't a soggy roll - it's a soft white bread roll. They would ALWAYS ask their customers which bread roll they would like first. I believe you can choose from a crispy/soft/sesame/no sesame roll, wholemeal, multigrain

    They used to have a sign but it fell - no one was injured.

    1. HI there
      Thanks for the comment. I didn't get asked what roll I would like and recieved a soft white roll. The roll ends up quite soggy from all the tasty sauces and the loads of salad that get piled into the banh mi, it wasn't the roll itself that was soggy.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).