11 December 2014

Pork Roll Round Up ~ Vietnamese banh mi - Leichhardt, Haberfield, Ashfield

Vietnamese pork rolls in the heart of Little Italy and the dumpling centre of Sydney? Why not?

We continue or hunt for stores in Sydney that serve pork rolls, this time out along Parramatta Road through the inner west.

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.

With the cultural heart of Sydney's Italian community centred on Norton Street, it might seem strange to find a crispy Vietnamese pork roll hidden there. Perhaps there are links to the wonderful Italian style porchetta rolls you can get in Philadelphia, but you won't find one of them here. A pork roll will have to do in the meanwhile.

Norton Bakery
At the Parramatta Road end of Norton Street is a lunchtime favourite selling, well what else?

Pork Roll, $4.30. The roll here was a good one without too much salad and not a bad crisp bite to the roll itself. There's often a little queue for these, which is not surprising given the few fast lunchtime options around this end of the street.

Norton Bakery is at 7 Norton Street, close to Parramatta Road, Leichhardt.

Maxim's Hot Bread
Just near the Leichhardt MarketPlace is a Hot Bread store that seems to have withstood the changing times.

You can see the fat slices of cha lua in this roll. $4.50. A big bunch of carrot shred here but not a bad roll.

Maxim's Hot Bread is at 134 Marion Street, Leichhardt.

Heading deep into the real heart of Little Italy we found just a little cardio flicker of Saigon.

Sunshine Bakery
Locals pop into this store for a chat and a roll, resisting the temptation of Pappa Pasticceria just up the road.

Advertised as a pork roll with salad, it certainly has plenty of the green and orange shred. At $5 it is a little pricier than most in the area and makes a good cheap sandwich option. Bonus location near Pasticceria Pappa.

Sunshine Bakery is at 113 Ramsay Street, Haberfield.


Hercules Bakery
Just along from the exit from Ashfield Station is a small bakery that seems like it has been there for a long, long time, it still has old wooden benches and a wonderful big oven visible inside. The shelves seem sparse of baked goods, but we were here for the pork rolls.

At $3.50 a roll this is one cheap lunch and the finished roll is a good regular roll. There is lettuce and sliced red onion, and we suspect a good slather of regular not egg butter. Other options here include a pate roll for $2.00 and a butter only roll for $1.50. That could be a very no frills cheapo lunch if needed.

Hercules Bakery is at 8 Hercules St, Ashfield, next to the BBQ shop. It was hard to get a photo from the front, there's a big tree right outside!

Tan's Hot Bread
Up on Parramatta Road among the fruit shops and asian grocery stores are a few hot bread stores selling the hunted for sandwich.

Pork Roll, $4. Standing in line while waiting for this roll two women were mystified by the pink ham used in the roll. "What is it, that pink stuff?". Assured it was a tasty cut of ham by both me and the roll makers, they still weren't sure. I can tell them now it tasted good, a decent roll with a good mix of all three porks.

Tan's Hot Bread is at 238 Liverpool Road, Ashfield. It used to be known as French Hot Bread.

Ashfield Vietnamese Healthy Rolls
Sister store to Marrickville Pork Rolls, this store offers a very similar roll, without the queues!

$4.50 for a roll here, the insides are filled with the same type of pickled carrot mix they use over at Marrickville. Good roll crunch, I left crumbs all inside my seat on the 480 bus. Look at that smear of pate along the edge of the roll and the fat radish, two of my favourite additions.

Ashfield Vietnamese Healthy Rolls is at 224 Liverpool Road, Ashfield.

Any we have missed in these areas? Let us know and we will try them and add them in.

We love Pork Rolls.


  1. great series of post - you should do a post summarising your findings at the end!


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 :-)

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