01 October 2017

Charlie Phi - Vietnamese ~ Petersham

There's some fine pork roll stuff happening in Petersham. Charlie Phi Pork Rolls & Cafe is a neat Vietnamese banh mi shop serving up sandwiches with a crunch.

Petersham is still holding on to it's Portuguese stores, while a few interlopers are opening around the edges. We've noticed the ambitious super grocery in the old roller rink has closed and reopened as a cafe, a new French bakery, Korean BBQ and a slew of new apartments springing up. Charlie Phi's Pork Rolls & Cafe has opened near the Portuguese butcher and fits in neatly along the strip. It's a simple and sparse fit out, all exposed brick and chalked artworks and a simple menu of pork rolls and coffee.

The range of fillings covers a straight up pork roll, but also pulled pork and curried beef, chicken, tofu or meatball. They also do a Vietnamese style coffee, iced coffee with condensed milk in a large plastic cup.

Banh mi bi, (Pork roll with shredded pork skin) $6. If you've ever had a com tam dac biet with pork chops, you've probably eaten shredded pork skin as one of the side dishes. Shredded pork skin or bi heo is finely shredded cooked skin flecked with finely ground roasted rice. It makes for a different kind of filling to the usual pate and cha lua. Charlie Phi adds in a good crunchy, just pickled wedge of daikon radish just to pack in a little more crunch, on top of the crisp bread roll. It's crunch, crunch, crunch all the way.

Bacon and egg roll with salad $9. A breakfast banh mi? Oh yes. While they have stopped making the omelette version of this roll, we really liked the mix of Vietnamese pickled salad, radish and a couple of bits of bacon and fried egg. It's almost healthy having salad for breakfast, really.

Meatballs with bread roll, $6. Three meatballs in a deeply tomatoe-y tomato sauce topped with a load of shredded carrot for some crunch in between meat bites. The meatballs are soft and slightly fall apart, which makes for a fine dipping sauce near end of bowl. Use the crunchy roll to clean up.

Open Sundays from 8.30.

Charlie Phi is at 87 New Canterbury Road, Petersham. Ph: 02 8957 9434.

Charlie Phi Pork Roll Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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