27 November 2019

CBD Vietnamese Pork Rolls - 2019 round up of new additions and closures

Updates on new city pork roll openings and closures that have happened in 2019. They come and go, but there's no shortage of places to get a banh mi in the city.

We have been scouring the mean streets of the Sydney CBD for some years now flushing out pork rolls wherever they may hide. We've done many different round ups and updates, so here's a comprehensive list of new places opened over the last year and where you can currently get your banh mi fix in the city.

This list just covers a straight up pork roll, sometimes with crackling, we take it as it comes. Sometimes we venture into the world of chicken or meatball, even a bit of fried egg, but we always come back to pork.

From Central to Circular Quay, here goes...

Central Station

Marrickville Pork Rolls ($6) - Darling Square

Marrickville Pork Roll does what they do best - serve up a consistent roll at a reasonable for the CBD price. While the mixed up pre-dressed salad filling isn't our favourite style, the roll is crisp, the meat fillings tasty and the queues long.

Marrickville Pork Roll is at 16 Steam Mill Lane, Darling Square.

Gao Kitchen ($4.95 - current special)

Gao Kitchen has taken over from Krispy Roll in the tiny laneway behind the Rendezvous Hotel. They churn out soups and summer rolls from the tiny store front, and pork rolls too. Good crisp bread, pickled radish and trimmings.

Gao Kitchen is at Shop 5/107-121 Quay St, Haymarket.

Rolltime ($6.00)

Rolltime had just opened when we visited, replacing Pho Ngon. The roll was a light on the fillings, it didn't zing too loudly with any generosity. The bun was served warmed up so it had a little fresh from the bakery feel. If you're running for a train it would make a good quick grab n go. Perhaps they need some more time to get settled in.

Rolltime is at 2 Lee Street, just inside the shops at the start of the Broadway tunnel.

Still going:
Saigon Delight - Shop 10, 8–10 Lee Street
Papa Roll - 16 Broadway
UTS Art of Food Cafe - Quay Street
(special mention to Pork Roll on Harris, near enough - Harris St)

Closed: Obunmee, Krispy Roll, Pho Ngon

Chinatown to Town Hall

Destination Roll World Square ($6.50 all rolls)

Destination Roll are on a shall we say it - roll, opening stores across the city (and closing them as well). This one in World Square does a neat business in the lunch pack, offering roll and drink specials. The banh mi was lacking some greenery but there is a lot of flavour to the dressings. The crisp pork version is a favourite, the extra crackling gives the roll a real kick in the texture and flavour (and fat!) stakes.

Destination Roll is at Lower Ground Shop 1 234 George St, which is technically the entrance off the corner of Pitt St and Liverpool St.

Gia Hoi - (no longer offers pork rolls out the front!)

Gia Hoi stands as one of the only Vietnamese restos along mainly Thai and Korean Pitt St. A small stand at the front of the store dishes out pork rolls at lunchtime. A nice balance of fillings, not too much carrot and we always like lots of coriander.

Gia Hoi is at 377 Pitt St, in the Korean area of the street.

Krispy Roll ($8)

Krispy Roll have gone from being one of the cheapest pork rolls in the CBD to one of the most expensive. Not only that, they also pre-make their rolls and have them ready to serve. This is a big change from their Haymarket store. It probably suits the style of shop they have and the customers, but it's a bit of a shame. The roll itself was full of a generous serve of roast pork, it would have takers in the CBD.

Krispy Roll is at Town Hall Arcade

Pho Hanoi Pho ($7.50)

Located in the Foodbase Foodcourt on Pitt St, this is a good standard roll. The price is a little on the higher side but still cheap by CBD standards. A crisp roll will take you far, and the BBQ pork and other meats were enough.

Pho Hanoi Pho is at Foodbase, 201 Elizabeth St CBD (downstairs foodcourt, entry off Pitt St)

Still Going:
Saigon's House - Sydney Central Plaza
Sydney Pork Rolls - 627 George Street
Taste Baguette and Grill - Darling Harbour

Banh Mi K, No 1 Cafe, Phuong Special Vietnamese, Barby's, Gia Hoi (no longer selling rolls), Miss Chu, Chi Fong

East Central

New Places:

Saigon Summer ($6.00)

Saigon Summer took over form the site of Great Aunty Three. The major differences with their pork rolls from the standard is the shake shake of crisp fried shallots over the top, giving the sambo a crunch to the bite beyond the roll and they also use a sweet chilli sauce. Loads of lettuce makes it more salad like. Some would love and some would really poo-poo. Overall a good roll, just a little mixed up.

Saigon Summer is at 94 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills.

Bun Me ($7.50)

The eastern side of Central has a few pork roll contenders. With two levels of seating, Bun Me offers a bit more than some of the other kiosk type shops in the area. At $7.50 the roll sits at the higher end of roll price scales, but it is a good roll perhaps with an over abundance of lettuce. Pork crackling roll is only $1.00 more.

Bun Me is at Shop 1, 17–51 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills.

Still Going:
VR Rolls
Taste of Saigon

Destination Roll, Wentworth Avenue, Great Aunty Three

Town Hall

Pholicious in Pittsway Arcade (closed since we started this post)

Pholicious continue the run of Vietnamese eateries on this site in the Pittsway Arcade. The roll on offer was everything required, good bread, a very nice BBQ pork and a little bit of lettuce (controversial to some, we take it as it comes).

Pholicious Vietnamese Cuisine is at 303 Pitt St, downstairs in the Pittsway Arcade.

Bestie Smalls - (cafe still open, no longer has this on the menu)

This roll fits into the 'just makes it' category. More of a roast pork roll with Vietnamese flavours, it was smothered with a spicy mayo. A very filling roll that was like a Vietnamese sunday roast.

Bestie Smalls is at 303 Pitt St, street level of the Pittsway Arcade.

Upper Room Cafe, Wesley Centre ($8)

Briefly branded as Marrickville Pork Roll, this is now simply part of the cafe at the entrance to the Wesley Centre. We liked this roll a lot, there was a generous amount of pork, lots of pickled radish and shredded orange and green and the bun was crisp.

Upper Room Cafe is at 220 Pitt St CBD, inside the Wesley Centre. Walk in further for the Malaysian eatery.

Still Going:
VietBowl - The Passages
Daily Delicious (best bargain pork roll in the city)
Banh & Butter
Taste Baguette in Westfield Sydney
Roll'd - Sydney Central Plaza - Pitt St - $9.50 (Roast pork with crackling)

Closed: Soups N Rolls, Chloe's Vietnamese Rolls, Miss Chu in David Jones, SB Saigon Kiosk

Martin Place


The Naughty Chef ($6.50)

The Naughty Chef moved from their Surry Hills location to here. This kiosk is always busy because their food is a little cut above most CBD food court offerings. Their pork roll was meaty and not too salad laden. The real star for us here is not the pork roll, not a pork crackling roll, but the fried egg salad roll made with a fresh cooked egg to order. Oh yeah.

The Naughty Chef is at Shop 15 Colonial Food Court, 52 

Still Going:
Bun Me Martin Place

Closed: Taste Baguette Martin Place

Wynyard and Barangaroo

Destination Roll - Hunter Connection ($6.50 all rolls)


Destination Roll - Bridge St ($6.50 all rolls)

The chain continues to spread across the CBD with a good value roll and meal deal, $9 for a roll, three chicken wings and a drink. The crispy pork rolls seem to be the most popular, the refrain was repeated almost every order in the line.

Bar Pho - Clarence St ($10.00)

On the fancy schmancy side of the roll spectrum, this roll just makes it into the list. Made of mostly seasoned pieces of pork, it has all the pork roll trimmings. The grilled meats make this a filling roll that equals the extra price, it's a lotta meat.

Bar Pho is at Shop 6/151 Clarence St, City.

Vivi Rollz - $8.80

This is a terrible photo of this roll, but at $8.80 this is one roll we wouldn't necessarily go out of our way to eat again. It was a good standard roll, but with other cheaper and tastier options nearby, we would go out of our way to head to Hunter Connection instead.

Vivi Rollz is at the Met Centre, 273 George St CBD.

Nem Viet Kitchen  ($6.00)

A fairly reasonable roll, good crunch. The salad fillings were high on the lettuce front, and the meats were low.

Nem Viet Kitchen is at 115 Clarence St, CBD.

Still Going:
Phuong Vietnamese Food and Bread Rolls - Shop F10, 7-13 Hunter Street, Hunter Connection
Pho Ha Noi - Shop F14, 7-13 Hunter Street, Hunter Connection
Taste Baguette Sussex Lane
Taste Baguette Met Centre
Roll'd - Met Centre
Dong Pho Vietnamese Home Kitchen - Hunter Connection ($5.00)
Destination Roll - York St ($5.50)
Bun Me - MLC Centre ($8.70)
Holy Basil - The Canteen, Barangaroo ($7.90)
Gardenia Espresso - Kent St ($6.50)

Closed: Chop Chop, Hong Hai Noodle Bar, Little Vietnamese Food in Wynyard Station (new store doesn't sell them), La Vie Coffee and Breakfast, Take and Taste

Circular Quay

Nothing new to update here.

Still Going:
Banh You - Alfred St, Circular Quay ($7.80)
Roll'd - Gateway Sydney - Circular Quay
Roll'd - O'Connell Street - Wynyard - $9.50
Roll'd - Chifley Plaza

We love pork rolls, oh yes we do.

1 comment:

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).