Mai Lan Bakery, Preston, Melbourne
Husband and I are those idiots who get up on a Sunday morning and go for a 15 – 20km walk, finishing up when most other people are waking up to a nasty hangover. Maybe because of our past jobs in the health and fitness industry that necessitated early starts, our body clocks automatically wake us early even when there’s no alarm set, even if we have been partying a little bit the night before – me around 7am, he around 8am. The bonus of these walks around our northern suburbs is that we’ve found some absolutely amazing places! This is why your own two feet will always trump any other form of transport – you just can’t find as many cool things when you’re not exploring on foot!
We came across this place on High St, Preson on one of our walks; because it was early Sunday morning and we’d already had some breaky, we didn’t stop to eat, but returned the weekend after for lunch on Saturday, and have been back more than a few times since. Preston is lucky to have a pretty big Vietnamese community, which means there is a lot of really good food around – the banh mi is absolutely phenomenal here, easily as good as I ate in Vietnam!
The standard Vietnamese pork roll is delicious, but my favourite one here is the BBQ’d pork, which is this scary looking sausage thing below. It tastes incredible, I don’t even want to know what’s in it; I don’t care. It tastes SO GOOD! Also, heaps of carrot, cucumber, sauce/pate and coriander on a super soft roll baked in house. It’s just magic, really, not much else I can tell you. And the best part? Unlike all the fancy sandwich establishments popping up which are feeling the need to charge upwards of $9 for a banh mi sandwich, it costs only $4.30 here! Which leaves you change to buy a tasty sugary treat on the way out (it IS a bakery, after all)!
It’s not fancy, it’s not gourmet, it’s not going to be in any foodie magazines. But it is good, honest sandwiching from lovely people, with a pretty good local Vietnamese client base, so you know they’re doing something right – get stuck into it!