Rosebery is rocking to a whole new beat in 2018. The fashion outlets and car service centres are still there, but so is the Cannery, a high density snack zone that features the likes of Gelato Messina, Black Star Pastry, Archie Rose, Three Blue Ducks and Da Mario pizzeria. Right in the heart of this new dining haven is a white-tiled lunch spot lit by a pink neon sign, where Robyn in on the stereo and Vietnamese is on the menu.
Don’t you dare pre-snack because you’ll need every inch for the banh xeo. Those titular, lacey-edged, coconutty pancakes in a luminous turmeric gold envelope contain a core of pumpkin, corn, crunchy pig’s head nuggets or barbecued lemongrass chicken. Break it up, add pickled onion, carrot, fresh shiso and mint leaves, and ferry the lot to your mouth in rafts of cos lettuce. It’s a culinary chimera, scoring high marks on the light-and-fresh score as as well as the fried-and-delicious one.
The other must-order is the beef noodle soup from Central Vietnam that is a cousin to the more famous pho. Ten hours of simmering pulls every meaty vestige from beef bones, creating a broth with savoury depths to rival the Mariana Trench. Short, slippery rice noodles and tender, fatty slices of beef provide comfort, while chilli and lemongrass bring tropical heat. Like to supersize? Upgrade to a multi-meat menagerie and add pork shoulder and pig’s head nuggets to the mix for an extra $3.
Is a two-bite slice of toasted baguette topped with pâté, salt and fresh chilli strictly necessary given the size of the servings here? Not really. But do it anyway because it’s indulgent fun for only $3.5. And add fresh lemonade to the mix for a sweet-and-sour reviver. When your lunchtime options are this good, the packed lunch doesn’t stand a chance.
Time Out Awards
2018Best Cheap Eat