Monday, 4 March 2013

Adventures in Marrickville!

I can't think of a better way to take advantage of our visit to Marrickville than to taste what they're famous for: Vietnamese pork roll, pho bo and coffee! 

Marrickville Pork Roll

Vietnamese pork roll or bánh mì, has recently been talk of the town and the search for the Sydney's Best Banh Mi is an ongoing treasure hunt! Even though each roll is sufficient fora very satisfactory lunch at a bargain price of under $5, the price doubles the bánh mì sold in Vietnam which costs around $2! My partner and I fell in love with this bakery in Saigon called ABC Bakery & Cafe which sold bánh mì, cakes, pork buns, coffee and bread. We went almost every day! 

Where all the magic happens
There is a queue when we get there and it doesn't seem to get any shorter. After a couple of minutes we discover it's because everyone is getting bags of it! 
BBQ pork roll, $4.00
Since this was only "entree" to our brunch we decided to only share one pork roll. It's delicious! The BBQ pork is sweet from the marinade and it's a nice big piece so every mouthful as some of it. There's spring onion, carrot, cucumber, coriander and onions, that give it crunch and is packed full of flavour! We asked for no pate and a small amount of chillies which were enough to still give my tongue a numbing sensation. The baguette was crusty and the inside was smeared with mayonaise and butter. A great cheap meal for any time of the day! 
Marrickviille Pork Roll
236a Illawarra Rd Marrickville
04 2096 6368

Marrickville Pork Roll on Urbanspoon

Thuy Huong

When we first went to Marrickville for pho, our go-to place was PHDTheir beef broth was exceptional but this no longer was enough to make up for their growing bad attitude and lack of service. Also upon having pho at PHD, I would always get a rash after eating which has made me think I have a slight black pepper allergy (there are sprinkles of it on top). And so we ventured a couple of shops down and discovered Thuy Huong (used to be called Pho James). 

Table number 1! Assorted cutlery, oyster and chilli sauce, tissues 
Complimentary tea

Chillies, bean sprouts, mint and lime
Pho bo, $8.00
Craved for pho and pho was what we got! The beef is thin and silky. The slices that were sitting on top and a bit raw was instantly cooked when submerged into the hot broth. The rice noodles weren't at all mushy. The broth was good but what made it great was adding a squeeze of lime! I wasn't game enough to put chillies in but I plunged the raw bean sprouts into the broth and they were of course still crunchy! A great comforting main meal! 
Thuy Huong 
304 Illawarra Rd
9558 4023

Next stop... coffee!

Our usual destination for coffee is Coffee Alchemy (another great place for coffee is Double Roasters) but on Sundays they are closed, even though we swore we always went on Sundays. We even drove there, parked the car and walked over to discover there weren't any coffee addicts standing outside sipping away. They still hold the reign of serving the best coffee in town hands down! As much as I would have loved to blog about Coffee Alchemy, it will sadly have to be postponed to another day. Oh and Bourke Street Bakery is only a ten minute walk from there! What could be better - Sydney's best coffee in one hand a a pastry/muffin/sourdough loaf/pie in the other!?


A brand new cafe relatively in the middle of nowhere, as it is not located around the main strip of Marrickville. But when you're inside, it certainly doesn't feel like it. It's nice and dark and makes it cosy. They've put a lot of effort into the decor as there a hanging antique clocks, tea candles in the brick wall and paper cups in bird cages. To simplify it, it's very hipster.

Even though we were only staying for coffee, the short time we were there gave us a glimpse of how the cafe was running. Let's just say, it's a little chaotic. The waitress is running everywhere. Just behind the counter is a girl is washing a never-ending stack of dishes and food boards, which the waitpeople constantly add dirty plates to the pile with loud bangs. Food scraps are getting thrown out into a garbage bin next to the display fridge which customers can see and walk past. Customers ordering take away coffees are waiting and customers ordering eat-in coffees are also waiting but nothing seems to be getting done. 

Soy latte, $4.00
I don't think I've ever seen people write on latte glasses before. I'm not sure whether it's the best idea as customers won't be happy if they get ink on their hands. My partner says it's alright, the coffee is slightly burnt. The froth is lukewarm, which means it's been sitting on the counter for a bit.  
Ice skim latte, $3.50
It may have been wise if they served my ice latte in a large glass because it overflows onto the saucer. It's because they've added the espresso shot after they've poured the milk in. Baristas always make the shot and then adds the milk. Otherwise how do you know how much milk to put in? You don't, that's why it spills. But saying that, the ice latte tastes exactly how i wanted it to.

Getting the bill was also problematic. We tell them what table we were on but they have no idea what we got. They're confused, we're confused. It finally gets sorted and we leave bemused. It doesn't seem like it's an easy task running a cafe. No matter how good the food or coffee is, there needs to be a system and each staff member needs to know what they're role and responsibility is. If it doesn't run smoothly, it confuses and frustrates customers and they may not return. But I'm still interested to try their food, give them another chance and hopefully they've organised themselves by then! 

106 Addison Road
9569 2214

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