N Lee Bakery Café
62 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC
Kat from spatulaspoonandsaturday asked if I wanted to check out a recommended banh mi (Vietnamese baguette) place for lunch and even though it is all the way on the other side of the city from my work, I went along. These Vietnamese rolls can be found in abundance at places like Richmond, Springvale and Footscray, but I never knew there was somewhere to buy them in the city.
My major complaint with the Vietnamese rolls I’ve had in the past is that the bread is way too crusty, cutting into my mouth as I take a bite. The ones I have had also are quite stingy on the pork, often having way too many vegetables for me to be able to taste the pork.
N Lee Bakery Café is located on Little Collins Street, between Exhibition & Spring Streets. There are a few tables inside for you to eat in, but the majority of people seem to take away. There is a selection of the Vietnamese rolls as well as normal sandwiches, all made to order fresh. There is also a hot food section.
N Lee Bakery Café makes all their bread fresh daily and it is obvious from the crusty but not hard outer and soft inner of their bread rolls. I was going to get the traditional pork roll, but I was drawn to the chicken skewers that were in the bain marie so I got a chicken skewer roll. The standard filling is a spread of pate and egg butter, thinly sliced lengths of cucumber, shredded carrots and coriander, plus whatever filling you choose. The roll was delicious! The bread was so fresh and the chicken was so tasty.
Kat ordered the meat ball roll, which had broken up pieces of meatballs as the meat filling. She loved her roll too.
Kat also got some spring rolls which were thin, but long and filled with chicken, prawn and vegetables (mostly carrots). These were very nice.
N Lee Bakery Café also have a sweets section with items such as croissants, custard tarts, donuts and vanilla slice. I bought a chocolate jam donut to take away and have as my afternoon snack. The donut was very soft, but I found it had too much jam inside.
Overall: A great quick lunch place serving fresh, delicious Vietnamese rolls. Prices are a bit more than what you would pay in other banh mi places in the suburbs, but it is cheaper than buying a western style baguette in the city.
Would I return? Yes, it is worth my trip across the city.
Over & Out, Rilsta xx