Quick Lunch: N Lee Bakery, Melbourne CBD

by April@MyFoodTrail on October 28, 2009

in Melbourne, Quick Lunch, Vietnamese

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.

The hot food

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.

Vietnamese roll with chicken skewer $6.50

Kat ordered the meat ball roll, which had broken up pieces of meatballs as the meat filling. She loved her roll too.

Vietnamese roll with meatballs $6

Kat also got some spring rolls which were thin, but long and filled with chicken, prawn and vegetables (mostly carrots). These were very nice.

Spring rolls $1 each

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.

The sweets cabinet

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

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

spatulaspoonandsaturday October 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm

i'm going to go out on a limb here and state that those spring rolls are the best spring rolls i have had.

big call i know.

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ms s loveridge October 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Ahh thanks so much! I'll definitely give this one a try. I really like Vietnamese rolls (with the best one I've had so far was when I was in New York!) and hasn't find any one which particularly stands out in Melbourne. This one looks VERY fresh so I'll definitely try it out soon! Thanks again 🙂

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Iron Chef Shellie October 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Looks bloody good there!
Adding it to my places to try =)
x

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OohLookBel October 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Oh, I love banh mi (pork) for lunch! The only thing is, I have to eat it over a garbage bin so that the crispy crumbs don't end up all over me. This place looks like a real find, bad luck it's too far for me…

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 29, 2009 at 12:20 am

Mmm that chicken roll looks really good, I can understand why you were tempted by those chicken skewers. I hope the overabundant jam didn't squirt out of the donut! 😀

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Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT) October 29, 2009 at 9:10 am

This is a great find! I am lunch-less this week and I will try to get myself to N Lee.

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Esz October 29, 2009 at 10:35 am

I'll be keeping this place in mind when in town for lunch next! Those rolls all look awesome 😀

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Anonymous October 29, 2009 at 11:26 am

N.Lee Bakery is my favourite lunch spot too. I love their Vietnamese style chicken roll… with chili. ^o^ It is delicious! Love your photos of the rolls!

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Maria@TheGourmetChallenge October 29, 2009 at 12:50 pm

oh yum, I love Vietnamese rolls! They're pretty tasty and so filling. I wish I worked in the city, there are so many awesome find like this around!

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penny aka jeroxie October 30, 2009 at 7:53 am

One of my favourite haunt when I worked in the city…. memories.

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Rilsta November 2, 2009 at 9:47 am

Hi Kat: WOW! Best spring rolls you've ever had… that's a big call!

Hi ms s loveridge: No worries, hope you like it! The softer bread makes it more enjoyable to eat!

Hi Iron Chef Shellie: Yeah it was awesome – you have to try it out!

Hi Belle: Hehe, the crumbs not only go everywhere, sometimes the filling drops out too! It is worth the trip across the city!

Hi Conor: When eating a jam donut, I have learnt to bite into the bit with the jam hole first so it doesn't squirt out everywhere!

Hi Joyce: Hope you enjoy it!

Hi Esz: The rolls were really good – you must go check it out!

Hi Anonymous: Thanks! 🙂 The Vietnamese chicken roll sounds interesting.

Hi Maria: All the fabulous lunch spots around the city are good for the tastebuds but not so good on the waistline… maybe it is a good thing you don't work in the city!

Hi Penny: Hopefully you can still go and visit it once in a while!

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Anonymous June 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

Yummo! I love these viet rolls. My recently discover a new gem hidden in Prahran Market. This viet cart (Bunme I think the name is) sells rice paper roll and Bahn Mi. For a dollar more, I get generous amount of corrianders, pickled carrots is crunchy and so fresh! I asked the lady who runs the stall, she makes her own pate using chicken liver, much smoother and richer in texture as she claims. I reckon it goes so well with the lots. GOtta try the lemongrass chicken bahn mi!

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April @ My Food Trail June 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Hi Anonymous: Oh wow! Thanks so much for the tip! I will have to go and check out the cart!

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