It is a question that has divided families, caused bar fights and brought down governments: Who does the best Banh Mi in Hobart? I went on a fact finding mission to find the answer.
Vietnamese Kitchen – Salamanca
Firstly this was the cheapest Banh Mi to be found at a miserly $5. There is only two types on offer being pork or chicken and I’d made my decision to sample pork at each venue to ensure some sort of control. It really was quite tasty indeed and amazing value, the meat tender with strong Hoi Sin flavouring and a touch of chilli. The baguette was straight from Banjos around the corner which was a bit odd, it was missing cucumber and it could have done with some more herbs and chilli. But all up a delicious lunch and far better than I was expecting for the price. 61 Salamance Place, Hobart. Score: 7/10
Chikko Cafe – Eastlands
I tried to get a better pic, I really did, but this was one un-photogenic bun! The pork was quite enjoyable and the bread good but that was about it unfortunately. Behind that layer of meat was way too much carrot, lashings of cheap mayonnaise, no herbs and no pate. Choices of pork or chicken are available and are $7.50-$8.50. Eastlands Shopping Centre, Rosny Score : 4/10
Vietnamese Pho – Salamanca
Now here was a real contender. The price was right at $6.50 and Id heard great things. The salad was beautiful and fresh with a sweet and spicy dressing adding fire, abundant herbs, some really good pate and a crunchy fresh bun. All up absolutely packed with flavour. Except for the meat. It was brought to my table 30 seconds after ordering with the pork coming straight from the bain marie where it had dried out and toughened. A shame really as the rest of it was fantastic. Shop 9, 33 Salamanca Place Score 7/10
Saigon Express – North Hobart
This is a Banh Mi that I’ll keep coming back for, that calls my name whenever I’m in North Hobart. They really do the pork well here with contrasts of tender and crispy pieces. The rest is equally satisfying and the freshness of everything is fantastic. They’ve the biggest range on offer as well with eight different types to choose from with the pork being $7.50. 335 Elizabeth St, North Hobart Score 9/10
Cyclo – North Hobart
There’s a lot to like about the newest player in the game of Banh Mi. They make pretty much everything in house from the buns to the pate to the mayonnaise and have quite a good selection of fillings on offer. The herbs are abundant and they have fresh chilli to add if you wish. The pork sadly lets them down though lacking in flavour and texture and losing them the points needed to snatch victory. They are new on the scene though and show great promise. 249 Elizabeth St, North Hobart Score: 7/10
Congratulations to Saigon Express for taking out the title! Do let us know if we missed anyone.