These were some wildly good banh mi, recommended by KS and ACHT as their favourites some time in 2021 and finally put into my mouth in May 2022. This was a couple who would commute all the way from Parramatta, where they lived, to Hurstville just for a couple of pork rolls, and while I wouldn’t necessarily go that far (Xcel Roll & Bowl in Parramatta is also great), I can see why.
I could tell you all about the sliced pork roll ($6.50) and what makes it great, but the words would essentially be the same as every other review of a pork roll that I’ve liked. The bread is crispy but not cutting, the salad fillings are plentiful and fresh, and the roll is not oversauced. What really sets out Phu Cuong King’s offering is the fact that extra pate is offered right off the bat as a main menu item. Just an additional $1 will get you absolutely loaded up on that delicious extra pate and Vietnamese mayo and send your mouth to a whole other sphere of creaminess and umami. It’s not something secret that you need to ask for, that you’re worried they might not do. It’s right there on the menu. And it’s glorious.
The $10 crackling pork roll was similarly good, though I made the health-and-self conscious decision not to load it up with additional saturated fats. A friend and colleague commented that $10 was too much to pay for a pork roll, which I used to agree with looking at the prices charged elsewhere for a similar item, but no longer do. No one blinks twice at paying $10 for a hyper-processed sub at Subway or $8.60 for a double quarter pounder made on a production line by high school students so why should we be so miserly when it comes to culturally authentic food made from fresh ingredients by ethnic workers?
Big fan of the extra pate. Don’t care about the price. Don’t tell my healthcare team.