Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese grill joint that is all about fresh produce, finding the perfect balance of southeast Asian flavours, and creating food with that signature chargrill taste.

Our interview

Originally published on 28 January 2022.

Run by a small team that has bought the flavours of northern, central and southern Vietnam to Hobart, Banh Mi n’ Grill elevates Vietnamese street food for a more sophisticated palate while honouring the essence of home-cooked recipes.

This hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese grill joint is all about fresh produce, finding the perfect balance of southeast Asian flavours, and of course, creating food with that signature chargrill taste.

The biggest seller for the lunch crowd is banh mi, the Vietnamese baguette that has conquered the world, and here they make their own baguettes fresh every day.

“Joyce is our baker and spent almost three months perfecting her baguettes before we opened to the public,” says co-owner Carl Nguyen. “She then spent another six months refining and perfecting the recipe and her technique.”

The large, fluffy, crusty white buns are the perfect vehicle for any of the fillings on offer, including chargrilled pork, pulled beef brisket or rich, juicy portobello mushrooms.

“People love the flavours of Vietnamese food,” says Carl. “It’s all about getting the balance right between the five core flavours – spicy, sweet, sour, salty and bitter.”

All about the char

A stand out dish from the current menu is the chargrilled chicken on golden rice. The chicken is grilled to perfection, and arrives perfectly charred on a bed of rice coloured by the subtle use of baby jackfruit powder. As you dig down through the chicken and into the rice you uncover a dark, sweet/savoury sauce, and the pickled vegetables balance out the dish.

If you visit Banh Mi n’ Grill with a crowd order the tasting platter. Soft rice vermicelli noodles come loaded up with chargrilled pork, spicy chicken skewers, satay mushrooms, fresh herbs, pickles and a sweet and sour dressing with Hoi An chilli jam.

As the seasons change Banh Mi n’ Grill will reward return visits with a menu that reflects the seasons. Carl is already thinking about the colder months when he can offer up the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, and we can’t wait to try their take on osso buco!