One of my favourite things to do on a weekend is make a trip to the Freo markets and see what’s new, so when a mate of mine at work (an Engineer) let me know he opened The Naked Chopstick, a Banh Mi (Vietnamese Rolls) shop in Freo markets… my fiancé Little Miss Bacon and I took that as an excuse to explore Freo once again.
Banh Mi is one of Little Miss Bacon’s favourite things to eat, so she was really keen to try the new Banh Mi on the block. I think she’s tried every place in Perth and even did a Battle of the Banh Mi’s post a few years ago with Michelle (my sister and the food blogger behind foodie cravings).
The Naked Chopstick is located on the fruit and veg side of the markets and the decor is what I would describe as a fusion, a combination of hipster fittings with the menu artwork you’d find at Vietnamese restaurants in Perth… love it.
There are two variations of the Banh Mi roll, some shops use the narrow longer baguette style and others in the oval footy shaped baguette. I dunno why, but I prefer the footy shaped ones, so I was glad when our roll came out in the footy style 🙂
The bread was crispy and there was a good balance of ingredients. The meat was twice cooked marinated BBQ pork filling which was really tasty and a nice spin on the traditional pork belly slices that you usually get in Banh Mi.
In addition to Banh Mi, they also serve other traditional Vietnamese dishes such as Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli salad), one of my favourite things to eat growing up. It consists of vermicelli/thin noodles, pickled carrots, fresh veggies and grilled nem nuong (Vietnamese meatball) that is then garnished with crushed peanuts and spring onion oil. The final step is to throw a cup of fish sauce on top for that saltiness.
The nem nuong had the right amount of charring on the outside and that nice caramelisation you get from the sugar in the mixture. My mate’s partner mentioned that it was her auntie’s recipe… every Vietnamese family has that aunty who makes the best nem nuong… so I’m surprised she was willing to share 🙂
Very good combination of flavours, eating this dish reminded me of family gatherings where there’d be massive portions of nem nuong, noodles and veggies on a table and everyone would be assembling their own bowl.
For those of you looking for authentic Vietnamese food south of river, be sure to check out The Naked Chopstick.