Minh Tan Bakery is one of Brisbane’s best or worst kept secrets, depending on your dedication to banh mi and the circles you travel in. Having a hankering for some banh mi and recently hearing about it in conversation with someone we met (food comes up a bit), we headed to Inala. It is a little bit of a trip for city-slickers, but worth it for all else you’ll find.
Minh Tan Bakery is found in Inala Plaza, at one end of the centre. It has an unassuming front, looking like any of the other bakeries you find in your neighbourhood shopping village. Glass cabinets display the cakes and breads you can buy, and even they look no different to what you’ll find elsewhere, with things like cream buns, apple turnovers, and lamingtons featuring. It is set up as a takeaway, so the shop has a pretty compact footprint. Above the service counter are chalkboards listing the rolls you can have made to order, and again, it looks pretty standard.
We ordered a grilled pork roll, and a combination roll, which had pork and pork mince. There weren’t many other people there when we went (likely an anomaly), and we didn’t have to wait too long for our food.
The banh mi were delivered without fanfare, in simple white paper bags. Both looked very similar, the bronze-skinned bread rolls split down the centre and layered with meat and vegetable fillings. Those bread rolls, despite their ordinary appearance, were super crispy and flaky on the outside, but soft on the inside, pulling apart easily. Both rolls had plenty of pate slathered on, giving them a sweet and savoury, not too gamey flavour note. There were slivers of vegetables as well, carrots and thin cucumber slices, providing freshness and crunch without being bulky chunks. There were also sprigs of coriander for another fragrant flavour.
The combination roll had slices of char siew and juicy mince. The char siew was tender and soft, rather than the drier version you find elsewhere. The mince was tasty, and again not dry.
The grilled pork roll had larger chunks of meat in it. They had a lemongrass aroma, and sweet more than savoury. The pate melded well with it.
Despite seeming simple, there is a great spectrum of flavour in these rolls from the Minh Tan Bakery. Their crunchy yet soft bread is amazingly good. These are some of the best banh mi rolls around, and certainly worth the trip out to Inala. Given the price, you could treat yourself with a couple and still have money to spare to spend in the markets.
Price point: Banh mi $4.50 to $6.50 per roll.
Address: Inala Plaza, Shop 43, 156 Inala Avenue, Inala
Phone: 07 3372 1000
Website: They don’t seem to have one..