Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Nhu Lan

September 21, 2014

It's hard to go past a good vegetarian banh mi - we've had some luck with a seitan-based version at Tan Truc Giang in Footscray and the mock-pork variety at Fina's, and have incorporated a Vegan Dad-inspired version into our home cooking roster. Still, we're always on the lookout for more, so we were pretty excited when Olaf left us a comment recommending Nhu Lan in Richmond. We took advantage of a sunny Sunday afternoon to go and check it out (as an aside: we love it when people recommend place or recipes to us - please do leave a comment here or chase us up on Facebook or Twitter).

Nhu Lan is a classic Vietnamese bakery - no fuss, no chit chat, just speedy service, made to order sandwiches and a decent range of sweet stuff and pastries. It's all pretty pork heavy, but the $4.50 tofu roll is clearly marked on the menu. Vegans will need to be clear that they don't want butter or mayonnaise, but the rest of the fillings are pretty straightforward: grated carrot, slivers of cucumber, coriander, chilli and tofu.

Unlike our Fina's and Tan Truc Giang experiences, this isn't really trying to mimic the pork roll - the tofu is lightly battered rectangles with a slightly sweet marinade. The chilli provides the necessary bite and the fresh, crunchy roll is top notch. I think I still favour the seitan-based version, but this is a cheap, easy and delicious lunch in Richmond if you don't have time for a sit down meal at Fina's or Thanh Nga 9.


It seems as though the Footscray branch of Nhu Lan is popular with bloggers, but not many have reviewed the Richmond one - Ministry of Gluttony and teenagefoodie weren't wowed, while chasing a plate, krapow  and Swimming in Coffee were much more enthused.
Nhu Lan Bakery
152 Victoria Street, Richmond
9429 5545

Accessibility: There's a small step up as you enter and the interior is pretty crowded (at least when they're busy). There's not really anywhere to sit. You order and pay at a high counter.


  1. Ooh you guys need to try Ba'get in the CBD. I had the Buddha's tofu roll there a couple of weeks ago and I am still thinking about how good it was.

    1. Wow, that looks amazing - it's definitely on the list!

  2. I get my banh mis from both Nhu Lans in Footscray and Richmond. Have to say, those from Footscray are better. The tofu banh mis are my perfect Meatless Monday lunch.

  3. Banh mi is the best meal - I'm always disappointed there aren't banh mi joints around where I work!

  4. I've never really been into banh mi but my mum has started bringing them for lunch occasionally when she passes by footscray en route to visit - must find out where she gets hers. I love how you describe the place - sometimes I just want a no-nonsense no chit chat place for a quick bite.

  5. I just got Andrea Nguyen's Banh Mi handbook so I am ALL OVER THIS right now. I need to try more of the veg banh mi around Brisbane cause I've only had two, both of which were a bit... plain. But at least it's reasonably easy to make, I just feel guilty eating that much bread for dinner (which is... sort of insane). Maybe a trip to Melbourne soon is in order...