Tuesday, December 23, 2014


December 13, 2014

Way back in October when I was going through a slightly obsessive banh mi phase, Cookie Daux tipped us off via Facebook that the chainstore-looking Vietnamese place at Barkly Square was a creditable veg Vietnamese option. We've stopped by a couple of times since then, but finally used a lunchtime Saturday visit to blog the place properly.

Roll'd is a fast-growing franchise, with twenty-something locations listed on its website. Their focus is fast, affordable Vietnamese food, a kind of food-court version of the super cheap bakeries you find in Richmond and Footscray. The menu is pretty veg-friendly - there's a tofu option for each of the six or seven dishes they offer, including pho, noodle salads, rice dishes and more. The atmosphere is cheery, but you're still sitting in a shopping centre, so you're not really going there to soak up the good vibes. 

We started out splitting a tofu soldier (rice paper roll filled with tofu, rice noodles and fresh veggies, $3), with a serve of the chilli mayo for dunking. This was fine - a bit noodle heavy and not bursting with flavour, but cheap, fresh and a good warm up for our mains.

I couldn't resist the tofu banh mi (or, as they strangely label it: Bun Mee). It's a pretty decent rendition - crusty roll, loads of fresh chilli, coriander, carrot, mayo, cucumber and a few cubes of tofu dotted throughout ($7.90). Vegans will need to alert the staff to hold the butter and double check the mayo situation - we've also heard a few reports of pate turning up on the tofu banh mi as well, although that's never happened to us.

Cindy ordered the tofu and mushroom banh xeo - a crepe with a tofu/mushroom mix, chilli some greens and a few herbs ($6.90) served with a sweet sauce. It's a light meal (3 bits of tofu and 3 mushrooms), so it doesn't really compare with the similar dish offered at Fina's or our homemade version.

She bulked it up with a side order of sweet potato fries ($3.90), which were surprisingly crispy unlike so many sweet potato chips - probably Roll'd's most impressive achievement!

You can order Vietnamese iced coffee, iced tea and aloe vera drinks to take the heat out of the chilli. Service is brisk, friendly and effective. Roll'd are never going to measure up in either quality or value with traditional Vietnamese bakeries like Nhu Lan or N. Lee, but it's a super convenient option for us and does a decent enough job of veg-friendly Vietnamese. They're popping up all over town, so keep an eye out if you're struggling for lunch in a food court somewhere.


There's plenty of love for the various Roll'd stores, with mostly positive write-ups at Gastrology, Arrow Foodie, MEL: HOT OR NOT, Eat And Be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die(t), Peach Water, Asian Restaurants in Melbourne, Love, Adjpants, Calenex, Champagne for the Pain, Krapow, Banh Mi Maniac, Chomp and Slurp, JP & Melbs and foodie about town.

The Very, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pigging Out Around the World, New International Students, Consider the Sauce, Gourmet Chick, PhoCity and I talk too much my mouth hurts weren't as impressed.

Barkly Square, Sydney Road, Brunswick
9380 9075

Accessibility: Roll'd has a flat entryway and a slightly cramped interior (especially during the lunch rush). There's a mix of high and low tables. You order and pay at a low counter. We haven't visited the toilets (in fact they probably rely on Barkly Square's general public toilets, which are pretty accessible).


  1. Thanks for the mention, but we also went to the city store at RMIT SAB and we were quite happy. So I guess it is a mixed bag. See here: http://newintstudents.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/rolld-at-sab-in-two-visits.html
    Do visit Ba' get when you have the chance. I'd like to know what you think

  2. Oh yeah, Ba'get is where it's at!

  3. Sally and Laur - we hear you! We were talking of visiting Ba'get for lunch today but they're shut for the holidays, so I guess we'll wait until the new year.

  4. And FOB rolls are just equally as good too. What do you guys think of having the urbanspoon badge up there with your food posts. A lot of people are always looking for vegetarian things

    1. Hi Sally - we received an invite when Urbanspoon first launched and discussed it, but decided against joining. We prefer to publish independently of them.