While the bloggers were unable to get out for their weekly dinner last week, The Deliberator and The Brains did have a Beaufort Street experience worth discussing. The Deliberator and The Brains had a meeting outside of the city / West Perth precinct they are usually confined to. This was fantastic news for them because sometimes they think that if they are forced to eat one more Croissant Express Frozwich (and the Brooklyn is usually the preferred choice) or one more large sushi roll mix they would simply collapse and die. An outside-of-the-CBD lunch (even though it would be had on the run) was just what they needed.
As both The Brains and the Deliberator are lawyers (we don’t think we’re giving too much away here), they were very familiar with the lunching options surrounding the section of Beaufort Street near Walcott Street. This is because in their first year of lawyering, all Perth lawyers need to attend an offsite course called ‘Articles Training Program’ which is located on Alvan Street in Mount Lawley, directly behind the set of shops around Diva Café. ATP is a godsend to most young lawyers – it starts at 9.00, finishes at 4.00 and has about 5 coffee/tea/smoko/lunch/rest breaks during the day. And it gives everyone a chance to eat an Antonio’s continental roll 4 or 5 times a week. However, it was not Antonio’s that The Deliberator and The Brains were after on this day, rather, it was the little-known (and not open on weekends), Sunshine Lunch Bar Café.
The Sunshine Lunch Bar Café is essentially a Vietnamese run sandwich bar. You can also get your usual lunch time staples there, like Mrs Macs pies and probably even Chicko Rolls. The sandwich section itself does not look like anything special, and really, the Sunshine Lunch Bar Café would not be out of place in Welshpool, Osborne Park or any other highly populated suburb that requires many corner lunch bars for workers. The difference between those lunch bars and the Sunshine Lunch Bar lies in Sunshine’s Vietnamese and Asian roll specialty.
The Hot Asian roll is one of the finest Perth sandwich experiences around – it consists of that type of a bread roll you would typically find at a Vietnamese bakery, 2 pork fillets, which are heated up in the sandwich maker (to give you a picture, the pork fillets are about the same size and shape as the chicken fillets you get from Subway), shaved carrot and cucumber, onion, chilli sauce, coriander and ‘special mayonnaise’. It sounds like a ridiculous combination but it is really quite wonderful. The Vietnamese Roll is similar, except it is not hot, the meat is less identifiable and it comes with what can only be described as Vietnamese pate.
If anyone has been to Vietnam they will have seen vendors make exactly these types of rolls on the street. They are called Banh Mi (or something), and look just like the one in the picture. On a trip to Saigon, The Brains and The Deliberator spent 4 days looking for every Banh Mi vendor in the city to try their wares. Sure, the pate was generally fly-blown, the meat had been sitting in the tropical sun for 8 or 9 hours, and the vegetables were old and wilted, but this combination somehow came together to produce a delight so fabulous that The Brains and The Deliberator continued to sample Banh Mi everywhere it was available in Perth. The Sunshine Café Lunch Bar, in our opinion, has the best one around, and for a ridiculously low low price. You can also get pretty good ones (which are a bit more authentically unhygenic looking) from Lucky Importer Exporter in Brisbane Street, Northbridge.
Service: No fuss and super friendly.
Food: Can’t say enough good things about the Asian rolls, but we cannot vouch for anything else.
Ambience: Similar to a Leach Highway truck stop.
Highlight: The ‘special mayonnaise’.
Lowlight: We wouldn’t know. Although not opening on weekends is a shame.
Rating: 4 Banh Mi out of 5.
Will we be back? Yep, but only if we ever get out there again on a weekday.
Details: Call them on (08) 9370 1165. 3 rolls and a couple of cokes cost far less than $20. The café is located in the same set of shops as Bliss Noodle Bar, Hanami, Subway and the Cheesecake Shop.