04 August 2008

Sunshine Lunch Bar Cafe

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.

In summary:

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.


Elizabeth said...

This is very exciting! After a year of living in Adelaide, where these rolls are widely available, and therefore becoming quite addicted, I've been having withdrawals. Once more I can, um, indulge. Thank you!

Chisa said...

Could be wrong, but I think it's 'banh mi'? I walk over to Sunshine for lunch every now and then, and totally agree about their yummy rolls. Their Vietnamese rice paper rolls are excellent too.

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi Elizabeth - welcome back to Perth. The rolls can be found at many Asian stores in Northbridge, but we've not really seen them outside of the city (except obvisouly at Sunshine). They probably are around somewhere, we just haven't run into them yet.

Hi Chisa - you're absolutely right witht he spelling, we got it wrong the first time but managed to get it right after that. We'll correct the post. Have not tried the rice paper rolls, but we have every confidence that they would also be delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth

I came onto your blog via matt from abstract gourmet, but if you think Sunshine does good viet rolls you should try another place in mirrabooka some time. they used to be on william street, but moved out to the suburbs last year.

I don't remember its name but its at a shopping complex on Honeywell bvd, mirrabooka


Anonymous said...

haha great review guys.
p.s banh mi = bread roll
banh mi thit(pronounced 'bun mee tit') = bread roll with meat

from your #1 vietnamese blog reader

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi anymous - if you do find out the name of the place in Mirrabooka, please post it in a comment, it seems we're not the only ones obsessed with Banh Mi so you'd be doing the whole community a favour!

And #1 vietnamese blog reader, thanks for clearing that up. Fortunately for us uncultured mono-lingual types the Sunshine cafe has gone with the names 'vietnamese roll' and 'asian roll' to help us out! Can you tell us anything about what the Vietnames pate-like substance actually involves and what it's called?

David Cohen said...

You buggered up the spelling of Leach Highway, too. I was surprised by the revelations of your workday eating habits - why patronise Croissant Express? I'd rather take in some Vegemite sandwiches from home. Or is it also an excuse to get out of the office?

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Shit, we did too, thanks for that, it's now fixed.

We're all too lazy to make a vegemite sandwich to bring to work. Some of us even regularly pay $4.50 and buy a damn vegemite roll from Croissant Express. Pretty outrageous, not very tasty, but super convenient.

The Sponge is more of a Subway kind of guy, though if you want a Subway in the city for lunch you'd be in the line for some hours. The Sponge has taken to enjoying a morning tea Subway instead.

Cookster said...

Bun me tit? Is your anonymous correspondent hoping to have us chased from this establishment by an angry man weilding a cleaver perhaps?

Smacks of the time I told a mate that penne was pronounced peeny... even better, it was a 'creamy peeny...'

Mathilde said...

Aah... the good ole days of ATP! There's a month of my life I'll never get back. The whole experience was like regressing back to 8 years old, what with the name tags, assignments and assigned seating. *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Ok I've got the name of the place in Mirrabooka - went in for a taste test on the wkend, Still good!

It's called Banh Thet
Alhought the place is quite small, they share the site with a fish and chip place

Angie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I've been to this place before, but I was fairly disappointed with the Vietnamese rolls (Banh Mi).... I wouldn't say it's authentic that's for sure. It's a shame really. Apparently the best banh mi used to be in Northbridge, but the lady moved to the northern suburbs somewhere. :(

Erin said...

I used to eat lunch here every day when working in Mt Lawley. Excellent rolls (my favourite was the chicken & salad on a crusty white roll - no butter, mayo, or cheese as it didn't need it!) and the rice paper rolls are great too. I must head over that way some time soon and try the banh mi...

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Anonymous - thanks for the research, Banh Thet will get a visit from us soon. We will report back when we get there.

Angie - sure, the Banh Mi at Sunshine Cafe is not as authentic as one bought on the side of the road in 35 degree heat in Hanoi for 20c, but we still think they're pretty tasty.

Erin - nothing beats a chicken and salad roll, provided it's white bread, sounds perfect. Great blog too.

oopzie said...

Is there a place to get these rolls anywhere close to the west end of the city...

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Sorry oopzie, not that we know of. Most of us are based in the west end of town and we've never stumbled across one. Will let you know if that changes.

Anonymous said...

hi guys...just wanted to correct the name of that shop in mirrabooka. it's called Ben Thanh.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone... would like to thank you all for all the compliments, comments & support of Sunshine Lunch Bar.

Yes I agree that the banh mi is not the same as the Banh mi in Hanoi but we do try our best to accommodate everyone's taste.

Thanks again & hope you continue to support us!

p.s i was very suprised that there is even a blog on sunshine... so unexpected...

Beaufort Street Bloggers said...

Hi Sunshine Lunch Bar, thanks for writing in. It's our pleasure to support you as we just love your Asian rolls. We don't care if they are not exactly the same as the Hanoi Banh mi because the ones you do are 100% super delicious.

Thanks for continuing to offer some good solid well priced food on Beaufort Street.

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