Wrap and Roll – new hawker-style Vietnamese at Westfield Sydney

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If you’ve been to the recently opened level 5 foodcourt at the new Sydney Westfield, you will know it’s a foodie Mecca,  a Rolls Royce an Aston Martin of food courts, if you wish.

Many of Sydney’s top restaurants and eateries have set up express operations in the opulent surroundings, and now, there is a new kid on the block, fresh from Saigon: Wrap and Roll. The eatery has reinvented the concept of traditional Vietnamese street–stall fare in a comfortable, clean and contemporary restaurant setting. Move over baguettes and pho!

Update (August 2011): Wrap and Roll now also do catering. If you’re sick of munching on sandwiches during office meetings, check out Wrap and Roll catering menu.

Wrap and Roll invites us to now fall in love with the country’s hawker-style street food. The offering is not only flavourful, but completely preservative-free.

I was lucky enough to attend a soft opening of the premises at lunchtime today thanks to my foodie friend [A], and despite finishing touches being put on the place while we were there we were most impressed with both the food and highly attentive and friendly service.

The menu of 23 dishes representing the best of Northern, Central and Southern Vietnamese cuisine is divided into starters, noodles, mains, sides and tasting plates. A small selection of vegetarian dishes is also available and all dishes are cooked to order. Presented with these wonderful choices we went for 8 dishes to share amongst the 4 of us, including a couple of signature ones. A selection of dipping sauces accompanies most dishes.

Firstly, we sampled Pho Cuon ($8.90) – tender pho flavoured beef strips with lettuce, onion and coriander rolled in freshly steamed rice paper rolls. Meltingly soft and flavourful, they are truly a must for any Pho (yes, ‘fur’) fan. They were [A]’s favourites, too.

We then moved on to the other signature dish, Banh Xeo ($15) – paper thin egg pancake stuffed with prawns, pork, bean sprouts and vegetables. Served with fresh herbs and lettuce leaves as well as its own special sauce, the idea is to wrap your own using lettuce leaves as the skin. A great dish for those who’d like an extra serving of greens in their diet without compromising on other flavours and yummy godness inside. Bear in mind that at $15, the dish is big enough to share between 2 people.

Since this was a pre-opening tasting, we couldn’t go past the three more substantial tasting plates.  First up on our journey through Vietnam, the Taste of Saigon ($15) which is also the restuarant’s signature dish and includes a sample of Goi Cuon – prawn and pork rice paper rolls with a Southern peanut sauce and Chao Tom – juicy grilled prawn paste wrapped around sugar cane skewers served with vermicelli, herbs, lettuce and roll your own rice paper wraps.

Next up the Taste of Hue ($15), home of Last Emperor. The platter comes with the usual trimmings of vermicelli noodles, lettuce, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs to accompany a serving of Nem Nuong – grilled pork meatballs, which are moist and have a wonderful barbecue flavour. A generous serving of Banh Cuon Tom – finely shredded prawn wrapped in freshly steamed rice paper completes the dish.

My personal favourite though, is the Taste of Hanoi ($15).  Home to the historic and alluring capital, Northern Vietnam cuisine retains many French influences from a by-gone era. The platter consists of Banh Cuon – mushroom and minced pork steamed rice paper roll with freid shallots. It’s melt in your mouth perfection of flavours and textures and by far my favourite dish of the day. I’m a big mushroom fan but my fellow diners tend to agree that the rolls are something else! The other part of the Hanoi experience is Cha Nuong Ha Noi – grilled marinated pork skewers served with the wrap your own trimmings. They taste fresh and are a good serving of all meat for those who prefer their protein in the form of meat.

My close second favourite of the day was Goi Ngo Sen ($8.90) – lotus stem and mix vegetable salad with grilled pork and prawn. Crunchy and fresh with a wonderful blend of lime juice, fish sauce and peanuts in the dressing. It’s a side salad, but it’s big on flavour and generous in serving – I would happily order this as my “main” and be completely satisfied. Oh and it comes with a handful of prawn chips on the side, that’s always a bonus.

To round up the experience we also tried one of the few fried dishes on the menu, the Cha Gio ($14) – lightly fried spring rolls of crab, prawn, pork, egg mushrooms and vegetables, and Cuon Roi ($9.90) – a vegetarian tofu and vegetable steamed rice paper roll. While the spring rolls were nice, I am probably the last person who should be commenting on them because I’m not a big fan of fried foods, but those who tried them enjoyed them very much. The vegetarian tofu roll, on the other hand, has easily made it into my top 3 favourite dishes. Lightly smoky and really fresh, wrapped in soft rice paper pastry.

The food was super fresh with generous amounts of herbs, lettuce and pickles to balance the flavours of meat, extremely flavourful and each dish had its own characteristic flavour, which was nice to see. The menu is easy to navigate and you can order by numbers, as well as practice your Vietnamese as all dishes are spelled out phonetically as well. And yes, Pho = fur.

The absence of preservatives and a healthy serving of fun with every meal will definitely have me going back for more. A great concept and fine execution. And a place where grown ups can play with their food.

Thank you to Tu Anh Nguyen of Wrap & Roll for having us.

Click here for a special promotional voucher for September 2011.

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The store opens tomorrow, 15 June 2011.

Wrap & Roll

Zone 2, Retail Level 5, Westfield Sydney City, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney

Ph: 02 8072 7050  W: www.wrap-roll.com.au

Wrap & Roll on Urbanspoon
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Comments:

30 Responses to Wrap and Roll – new hawker-style Vietnamese at Westfield Sydney

  1. oh my gawd, i need to go there. can we go? please, i need to try this place!

  2. Mez says:

    YUM YUM YUM!!!

    I wonder how long it will be before they open in Melbourne!!!?

  3. yum the Banh Xeo looks great!

  4. eatmarvin says:

    Hawker Style Street Food without the flies. Yum! I need to try that. :)

  5. thor27 says:

    Looks very good !!! We have a pace here in Houston called the Thu Thu that serves similar items that’s very good. Come by my site sometime.

  6. I still haven’t been to the new Westfield complex yet. The food looks good, a read bit on the $$ side, but that’s only because I know I can get all these dishes at Cabra for a fraction of the price :p But it’s good to see a fresh breathe of vietnamese food being offered in the city for those who can’t make the trek out west.

    I love Banh Cuon mmmm…

    • Hey Phuoc, nice to see the food is getting a tick of approval in your books. I thought the prices were reasonable considering the location within the CBD and the actual complex. And servings are really generous too. Banh Cuon = I could eat it all day and night and never get bored!

  7. Wow – it’s a great idea. Something new and different – and making me want to go back to Vietnam so much!

  8. betty says:

    wow- this looks gr8! but is it better then the viet food in cabramatta?? 😛 i think the presentation looks fantastic, abit on the pricey side, but id give this a go the next time i am there! :O)

  9. Ah all that food looks to die for! So fresh and healthy. I wish I had a place like this close to home!

  10. [A] says:

    Folks, this food seriously rocks! Gone! are the days of semi healthy and boring sandwiches and salads..behold Wrap & Roll! Amazingly fresh food thats served uber quickly, and has a genuine taste and feel of Vietnamese food that it is. With a great feel and ambiance, this place is going to attract far more people than the average shopper!!

  11. Looks awesome!! So fresh, gotta love that :)
    Heidi xo

  12. Chanel says:

    I love, love, love Level 5 Westfield Sydney! Wrap and Roll looks like a great addition – so fresh & full of flavour 😀

  13. Looking at those dishes you would not think for one moment you were in a Sydney food court.

  14. emm says:

    oh yum! Those Banh Xeo look nearly as good as my mother-in-laws 😉

  15. Dolly says:

    for the love of BANH CUOn..

    pho rolls… wow thats definitely an awesome twist to PHO .. wonder how it’d taste like!

    did u have pho soup to dip it in?

  16. The Ban Xeo looks like a refreshing summer treat. I love the contrast of grilled and smoky meat against the fresh vegetables like beansprouts and lettuce leaves. Thanks for sharing and your pics are great too! :)

  17. Jon Fitzgerald says:

    I work in the Westfield building and I used to eat at Wrap and Roll every second day.

    I saw that they were running a promotion on Living Social (a discount coupon website) where you can get ‘$15 of anything on the menu for $5’. I purchased 5 vouchers and many of my colleagues did the same. When we turned up with our coupons we were given a box of cold food that was worth no more than $5 (the serving size was less than 40% of what was normally in a $15 serving and was not freshly made). I was not allowed anything else on the menu.

    This is dodgy and has led to a boycott of the brand by my entire office of 400 people (a colleague circulated an email explaining the situation as many of us bought vouchers).

    You do not offer a voucher for $15 of anything off the menu and then only allow that voucher to be redeemable for a $5 box of premade cold food. This is greedy and terrible for business and I will be spreading the word of the practices of this business.

    I am anticipating that Living Social will be providing a refund to all as this has clearly been a blatant money grab breach of the terms of the voucher.

  18. Lyen says:

    Totally agreed with Jon, Wrap and Rolls are robbers, I promised myself never to return there again, so are my family and friends

  19. Lyen says:

    Further to my notes above, Wrap and Rolls I agree their prsentation is very good but if you really want to taste good Vietnamese food, you should try it at Thanh Tam at 50 Hunter St. Price is very reasonable and the food is very tasty.

 

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