By Rosaline Walters, Fairfield Advance
3 June 2015
CABRAMATTA is in the grip of a pork roll price war, with new retailers selling traditional Vietnamese banh mi for $2.50 per roll, a price that food writer and blogger Thang Ngo describes as a nationwide low.
Mr Ngo said $2.50 was the lowest price he had seen in two decades.
“I think this is actually the cheapest in Australia, he said, “It’s unheard of.”
Two months ago new owners took over Cabramatta’s Daily Delicious Bakery, dropping banh mi prices to a rock bottom $2, before raising them again recently to $2.50.
Cabramatta food tour guide Tina Tran said the standard price for a pork roll had been $3.50. “A pork roll — it ticks all the boxes (for lunch),” she said.
There are more than 10 ingredients that go into the popular lunch dish, including bread, three types of meat, pate, mayonnaise, pickled vegetables and soy sauce.
Mr Ngo, who has lived in the region for 20 years, said he had sampled the $2.50 banh mi and it “wasn’t bad at all”. “I was quite pleasantly surprised,” he said.
Residents seem to agree judging by the long queues outside the bakery. The price drop comes eight months after Cabramatta retailers’ first price war.
In October last year competing vendors in Cabramatta gradually reduced their prices to $3.50 for a banh mi and soft drink or $2.80 for a single banh mi.
Since then banh mi prices have risen slightly to $3 or $3.50.
“If last year was World War I, this is World War II,” Mr Ngo said. “The only question is whether the other pork roll places will retaliate?”
WHAT: Banh mi thit, also known as banh mi or pork rolls, are made with three kinds of meat, pate, mayonnaise, soy sauce and vegetables
WHY: Food writer Thang Ngo said he felt the price drop to $2.50 came from a traditional Vietnamese work ethic, in which retailers made small profit margins by selling items through volume. “It kind of reminds us of how the community is a hardworking group of people,” he said.