Roll’d, Highpoint, Maribyrnong
We’ve only observed the unrolling of the Roll’d phenomena through the media, but it’s been easy to be impressed.
Here’s some brilliant entrepreneurial spirit at work packaging genuine Vietnamese tucker into the template of the sort of franchise concept that is proving good food and fast food don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
But now there’s a branch office installed in one of the Highpoint food courts, the matter is no longer an abstraction.
We approach with an open mind but resolve to cut this mob absolutely no slack whatsoever when drawing comparisons with what’s available on the real Vietnamese streets of Footscray or Sunshine.
We order a bowl of mixed chicken and beef “Uncle Pho” ($9.90) for me and the “Street Elite” combo ($11.90) of a cup of mixed pho, a BBQ chicken banh mi and an iced tea for him.
THE HALF EMPTY VIEW
All the implements and containers – chopsticks, spoons, bowl, mug, sauce tubs and (of course) the serviettes – are disposable.
There’s not a thing that’s reusable about our lunches.
The bread roll used in creating Bennie’s banh mi is OK but also a tad on the doughy and squishy side.
It’s not crusty like a banh mi roll should be.
It more resembles the sort of bread rolls served up by the Subway branch right next door.
What’s more, had it been purchased on its own, it would’ve cost us $7.20 – in other words, about twice the amount the same order would cost in ‘Scray central.
The meat in my pho is drab and there’s no accompanying plate of bean sprouts and herbs, while the dish as a whole lacks zing.
THE HALF FULL VIEW
On the other hand … the proof here is in the seeing, smelling and tasting.
Cracking Bennie’s baby open, we discover the banh mi looks the part, smells the part and tastes wonderful.
This is real-deal banh mi of surprisingly high quality – and the uncrusty bread and price be damned.
The same goes, with somewhat lesser impact, with my pho.
Most importantly, the broth is dinkum although a little on the sweetish side for me.
But nevertheless, this really is pho – albeit at the average-tending-to-medicore end of the pho scale.
And at $9.90, it’s priced somewhat closer to ‘Scray than Bennie’s banh mi.
Bennie’s mug of pho is of a pretty decent size for soup that’s part of a combo deal.
It’s all about perspective, about – literally – where you’re coming from.
In this instance, we headed to Highpoint specifically to eat at Roll’d.
We’ll not be doing so again.
Why would we, when the same food done so much better and cheaper is easily available?
Ahhh, but if we happen to be at Highpoint on other business and food is desired … we’ll be happy to sup at Roll’d once more.
Because it’s better than everything else that surrounds it in the shopping centre’s “atrium” food court and is right up there with Dumplings Plus as the best available at Highpoint in general.
The full Roll’d menu and pricing can be viewed at both the company’s website and Facebook page.
When touring the Highpoint food-courts there seems to be negatives with every outlet, whether it is price, quality, or long lines, I usually just leave hungry as there seems nothing worth the time/money. Maybe I’m too stingy
Hi Michael! Not stingy, just good taste. You’re right – there’s negatives with all of them. But we do find ourselves there often enough so make do and take enjoyment where we can.
I consider Laksa Hut at the food court near Target to be a cut above all the other food court shops. Their laksa is excellent however I am addicted to the ipoh seafood noodles (hor fun with a delicious garlic eggwhite sauce).
Hi Andrew! Yeah, they go OK – but still with all that plastic!
Roll’d is much better at RMIT as they are a proper restaurant and are not in the food court. Do try Hero and Roll’d in the new year.
I went to the Roll’d in Brunswick, Victoria a couple of months ago and I ordered the Pho. I have to say it is the worst Pho I’ve had in my whole life. I don’t know how you could take something that tastes so great and make it taste like lukewarm dishwater. Not only did the broth taste like week old arsehole. There was no fresh basil that came with it. No fish sauce on the tables. No Marinated oily chili stuff. All they had on the table was chilli sauce and not even good chilli sauce. I ended up asking for hoi sin sauce when I saw other people getting it and they gave me a little 25 ml container of it to pour into my pho. Who would of thought that when you are having Pho that there would be no basil, no oily chili stuff, crap chili sauce and you’d have to ask for the hoi sin sauce. Which idiot thought to open a restaurant purporting to sell Vietnamese street food and didn’t think of these basic things? And the beef they used. You could tell it had been frozen, because half of it was still stuck to the other half after being pushed under the water for a little while. Defo do not eat there.
I agree with your comments about the banh mi, Kenny (my urbanspoon review is under andlep). For excellent banh mi in sunshine, go to Selina Hotbread on Hampshire rd next to the Westpac. I suspect you already know this great bakery.
As for the plastic cutlery you mentioned above, lol you are right but still delicious.
Ps great blog 🙂
Yes, Selina is right up there with the best!