The quest for a good Báhn Mì takes you to many fine establishments, invariably titled with a number in the name to mark the year their Vietnamese owners opened shop, emigrated – or just for good luck.
Not so with Yellow Fever – a beautiful café located in Redfern specialising in modern Vietnamese cuisine, serving up stellar coffee on the side. Owners Anthony and Rosie Nguyen’s menu focuses on freshened up versions of the holy trinity – Báhn Mì, Vermicelli salads and rice paper rolls. If there was a number in their name it should be 24 – all their meat is marinated for 24 hours and then cooked on a charcoal grill to add a smoky slightly caramelised taste that works well with the marinades.
It was quite a warm day so we ordered several thirst quenchers to start. We had to try the pastel purple hued Iced taro latte (they also have a hot version). It’s made with soy milk, taro powder and a bit of condensed milk for sweetness, and tastes like a milkier version of melted taro ice cream with a slight smooth nuttiness. The Vietnamese iced coffee ($5) is a nice strength and has a good flavor. Lemongrass iced tea ($5) is the most refreshing of all and the hint of lemongrass is lovely. Best of all, none are too sweet.
The Báhn Mì with five spice pork ($8) features super soft and tender meat – it’s sweet and slightly charred, with a roundhouse five spice kick. Their baguettes come in fresh from a small family bakery nearby, striking the balance between crunch on the outside and fluffiness in. The supporting veggies are fresh and crunchy, also sourced locally from small businesses – there’s a healthy amount of pickled carrot and I like it.
We wanted to try all their meats so we chose the Vermicelli salad with half nem nuong (marinated pork patties) and half chicken ($12). The nem nuong pork patties are succulent little marinated pork pucks – the gorgeous chargrilled flavor carries through these and the chicken. Glorious.
The salad is made of fresh cabbage, pickled carrots, cucumber, vermicelli noodles and dressed in nuoc cham. A sprinkle of peanuts, fried shallots and spring onions adds an extra delicious bit of crunch to this beautiful bowl – instead of piling all the ingredients on top of each other like most Vietnamese eateries these guys put up a prettier plate, an Instagram-worthy lunch that tastes as good as it looks.
Sorry not sorry – we got one of each type of the Rice Paper Rolls from Yellow Fever (FYI 3 packs are $9.50). The classic prawn and pork ($3.80) or 5 spice pork rollies ($3.50) are good go tos and their charcoal chicken rollie ($3.50) was a deliciously smoky bundle with such a good flavour.
As the Wonder White sandwich of rice paper rolls, we initially dismissed the salmon and dill rollie ($3.80)– but we were wrong, so wrong! The salmon was delicately poached and perfectly matched with the dill.
Even the more inventive varieties were on point, like the tofu, tomato and pineapple rollie ($3.50) – sounds like a fridge-clearing recipe, but the combination works so well and tastes like Summer.
If you’re there early, Anthony recommends you try the Vietnamese Brekkie Roll – it’s based on bánh mì op la, a spam and fried egg baguette that’s popular and widely available in Vietnam. The Yellow Fever version includes coriander, Sriracha mayonnaise and pickles. Scrumptious.
Yellow Fever’s fresh Vietnamese fare is perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch all year round, especially in Summer!
133 Regent St, Redfern, Sydney NSW
Opening Hours: 6:30am to 3pm Monday – Friday
7:30am to 3pm Saturday
Phone: 0410 577 266
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Yellow Fever