King’s Hot Bread

240 Forest Road
Hurstville, NSW 2220

When I first moved into my current apartment, I was thrilled to discover that King’s Hot Bread, just a suburb over, is known for doing one of the best banh mi in Sydney. But hang on, you might ask, if I’m so thrilled about it, why has it taken me a year and a half to finally try it? For once I actually have a good reason, instead of having to attribute it to sheer laziness. King’s Hot Bread may only be one suburb away, but there’s another excellent Vietnamese bakery just 2 minutes from my house that also does some phenomenal pork rolls, but without lines snaking out the door morning, noon, and night. And frankly, I’m willing to sacrifice a smidge of quality in order to not have to wait in line for 15 minutes every time I want a sandwich.

But finally, 18 months on, the stars lined up just right. Chris and I both had a rare Thursday off, which provided the perfect opportunity to circumvent the massive weekend queues. Even though the line was still about 8 people long, with 4 efficient sandwich artists at the counter, it only took a couple minutes for us to get to the front. And that turned to be a bit of a mixed blessing; although there isn’t much in the way of baked goods to tempt, the range of fillings for the rolls was absolutely enormous, and the decision ended up being a surprisingly difficult one. We got our sandwiches in the end though, and gleefully carried them to the picnic tables nearby, anticipating a feast.

Pork Roll ($6)/Char Siu Pork Roll ($6)

The first thing that struck me was just how stuffed these sandwiches were. Sure, I had watched them cram layers of pork and bundles of pickled carrot into the roll, but the heft of them was still rather impressive. With that said though, my local also does a whopper of a sandwich, so it’ll take more than that to really impress me. So how did these stack up in terms of taste?

Pork Roll ($6)

I’m a traditionalist, so of course I went with the classic Pork Roll ($6), minus the mayo, which I find overwhelms the flavour of the pâté. From the first bite, I was blow away with the quality of the bread. The roll, which seemed so solid at first, gave way to the soft centre with a flurry of crumbs, and a satisfying crunch. It avoided the common traps of being too tough or too chewy, and was instead the contrasting textural delight that I hope for every time I bite into a banh mi.  As for the fillings, they were pretty much faultless. The pâté was smoothly umami, the pickles crisp and tangy, and the meats fresh and generous. Although I’m not sure if this is the best banh mi I’ve ever had, it’s certainly one of the best.

Char Siu Pork Roll ($6)

Chris on the other hand prefers warmer sandwich fillings, so he chose the Char Siu Pork Roll ($6), which was stuffed full of Chinese BBQ pork. Not being a mayo-phobe, he had his sandwich with the lot. I have to admit the extra creaminess, combined with the tangier style of soy sauce they use here, really complemented the tender slices of pork, elevating this sandwich to something rather special.

Pork Roll ($6)/Char Siu Pork Roll ($6)

You know a banh mi (or really, any food) is good when you finish it and immediately crave more, and that’s exactly what happened here. Despite having had more than enough to eat, I was devastated when my sandwich came to an end. On the whole, I think I would say that this is probably the best banh mi I’ve ever had. My local is good enough for me not to really feel the need to go out of the way to King’s Hot Bread every time I want a banh mi, but given the choice, I would definitely pick this over any other.

Rating: 14/20 – king.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

King's Hot Bread Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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  • Reply Chris Waghorn 07/08/2019 at 3:06 pm

    I’m a traditionalist like you so there is never a choice for me, I want the traditional pork roll, I want it because it so damn tasty. Plus I always want to compare like for like in situations like these. I haven’t made it to Kings hot bread yet but must get there.
    I love your comment on craving more when it ends despite having had enough to eat. That’s the indicator of great food for me.

    • ming
      Reply ming 07/08/2019 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Chris, thanks for dropping by! I totally agree with you, the other options sound tempting but somehow I can never pass up the cold pork roll either, it’s just too good. This is why I like getting pork rolls with a friend – that way I can have the best of both worlds! Do you have any recommendations for good pork rolls around Sydney? I’m keen to try out Marrickville but I would love any other tips you might have :)

  • Reply M B 11/08/2020 at 12:24 pm

    Now that this beloved bakery has shut down, where do you go for rolls? We need some recommendations!

    • ming
      Reply ming 25/08/2020 at 11:15 pm

      Hi MB, I’m pretty sure they haven’t shut down – just moved down the road! If you get a chance to check it out please let me know what the situation is – would hate for King’s to be closed for good!

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