Stress Eat of The Week: Great Aunty Three

I’ve been having a blast vying for this job of a lifetime in Western Australia. I want this bad, so, needless to say, I’ve been a bit of a stress-ball lately.

And what do we do in times of stress, ladies and gentlemen?

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…Eat our feelings, of course!

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There. All better…

On Wednesday, the day I found out that I made the top 3 (also known as The Longest Day Ever), I needed a little support in the form of hugs and carbs. So, in addition to my very patient boyfriend, I leaned on the pork roll sandwich (Banh Mi).

I had been passing by Great Aunty Three on Enmore Road for a while now, always curiously popping my head in but too stuffed to commit to a meal. Luckily, I like to eat everything in sight when I’m nervous (unlucky for my bum, it appears). I was ravenous when I arrived around 2pm, right after the lunch rush.

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It is not flashy, nor is it advertising a 3 dollar pork roll like the slew of other mediocre Vietnamese joints on neighboring King St. Those really are the only two reasons you need to give this place a try. But i’ll give you some more just in case you aren’t convinced.

Service with a Smile and Local to the Core

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This is Michael Le. Born in Sydney with roots in Vietnam, Michael’s story is one I’ve heard from quite a few chefs and restaurateurs I’ve encountered. After doing the corporate slog for years in an effort to support his large extended family, he couldn’t keep pretending it was what he wanted to do. So he, along with the support of his wife Mai, started Great Aunty Three.

Great Aunty Three (named after Michaels beloved grandmother, also a great cook), has only been around 8 months, and, while still a baby, it has definite staying power. How can I tell?

I look at the customer base. Men and women young and old streaming in to get their healthy Vietnamese street food fix. And get this: Michael knew almost everyone’s name, and if he didn’t, he simply asked! I later learned he has done no advertisements, and their customer base is entirely through word of mouth. With over 1000 likes on their Facebook page, I say well done!

When I met Michael, he was a little harried because a cook hadn’t shown up for her shift, which can be fatal to a smooth service. Slammed or not, that didn’t stop him from flashing me those pearly whites and recommending I get their most popular sandwich, the caramelized pork Banh Mi.

Sandwiches crafted with love

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Michael and his crew take every care necessary to make a great sandwich happen, starting with their housemade bread and pate. From there, they take a hunk of pork shoulder, braise it low and slow in coconut juice (among other top secret additions) for ten hours, and then hit it under the broiler to get the edges nice and crispy.

The pork was tender, fatty in all the right ways, and had a hint of sweet and heat.

My sandwich had the usual fair on it: pickled daikon, cucumber, and carrots–essential for cutting the heaviness of the pork and pate.

Some fresh garnishes that I loved were watercress and toasted pepitas. The watercress lent a peppery bite which I loved because my banh mi was light on the chili. And while I never thought of adding pepitas to a banh mi, they played well with the other ingredients so I allowed them to stay.

Buzz-worthy coffee

In addition to having smoothies, sandwiches, rice paper rolls, and noodles on the menu, GA3 has made quite the name for themselves over their Vietnamese coffee. Intensely dark, sinfully sweet, and with the ratios guarded better than my grandmothers fried chicken recipe, the iced coconut coffee was the perfect dessert to end my stress induced hunger and lull me into a happy-go-lucky food coma.

I’ll definitely be back to GA3’s soon–but this time I’ll be bringing the professor along just so I can say, “I’ll have it all, please.”

Great Aunty Three Vietnamese Street Food

115 Enmore Road, Enmore, NSW

Hours:

Mon-Thur: 10am to 3pm

Fri-Sat: 9am to 5pm

Sun: 10am to 3pm

Tips:

-The dining area is on the small side with only a few tables, a bar area, and a few tables outside. It will fill up fast during rush hours so don’t count on always getting a seat right away. They are happy to do takeaway, and you are in Australia, so go enjoy that weather!

-Don’t be too intimidated if there is a line. Not only is it worth it, the service is fast, friendly, and efficient.

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