Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What's all the who-ha with Hong Ha?

Hong Ha Red Roll Bakery
1151 Botany Rd,
Mascot NSW 2020
phone: 02 9667 2069

On a hot day, there's a line stretching back more than two store fronts. Locals know and flock to this bakery - waiting to satisfy their pavlovian instincts - it is a strange sight,  like lining up for a club- especially given that are many food options available along the street. 

This Vietnamese bakery has a simple, but winning combination. Freshly baked bread filled with tasty fillings. BBQ chicken roll. Ham roll. Pork roll. Tuna roll. There's nothing particularly different from the other places - so it's curious to know why it's so popular. There is something about the presence of a crowd attracting more people in a self reinforcing manner and as word spreads fast, the converted to come back for more.  
 
 What is everyone lining up for?

 
Hong Ha's famous chicken roll- extra chili!

So what's it like? Pretty good- the bun is fresh- still warm from being baked a few hours earlier. Crusty on the outside and soft inside. The filling? We opted for the BBQ chicken roll which comes with a sweet, smoky BBQ sauce and the usual vegetable dressings including a whoppingly generous helping of fresh red chilli. Phew- that woke the senses!

So all up- yes the roll was very tasty, but I still cannot understand folks lining up for close to half an hour to get their 'fix'. Then again, there are some places which thrive on that buzz but sometimes my hunger makes me impatient- and I certainly can't think straight without food! I guess some people are better at controlling their pavlovian instincts!   

2 comments:

  1. I don't understand the line either. I used to go there all the time and then I tried one from a shop down the road and it was exactly the same and no line!

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  2. Hi Susan, thanks for your comment- yes it's strange that one place booms while a few doors down something with the same thing is so quiet.

    We think there might be a local alliance between the charcoal chicken shop, green grocer and bakery and that they supply their fresh/tasty produce to Hong Ha, Bogota, etc. which makes for a very popular combination with customers.

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