“In Vietnamese cooking, everything is about texture,” the mantra played through my mind as I kneaded, stretched, and rolled bread dough into baguette form. Soon I would have a steaming bun of freshly baked baguette goodness – a crispy shell with molten fluffy interior – as part of my two hour street food cooking class at Ba’get.
Ba’get – a local Vietnamese restaurant in the Melbourne CBD – had my senses ablaze from the moment I stepped into the restaurant. I was greeted with a Mekong Breeze Cocktail and a plate of nibbly spring rolls.
The class suited up in aprons and chef’s hats and we were ready to master Vietnamese cooking!
Owner Duy Huynh and team took us on a sensory tour of Vietnamese street food. We created a lemongrass chicken marinade, got to try our hands at baguette making, made our own bahn mis, and gorged ourselves with Melbourne’s largest rice paper roll feast. I definitely didn’t leave hungry.
As we chopped, sprinkled, and rolled, Duy shared the story of Ba’get’s humble beginnings. As a 10-year-old boy, his father started selling baguette rolls in their Southern Vietnam village to help the family get by.
Duy’s grandma was inspired, and started filling the baguettes with her own homemade pates, hams, and pickles. The bann mi was born – a family recipe and tradition that Duy carried to Australia – and one of Ba’get’s flagship dishes.
Ba’get is all about authentic Vietnamese street food – which is refreshing in a world where everything seems to be frozen, packaged, and full of ingredients I cannot pronounce. Everything from the crispy baguette rolls to the fried shallot toppings are made in house.
As the class came to an end – there was one final surprise. My hand made baguette masterpiece! Smouldering hot and filing the room with a glorious aroma. It didn’t look quite as nice as the ones Duy had made, but it tasted just as good!
Ember is an American turned Aussie. Her love affair with Melbourne goes back three years, and she still can’t get enough of this city! Discovering new hideouts and hidden gems around Melbourne is her hobby. Marketing Strategist by day, spontaneous adventurer, brekky enthusiast, and aerial acrobat by night.
You can find Ba’get online or at one of their shops:
- 132 Russell St, Melbourne CBD
- 359 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD
- T247/250 Heaths Rd, Pacific Werribee
- Watergardens Shopping Centre, Taylors Lake