Sacha Pork Floss Roll – $2.80 from Breadtop, plenty of locations all over Sydney (except for Sussex St which has closed)
There was a time before I knew of Breadtop. I don’t like to think of those times, they were dark years, but sometimes I reminisce just to see how far I’ve come. It was a stormy afternoon all those years ago, when I dived into a shopfront to avoid the splash of an oncoming bus. I looked around, my day was brightened instantly when I saw I was in a snack shop. A small, square looking treat named Sacha caught my eye, and the rest, well, you know the rest.
One of my favourite things about the Sasha Pork Floss Roll is that it’s literally* a roll, the first I have come across in my regular snack perusals. If you’re lucky enough to be at a Breadtop on Sasha-day then you’ll see the bakers start with a large flat piece of bread dough, which is sprinkled liberally with pork floss, then rolled up like a log, coated in corn kernels, sweet chili sauce, cheese and parsely. The log is then baked until crisp and cut into lengths for adults and children alike to enjoy, and enjoy it they do.
The Sacha is a different beast to that other pork floss treat, the Pork Floss Sushi Roll. The addition of melted cheese adds a whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes) of textures, as the eater is greeted with a crunchy crust on the outside, delving down to the depths of chewy cheese below. Again, the corn adds an important burst of freshness and life, but has an almost quiche-like element to it thanks to the oven baking. The sweet and salty pork floss provides the solid flavour base upon which the snack is built, and the clever spiroid layers of bread ensure textural and visual variety the whole way through the roll.
If the roll has a downside, it’s in the consistency. As a regular consumer of Sacha’s, I notice that there is a significant variation in quality across the pieces on a tray. For those of you playing along at home, I suggest these two simple tests to ensure maximum snack value. Firstly, look for the pieces that are more of a square shape. Due to the rolling process, the ends of the roll are slightly tapered, providing less room for filling and topping, and are to be avoided (such as the one pictured, an unfortunate failure but was the last one left). Secondly, compare the weights of at least 7 or 8 pieces before choosing one. Use the tongs provided to pick up a piece, feel the weight in your hands, then place the piece back on the tray, sorting according to estimated weight. You might need to check two or three more times to ensure you get the order right, but you can’t rush these things. Following these simple tricks should ensure you net a prizeworthy Sacha every time. 4 stars.
Originality – Excellent
Execution – Average to Excellent (learn the tricks to maximise your chances of a good one)
Value – Good
Overall judgement: 4
* N.B For those of you born after 1990, the word ‘literally’ does have a specific meaning and is not just a big word one can use to make one’s story less mundane. Those who misuse the word should literally have their left hand removed and replaced with a thesaurus, giving them lifetime access to an array of other more appropriate adjectives.
Tuna Dog – $2.60 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)
My last trip to Fuji-Pan left me wanting more, so it was inevitable that I would return. This time, while perusing the various snack booths, I saw a little face peeking out at me. I soon realised that I had stumbled across an entire litter of that rarest of creatures, the Tuna Dog. Easily recognised by their flat boiled egg faces and mustard features, Tuna Dogs are timid fellows, often only seen between the hours of 11:00am and 2:30pm when they come out to feed. Ironically, most Tuna Dogs end up being eaten themselves, by those very people that the Dogs believe are there to feed them.
Distantly related to the hot-dog, the Tuna Dog is essentially a bread roll filled with tuna mornay, and with a face. Now I don’t know about you, but when faced with the choice between a snack with a face, and anything else, I’ll choose the face 9 times out of 10. The Dog itself is a satisfying snack, the mornay a good balance of tuna, mayo, corn, and onions, with the eggy mustard face bringing a slight warmth to the palette. I found myself content with my first bite, not excited, but not underwhelmed either.
If anything, the Tuna Dog is only brought down by its honesty – it’s a bread roll with tuna mornay on it. In my books, tuna mornay isn’t really a snack food, and putting something on a bread roll doesn’t quite make it so. Although Caroline, the neighbours cat, must disagree as she’s been eyeing it off for the last five minutes. Three stars.
Originality – Fair
Execution – Good
Value – Fair
Overall judgement: 3
Pork Floss Sushi Roll – $3.00 from Barby, 2 locations in Haymarket
So you’re a hip latetwentysomething not-yet-executive but dressed to impress, swanning about the CBD looking for a snack. But all you see is sushi, and you already had sushi nine times this week. You find yourself thinking “I wish there was a snack just like sushi, but has no rice, and a wig”. If this sounds like you, read on, for your snack has arrived.
Imagine, if you will, a tubular bread roll, hollowed out and filled with corn kernels, a stick of cucumber, pork floss, and mayonnaise. Imagine this wrapped in a seaweed paper, the ends of the roll dipped first in more mayonnaise, then more pork floss. The result, while only bearing a passing resemblance to a sushi roll, is delicious, and is fast becoming part of my regular snack routine. For those uninitiated with the delights of pork floss (sometimes referred to as meat wool), may I direct you to Chow Times for a full run down. It’s essentially pork, cooked so much that it turns into fairy floss.
Barbys pork floss sushi roll is well balanced. The savoury tang of the pork floss is punctuated by the sweet pop of a corn kernel. The cucumber cuts provides a refreshing escape from the gooey clutches of the mayonnaise. The roll is soft, yet when aided by the seaweed paper, is substantial to hold all these elements together in perfect harmony. Some may find it has a touch too much mayonnaise, but this is a minor quibble. Four and a half stars.
Originality – Excellent
Execution – Good, with bonus marks for anything with pork floss
Value – Good
Overall judgement: 4 1/2