Nhu Lan vs To’s Bakery


To's Cafe & Hot Bread on Urbanspoon

Nhu Lan on Urbanspoon

Ever wonder why one restaurant might have queues out the door and another seldom anyone in there? The automatic assumption would be that the busier restaurant has something superior worth queuing up for, right?

Well I decided put this theory to the test but with two bakeries. Nhu Lan & To’s Bakery which are only a couple of doors apart.

Nhu Lan is the bakery that often has queues out of the door for their variety of Vietnamese style rolls, whereas To’s Bakery might have 1 or 2 customers waiting in line during the peak lunch period.

Nhu Lan at 11.38am Friday morning (about 14 customers in store)

Tos Bakery Friday morning 11.40am (1 customer in store)

I had brought my favourite mixed ham salad roll from Nhu Lan countless times and it was always delicious. I loved the taste of pate, sweet picked carrots, chillies and the freshly baked bread Bánh mì (fresh baguette) is amazing.

Mixed Ham Salad Roll from Nhu Lan

So I brought my favourite mixed ham salad roll from To’s Bakery for the first time, along with some additional cupcakes that were sitting above the salad roll ingredients staring at me. I wouldn’t recommend the cupcakes, they not very nice, small in size and for $2.5, not value for money.

Cupcakes from Tos Bakery

The mixed ham salad roll was $3.50 at To’s Bakery, 30 cents cheaper than at Nhu Lan.

Mixed Ham Salad Roll from Tos Bakery

To’s Bakery’s mixed ham salad roll was good, but yes, just good. I preferred Nhu Lan’s roll due to the stronger pate mix and the bread seemed fresher (even though I assume they both bake fresh bread daily). The only thing that stood out was the green chillies To’s Bakery used were HOT, my mouth was on fire after eating the roll. For me, this is actually a good thing because I’m a chilli freak. Especially important because Nhu Lan had forgotten to put chillies in my roll altogether on one occasion and my roll was left tasting dull and bland.

So I’ll probably continue getting my rolls from Nhu Lan in the future, but I’m glad I gave To’s Bakery a try. And if I’m ever 30 cents short one day, I’ll know I can still afford lunch at To’s Bakery.

Bánh mì menu at Nhu Lan

P.S. Nhu Lan is a chain, there is another shop located in Richmond.

Nhu Lan on Urbanspoon