I never thought I’d become as boring and predictable with my lunch as I have been in the last two weeks. Despite having the choice between probably hundreds of take-away shops, cafes and restaurants in the centre of town where I work, I’ve been back to the same little Asian bakery nearly every day since I discovered the CHEAPEST bought lunch EVER. (Thanks Cherie!)
Who would’ve thought that in the modern days of glitsy, fast food, among the heavily branded and over-packaged Sumo Salads and Cupcake Bakeries that it was still possible to grab a hearty, wholesome roll, packed full of salad goodness and a decent hunk of chicken, for $4.50?
I really believed the days of good old trusty cheap lunches were long gone. In fact, I thought that was all before my time. Vanished into black and white history along with huge piles of fish and chips wrapped in newspaper that cost five cents and corner lolly shops selling individual sweets – the kind where you had to buy three musk sticks because you couldn’t split a one cent piece. Those are the kind of “back in my day” stories we hear from parents and grandparents… back before the world discovered flashy signs and plastic and, well, adventurous food.
I’ve always been an adventurous eater and love trying the most exotic and unusual foods I can find, so it’s always seemed scary and gross to me that my parents grew up in a time where Chinese food was the only “different” choice to “meat and three veg” and pasta was something you graduated to in high school. Ok maybe they’re not that old. But maybe they are.
It’s for this reason that when I moved to Geelong from the big city that I deliberately avoided eating from anywhere that hadn’t updated it’s decor since the 80s. There are quite a lot of cute cafes around town that look like they would’ve been lovely 30 years ago but the owners probably don’t share my love for samosas and gyoza – so I assume we would somewhat disagree. Oh, don’t I sound like a snobby city chick!
It’s for this reason I never ventured into the cute little Asian bakery they call the Geelong Bakehouse until it was recommended to me when I was feeling particularly cheap and dreading handing my last $10 over to Sumo Salad in exchange for a delicious selection of three exotic dishes. I tried the Asian bakery and I’ve never looked back.
It’s really actually amazing how they fit so many quality, fresh ingredients into a $4.50 lunch. It’s like they don’t even think about trying to rip you off like all the others. I’ve pondered on this many a time while eating my many sandwiches over the last few days.
This is what you get (all ingredients optional of course because they make it fresh in front of you):
– A roll (I always get a wholemeal round one but there are a few choices)
– Butter and mayonnaise
– Chicken that’s really wholesome. It’s been cooked in some way and has orange around it which is kind of spicy and tasty.
– Coriander (weird but surprisingly good addition!)
– Salt and pepper.
It’s just incredible – even if I was doing a cheap lazy lunch with a can of tuna, a fresh roll and some salady stuff, I reckon It’d be close to $3 or $4 anyway so I figure why even bother trying to make your own when this is so cheap and good?!
There are various other options like egg and meat but so far I haven’t ventured beyond the chicken. I guess you’ve got to make the most of it when you’re onto a winner!
Do you know any hidden bargain lunch places that you’d like to share?