Jackie McMillan
25th Nov 2023

Movement in Marrickville has seen Salty’s drop into the former Gong Cha. Before you worry about where you’ll get your interesting beverages from now, Salty’s drink list is pretty impressive. Their salty coffee ($7) - cà phê muối - is a revelation. The salted cream topper melds with robust and bitter coffee to create a flavour reminiscent of salted caramel. I was less excited by the milk foam matcha tea ($8.50) but I think I unbalanced it when I agreed to the inclusion of ultra-fragrant black pearls: rookie mistake. I have my heart set on a coffee topped with golden whipped egg cream ($7.50) - cà phê trứng - on my next visit. 

If you can walk past a fast fix from their well-stocked bánh mì (pork roll) bar, the small dining room at the rear is the spot to enjoy inexpensive plates of sticky rice (xôi) and freshly steamed rice rolls (bánh cuón). The special steamed rice roll ($19) gives you plenty of gossamer-thin rice noodles stuffed with minced pork or prawn, plus some squid cakes along with a salty-sweet-and-sour bowl of pork meatball soup to dip them in. There’s also a good range of on-table sauces from mild to intense chilli oils and a bowl of minced garlic so fierce you’ll be tasting it all afternoon if you do decide to pour it over your special sticky rice ($18). While the white shiny walled Salty’s is terribly over-lit the dining room does have an interesting collection of prints. Along with those popular baguette-based rolls, oil painting was another legacy of 56 years of French colonisation that the Vietnamese have kept on and made their own.