— observations from the Blue Mountains Design Bureau —

The Laughing Elephant

You’ll find this gem tucked away in Renae’s Arcade, opposite the train station in Wentworth Falls. The shelves are packed from floor to ceiling with a huge range of asian and eastern groceries, spices and smallgoods, many of which are almost impossible to find elsewhere in the upper Mountains.

Out the front you’ll spot wire baskets filled with an aromatic array of herbs, and some not-the-run-of-the-mill vegetables including Viet zucchini and snake beans. Inside, spend time wandering the aisles and trying to interpret the labels, or ask for help if you are after something specific. Don’t miss the freezers if you are keen on dumplings, dim sims, wontons and similar treats.

But the highlight for me is the bahn mi, which is a traditional Vietnamese style sandwich made on a sliced baguette with a choice of char siu pork, free range chicken, prawn or tofu filling, as well as vegetarian BBQ paste, mayonnaise, mekong herbs, carrot, cucumber and nuoc mam pha san dressing, with fresh chilli optional. They are made fresh while you wait, and the pork is my pick.

For a slightly healthier but just as tasty option, rice paper rolls are made fresh daily and kept in the fridge, with the same choice of fillings, and a yummy peanut dipping sauce as an optional extra. Also in the fridge you’ll find delicacies including quail eggs and whole drinking coconuts.

The Laughing Elephant is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays, 9.30am to 3.30pm on Saturdays and 10am to 2pm on Sundays. Takeaway lunch is served from 10am to 2pm every day except Sunday, which is groceries only.


The Laughing Elephant
Shop 3, 28-30 Station Street
Wentworth Falls
T. 02 4757 4610
Note: The Laughing Elephant was previously known as Saigon Sandwich, before a change of ownership in 2012

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