Dom Panino

Jackie McMillan
23rd Jun 2023

Queues abound at Leichhardt’s newest paninoteca—sandwich shop—Dom Panino. The corner shop, with its candy pink awnings and sun drenched footpath tables, is the logical next step for owner Dom Ruggeri who started this business as a popular Breakfast Point food truck during COVID-19. The red-sauce panino are based on his childhood memories of dipping crusty bread into home-style Sicilian dishes. There’s also a nod to New York in the sandwich names, with the long-standing Italian American community there making up the metro area’s largest ethnic group. 

Despite people snaking out onto the street, we snaffle seats at a family-style table in the back room, lined with framed family photos. Ordering is done at the front counter from a large pink menu board, with the daily pastries also on display. While we stick to a New York-style hoagie and a panino, it seems every other table is supplementing their sandwich with shared gnocchi fritti they’re treating as fancy chips, particularly when ordered al tartufo ($25).

I’m happy with Rocky ($22), a messy to eat soft roll that tumbles out tender wagyu, fried onions and silky roasted red capsicum bound by melted provolone and American cheese. The bun is imported—a Martin’s hoagie bun—which stretches what I’m comfortable justifying as something we need to buy in. However it eats better than the deli-style panino, wagyu lookin’ at ($20). The latter arrives modestly layered with wagyu bresaola, rocket, Parmigiana and lightly pickled mushrooms. I found it dry and dominated by bread that felt stale, even with the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, so I’d probably stick to items dominated by bolognaise and oozing cheese.