Five Best Sydney Sandwiches

Ben Gollan
11th Aug 2015

Sandwiches in Sydney, when we wanted the lowdown on what is the best Sydney Scoop asked none other than the Sydney sandwich specialist. Here's what Ben Gollan (aka @a_man_and_his_sandwich) has to say.

Thanks largely to the iconic sausage ‘sanga’, sandwich love runs deep in the Australian psyche. But the simple sandwich has come a long way from the backyard BBQ. Fillings are no longer just ham, cheese and tomato. Instead they have been smoked, braised, pickled, pulled or fermented. We no longer order simple bread – now it’s artesian sourdough, soy & linseed or an organic wholewheat wrap. Foreign ingredients like tofu and kale have even crept inside.

As a result, in Sydney the pursuit for the perfect sandwich has led to some fantastic creations. Here are five of our favourites.

1 – Beef Cheek Sandwich – John Montagu, Woolloomooloo

We may have just died and gone to heaven – all thanks to a sandwich. John Montagu café pays homage to its namesake, the 4th Earl of Sandwich John Montagu, the apparent inventor of the sandwich, through food. Incredible food. And this homage is no more evident than in their beef cheek sandwich ($17).

Twelve hour slow cooked beef cheeks are so outrageously tender that chewing becomes an option, rather than a dietary requirement, as the meat simply melts away in your mouth. A secret ‘house glaze’ drizzled across the sandwich must surely contain angels’ tears it tastes so good, and its combination with horseradish, which provides a bite to the sandwich, is brilliant. Finally, cheddar cheese, Spanish onion and rocket all help bridge the gap between two pieces of white bread. Whilst $17 may be a little extravagant for a sandwich, keep in mind it is very cheap way for your tastebuds to sample what the after-life must be like. Just remind them to thank Montagu when they’re up there.

2 – Chicken Cashew Sandwich – Boon Café, Sydney CBD

Boon Café, from the people behind Chat Thai, boasts an extensive all-day dining menu, including an eclectic and impressive sandwich list. Ignore everything on that list other than the chicken cashew sandwich ($14). Order it immediately. Thank us later.

There are so many intense but perfectly harmonised flavours jostling for attention in this sandwich. The generous portions of grilled, shredded chicken are super moist and super tasty. A delightful sweetness caused by the addition of chilli relish is ideally offset by the relish’s own smokiness. A salad combining pickled shallots, shredded carrot, cucumber and red cabbage, dance merrily with “soft herbs” parsley and dill. And just when your palate doesn’t think it can take any more, velvety undertones of roasted cashew nut butter provide the perfect lingering taste.

3 – Chorizo Sandwich – Cornerstone Bar and Food, Eveleigh

You may not realise “industrial-chic” is a concept until you visit Cornerstone Bar and Food, but you certainly won’t forget it once you do. Located within the Carriageworks in Eveleigh, Cornerstone offers a rotating menu of sandwiches for customers to enjoy between viewing arts exhibitions or scouring market stalls. Although some may argue that it is the Carriageworks’ exhibitions that should be seen between viewings of the gastronomic “art” that is Cornerstone’s sandwiches.

Of particular note is the chorizo sandwich ($12). The chorizo sausage, sourced directly from Nomad in Surry Hills, is deliciously spicy. Shredded cabbage, lettuce and pickle adds weight, colour, and tartness, whilst melted cheese adds a sprinkle of naughty. Finally, a simple lemon olive oil dressing manages to combine with the chorizo juices to create a powerfully pinkish sauce that we just love.

4 – Grilled Spiced Albacore Tuna – Lox Stock and Barrel, Bondi

Besides being an enjoyable pun, Lox Stock and Barrel, is a deli dinner that epitomises Bondi’s ethos of healthy living and beautiful people. Sandwiches featuring smoked turkey, poached chicken or roasted vegetables attest to this notion. However it is the grilled, spiced albacore tuna panini ($15) that really shines.

A kaleidoscope of colour bursts out of the tuna sandwich, matched only by the sheer freshness of the meal. The tuna itself is seared, leaving the middle pink, raw, and simply stunning. A plethora of jalapenos guarantees more than a tingle on the tastebuds and lips. However the gentle miso dressing slaw and cucumber cool the mouth, whilst also giving the sandwich an Asian inspired twist. A flavour combination this good is certainly no fish out of water in the conversation of favourite Sydney sandwiches. Pun intended.

5 – Bacon Sandwich – Brickfields, Chippendale

If, as the old saying goes – bacon makes everything taste better – why not be done with pretences and just create a bacon sandwich? That is the question posed, and masterfully answered by Brickfields.

Operating predominately as a bakery, with a café on the side, it is no surprise that the toasted, seeded sourdough of the bacon sandwich ($12) is exceptional. Lashings of salty bacon dangle out of the sandwich, with shredded kale and cabbage cascading alongside. And as if that wasn’t enough, Manchego cheese, rosemary and pickle add another level to the whole experience.