In Short: Some of the very best sandwiches in Sydney, good coffee, genuinely friendly staff, a must do!
A sandwich, is a sandwich, is a sandwich, right? Wrong. Especially if that sandwich is made by none other than John Montagu! Well, OK, maybe not the original Mr Montagu and 4th Earl of Sandwich, the claimed inventor of the humble sandwich, but the café that bears his name.
It’s a bright and fresh, yet well thought out space that’s greets us as we walk through the door and it reflects what goes into their menu. Uncomplicated and high quality ingredients are what take centre stage here, and there is nothing ‘standard’ about this sandwich shop.
A cappuccino makes its way to our table, even before our seats are warm, as we devour the menu and try to make the tough decision of what to eat from what’s on offer. The cappuccino is smooth, yet bold, with the di Gabriel beans expertly brewed to the right temperature so that it can be enjoyed immediately.
Half a “cap” down, and we finally decide, with the help of our lovely server Jess. So it’s a classic and a new addition to the menu, that will delight our tastebuds today. But before she rings in our order, I catch a quick glance and see a raspberry and rose iced tea on the menu and add that to our list.
The iced tea arrives, and immediately you are invited in by the rich red of this drink. Barista Simon comes by to also offer another secret brew that they had been trying out, the white tea and red fruits, and we just couldn’t resist. Both teas are brew for hours and its clear as you take that first refreshing sip, that the flavours are rich and bold. The raspberry and rose is as tart as it is floral, and cleanses the palate, while the white tea and red fruits provide a slight hint of sweetness that does not overpower the taste of the fruit itself. The white tea is a perfect base providing a lightness, with no bitter aftertaste that can be present in the black and green varieties.
Mid-way through enjoying the tea, our sandwiches arrive and this is certainly a sight to behold. First up is the classic, salmon. Now, don’t mistake classic for boring, as this certainly is not! Lavish amounts of fresh house-cured salmon are loaded upon a base of avocado on top of deliciously crunchy toasted rye. With just a scaping of cream cheese, the salmon is the showcase here, with hints of dill and chives. This choice was a perfect accompaniment to the refreshing tea.
Next up is the new addition to the menu, the pork. Biting through the crunchy, yet soft and chewy layers of bread, the tongue is instantly met with a subtle spice and tang of the rose` based sauce, that leaves a slight tingle in the mouth, but not so much heat that it detracts from the other flavours. And then there is the pork itself. Cuban braised and oh-so-delicious, this pork strikes a perfect balance between the satisfying fattiness and the hearty texture of the meat. Complementing all of this, is the bite of the rocket with the freshness and crunch of the pickle. Stacked high, this was very easy to demolish and on its own, this new addition is a reason alone to come back! Hope this one stays on the menu.
John Montagu gets it right. Fantastic, high quality food with expertly crafted coffee (and tea!) and that’s what has kept customers coming back over and over. Count us on that list!