Fit For an Earl
Statesman and avid gambler, John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), is credited as the person who first gave the world the gift of the sandwich, albeit unintentionally. We honour his mistake at Darling Square with some colourful options to bet on for a winning lunch.
As the story goes, it was 1762, during a 24-hour stint at the card table when the Earl instructed his cook to prepare a meal in such a way that it wouldn’t interfere with his game, or his dexterity. When the cook presented him with sliced meat between two pieces of bread, the humble sandwich was born.
Since then, it’s seen multiple evolutions and cultural adaptations, all the while remaining a completely satisfying and convenient dining experience. Here are three of our favourites on Steam Mill Lane.
BELLES HOT CHICKEN'S SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH
Nashville, Tennessee is the home of the spicy fried chicken sandwich and serves as the inspiration for chef Morgan McGlone’s hot chicken sandwich at Belles Hot Chicken. A soft and buttery toasted bun, a spicy, juicy fried chicken thigh doused in hot paprika and cayenne, lettuce, melty cheese and McGlone’s sweet and tangy ‘good good sauce’ combine to make a sandwich that is “nourishing for the soul”, says the chef, adding that “sweating and feeling the burn of the heat is part of the joy!”
The secret to that signature golden coating? Flouring the chicken way ahead of frying, so it has time to develop what he calls “flour glue”, which encases the fillet while frying to ensure a crisp, golden brown shell. Don’t wait too long to eat it, either, says McGlone, “get around it while it’s hot and the toasted bun is still crispy!”
MARRICKVILLE PORK ROLL’S BÁNH MÌ
It’s not rare to see lines stretching 30-deep outside the original Marrickville Pork Roll location on Illawarra Road, and so it’s a thrill that this signature, incredibly popular Vietnamese pork roll has made its way to Darling Square.
Packed with crisp strips of daikon and pickled carrot, rich pâté, mayonnaise, house-made special sauce, cold cuts, coriander, fiery chilli and juicy roast pork, there’s a lot going on here, and that’s a good thing.
First things first though, the roll. Marrickville Pork Roll’s French-style baguette rolls are baked daily at their Marrickville HQ and delivered fresh, ensuring they’re crusty on the outside with a soft and fluffy middle. “They’re also big and sturdy enough to hold all the fillings!” says MPR’s Darling Square manager, Roger Tran.
THE SANDWICH SHOP’S ULTIMATE SALAD SANDWICH
Life is too short for average, triangle-cut sandwiches. Owner of The Sandwich Shop, Serena Kostas has sought to elevate the humble sambo with top-of-the-line sourdough from St Malo and Luxe bakeries, meats cooked low and slow, and a salad sandwich that will banish lunchbox memories of soggy lettuce from your mind forever.
The Sandwich Shop’s Ultimate Salad Sandwich is all about texture and a rainbow’s worth of colour. Smooth, nutty hummus is a wildcard addition that really lifts the game here, a great sub-in for mayo, plus “it adds a great hit of protein too,” says Kostas.
Add cucumber, sliced tomato, vibrant beetroot and carrot, piquant onion, freshly cut lettuce and the richness of avocado. Welcome to a world of healthy satisfaction.