Karen Dudley of The Kitchen in Cape Town shares her best sandwich eateries.
By: Karen Dudley
A good sandwich is a delicious thing, encased in bread that can be held in my hands and bitten into.
Texture is important, as well as structure, freshness, and a certain distinguishing element that invariably brings you back to its heft or simplicity.
The best sandwiches carry a degree of what chefs call “terroir”: a sense of belonging to a place and being influenced by the people who have made it. I believe in this power, and patina.
It may be that the enjoyment of a sandwich is in some part influenced by the approach: the hunger brought to it. A good sandwich is not for the mildly peckish.
There has to be a NEED, a certain hunger that requires a particular sandwich. Because of the visceral, hands-on approach, it also demands a certain commitment and mastery! Things might get messy, but pleasure is about to ensue!
From toasted cheese to bunny chow, gatsby to bao, we are spoilt for choice on sandwich joints nowadays in South Africa.
Kleinsky’s Delicatessen, Sea Point
If you have yearnings for a hot pastrami on rye with good mustard, this is where you will find it. My favourite is the classic salmon bagel.
It is always delivered to me just perfectly: neat and toasty warm, with generous cream cheese, a little red onion, capers and a squeeze of fresh lemon on the side. I feel as though the good people of Kleinsky’s have made it just for me!
The Love Sandwich is a bespoke sandwich made especially for a Sandwichee (that’s you!). The superb bread (from Woodstock Bakery) is merely the casing for the finest ingredients.
The gremolata pesto, mayo and Love Potion to the grilled chicken, honey-mustard sausage, falafel and hummus, grilled aubergine and gammon are all made in the shop.
It is a sandwich generous with salad, full of comfort and goodness, and finished with a benediction.
Ghazala Food & Cafe, Coronation Street, Walmer Estate
What a very fine steak gatsby this establishment makes! Don’t mess around. Get the “fully loaded” with eggs and cheese.
Perfectly spiced, meltingly soft steak, good sauce and excellent chips… There are legendary gatsbys to be found all over Cape Town, but lucky for me, Ghazala is in my neighbourhood!
Sumting Fresh Food Truck (at the Neighbourgoods Market and other lucky places)
Freshness and crunch rule! This truck has a phenomenal following for good reason. The Gua Bao Bun is my choice of these very unorthodox, but winsome, baos and tacos.
Post Breakfast Lunch, Braamfontein
You have to know a good sandwich to make a good sandwich. These guys pay attention. The Cuban, melty with cheese, would be my choice.
Hollywood Bunny Bar in Springfield and Canecutters in Glenwood are the places you will find the epic bunny chow that Durban is famous for.
My friend Ishay Govender-Ypma (her book, Curry, is a treasure!) recommends the Butter Bean Curry or Mutton Curry. The Toasted Curry Sarmie is the thing to try at many Indian Takeaways.
Dee’s Café, Durban North
I’ve heard that they make the best toasted cheese sandwiches in all of Durban. Those people know about delicious things!