Whether you call it a sandwich, sambo, or a sanger, as of Tuesday there will be a new place in the beating heart of the Canberra CBD to enjoy the old faithful lunchtime favourite. Opening for a two-month stint in No Name Lane taking over the Grindhouse Canteen spot is Sandoochie.
Owner Lucy Holms is combining her love of sandwiches and pop-ups in the new venture which has Canberra’s hospitality scene excited. Heartfelt messages of support and reshares from top Canberra chefs and restaurants about the Sandoochie announcement flooded my Instagram stories last week, so I arranged to meet the women behind the buzz to find out more.
After starting her career post-study at ANU working in the kitchen at Stand By Me in Lyons she was hooked on hospitality.
Then she went to a plant-based fine dining-level restaurant in Sydney, Paperbark. The celebrated eatery developed a cult following for its use of native ingredients and small-scale farms to produce some of the city’s most inventive dishes.
While at Paperbark she did her first pop-up with Bar Rochford’s ex-head chef Louie Couttoupes.
A two-night, nine-course plant-based affair at New Acton’s Morning Glory cemented their friendship and rapport in the kitchen. After moving back to Canberra at the beginning of 2020, she worked with Louie again, this time at Kiosk. The pop-up took the city by storm and gave us a taste of what can be achieved in a temporary dining space.
Now the chef will be elevating the status quo with freshly made bespoke creations using top-notch ingredients served in between killer bread.
“I have always had a long obsession with sandwiches. I love them! It is just what I make at home when I am hungry. You just can’t go wrong with a ham and cheese sandwich with lettuce and a bit of relish on good bread,” said Lucy.
“The bread that we will be using is what I am really excited about. The Sandoochies will be made using Under Bakery bread! Lachlan Cutting seriously strives for perfection. As he sets up his own shop in Mawson, I’ve currently got the only bread from him in Canberra and it is really good.”
Lucy explains it will be a grab-and-go takeaway set up, with a sunshine yellow table she purchased from the Green Shed and restored being front and centre of the operation.
Tinnies, Italian sodas and ginger beer will be on ice ready to collect while mouth-watering homemade baked goods will sit temptingly on display, ready to be laden with fresh cream and berries. During opening week, expect to see a Blueberry Frangipani Tart and Flourless Chocolate Cake to enjoy as a sweet lunchtime treat.
As for the main event, the sandwiches, or as Lucy affectionately calls them, Sandoochies, there will be four mainstays on the menu with one special each week.
The Smoked Chicken Sandoochie sounds like a standout, with smoked oil and luscious mayonnaise through it topped with crispy apple and crunchy almonds. For big carnivorous appetites, there will be an offering served in focaccia loaded with mortadella, prosciutto, salami, provolone, and rocket with roasted red pepper and artichoke.
“With textural sour focaccia, it is quite thick, and a heaving sandwich,” she explains, “while the Eggplant Milanese Sandoochie is super simple but delicious with fried eggplant steaks, mozzarella, red sauce, and basil.”
To round things out, there will be a vegan offering packed full of big bright fresh flavours of slow-roasted carrots topped with dill, basil, parsley and mint salad served with lashings of green tahini sauce topped with a rich garlic flavour kick of a Toum Aioli.
Sandoochie is located at Shop 8, No Name Lane, 49 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra. It will open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm.