Eat: John Montagu
I’ve lived on the edge of Woolloomooloo for nearly five months, yet it’s taken me until now to hit up the open-faced sandwich heaven that is John Montagu, which is literally a three block walk from my pad.
Monday was my first day of funemployment, as I count down the days until I return to school/move to France, and with the family in town, I decided I wanted to take advantage of the fact that Monday’s are the perfect day to go to popular cafes, as they were almost always empty.
Situated on the corner of Bourke and Cathedral Streets in the harbourside suburb famous for sheeps, toilets, cows and more toilets (Woolloomooloo – get it?), John Montagu is famous for it’s open face sandwiches and fresh salads. In the centre of the cafe is a single, large communal table that encourages people to interact… although my father spent the entire time doing ‘work’. Of course he did. He also ate a cheese and sage toastie, which I didn’t get a snap of, but which he described briefly as ‘tasty’ before returning to his work.
My little sister spent forever arguing with herself over whether or not she wanted beef cheeks or the spicy chicken sandwich, before settling on the spicy chicken, because, in her words “My tummy is still full of beef ribs”. (We did, in fact, consume our weight in beef ribs the day before.)
The chicken was heavily spiced with cajun seasoning and topped with melted yellow cheese, I was pleased by the sharp mango salsa cutting through an otherwise quite heavy flavour combination.
Mum, sick of all the carbs we’d consumed that weekend, opted for the beetroot salad with crushed chickpeas, parmesan, bocconcini and salad leaves. It was a total hit, as my sister and I fought with our forks for the earthy chickpea/parmesan smash that had soaked up the sweet, tangy beet juices.
While the beef cheeks also tempted me, I couldn’t go past the mushrooms, part three. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a total ‘shroom addict and cannot go past anything that promises multiple mushrooms, especially if there’s also toast and cheese involved.
These silky, buttery suckers were served with goats cheese spread (in place of butter) and the lightest mushy peas I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. I reluctantly shared half a mushroom (I know, I’m not good at sharing the ‘shrooms) with my mother, who quickly declared my choice ‘the winner’. Mmmmm… mushrooms.
John Montagu is located at 144 Catheral St, Woolloomooloo.