Book, stay, enjoy. That's

Thursday 30 November 2023

Meet a Melbourne sandwich shop with a spicy difference


Sometimes simple ideas are the best ideas.

Like pairing the humble sandwich with some tasty Indonesian flavours.

And creating a cool, café vibe that just about anyone can afford to enjoy.

That's what happened when owners Barry Susanto (a fine dining chef, top image) and Erwin Chandra (a barista) created Warkop during Covid.

The initial outlet in Richmond dates back to 2021 while 13 Little Collins Street in the CBD opened its doors in May.

Along with house-made sweet and savoury dishes and fresh salads, the CBD sandwich menu offers Susanto’s roast pork with sambal burrata, salted lettuce and black garlic on Shokupan bread; and tempeh, tofu, sprouts, lettuce with gado gado sauce on a toasted focaccia.

Both outlets quickly became popular pitstops for local workers, and for tasty takeaways.

Now there are more Warkop outlets likely to follow - as Melburnians growing to love slightly off-the-wall dishes like smoked duck sandwich and sambal bawang (fried shallots).

Or more recent sweet additions like a cruller with kaya (Indonesian coconut jam), or a pandan lamington (below).

 Warkop, which translates to coffee shack in Bahasa Indinesia, recently unveiled a new menu with lighter breakfast dishes and refreshing summer drinks like Matcha Lemonade and a Calamansi Fizz (below).

For breakfast think sausage and egg muffins with Barry's zingy bazzinga (spicy mayonnaise) sauce, or a smoked beef dabu dabu (chilli condiment) sandwich.

Chef Barry is very much hands-on. He was manning the kitchen, and the front counter, when I stopped by on a recent Sunday.

He told me everything is house-made and the menu constantly adjusted to match Australian palates with Indonesian heat.

A small but impressive team takes turns in everything from sandwich making to clearing plates with craft taken seriously. You'll hear frequent calls of "Yes Chef". 

Warkop was recently named in the Good Food Guide's Top 40 Cafes of 2023.

Prices are very reasonable and a visit is certainly worthwhile next time you want to add some sunshine to your sandwich.

Think possibilities like beef brisket rendang with house-made pickles and cheese in light rye, or Warkop fried chicken with kohlrabi, pickles, bazzinga sauce and cheese on a potato roll (super tasty).

To finish, perhaps a sambal matah cheese cruller, or maybe a coconut and jackfruit friand. There is a selection of coffees.

“We wanted to do our bit and contribute to the revival of the Melbourne CBD’s lively foodie scene," says Barry.

 I think they have succeeded. Such a fun spot - and nothing costs over $17. 

Trading hours are Monday-Friday 7am-3pm and weekends 8am-3pm. 

The writer was hosted by Warkop CBD


No comments:

Post a Comment