There’s a few rules of thumb I use when venturing into unknown restaurant territory. One of these rules is: if there are lots of people dining there, it must be good. I have no idea whether there is any truth to this at all but this rule brought me to Montagu in Crows Nest.
Sir D and I have been apartment hunting around the area for ages now and while we have had absolutely no luck in finding a place to rent and are getting well and truly sick of going to inspections, I do like that there’s always lunch to look forward to afterwards :) One afternoon we stumbled across Montagu (right next to Mumu Grill) and saw lots of people sitting on little table and chairs outside eating delicious looking sandwiches so using my rule of thumb, we decided to try this place out.
Being a cafe that primarily serves sandwiches, I think that the name Montagu comes from John Montagu, who is credited with inventing the concept of a sandwich. Inside the cafe are black walls with chalk drawings and a display behind the counter of all the different breads from Brasserie Bread used in their sandwiches. They also have a nice selection of breakfast items, drinks and salads.
The meatballs with spicy tomato sauce and cheddar on toasted schiacciata is the perfect lunch for a cool, rainy day with the pleasant spicyness of the sauce being just enough to tingle the tongue and warm you up. I love the toasted schiacciata which is almost like toasted Turkish bread with a nice crisp outside.
The free range chicken sandwich has a bit of an Asian twist with a refreshing coriander, mint and peanut pesto and crisp cucumber, carrot and iceberg lettuce. Even though it doesn’t look like much, the sandwiches are actually quite large here and I feel surprisingly stuffed after finishing it.
It’s another weekend and we’re back again for lunch. This time we need a caffeine fix so we order 2 coffees. I’m no coffee connoisseur but for some odd reason the latte tastes a million miles better than the cappuccino which we ordered at the same time.
On the second visit the menu has changed and the prices have also been hiked up a bit. Sir D decides on the steak sandwich which is served on wonderfully fluffy sourdough bread. The flavour of the sandwich is great and I love the sweet onion marmalade so it’s sad to find out that the steak is tough and chewy. The man on the table next to us complains about his sandwich to the chef and when he notices that we had also ordered a steak sandwich, he offers us a knife and fork to eat it with. I’ve heard good things about their steak sandwiches so hopefully this was just an off day for them.
They do redeem themselves with the roasted vegetable sandwich which I choose to have with extra chicken. The vegetables are soft and comforting and a great contrast against the crunchy toasted bread. You can also choose a cheese to go with your sandwich from bocconcini, cheddar or gruyere and I choose bocconcini which is melted in the sandwich and makes for some cheesy stretchy fun times!
Though the food was a little inconsistent, overall the sandwiches were pretty awesome and I’m keen to go and try their breakfast menu as well. I still don’t know how effective my rule of thumb is but if it keeps bringing me to places like this then I’d like to think it works pretty well!
Shop 2, 13 Ernest Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph: +61 2 9438 4478
Open Monday to Saturday, 7am to 4pm (8am on Saturdays)