For Jordan Trottemant, sandwiches are all about his childhood.
“It goes back to school,” he says. “My grandparents were French. They were great cooks and every day they’d make pate or tomato and cheese sandwiches – these really cool, French-style creations.
“For me, a sandwich is the one thing you can eat on a daily basis and feel good and not get exhausted.”
Brisbane doesn’t lack for good sandwich options. Particularly American-style sandwiches, which are often served as dude food at taprooms such as Tippler’s Tap and The Defiant Duck, and have recently been ratcheted up in authenticity with the arrival of more specialised joints such as Reuben’s Deli in Paddington.
But Trottemant wanted to do a more Australian style of sanga – something lighter than the big American sandwiches, which can be heavy and awkward to eat. So when a small tenancy became available on Oxford Street in Bulimba, he opened Crumbs Sandwich Bar.
In terms of fit-out, there’s very little to this place other than a cute, wood-lined shack in the local Place Estate Agents forecourt and a couple of picnic tables with umbrellas. Behind the counter there’s a sandwich press, a coffee machine pumping out Blackstar espresso and a fridge full of soft drinks.
But Trottemant has invested in the grub rather than the looks. So much so that he hired star chef Ben Williamson to write the sandwich menu. The connection came via Tyron Simon, a good friend of Trottemant’s and Willamson’s business partner on the upcoming 22 Agnes.
“I told Ben what it was I wanted to eat, but you still need to give him the freedom to be able to do his work,” Trottemant says. “We just agreed on using good produce and not making them too thick, so you can stick two pieces in your mouth.”
The menu they settled on is the humble Australian toastie, elevated. There’s the Roma, with stracciatella, Roma tomatoes and basil; a mortadella sandwich with provolone, green-olive mascarpone and a side of radicchio; and a straight-up deep-fried mozzarella sandwich served with a tomato-garlic dip. There’ll also be a rotating special. The sandwiches are generously sized without being huge, so won’t leave you with a gut full of regret.
Crumbs is the second new venue for Oxford Street in as many weeks, with Charboys recently opening a couple of blocks away in the former Shingle Inn space.
“It’s good to help give the strip a revamp … I’d love to spread across Brisbane but we want to get a little bit of a following going here first,” Trottemant says. “I want to get people back into sangas.”
140 Oxford Street, Bulimba
0433 633 563
Tue to Sat 7am–2.30pm