The “kitchen” at Adelaide bar Proof is a sandwich press behind the counter. But restriction breeds creativity. The tiny but mighty boozer is turning out some of the city’s best bar snacks in the form of some seriously levelled up toasties.

There’s inspired variations beyond the usual suspects: a Reuben, say, or brisket with mac & cheese. There’s even “toastie takeovers” by winemakers, brewers and bakers. But few creations can trump the elegant crowd favourite that is mushroom, truffle and gruyere – crunchy golden triangles loaded with rich, earthy umami and gooey melted cheese.

Managing partner Shane Ettridge says there are a few “golden rules” of cooking up the perfect toastie. “Be generous with cheese and butter and always season,” he says. “Be patient. Achieving a golden, caramelised casing for your cheesy creation is crucial. Crunch is key.”

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Mushroom, Truffle and Gruyere Toastie
Makes 10

500g of mature field mushrooms, diced 1cm squared
50g butter
125 ml thickened cream
1/2 med brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs thyme, picked
2 tbsp good quality truffle paste (tartufata)
50g gruyere and scamorza cheese
fresh white bread

Place a thick-based pot on a high heat. Add the butter and the mushrooms, getting lots of colour and caramelisation on the mushrooms. When suitably cooked and most liquid evaporated remove them from the pot. In the same pot add the onions, thyme and garlic and sweat until translucent. Add the mushrooms back into the pot and cook for a further 2 minutes allowing the flavours to marry. Next, add the cream and reduce until the mix becomes thick, rich and scoopable. Fold through the truffle paste, season and cool.

Get two slices of fresh white bread and top with a generous amount of the mushroom mix. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Finish with Gruyere and Scormoza. Then lay over the remaining bread slices and sandwich together. Butter the outside of both slices of bread. Toast until golden and crunchy. Enjoy.