Mecca’s influence on Sydney is ever-growing. The latest area to feel its touch is Pagewood, this time in the form of a simple sandwich shop. Panivore is a project from Mecca coffee guns Bettina Kurth and Tri Dharmawan and Mecca’s director Sam Sgambellone. Kurth, a long time barista, makes the store’s sandwiches.
All of their sandwiches follow the same principle, a fresh banh mi-inspired base of tomato, lettuce, cucumber and homemade pickles, a choose-your-own protein filling and two fluffy slices of Lux’s rye sourdough. The fillings range from rare roast beef and poached chicken to Indonesian tofu and tempe, chicken schnitzel or a juicy slab of Germanic meatloaf.
Originally the trio wanted to only do sandwiches but like almost every new hospitality concept, it evolved as it went. In the morning there’s the addition of granola with berries, yoghurt and stewed rhubarb or a spruced-up bacon and egg roll with kale and a poached egg. For lunch there’s a rotating trio of salads; at the moment there’s shaved zucchini with mint and lemon; roasted cauliflower with tabouli, quinoa and brown rice and a sweet and textural sweet potato, watercress and honeyed walnut salad.
The cafe’s design mirrors the menu and philosophy in simplicity and elegance, though being in Pagewood, it’s not as subtle as you’d imagine. Between an old newsagent and a chips-and-coke Aussie tuck shop, the wide front window, open kitchen and elegant bench will probably lead passers-by to assume higher pricetags than they’ll actually find inside.
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