Is Circular Quay becoming the carb capital of Sydney? With Porteño’s Humble Bakery and, incredibly, Marrickville’s most popular banh mi shop opening locations at the stylish Quay Quarter Lanes precinct last year, we needed one more to make a case.

The evidence keeps stacking up: Kosta’s Takeaway – also known as the Rockdale sandwich joint selling “classic, not basic” sangas from a canteen window next to a smash repairs workshop – just opened a sequel at Circular Quay’s newly minted dining precinct, Sydney Place.

All Kosta’s heavy-hitters are up for grabs, including the Supa Deli roll stacked with cold-cuts, pepperonata, provolone, lettuce and mustard; a whopping, panko-crumbed chicken schnitty on an olive oil bun; and a tuna melt worth travelling for. As always, Kirawee’s Thoroughbread Bakery supplies the carbs.

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But what’s new and exciting?

"New and exciting is definitely the beef and pickles. Whole Beast Butchery [in Marrickville] has just started making pastrami, so that’s something we’ve developed for the city,” says co-founder Benji Terkalas.

Also new is the fried-to-order fish sandwich and sourdough toast till 10am – the latter topped with taramasalata, boiled eggs and Ortiz anchovies, or a smashed avo number.

The Sydney Lane precinct is already attracting hefty lunchtime lines, with new locations by Federico Zanellato's Lode Pies and Pastries and Sydney laksa king Malay Chinese Takeaway opening in tandem. That’s why Kosta’s is rolling out with a stack of grab-and-go options. There’s a tight edit of wraps, loaded focaccias, finger sandwiches (egg, lettuce and cucumber, or poached chicken) and sausage-and-egg muffins.

“We don’t wanna be the kind of place where people don’t wanna go because of lines and shit,” says Terkalas. “We wanna give people food for lunch, you know what I mean? We want people to have options there.”

To look at, the new digs aren’t that different from the Rockdale shop. Designed by Matt Woods (who’s behind for the stunning fit-out at Valentina’s), it’s got the same takeaway canteen vibe, with an espresso machine up front pulling Whitehorse coffee. A couple of big thermoses on the counter pour fresh watermelon juice and OJ.

While the facade may trigger panelbeater flashbacks, Terkalas says the biggest updates are under the hood. Ester’s Jono Fisher is on menu development, with long-time Kosta’s collaborator Tim Cassimatis (ex-Barzaari) also on board. Head chef Matthew Goodall is running both Rockdale and Circular Quay, while Zach Livingstone (Firedoor, Gildas) and Will Bond (ex-Firedoor and Gildas) are pitching in on prep.

“They love it! No orders, no dockets. They just come in and ferment chilli, poach chicken, brine schnitties. Bit of music, bit of Rockdale chaos,” says Terkalas.

“We’ll always be a sandwich shop that does the classic and basic kinda stuff. But what you get from hiring good people, using good suppliers and restaurant techniques – that’s the biggest thing in my experience. The food speaks for itself.”

Kosta’s Takeaway Circular Quay
180 George Street Sydney

Hours:
Mon to Fri 7am-4pm

https://www.kostastakeaway.com/