Regularly I find myself sitting at the Oxford Scholar. Given its strikingly close proximity to my place of learning, RMIT, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Recently I reviewed the lunch special Parmie in my on-going piece The Great Parmie Experiment.
While my review wasn’t exactly flattering, I wasn’t going to let it put me off an eatery so close to “home”.
I entered with the midday sun on my back, confident I would finally choose a menu item I’d yet to consume on the East coast. The humble Steak Sandwich is a matter of pride for any self respecting West Australian. Often seen as the pub meal from my home state, I was keen to check out how they did it in Vic. Wow, check that bread! Immediately I was taken aback, but not in a bad way. It adhered to the Killa vs Filla ratio.
Was I fearful of losing some down my shirt? Yes. Yes I was.
I added bacon and beetroot (two ingredients I believe should be in every steak sandwich).
The steak appeared well cooked, and everything was stacked appropriately. I boldly removed the skewer holding it all together, gripped it firmly betwixt my hands and gave it hell.
It’s safe to say I was impressed.
I’m the kind of guy who is prepared to shell out $30 for a 5 star steak sandwich, so throwing down about half of that for a sandwich of this calibre is very satisfying. The disproportionate bread that surrounds the Killa, is clearly well thought out. Probably the worst experience anyone can have with a sandwich is reaching the end only be left holding a sloppy mess of meat n vege.
The outwardly apparent excess of bread in fact makes for a sandwich you don’t have to spend minutes strategising how to consume.
This truly is an example of a meal that exceeds the sum of its parts. There was a smoky flavoured sauce tucked away deep in-between the layers and it just worked with everything.
My added beetroot and bacon played against each other in just the right way. Allowing the steak to become the star, leading the way with that melt in your mouth texture all to many cooks cannot replicate.
My heritage does not allow me to be kind to “out-of-staters” who try and craft steak sandwiches. It taught me to be firm, and intolerable to offerings devoid of caramelised onions. But somehow the Oxford Scholar just pulled it off. Their take on the West Aussie Classic just works.
Some more cheese and any onions would’ve been appreciated, don’t get me wrong, but the attention to detail and reserved approach with ingredients won me over. Its not the greatest, but damn I’ve had some terrible ones for twice the price.