Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Caffeina, Subiaco - 78%

The Steak Sanga at Cafeina is what started this whole idea, with the ambitious claim of "The Best Steak Sandwich in Town". I'm not sure of all the variables they've taken into consideration-- by town, do they mean the City of Subiaco? Or the 'large country town' persona of Perth? And what do they mean by 'best'? According to whom? By what criteria? Had the judge really tried every steak sandwich available in the town of Subiaco/Perth?

I was thinking over these things while enjoying one of their steak sandwiches, which is indeed nice, but since I haven't tried every steak sandwich in any town, I feel it is presumptive to call it the best. The critic who made that claim hasn't emerged yet from their steak sandwich coma, so I thought I might start judging for myself.

So. The Cafeina Steak Sandwich.

This is a very good steak sandwich. It has all the elements that I think belong in a steak sandwich. Thick slices of lightly-toasted Turkish bread hold the salad fixings, the dressing, and of course, the steak, securely. I have actually enjoyed this steak sandwich many times, though this is the first time I have approached it critically.

The steak is a nice tender piece of fillet, cooked rare on request, which is always appreciated and not always offered. There's some seasoning on it-- I think a bit garlicky, a bit peppery, very flavoursome. The steak spills out over the edges of the sandwich. I'm not sure if its been pounded flat/tender, but it yields easily to my teeth. Nothing worse than a sandwich you need to tooth-saw through. Overall, I am a big fan of the steak.

The bread is also a hugely important component which Cafeina does well. It's a sizable piece of Turkish bread, and here's the critical part: lightly toasted. Yielding on the inside, but ever-so-slightly crunchy and warm on the inside. Just the way I like it.

The salad is a simple lettuce and tomato affair. The lettuce is plentiful and crisp. There is a good amount of tomato as well, but slightly bland in the way tomatoes are sometimes.

The only thing I think might stand in the way of a truly excellent steak sandwich is the dressing. Cafeina use a mayonnaise, which I don't mind, but for a steak sandwich to be fully realised, I think it needs relish. A sweet, punchy, relish balances out the richness of the steak and makes the sanga transcend. I find the mayonnaise and steak tastes merging in the end, with not enough salad to cut through. I'm happy I ordered salad on the side instead of chips.

Overall, I think this is a strong contender for the "best" steak sandwich on this side of town. I can't commit to the whole town, or the city, or the state-- but will definitely be ordering it again next time we dine in at this lovely little cafe on the corner.

Steak: 5 / 5
Bread: 4 / 5
Salad: 4 / 5
Condiments: 3.5 / 5
Surroundings: 3 / 5

Steak Sanga Score: 78%
Price: $18 (with chips or salad)

68 Hay St, Subiaco
Cafeina on Urbanspoon

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