Restaurant News

Mercado’s wagyu tongue toastie

Mercado chef Nathan Sasi never picked that his signature dish would be “a bloody ham and cheese sandwich.” Here's how it's made.

Mercado chef Nathan Sasi never picked that the signature dish at his new, Moorish-leaning restaurant would be "a bloody ham and cheese sandwich". Nonetheless, his combination of smoked and brined wagyu tongue, pickled green tomato and Gruyère béchamel on slices of pork-fat enriched brioche is certainly gaining traction in Sydney.

Sasi's love of offal prompted his choice of wagyu tongue for this dish, inspired by the salt beef-stuffed bagels of East London's Brick Lane, where he lived for a time. "I love serving offal in such a way that you don't know it's offal," he says. It's true - the thin slivers of tongue taste just like the corned beef you'd find in a Reuben. "Most people think it's bacon," says Sasi.

Sasi's brioche is rich and uniform, brushed with butter and toasted to a golden brown in the sandwich press. Bring a glass of lightly oxidative chardonnay from Jura producer Jean Bourdy into the mix and it's unstoppable.

Mercado, 4 Ash St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9221 6444; open lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm, dinner Mon-Thu 5.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm. mercadorestaurant.com.au