Recent trends saw chefs create steak sandwiches with ingredients some pubs across the state wouldn’t never have ordered for the kitchen, while one venue last year even thought a crayfish sanga would go down well.
Last year’s local winner The Merrywell had the audacity to enter a lamb steak sandwich for the competition. The ‘Merry Had A Lamb Sanga’ featured a grilled lamb rump steak on a custom potato and onion bread, chipotle and fig relish, beetroot pickle, feta mayonnaise and pistachios. They didn’t make the cut this year.
The Bayview Bar in Bunbury, country winner the past two years, took a punt in 2018 by ‘Americanising’ their sandwich, using wagyu beef brisket, maple bacon, double cheese, chipotle BBQ sauce and cream cheese ranch.
They are going for the trifecta in 2019, a year the AHA said heralded a return to the «refined, iconic» steak sandwich, which bodes well for another two-time winner The Karalee on Preston in Como, whose sanga one locals says hums from the moment the massive plate is plonked on your table, with «every ingredient just delicious» and the chips «equally spectacular».
This year’s four country entrants features one from Northcliffe — population 300 — while a mole inside the AHA said a crazy number of public votes came in for the High Wycombe Tavern.
Winning the AHA best steak sandwich is big business for entrants, especially those who, like many hospitality venues, are struggling for revenue in the current economic climate.
«Chefs take it very seriously,» AHA (WA) chief executive Bradley Woods said.
«In recent years the winning steak sandwich has seen revenues at the winning pubs get a real boost. It’s fun but serious fun.
«We’re proud to host a competition that is significantly raising the standard of this iconic menu item … and each year we see the quality of the steak sandwiches improve.»
The AHA award is now in its 12th year, with a consumer voting process determining four Perth and four country WA finalists, with each then invited to the live cook-off at the AHA Hospitality Expo on May 14-15.
Judges look for various qualities in the steak sandwich including: tenderness of the meat, composition and presentation, originality and creativity, sauces, flavour and value for money.
Country WA 2019 finalists:
Northcliffe Hotel & Motor Inn
Settlers Tavern (Margaret River)
The Bayview Bar (Bunbury)
Endeavour Tavern (Lancelin)
Perth 2019 finalists:
High Wycombe Tavern
The Carlisle Hotel
The Karalee on Preston (Como)
C.Y. O’Connor Village Pub (Piara Waters)
David writes about sports and lifestyle for WAtoday.