Mortadeli is Torquay's new sandwich destination

The Maltese hobz-biz-zejt is one of six sandwiches on the menu.
The Maltese hobz-biz-zejt is one of six sandwiches on the menu. Photo: Nicky Cawood

The runaway train of supreme sandwiches has just pulled into Torquay, specifically to new venue Mortadeli, a European-style providore that's offering six staple sangas alongside sliced meats, pizza bases and other convenient touches.

The menu taps into owner Jake Cassar's Maltese heritage, with items such as hobz-biz-zejt, a tomato paste-smeared sandwich topped with tuna, pickled onion, anchovies and olives, and pastizzi, Malta's favourite cheese-filled pastries. Cassar did extensive taste-testing before settling on the pastries made by The Original Pastizzi Co in Sunshine.

The rest of the menu includes a pork and veal meatball sub, roasted cauliflower and pistachio pesto sandwich and a deli roll filled with ham, hot sopressa, mortadella and provolone that Cassar hopes will become a signature. The Reuben comes on dark rye from Little Wings bakery in nearby Drysdale with sauerkraut made by Cassar's mother-in-law, who is Polish.

Mortadeli's shelves are stocked with local products and European imports.
Mortadeli's shelves are stocked with local products and European imports. Photo: Nicky Cawood

All sandwich ingredients are available to buy from the deli. The venue's namesake gets a starring role among the cured meats, with mortadella from Ballarat's Salt Kitchen and Princi, but it joins a strong line-up of eastern European smallgoods from Uncle's plus salami, jamon and more. Fans of French and Italian cheese are well catered for in the selection from Savour and Grace.

"I want people to just come in and grab the things they'd want for a picnic down at the beach," Cassar says.

Mortadeli is also one of the few Victorian stockists of LP's Quality Meats sausages and pasta from fellow Sydney business Fabbrica.

Takeaway coffee and beans are from Everyday Coffee and the shelves are also stocked with local jam, honey, hot sauce, vegan dips, chocolate and more. Pizza bases by From Scratch Dough are waiting for all those deli toppings.

The retro-styled space with checkerboard floors seats 12 inside, across stools and large booths, while a courtyard accommodates 20. The team plan to open until the early evening in summer and offer antipasti, spritzes and wine on tap (liquor licence pending).

Open Tue-Sat 8am-4pm.

Shop 8, 4-6 Gilbert Street, Torquay