Picture a sunny Sunday in spring. You're in Edinburgh Gardens with, in one hand, the kind of serious sandwich only a chef fom Andrew McConnell's Gimlet restaurant might make, and in the other, a frosty Young Henrys beer. If all goes to plan – and restrictions are eased – this currently unattainable dream of chef Raphael Exton Pery will become a reality in mid-September.
Pery won't be trading his post at Gimlet for the sandwich trade, but, like most, he's had a little more downtime than he expected in 2020. This has meant he will be launching Jolly Good sandwiches as a low-key, weekend-only pop-up from Underwood Wine Bar in Fitzroy North.
What's jolly good about the sangas? Pery says it's all burger culture in Melbourne, and thinks we're lacking the serious sandwich chops of other capital cities. His stacked sandwiches will be big on the holy ratios of richness, acidity and crunch, and most will be built on 70 per cent wholemeal sourdough baguettes.
This might involve manchego cheese, spicy sopressa, tomato concasse, roasted red pepper and balsamic-dressed bitter leaves. Or roast beef, Swiss cheese, American mustard, bread and butter pickles, mayo, onion and cos lettuce on a white baguette. Every sandwich will come with a side of corn chips. Add a Young Henrys brew for a crisp $20.
Eventually, Pery wants to build the brand into a sandwich wine bar featuring small producers and a big counter: "A solo diner-friendly, high-end product with a casual and friendly approach."
For now, we'll take the park. We'll take anything.
Jolly Good sandwiches will open at Underwood Wine Bar from mid-September (restrictions pending) at 181 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North. Follow @jollygood_sandwiches on Instagram for updates.