Mandurah Steakhouse chef Daryl Cardoz reckons curry leaf a winner in WA’s Best Steak Sandwich 2024 comp

While most chefs are loathe to share their secret ingredient, chef Daryl Cardoz from Mandurah Steakhouse gave up his steak sandwich twist pretty easily — curry leaf.

This is the energetic young chef’s first entry into WA’s Best Steak Sandwich competition and he reckons his offering is good enough to land him in the final cook-off.

The annual competition pits pubs around WA against each other to claim the title of having the State’s best steak sandwich, with public voting to determine finalists before a cook-off for judges in late June.

Cardoz drew on his Indian and Portuguese heritage when creating his unique $30 sanga that features an unusual curry leaf chimichurri aioli.

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The sandwich ingredients are placed between two slices of garlic bread, including a Japanese omelette, bacon, black Angus sirloin from Margaret River and tempura onion rings.

Cardoz said there had been an overwhelming response to the sandwich.

“We got a lot of feedback on it after giving it to people try and also from people who come in and order it from our menu,” he said.

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Cardoz said there had been an overwhelming response to the sandwich.  Credit: Rachel Fenner

“Many times with food, you get a mixed response. But with this one, I got a really positive response.

“Everybody keeps asking us the recipe for the sauce.”

Cardoz said people would say steak sandwiches were the same everywhere but his was a pleasant surprise.

“People tell me ‘We’ve had steak sandwiches at so many places, but this is the first time I felt it was a little different. Like the flavours are completely different’,” he said.

“They’ve not tasted such a flavor because it’s a fusion concept. Curry leaf is used a lot in Asia and India and people only think of using it curries, but we put it into a steak sandwich.

“And we change the whole narrative on the curry leaf.”

Cardoz hopes to reach the cook-off and is looking forward to cooking in front of a crowd. Voting closes May 27.

The chef is no stranger to the spotlight: in 2021 he starred in an episode of Chef vs Fridge on India’s Zee TV.

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