Tarragindi’s bright new cafe Dijon is gunning for the title of Brisbane’s top toastie spot

Brisbane’s appetite for sandwiches continues to swell. A brand-new dispensary of tempting two-handers is tingling taste buds over in Tarragindi, with the brains behind beloved cafes Deedot Coffee House and Never Been cutting the ribbon on Dijon. Here, crispy toasties and fresh sandwiches are flying out the door, as is a selection of chunky NYC-style cookies, Biscoff-infused shakes and cups of specialty coffee.
Jul 05, 2024, updated Jul 05, 2024

When Brad Edwards goes to Melbourne, he makes it his mission to eat a few sandwiches. He’s never short of options. Hector’s, Nico’s, Hugo’s, Ray’s, Rocco’s, Ollie’s – one could handily fill a weekend’s worth of meals solely by visiting the city’s plethora of sandwich delis.

“You go to Melbourne and they’re everywhere,” says Brad.

Brad isn’t oblivious to Brisbane’s own sandwich renaissance. In fact, Brad and the rest of the GDB Group (the team behind Deedot Coffee House and Never Been) have been quietly pondering a move into the sandwich space for about four years now, even prior to the recent boom that has seen a host of local sambo spots sprout up across town. But for Brad and the GDB brains trust, opening a spot on par with some of Melbourne and Brisbane’s sambo-slinging titans required careful study and development.

“It took probably a year of research to find all the right suppliers, because we knew that we had to hit the ground running,” Brad tells us. “You have to make sure your product does the talking, then the people will come.”

InQueensland in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The extended R&D period looks to have paid off handsomely. Dijon, the group’s newly open sandwich-centric eatery, might be a fresh contender for Brisbane’s top toastie spot. Tucked away in the shadow of the M1 in the backstreets of Tarragindi, the 50-seat cafe has been causing a commotion amongst carb cravers since its soft opening just over a week ago. Southside locals might recognise the weatherboard-clad site as the former home of Esher St Cafe & Deli, a slender space the GDB Group initially envisioned turning into more of an express outlet.

We weren’t going to have dine-in like inside at all – it would have been predominantly footpath dining,” Brad reveals. “It would have looked like those Melbourne places, where it’s more grab-and-go.”

Before works got properly underway, the Dijon team was also offered the vacant tenancy next door (formerly a hairdresser). This afforded the crew more space to add a sizeable kitchen and cold room, a tilt window opening out to the street for takeaway custom, and room for seating inside and on a 100-sqm rear deck (footpath dining will soon be added, pending approvals).

When it came time to fashion Dijon’s menu, the team opted to shoot for a classic offering of familiar items, elevated to lofty mouth-watering heights through the use of premium ingredients. “The hard thing with sandwiches is it’s difficult to recreate the wheel,” says Brad. “As soon as we announced that [Dijon] was opening, people were saying, ‘You need this sandwich, you need a Reuben, you need a ham and cheese’. We aren’t looking to do anything insane or something no one’s ever seen. We’re keen to just do the basic things really, really well.”

Though not looking to replicate recipes of its southern compatriots, Brad is honest about the inspirations Melbourne’s sandwich makers have offered Dijon’s operational approach. “It was more so about how procedural they are,” says Brad. “Quality and consistency are the biggest things – making sure that we get it right and we keep it there every single time.”

Dijon’s menu is divided loosely into two distinct sections – toasted sandwiches and fresh options. The first category features Dijon’s riff on a Reuben (wagyu beef pastrami, herb mayo, sauerkraut, pickles and mustard pickles on toasted white sourdough), a ham and three-cheese sandwich (mortadella with vintage cheddar, provolone and gruyere with house-made tomato chutney), the Brisket Dipper (slow-cooked beef brisket with jalapeno cream cheese and brisket gravy dipping sauce), and the Chicken Fried (brined crispy fried chicken with honey mustard, iceberg lettuce, chimichurri butter and chilli-cured cucumber). A bank of temperature-controlled Spidoglass glass ceramic contact grills are tasked with giving Dijon’s toasties a perfect crispy exterior, with a tight seven-minute cook time achieving the right ratio of crunch and melt.

On the fresh front, Dijon diners can choose between a classic cold-cuts sandwich (mortadella, salami and ham with tomato relish and herb mayo on Turkish bread), a spiced shredded chicken sandwich, and a salad sanga with chunky hummus, beetroot relish, grated carrot, lettuce and cucumber. The menu also boasts two breakfast items – an egg-and-cheese muffin (which can be upgraded with bacon or a sausage patty) and smashed avocado with beetroot dukkah and fetta. This is one section of the menu that Brad predicts will likely expand in the coming months.

Melbourne’s got a very active lunch scene, whereas Brisbane’s a very breakfast-oriented scene,” says Brad. “It’s not as hot there as it is here – in Brisbane people aren’t as willing to stand out in the sun and wait for their food. So we had to get a little bit more unique and we will start offering a little bit more breakfast here.”

Much like Deedot and Never Been, Dijon’s coffee machine pumps out specialty brew supplied by Roast by Yili, with a special blend with chocolate and caramel notes tasting terrific in a milky brew or black. Beyond caffeine, Dijon is also serving a clutch of juices, smoothies and shakes. Those in need of a sweet hit should look no further than Dijon’s rotating range of chunky, New York-style cookies – an instant crowd-favourite menu item boasting flavours like classic choc chip, red velvet, salted caramel, Oreo and raspberry macadamia white chocolate. These covetable cookies are also available as part of a sundae, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla-bean ice-cream and chocolate fudge.

Dijon is now open to the public. Head to the Stumble Guide for operating hours and other details.

Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy