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The iconic South African Gatsby

By July 8, 2022November 28th, 2022FinGlobal

The iconic South African Gatsby

July 8, 2022

If you’re a sandwich lover – and aren’t we all – you may find yourself drooling at the thought of a sandwich loaded with all your favourite bits and bobs. Of course, the sandwich has been a go-to meal for many years in countries worldwide – there’s nothing new about it! But what if we told you that a sandwich exists that is so big and so full of rich ingredients that it will change the way you see the humble sandwich forever? Well, it’s true! The great South African Gatsby exists and is a genuine representation of all that is right with South African food.

The South African Gatsby

Why is it called the South African Gatsby?

It’s called the Gatsby sandwich Cape Town, because that’s where you will find it originated. It is said to be called the “Gatsby” because it’s named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel called The Great Gatsby. This is undoubtedly a reference to the sheer size of the sandwich. Trust us when we say that it’s more than a mouthful. It’s a mouthful and a half – oh, who are kidding… it’s a downright scoff of a sandwich! Its name is also undoubtedly a reference to just how rich and extravagant the fillings are – definitely Gatsby style!

Who invented the South African Gatsby sandwich?

If you’ve heard of the sandwich and its Gatsby ingredients, you may be wondering who the genius is behind its creation. Rashad Pandy is the man behind the scenes of the Cape Town Gatsby sandwich, and you may have heard of him when he created an 8m long Gatsby sandwich in 2013. So colossal was the sandwich that some called it an AK47 because of the way the sandwich can be cradled in your arms.

Pandy is nothing like Gatsby from Fitzgerald’s book. He is a prim and proper grey-haired man who owns Super Fisheries (founded in 1974), a fast-food joint in Athlone. Pandy claims that the first time he made an authentic South African food Gatsby sandwich was quite an accident. At the time (in the 80s), he had hired a small group of workers to help him clear a plot. They finished working late one night and couldn’t find anything in the house to eat. So, acting on the fly, he grabbed a Portuguese loaf, hacked it open and stuffed it full of chips, polony and atchar. One of his workers piped up, “This is a Gatsby smash!” and it stuck!

The next day, Pandy decided to try his new invention on a few more customers and it was a big hit. He changed things from his original design slightly by switching out the Portuguese round bread for a longer loaf which is far easier to share. Nowadays, the Gatsby sandwich is staple South African food in Cape Town. It’s most prolific on the Cape Flats but has become a staple in the CBD too.

How to make your own South African Gatsby

One of the most popular versions of the South African Gatsby features masala steak and we’re going to share that particular recipe with you today! Simply gather all the required Gatsby ingredients and whip up your own in a few minutes.

What you need:

  • 200-300 g of your favourite cut of steak cut into thin strips
  • 3-4 tablespoons of masala powder
  • 8 tablespoons of smoked oil
  • 1 baguette
  • 200g of frozen slap chips
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 handful of lettuce (shredded)
  • 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of Hot English mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Now that you have all the Gatsby ingredients, you simply need to whip it all together.

  • In a pan, fry the onion slices in the smoked oil until they start to brown slightly.
  • When the onions are translucent, add the masala powder and mix it in well to ensure that all the powder has been dissolved.
  • Add the steak strips and cook them to your liking.
  • While the steak is cooking, pop your frozen chips into an air-fryer or deep fry them in a separate pot/pan.
  • Once the steak is cooked, add the strips and onions to a bowl and then add the mayonnaise and Hot English Mustard along with salt. Mix in well to ensure that the sauce coats all the meat strips.
  • Cut open the baguette and butter both sides (optional).
  • Stuff the roll with the meat mixture and then top with thinly sliced tomato and lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you have some cheese, add some for more extravagance!
  • Serve on a plate with chips and various sauces.

Lastly, dig in! For the true Great Gatsby sandwich experience, use both hands instead of a knife and fork!

FinGlobal – Handling all your emigration services

At FinGlobal, we’re all for a great recipe, but we’re also committed to providing our clients with the secret recipe to emigration success. While our hearts stay true to South Africa, we understand that many Saffas have to head for distant shores and greener pastures. And it is our aim to help these people have a seamless transition. As such, we offer a plethora of services ideal for the expat – those who are soon to emigrate and even those who have already taken the plunge.

We can extend professional advice regarding tax, pensions, retirement annuities, and forex as well as help you set all the required documentation in place to ensure there are no hiccups along the way. The idea is to provide much-needed support while going through one of the most challenging life changes of your life! We’re also just a phone call away if you’ve tried one of our delicious recipes and want to tell us all about it.

To discuss your unique needs with our team, simply get in touch with us. Give us a call on +27 28 312 2764 or send us an email at, and we will assist you promptly.

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