Gatsby Sandwich – Cape Town Street Food

The Gatsby sandwich is a popular street food that originates in Cape Town, South Africa. There are various different types of Gatsby sandwiches but the essentials are a large roll (at least a foot long or longer) filled with french fries (Slap Chips) and cheese, and then a variety of other items which could include polony, sausages, steak (most popular) eggs, etc.

A word of warning – a Gatsby is large and is intended to be shared amongst family or friends.

I am making my favorite Gatsby, a masala steak Gatsby. In my family, we mostly refer to the Masala steak as beefy strips so you may hear that expression a couple of times while watching the video.

For the French Fries (Chips) I have used my air-fried potato chips recipe

Masala Steak Gatsby Sandwich

My version of the popular masala steak Gatsby sandwich from Cape Town
Masala Steak Gatsby
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South Africa, Street Food
Keyword: gatsby, masala, sandwich, steak


  • 500 gr Tenderised steak cut into strips
  • 1 Small Onion chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder (masala)
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • ¼ tsp Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Serving French Fries (Slap Chips)
  • 1 Large Roll (French Loaf or Baguette)
  • 6 to 8 Slices Cheese
  • 1 Med Tomato
  • Mayonnaise

Instruction Video (please like and subscribe)


Masala Steak

  • In a saucepan lightly fry chopped onions until they are golden brown
  • Add the steak strips and fry for a couple of minutes
  • Add salt, pepper, masala, garlic and tomato paste
  • Add a little water, cover the pan, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes
  • Remove from Heat

Assembling the Gatsby Sandwich

  • Cut the roll and spread with mayonnaise or a little butter.
  • Add a generous layer of Masala steak
  • Add cheese
  • Add a generous layer of french fries
  • Add tomato and any other garnish or sauce that takes your fancy
  • Bon appetit!

The Gatsby originated amongst the Cape Coloured people with whom the gangster lifestyle is popular. It is said that during the 70’s when the film “The Great Gatsby” was popular, a fast food outlet threw together a big sandwich adding a combination of ingredients that he had available. He cut this into sections and it was shared among the staff. One of the staff stated that the delicious concoction was a “Gatsby of a sandwich”. The name stuck and it was added to their menu. The rest is history.

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