How the Mary’s Crew Reimagined a Video Game Sandwich as a Real-Life Menu Creation


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As Aussies navigated a whole new reality over the past couple of years, gaming and food have been two things that have helped us through; offering a much-needed escape from reality and serving up plenty of entertainment in the process. Now, you’re invited to experience what happens when these two cultures really come together, thanks to PlayStation to Plate — an innovative new dining concept that sees much-loved Aussie chefs bring to life virtual food from the PlayStation universe.

From Friday, December 3–Sunday, December 12, three Aussie eateries will each create a limited-edition menu item that reimagines an iconic video game dish IRL. The restaurants are serving up their signature creations across all ten days of the pop-up, but you can also have any of the dishes dropped to your door courtesy of Deliveroo.

The minds behind beloved Sydney burger empire Mary’s, Kenny Graham and Jake Smyth made a fitting choice with their PlayStation to Plate selection, telling Concrete Playground how they were inspired to recreate the Ellie’s Steak Sandwich from the apocalyptic realm of The Last of Us: Part II.

Mary’s take on the Ellie’s Steak Sandwich

Not only did the duo play to their signature strengths by whipping up a bun-based creation, but they also took a serious deep dive into the game’s workings and the players’ mindsets in order to bring it to life.

“Mary’s would be the perfect hideout in an apocalyptic world like The Last of Us, so we’ve imagined what that would be like and [what would be] the perfect sandwich to keep you full when you’re not sure when you might eat again,” Smyth explains. “It’s easy to just make a great steak sandwich, but we also really wanted to make sure the feeling of the game was captured in the dish.”

In The Last of Us, the steak sandwich stars towards the start of play, featured in a particular venue that the Mary’s owners describe as a “safe haven”. It’s something that especially resonated with the duo, seeing lots of similarities between the fictional venue and their own restaurants. Plus, Smyth reckons their OG Newtown establishment would go alright if ever the world really was coming to an end. “The first place I’d come to in an apocalypse is Mary’s because there’s one door and it’s made out of fricken metal,” he laughs. “It’s an escape from the outside world.”

The pair’s real-life recreation of the dish features Aussie beef, marinated peppers, onions and lashings of cheese sauce, all loaded into a classic American hoagie roll. For maximum authenticity, each sandwich order comes packaged in brown paper and tied with string, just as you’ll see in the game. It also comes teamed with a The Last of Us: Part II x Mary’s limited-edition newspaper dubbed The Jackson Chronicle, and a ‘Greetings from Jackson’ postcard sharing the story behind the sandwich. “We know how loved this game is, so we were stoked to be asked to bring it to life in the real world,” Smyth adds.

Smyth and Graham playing The Last of Us

That said, the restaurateurs didn’t need to look too hard to find a connection between the game realm they were tasked with representing and their everyday reality. “To me, there are huge parallels between gaming and real life,” Smyth says. “There’s a reason why these themes stick with people”.

“Food, much like gaming, has this incredible ability to offer people a chance to connect with family, friends and even complete strangers,” Graham adds. “The sandwich in The Last of Us: Part II represents that connection and that’s what we’ve been about since we started: bringing people together for good times and good food.”

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Catch PlayStation to Plate from December 3–12, in Sydney and Melbourne. You’ll find each dish featured on the menu at its respective venue, as well as being available for takeaway via Deliveroo.


Published on December 10, 2021 by Libby Curran

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