Sydney, Sydney - Inner City, Sydney - Inner West

Jack’s Newtown

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This new burger joint has just been opened in Newtown, and each day, a long line of people awaits to try one of their infamous burgers.  Social media has hyped up this place, with a recent article in Good Food suggesting that this may be the best burger place in Sydney, comparing it with the legendary American fast-food chain, Shake Shack.  However, reviews have since been mixed about this place, so we decided to brave the queues and try it out for ourselves.

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Walking into the store at 5.15pm on a rainy Saturday night, there was already a long queue inside the store.  The store is very small, and can accommodate around 25 people.  It has a simple layout, with lots of small tables, and an open kitchen where you can see the workers at work.  The first impression we have of this place was the aroma coming from the open kitchen, with the smell of beef cooking on the open grill making us hungry as we waited in anticipation for our food.

The menu here is very simple, with a choice of Cheeseburger ($10), Bacon Cheeseburger ($12), Double Cheeseburger ($15) and a Vege Burger ($11).  Fries were also available for $5.  Unlike some other reviews we have read, there was no choice for us to add onions, so we presume their menu has changed.

Drinks offered at this place were termed “Sodas” and is $3 for a small cup and $4 for a large cup.  When asked further what sodas were available, we were told that the sodas were basically standard soft drinks, so we did not order any.  This was different to what we have read in other reviews, which suggested that they were offering their own sodas with 30% to 50% less sugar than standard soft drinks.  We also could not see any shakes on the menu, which we understood was offered on the menu previously.

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We ordered a Double Cheeseburger, Bacon CheeseBurger and a serving of Fries.  They were ready for collection, in a small metal tray, after around 15 minutes wait.

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The Fries were crinkle cut, which gave them some nice texture.  They were well seasoned, and were crispy and crunchy.

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The appearance of the burgers was quite rustic, and no attempt has been made to make them look more glamourous.  The size of the burgers were quite small.  The buns of the burgers were soft, yet firm enough to absorb all the sauces and juices from the filling.  This may be due to the addition of a special ingredient in creating buns, which we understood to be mashed potatoes.

The patties were made with beef mince from Vic’s Meat, with a meat to fat ratio of about 80:20.  The result was a very flavoursome beef patty, with the beef being cooked to perfection.  The cheese just melted in our mouths, and the special sauce that was used in the burger had a tangy savoury flavour which lifted the burgers to another level.

The soft buns, combined with the rich beef patties and gooey cheese, literally melted in our mouths.  The burgers were really well made.

The Double Cheeseburger, with its double beef patties, had a much more richer beef flavour, compared to the other burger we tried.

The Bacon Cheeseburger included an additional piece of bacon, and the smokey flavour of the bacon complimented well with the flavours of the beef patty.

Overall, as a fast food burger joint, Jack’s Newtown really satisfies.  The burgers, although a bit small, are rich in flavour, and is a place to be if you are in the area and want a quick no-fuss burger fix.

 

Jack's Newtown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jack’s Newtown

Website: https://instagram.com/jacksnewtown/

Address: 170 Missenden Road, Newtown

Phone Number: Not available

Opening hours: Tues to Fri: 5pm until sold out, Sat and Sun: 12pm until sold out

Accepts all major credit cards

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - CBD, Sydney - Inner City

Pork’d

 

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Do you liked to get porked?  Well, if you enjoy pork in all your dishes, then Pork’d is the place for you.  Located on Crown Street in Surry Hills, in the same venue as where Red Lantern used to be, Pork’d is a casual dining restaurant, set up like a New York style cafeteria with small tables in narrow spaces, along with an open bar and an open kitchen.  On the walls are pictures with pig related themes, and this theme is carried through in all the dishes on the menu.

Pork’d is run by Pauline Nguyen and Mark Jensen, who has been inspired by similar concepts in the US, where a restaurant may specialise in one ingredient or only a few dishes.  Mark then transformed his love for pork into this restaurant.

Apart from the abundance of pork on the menu, the dishes also make use of special sauces from independent suppliers, which makes the flavours of the dishes more unique.  There is also a wide selection of craft beers to choose from so customers can wash down their pork dishes with a pint or two.

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We visited Pork’d as part of the Instafoodie gathering of around 40 people, and for a special price of $35, we were able to sample a number of dishes from Pork’d.  We have included the normal price for each item in our description below.

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We Rub You Burger ($12, or $15 with fries)

This burger consisted of pork pattie, roasted red pepper, jack cheese, McClure’s spicy relish, tomato, cos and We Rub You Korean hot sauce.  We were given a slider version of this burger to try.  Having pork pattie in the burger is quite rare, and immediately upon tasting this, we understood why this is not common, as the pork lacked the strong natural flavours of beef.  Therefore, most the flavours in this dish were from the sauce and the accompaniments, with the final result being a spicy and sour flavour with a nice kick from the hot sauce. The addition of lemongrass to the buns provided an element of surprise to this dish, making this an Asian fusion American style burger.

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Saucy Sugar and Spiced Belly Kebab ($12, or $15 with fries)

Char grilled cider belly, cabbage dressed in Lillie Q’s sauce, beer braised onions and sriracha mayo served in a charred pita, this was a lighter and more refreshing version of the kebab that we were familiar with.  The sauce gave this kebab a depth of flavour, however, the pita wrap was too dry for our liking.

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Pigsy Plate ($25), and Ribs served with Sauce and Salad ($27.50)

The Pigsy Plate usually contains a selection of pork cuts cooked low and slow, including Willie Smith Cider Belly, Smoked Porter Ham Hock, Hot Chilli Bacon, Cheese Stuffed Kransky, Pulled Pork Butt, Pickles, Beans and a Bread Roll.  However, we were also given a small serving of the Hoisin Hog Baby Back Ribs with it.

The ribs were the highlight – the ribs just melted in our mouths and the hoisin sauce really brought them to life.  The rest of the plate was also nice – the belly was soft and tender, the bacon was crunchy and cooked to perfection with a kick of chilli, the crackling was crispy but lacked salt, the other pork pieces were also tender and juicy, and the beans were tasty and well made (unlike the canned ones).  The inclusion of a choice of apple sauce and smoked BBQ sauce was very thoughtful.

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Maple Ice Cream with Bacon Jelly and Pandan Waffles (not on menu)

Who would ever imagine having dessert with bacon in it?  The combination of flavours worked well surprisingly, with the sweetness of the maple ice cream balanced by the saltiness from the bacon jelly, while the pandan flavours in the waffles provided a refreshing backdrop to this dessert.

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We really liked the innovative and unique concept from Pork’d.  We especially like how they are supporting small independent suppliers, through use of their sauces.  We are also encouraged by their attempt at promoting sustainable eating, by using most parts of a pig in all their dishes, so there is minimum wastage.  This is the place to try out if you are interested in trying something different from your average burgers, kebabs and roasts.

 

Pork'd Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pork’d

Website: http://www.porkd.com.au

Address: 545 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Phone: (02) 9690 2298

Opening hours: Tues to Thurs 5pm til late, Fri and Sat 12pm til late

Accepts all major credit cards

 

Note: Special thanks to Pauline Nguyen for allowing us to take photos with you.  Also a great shout-out for two new up-and-coming bloggers, who are in the above photos with us, Michiellaneous Foods and Delicious Sydney.

Sydney, Sydney - Inner City

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar

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A cafe without coffee in Sydney?  Welcome to The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar!

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Recently opened in the inner city suburb of Redfern, this place is all about tea.  All the tea here are blended in-house, with the theme of tea evident from the sculpture in the middle of the cafe that is made from teabags, to the installation of beer taps to deliver sparkling tea, and even to the food items on the menu.   The cafe is a conversion from an old warehouse, with white-washed, exposed brick walls and splashes of gold in its fittings, which makes a very contemporary and artistic setting.

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The artistic nature of this cafe is also reflected in the use of gold cutlery, a chemistry flask to serve sparkling water, as well as using playing cards as indicators for orders.  The cups all have a small rabbit tail on the side, which ties in well with the name of this cafe.  These are all very trendy and nice small touches.

We came here on a weekend during lunch time and the place was packed.  Food and drinks were ordered first from the counter, and a playing card was received which we have to place on our table to allow the wait staff to bring out the order for us.

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Rabbit Hole Chai Latte ($5.50)

This was made with their signature chai.  It was rich with subtle flavours from the spices, with a hint of honey providing an appropriate amount of sweetness.  Unlike other places, cinnamon flavours did not dominate the tea, and we were able to taste the other subtle flavours from the spices used in the tea.

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Matcha Latte ($5.50)

This was a bitter-sweet experience, with the right amount of matcha to provide the right balance between bitterness and sweetness.

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Green tea soba noodles with ginger-sesame chicken & pickled carrot ($16)

This was a nice Asian-inspired salad, with nice sesame and ginger flavours throughout.  The pickled carrot provided some vibrancy and freshness to the dish.  The soba noodles were cooked to perfection. We would have preferred more ginger flavours in this dish to give the dish some more “kick”.

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Pork with spicy mango, red cabbage and cucumber slaw on milk bun ($14)

The bun, with the use of mango jam, was sweet and soft.  The cabbage and cucumber slaw was fresh and crunchy, while the steamed pork provided the backbone to counteract the sweetness from the bun.  This dish was enjoyable, and although it was more on the sweet side, we felt that it was a healthy kind of sweetness due to their abundant use of slaw in the dish.

 

Overall, this place works.  The setting, the drinks and the food are all of a reasonable standard.  It is refreshing to see a different type of cafe being opened up in Sydney, and hopefully this place can help change the attitude of people towards tea in Sydney.

 

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar

Website: http://www.therabbithole.com.au

Address: 146 Abercrombie Street, Redfern

Phone: (02) 9310 2207

Opening hours: Tue to Sun (except Thurs) 9am to 4pm; Thurs 9am to 6pm

Accepts all major credit cards

Australia, Sydney, Sydney - East, Sydney - Inner City

Waterman’s Lobster Co

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Lobster was once seen as a poor man’s food.  But nowadays, it is seen as an exotic delicacy.  Greg Elwell, writing for the Oklahoma Gazette, summed up the current social attitudes to lobsters perfectly when he wrote:

“Lobster is fancy. If you imagine a lobster talking, it probably has a British accent. Draw an animated lobster and I bet you’ll include a top hat, a monocle and an opera cape. That’s fancy.”

Even though lobster is now seen as a meal for the rich decadent, the best way to prepare it is still using one simple ordinary household ingredient – butter – and lots of it.  Now, imagine a place that serves up lobster, doused in butter, in a soft buttery roll.

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Waterman’s Lobster Co, located in a laneway in Potts Point, is that place.  With an option to sit outside on tables in the paved walkway, or sitting by a long bar near the window or at the bar area inside the restaurant, or on tables inside the restaurant, a meal at this place can be as casual, formal or romantic as you would like to make it.

Now let us review the food, starting with their specialty…

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Lobster Roll – Connecticut Style ($18)

The bread roll was lightly toasted, so it was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.  The roll was filled with large pieces of lobster warmed with butter.  The saltiness of the butter brought out the subtle sweetness from the lobster, and this was a very tasty and enjoyable roll.

Apart from lobster, scallop is also on their menu…

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Scallop Roll with Pea Puree and Pork Floss ($17)

The delicate sweet flavours of the scallops matched perfectly with the pea puree, while the saltiness of the pork floss added a layer of complexity to the flavours of this roll.  Again, a very tasty and enjoyable roll.

How about a side of chips to go with each roll…

Side of chips ($5)

The chips were crispy, nicely seasoned and spiced with a hint of paprika.  A good compliment to the rolls.

How about other dishes?

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Kingfish Tartare with Seaweed and Raddish ($17)

This dish was visually appealing and the fish was fresh, soft and full of nice citrus flavours.  The hint of spices provided a good kick to the flavours of this dish.  A classic dish that was done elegantly.

Now for a beer to wash down all the goodness…

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Sierra Nevada Rye IPA ($9)

A beer with strong malt flavour, with hints of citrus and herbs.  This beer had a strong aftertaste, which was too harsh to accompany the delicate food we ordered.

 

Watermans Lobster Co is a good place to go in the area at any time of the day.  Their dishes are of a high quality, using fresh produce resulting in tasty flavours in all the dishes.   With their reasonable prices, we can all experience lobster here without breaking the bank.

 

Waterman's Lobster Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Waterman’s Lobster Co

Website: http://www.watermanslobsterco.com

Address: 5/29 Orwell Street, Potts Point

Phone: (02) 9380 2558

Opening hours: Mon to Sat, 12pm to late; Sun 12pm to 6pm

Accepts all major credit cards