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, Melbourne, Melbourne - East

Top Paddock

 

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Situated in Richmond, 3 km southeast of Melbourne CBD, Top Paddock is a very popular venue with a long waiting queue most days of the week. The concept of Top Paddock is the intention for the produce to arrive from the paddock directly onto the customers’ plates. Most of the ingredients used in this café are sourced personally by the owner.

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We arrived here around midday on a Saturday and was greeted with a sight of many people waiting to get in. Even though there were lots of people, they had a good system of registering people and calling their names when a table was available. The staff was very attentive to their customers and always had a nice smile to greet customers.

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The inside is decorated in a modern manner, with the use of natural light and plants to bring the place to life. There is also an outdoor seating area.

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The coffee (mostly $4) was roasted by Five Senses. It was brewed perfectly, and the taste was a blend of nutty and smoky flavours, combined with a hint of subtle sweetness.

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The Rangers Valley Wagyu steak sandwich with beetroot relish, tempura beetroot shoots, fresh horseradish and wasabi leaves ($20.50, with an extra $2.50 for added fried egg) was a delight to our palate. It was a perfect blend of contrasts – the soft bread contrasted well with the crunchiness from the tempura, and the saltiness from the beef contrasted well with the bitterness from the leaves, the spicy kick from the horseradish and the sweetness from the relish. A fantastic dish.

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The Fresh Queensland soft-shell mud crab with a fennel and dill salad and lime mayonnaise in a brioche bun ($21) was all about re-creating the freshness of the ocean. The crab was fresh, well-seasoned and nicely cooked, sitting on a cushion of soft flesh. The freshness of the dish was further enhanced by the use of fresh herbs. The sweetness of the brioche bun provided some sweetness to the dish. This was a delightful dish and one that we would go back for again.

 

Overall, this café lived up to its hype, and is a place where we will come back again to try a few other items on its menu.
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Top Paddock

Website: http://toppaddockcafe.com

Address: 658 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne

Phone: (03) 9429 4332

Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 7am to 4pm; Weekends and Public Holidays, 8am to 4pm

Accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express

 

Australia, Melbourne, Melbourne - CBD

Loch & Key – Behind the bookcase

We landed in Melbourne and it was 11:00pm at night. The only thought that flashed up in my head was to get to the hotel as soon as possible and hop into bed. But No, my buddy “Greg” wanted to go out and scout for late night snacks. Greg has found so many hidden gems but I chose to go to the one that was just around the corner from where we stayed. – “Loch and key – Behind the bookcase”. We literally saw the book-shelf right outside at the entrance.

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Loch & Key is upstairs from Captain Melville’s Bar and Restaurant and yes we were flustered when we saw the door has closed. But don’t let that fool you because Loch & Key is always open and ready to give you an intimate cocktail.

It didn’t take long for me to notice an actual lock has been put up on the door leading to the stairway. We also noticed a bookcase was standing next to the stairway which was also an indication that we were at the right place.

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Loch & Key has gained its popularity for being one of those hipster-ish pub among the locals, filled with mood lighting and vintaged couches and chairs spread all over the floor as well as in balcony area, where plants and flowers are laminated on the side wall and hanging from the balcony.

The cocktails, beers and snacks selections were limited but I was really impressed with their bartender’s knowledge in terms of knowing their wines and beers. They were more than happy to make a delightful mixed drink to reflect our personal preferences.

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For my drink, I ordered a cocktail called “War of the roses”. The name is as sexy as it tasted. The first sip was sweet on the tip of my tongue and then the bitterness carried through to the rest of my palate. Excuse for me being frank, the drink was disgusting but ADDICTIVE.

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Greg got himself a cocktail called “Chrysanthemum” which I did not adore so much as I’m a person with a sweet tooth.

Greg’s comment: “The drink has a strong liquorish flavour which was very oriental in style, but overtime the citrus flavours come out making it very enjoyable.”

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To satisfy our hunger, we ordered a Truffled mushroom, smoke scarmoza toasties. We actually waited for quite a while until the toasties arrived and have to ask the bartenders to chase up the order for us. But the wait was well worth it, as one bite blew me away. The bread was light and crispy, and the filling was very flavoursome with the freshness of the truffled mushrooms and the smoky and salty taste of the cheese was not overpowering.

Loch & Key is a great place to go for a night out where you want to get away from the crowds in the city and be intimate with your homies, sharing unique boutique cocktails and simple delightful snacks. This place is worth checking out.

Loch & Key on Urbanspoon

Loch & Key – Behind the bookcase

Website: www.lochandkey.com.au

Address: UPSTAIRS 34 Franklin St

Phone: (03) 9663 6855

Opening hours: 6pm till Late, Wednesday to Saturday

Accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards

By Jono