Purveyor: The Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Fried Chicken Burger
Price: $18 AUD
Squawk: The Local has long been regaled for its ever-changing and always wonderfully varied beer list, but not once have we heard anyone remark about the quality of their food. So it was a bit of a surprise for us to discover a such a good burger here. For starters the chicken itself was beer battered breast meat, the perfect combo of juicy and crispy. We did wonder which of the many beers on their list they used to make such a lovely batter. The perfectly toasted, almost burned, bun appeared to be too thick at first, but turns out it was merely fluffy and squashed down perfectly to fit into our gobs. We loved the artisanal pickles too and wished there were more of them, especially when they’re sitting atop a slice of that fake cheese product we love so well. (We love “real” cheese too). Finally, the chipotle mayo was an unexpected delight. This is a great burger and we were very sad when it ended.
Buaawk: We would have enjoyed a few more pickles. Things like Dijon mustard, crispy bacon or a nice Ox Heart tomato slice could have put this one over the top. Fries were good, but not spectacular. All that said, this one is a definite contender for the upcoming Best Burger Awards.
9/10 Updated Score: 8/10 See comments for more info.
Bonus: Amazing beer list.
Purveyor: The Stables, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Chicken Sandwich
Price: $10 AUD
Squawk: This cool little cafe is at the back of a cool little clothing store, and even though we’ve heard the owners are jerks, we kinda like the place. Up front they’ve got some nice (overpriced) threads and in the back they’ve got some friendly hipsters serving up pre-made sandwiches & salads and coffee. Now, normally “pre-made” is a problem, but this sandwich was, from the looks of things, recently made, so we’ll let it slide. Nice rye bread, good combo of veggies and freshly toasted upon ordering give this simple sammie some points. We also love the jumbo bottle of Sriracha sauce that got plunked down when we asked for some heat.
Buaawk: As a general rule, when it comes to chicken burgers and sandwiches, we think that what’s in-between the bread or bun, should be at least as thick as one of the slices. In other words, in a worst case sammie scenario, looking from the side, you have 1/3 bread, 1/3 filling and 1/3 bread. Anything less is unacceptable. And really, all purveyors should be reaching for 1/4, 1/2, 1/4 at a minimum. Stables was worse than our worst case scenario, and for this they lose major points. Don’t be stingy!
We now take a break from our regularly scheduled reviewing to bring you the following important message:
Purveyor: Sydney Dance Lounge, Walsh Bay, NSW, Australia
Menu Item: Grilled Chicken on Sourdough
Price: $16 AUD / $17.50 with chips
Squawk: OK first of all the venue is fantastic. Right on the water, great views of the harbour and all the super fit dancers coming and going. But hey, we’re here to talk about chicken, not chicks. So here we go. This sandwich came nicely presented – clean and simple. They say on they menu it’s served with “oregano lemon rubbed chicken, avocado, tomato, rocket and Parmesan” and this potentially makes for a nice sandwich. The chicken was pressed and grilled flat – almost Cuban style and had nice crisp edges. We also love the “all you can drink Sriracha.”
Buaawk: Sadly SDL ruins what could have been a contender by putting too much mayo on the bottom slice. All that mayo combined with the heat/condensation from a warm sandwich sitting on a cold plate, creates an unfortunate situation where the bottom slice of bread gets soggy and, to quote my lunch buddy, loses all “structural integrity.”