Purveyor: The Coogee Pavillion, Coogee Beach, NSW Australia
Menu Item: Fried Chicken Sandwich
Price: $21 AUD
Squawk: This fairly average burger is majorly overshadowed by the Fried Sebago Potatoes with crisp thyme and chilli aioli ($12). These don’t come with the burger (fail), but they are off the hook. Dangerously delicious and highly recommended. But the burger! Tell us about the burger, you say. (We hacked your phone and can hear everything you say and think BTW). So the burger: It’s fine. It does the job and doesn’t do anything so overtly wrong that we can truly hate or praise it. They got the “chips included” part right, but they’re average chips that only serve as a negative counterpoint to the Fried Sebago Potatoes. The rather large venue was recently refurbished by the Merivale Group and if you go in between peak times, it’s actually quite a pleasant place to be. Especially in summer when all the windows and doors open to glorious sea breezes.
Buaawk: Staff here are, as expected with Merivale venues, attractive and friendly, but also relatively inattentive and seemingly dimwitted. On our last visit we watched a waitress drop glassware onto the floor three different times within an hour. Maybe she was just having a bad day. Truth is, this is just an unsurprising, neutral burger so rather than blather on about it, we’ll take this opportunity to vent one of our pet peeves around here: Spicy Mayo that isn’t spicy at all. One of our favourite bartenders at The House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, taught us ages ago that the best way to make a martini is to just look at the Dry Vermouth bottle very closely, but never pick it up (i.e. don’t use it). Whether or not you like your martinis super dry or not, this same philosophy seems to apply in Australian kitchens whenever a Chef decides to make “spicy mayo.” If they use regular mayo and just look at a chilli then it’s somehow, magically, deemed spicy. This is a long way round of saying that shit wasn’t spicy at all, and pretending it is makes Chef look dumb and us feel sad. Put some freakin’ heat on it! Have a great day.