Streetfest Sydney, Belmore Park

Address: Belmore Park, Eddy Avenue Haymarket

When: First Friday of every month at 5.00pm

Website: http://foodtrucksunited.com.au/

* * *

This article was written especially for TCFB by MC. 

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Walking into the Streetfest at Belmore park I was excited and curious to see what my first food-truck-meets-art-show festival would be like. 

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The atmosphere was very upbeat and party-ish, with a wide variety of street-artists painting their various styles of art, from portraits to abstract art, with brushes, spray cans and markers.  TCFB even ran into an old school friend (from primary school!)- check out her twitter here.

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Overall there was a very urban theme which contrasted with the mixed variety of office-workers, artists and people casually visiting. 

There were two main spaces on either side of the path through the park.  One side had a VIP dance section with ciders and beer available for purchase and the other side had most of the food trucks and a big space in the middle for people to sit down and enjoy their meals.

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Unfortunately there wasn’t much seating available, which was a bit frustrating as we were in work clothes and didn’t want to sit in the dirt/grass.

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We met the Street Fest Event Manager and also the Street Fest founder, who explained to us that the Streetfest is inspired by US (specifically New York and Los Angeles) style food outlets in vans.  The founder recommended several dishes around the venue, including the porkbelly at the Asian Street Food van, the German kransky and the tacos.

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They gave us a couple of food and drink vouchers to try a cider and a plate from one of the trucks and we were off on our way to enjoy the Festival.

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We chose to walk around the area first to see what food was available before deciding what to eat. 

There were quite a few trucks serving up hot food and drinks to the hungry visitors.  Some of the trucks included Jafe Jaffles, Agape Organic, Tsuru, AlCarbon, Street Sliders, Cantina Mobil, Urban Pasta and a Cane Juice stall.

After walking around for some time we ordered from the Nepalese Van.

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We got the Chicken Momo, basically a Nepalese dumpling, which we ordered with chilli sauce. Despite the Momo’s being slightly dry on the outside, they were well cooked and moist on the inside. The chilli sauce was very tasty and did not dominate the flavour of the chicken.

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Shortly afterwards we grabbed some Gaymers Cider, Tropical Flavour, which was served over ice. It was refreshing, slightly sweet without being too overpowering, and had a nice orangey colour to it, almost like lemon lime bitters.

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After sitting on the grass for a few minutes we decided to get some Sliders from another stall: Street Sliders.

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After a 10 minute wait, we received our sliders; one chicken (brick) and one beef (prime) served with chips (MC’s favourite). We had half a Slider each so we could try them both, and both meats were well cooked with a great texture, juicy interior and lots of flavour.

The chips were crunchy, not quite as good as Three Williams, but they were freshly fried and well salted.

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Two sliders and chips, $13.00

During our visit to the Streetfest there was a steady crowd of people coming and going; it wasn’t clear if they were passing through to the station or attending the stalls, but the venue was bustling with people and it was an enjoyable experience.

We are looking forward to the next Streetfest and hope that the number of stalls increases with more variety and hopefully some more spots to sit!

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DISCLAIMER:

TCFB dined as a guest of the organisers.

This is a guest post and reflects the reviewers’ own personal opinions. The Casual Food Blogger accepts no responsibility for anything that is said in or caused by this review or anything contained in, caused by, or arising out of, the content of this review.

Buns & Balls, Potts Point ($$)

Address: 33 Bayswater Road, Potts Point, NSW

Tel: (02) 9326 9054

Email: info@bunsandballs.com.au

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

Opening Hours:

Tues – Fri: 18:00 – late
Sat – Sun: 15:00 – late

* * *

Reviewed by: Wicko

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Buns and balls is a beautiful restaurant “in the heart of Potts Point”. True to its name it features a range of meatballs, and burgers, as well as a variety of freshly made cocktails to go with.

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It advertises itself as “a burgers and booze joint with a twist in the heart of Potts Point”.

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Atmosphere

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The restaurant is only a short walk away from the main street of Kings Cross, perched in a cozy corner underneath a nice looking apartment building.

The vibe of the place hit us instantly as we walked in.

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The layout was nice, with an inside and outside area.

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Having this option is always good.

The area was very comfortably decorated, and I felt it presented the character of the place very well.

The roof was decorated with writing, as were some of the walls.

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I often found myself reading them with interest, had I perhaps been there with someone I had recently met, I can imagine these being very helpful conversation starters or points of discussion.

I was certainly impressed with the amount of people eating there, for a Tuesday night, it had gathered a considerable crowd, creating a buzzing yet relaxing atmosphere which contributed greatly to the mood.

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This was helped by a relaxing mix of music which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I overheard that song requests could be made if you asked them online (most likely on their Facebook page).

Service

After being greeted straight away, we were guided to our table, where we were soon happily sitting with freshly made cocktails in our hands.

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Watermelon, lime and vodka cocktail, $12

t was freshly made and tasted amazing. This cost $12 with alcohol and $7 without. Considering the freshness and quality of this, I feel that it is an appropriate price.

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Pineapple, ginger beer, vodka and bitters, $12

This I did not like. I feel this is due purely to my personal dislike of the taste of regular ginger beer; it seemed only as if the bitters made it worse.

I found that the service was great, we were frequently checked on by the friendly staff, yet not in an annoying way, or during the middle of a conversation.

They seemed to have a great knowledge of all their products, and were very enthusiastic about what they were selling.

Food

Our food came relatively quickly, and was well spaced out, it seemed that each consequent part of our meal come exactly when we were about to move on.

Soon we were given all the flavours of meatballs that they had to try. All of them cost $9 for about 4-5 meatballs. This is quite expensive and would not be satisfying to order on their own.

The flavours were;

  • pork and beef in a chunky sauce with shaved parmesan (tasted amazing, it was soft, had a crunch and seemed to have a punch of flavour)

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  • barramundi croquettes with tartare sauce (similar to the beef and pork in texture, but definitely my personal favourite)

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  • chicken in a spicy Louisiana sauce (I found it very tasty, however my sister though it was a bit too spicy so I can understand some people not liking it)

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  • tofu meatball (while this isn’t strictly a “meatball”, it was potentially the best tasting tofu I have ever had; the tofu was cut up very small and had some shallots in it).

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We ate these with a side of garden salad.

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Green Salad, $7.50

We also got Spicy Louisiana Chicken Wings, which I devoured happily.

They had an amazing crunch and taste to it, but admittedly I did have to reach for a drink for relief once or twice, however I overall felt that the reward outweighed the cost. A bit less chilli might make it more appealing to those who aren’t keen on the hot stuff!

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Spicy Wings, $1 each (either 3, 6, 9)

Next came the main event, our burgers.

TCFB got a Grilled Chicken Burger with BB’s chilli sauce, while I got the Char-Grilled Cheese Burger.

TCFB really enjoyed the chicken burger and loved the sauce and texture of the chicken. We were told that the sauce is the original Oportos recipe which Gary, the owner of Buns and Balls kept when he sold Oportos, his previous business.

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Chicken Burger, $10

I really enjoyed the beef burger.

It seemed as if the beef was just perfectly cooked and spoke for itself. In comparison I felt that the chicken’s sauce did the talking for that burger, which is fine as chicken often has less flavour than beef, I find.

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Char-grilled Cheese Burger, $10

Last of all came our deserts.

Served on one wooded board was both an ice cream sandwich and doughnuts in chocolate. The doughnuts were amazing, they didn’t feel heavy or oily at all, but were simply crisp on the outside and soft on the inside; the chocolate sauce that we dipped them in complemented it perfectly.

TCFB preferred this; however my obsession was with the ice cream sandwich.

It was one of the best tasting cookies I had ever had, sandwiching in the ice cream between its choc-chips. The warmth of the cookie and the coldness of the ice cream contrasted well, and I was definitely a fan of this desert.

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Donut bites, $8 and Ice Cream Block, $14 to share (with 3 sandwiches)

P.S Here are some pics of more food we tried when we visited another time:

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Hand-cut and twice cooked fries, $8.00

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Sweet potato fries, $9.00

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Overall

The food tasted amazing and it was a great night with a great atmosphere.

The music was great and it was pleasantly filled with a good amount of people. Service was quick and friendly.

While some items may be considered slightly pricy, I feel it is a great place to go with friends or family for a tasty feed!

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 8
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value – 7

Buns & Balls on Urbanspoon

Chur Burger, Surry Hills ($)

Address: 48 Albion Street Surry Hills

Tel: (02) 9212 7979

Website: http://churburger.com.au/

Opening Hours:

Mon 11:30AM – 5pm
Tues – Sat 11:30AM – 10PM
Sunday Closed

* * *

After some Thursday night shopping and a little Nespresso tasting at Westfield Sydney, MDS and I headed over to Chur Burger in Surry Hills.

I had heard good things about this place, a new Sydney foodie hotspot which has even been described as having Sydney’s best burgers (Good Food, SMH).

Atmosphere

MDS and I walked in, past some people who were sitting outside.

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We didn’t know about the set up or how the whole reservation thing worked so we just waited near the door until someone came over to us.  We were told that we could get a table in 15 minutes, so we put our names down on the list and waited outside with the others.

We waited just 10 minutes before being shown to a high table with some stools around it.  While we had to share our table with two other groups, the table was pretty wide so we didn’t get in anyone’s way.

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Inside, Chur Burger has a very hip hop warehouse feel to it. There is loud music playing in the background (Kanye West at the time) and a large kitchen area on one side. You order at a small window on the right side of the room, and pay upon ordering.

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It was a bit of a different set up to anywhere else I have been and as I am a fan of hip hop, RnB and rap, I enjoyed the music and loved the chilled out atmosphere.

Service

Service was quite average and we didn’t have much interaction with the staff. However, the girl who put our names down for a table and greeted us was pretty friendly.

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Our food came out quickly and with no fuss and our used plates and cups were soon cleared away.

Food

MDS and I ordered a burger each and decided to share chips.

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I ordered the Grilled Chicken, Hot Sauce Mayo and Minted Slaw burger ($10.00).

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The burger was pretty large and although I was hungry when I started, I couldn’t finish the whole burger. I ended up leaving the bun and eating the filling!

The sauce was not hot at all but it had a nice spicy tang to it. The slaw was tasty and fresh and the chicken had a lovely charcoal taste, which I enjoy.

MDS ordered the Pulled Pork, Chur BBQ Sauce, Red Slaw and Fennel Mayo burger (also $10.00).

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She enjoyed this colourful burger, but she too could not finish the whole thing.

For sides we shared the Chips with Chilli Salt ($5.00) and the Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic and Lime ($5.00).

The chips were crunchy and hot and the added kick of chilli was great!

Sweet potato fries are healthier than regular fries, and the sweetness of the thick cut chips was nice.  I couldn’t really taste much of the garlic and lime though.

Overall

I definitely think these burgers are some of the best I have had. There is some great variety on offer here, the burgers don’t take long to cook, service is fuss-free and the atmosphere is great.

A very cool option for a late night dinner and there is also a dessert and milkshake menu!

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Cost

Our burgers and fries came to $30.00 all up.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6.5
  • Food- 9
  • Ambience- 8
  • Value – 7.5

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Helm Bar, Darling Harbour ($$)

Address: Aquarium Wharf, 7 Wheat Road Darling Harbour NSW

Tel: (02) 9290 1571

Website: http://www.helmbar.com.au/

* * *

I was recently invited to Helm Bar’s menu launch and was allowed to bring some friends along.

I brought MDS, Wallace, MC, Dino, Daniel, SenoritaLay and MRyan.

MRyan Photography was the guest photographer for The Casual Food Blogger on the night and took some fabulous pics. Check out his webpage for more!

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About the event

The event was a launch party for the menu, open only to Gold Members.  Becoming a Gold Member was free; all we had to do was sign up.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Complimentary and priority entry to Helm Bar when your card is displayed
  • Complimentary venue hire on your birthday, as well as a bottle of Champagne on the house
  • 10% off all food and beverage, 7 days a week until 9pm
  • Loyalty Points Program where you will receive points for every dollar spent. These points can be redeemed for food and beverage
  • Receive regular updates of all Helm Bar’s exclusive events and members only specials

Atmosphere

 We arrived at the bar at 6.30pm after work, and MC, Daniel and I found a spot at the back area of the event.

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The girls enjoying some drinks

The “function space” was sectioned off with a black tape but, unfortunately, it wasn’t really enclosed.  People from outside the sectioned off area came in, and those from inside went out to get more tables and chairs.  Not exactly ideal if you are having a function and are paying for food as other people can easily crash your party!

The atmosphere in general was pretty nice though There is a great view of the Harbour with it’s bright lights, and the open layout makes it feel more spacious and cool. The venue had comfy seats lining the side of the bar, small stools and high bar tables scattered throughout.

The DJ was playing some great tunes and MDS, Wallace and I found ourselves bopping to the beats a couple of times through the night!

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TCFB, Wallace, MDS, Dino, Daniel, MC and SenoritaLay

The only issue we had with the venue during the night was with people smoking next to us. Although one side of the bar was somewhat open, the blinds were pulled down and so you couldn’t really say it was outdoors. I would definitely have described it as “enclosed”. The guy who was smoking next to us made our clothes smell and made it a little harder to enjoy the night, and none of the staff members seemed to notice him smoking!

Service

Initially, service was pretty average.  This was because all the food was being taken to the front of the event and those of us at the back were missing out on some of the dishes.

I think there were maybe one or two dishes we missed out on, including chicken satay skewers.

After MRyan spoke to some of the staff members, they were really helpful and began serving some dishes to the back first. This meant MRyan could get some great pics, and we could actually try some of the dishes on the winter menu!

Despite the above hiccup, service overall was pretty good as the staff were very helpful, extremely friendly and pleasant.

Food

There was free wine tasting for those in the event, and MDS, Wallace and I tried about 2-3 different wines.

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We also got free cocktails, including the Tom Collins – described on the website as “a classic: Tanqueray Gin mixed with fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda to create that traditional lemonade taste”, and the Strawberry Woo Woo– described as “a British classic: Ketel One Vodka with Peach Liqueur, muddled strawberries and cranberry juice.”

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Tom Collins, $12.00 and Strawberry Woo Woo, $14.00

However, it was the new food menu that I was interested in! 

All of the food was extremely well presented, and MDS and I loved the cute little bamboo style baskets the chicken and paella were served in.

We tried (please note these are only sample sizes and don’t reflect the true portions):

Cajun Style Seafood Paella – w/ chorizo sausage, mussels, calamari, prawns & cajun chicken (normally $26.00).

The paella was hot and slightly spicy, with large prawns and pieces of chicken. The rice was well-cooked and overall, the paella was really tasty.

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Peking Duck pizza– peking duck, oyster mushrooms, green shallots,
hoi sin sauce, chilli oil, w/ fresh cucumber ribbon salad (normally $20.00).

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Chargrilled Chicken Burger – marinated chicken breast fillet, tomato, lettuce, cheese, aioli & peri peri sauce (normally $12.00 or $18.00 with fries).

The chicken burgers had a delicious sweet chilli flavour to them and the chicken breasts were generous.

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Thai Marinated Chicken Drummettes w/ lime aoli (normally $15.00).

The thai drumsticks were fantastic, with juicy pieces of chicken, cooked through (no pinkness) and full of flavour. The coconut milk on top and chilli pieces scattered over it added colour and creaminess.

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and delicious Margarita pizzas (normally $18.00).

The pizzas were a decent size and had a good amount of toppings on them. They were served on a nice wooden board, hot out of the oven.

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Overall, I was pretty pleased with the menu. It showed some great crowd -pleasing items such as pizza and chicken burgers, whilst delivering food with great flavour and depth, such as the paella and Thai drumsticks.

Overall a very interesting menu, and one that is adaptable to both meal -sized and canape-sized portions.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6
  • Food- 7.5
  • Ambience- 7
  • Value – 7

Helm Bar on Urbanspoon

The Oaks, Neutral Bay ($)

Address: 118 Military Rd, Neutral Bay NSW

Tel: (02) 9953 5515

Website: http://www.oakshotel.com.au/articles/Home/1

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The Oaks in Neutral Bay, is owned and run by the Thomas family. They purchased it about 40 years ago from the Furlong family, which had held the licence for it since 1918. It has been described as an “institution”, serving lower north shore patrons since 1885, and has become an icon in the food and bar world, especially north of the bridge.

When I mentioned that I was going to The Oaks this weekend, a number of my friends (mainly those who are older than me- in their 30s and 40s) exclaimed “oh, The Oaks”, or “yeah I know that place.”  When I had asked people my age, some had heard of it but not many had visited.

Based on these reactions, it is was easy to see that The Oaks was more popular with the older crowd, or even with Generation Xers, than the recent 18-25 year olds.

In order to attract a younger crowd, The Oaks recently hired renowned architect Paul Kelly, who has worked on masterpieces such as Black By Ezard, Sokyo and Cargo Bar. The majority of the $4 million renovations were recently completed, and I was lucky enought to be invited to try the new menu by Celebrity Chef Danny Russo and long time The Oaks cook, Denise Brinson.

Owner, David Kelly and the lovely George from Wasamedia took us on a tour around the historic hotel.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere varies depending on which room you are in.

The Bar & Grill area is where we started our tour, and concluded it.

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It is the newly renovated area of the Hotel, with dark colours and funky lights, beautiful wooden finishes, and a modern yet classic look.

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The cellar in the Bar & Grill room makes this room feel more like a restaurant than a pub

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The glass partitions add some depth to the room, while the dark colours ensure the room is still cosy and welcoming

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The stone walls and chequered carpets ensure that The Oaks retains some of its pub characteristics, despite its classy new look

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The bar area is quite large and there are plenty of great beers on tap

The Oaks Butcher sources some of the best meat in Sydney and The Oaks offers diners the option of cooking their own meat! While some find this a little strange (why would you pay to cook your own meat?), others (such as MC) are fans, and think it is a novel way to make cooking exciting, like Korean BBQ!

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Fun fact: apparently the purple lighting in the room was a mistake!

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In the outdoor area, you can cook your own meat on the DIY BBQ and enjoy the lovely sunshine or the shade of the giant oak tree, planted by Ms Kathleen McGill (nee Furlong) in 1938.

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The BBQ area is located in that little hut with a chimney…

It was a custom of the store in the 1930s to give an Oak Tree to any patron spending more than Ten pounds in one purchase.

It is now a tradition that good luck comes to anyone struck by an acorn from the tree in Autumn.

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The Garden Pavilion is coming soon and renovations are currently underway for this area of The Oaks.

Following this, Mr Thomas led us to Nineteenthirtysix, the funky bar which opened in that same year.

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Mr Thomas told us that the bar was popular with locals in the area who would rush in for a beer after work at 5.00pm, before it closed at 6.00pm.

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Mr Thomas giving us a tour of the Hotel

He said the bar originally had many doors facing onto the road, and the actual bar was in the middle of the room, to make it easier for the crowd to get in and get out in the one hour after work.

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It was interesting to see the original tiles and the $90,000 painting hanging in the bar, which are historic parts of Sydney’s history.

It was also intriguing to see the Bottle Department window where patrons used to purchase bottles of beer and alcohol to take home.

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While the bar looks a little dated, I think the old school retro vibe adds character and authenticity to The Oaks.

We moved through the back kitchen areas to the Garden Bar, a quaint little art deco space with a lovely view of the courtyard.

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The Garden Bar from outside

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The view from inside

Inside, the bar is the perfect sports bar, and offers a great space for a chilled out drink or a game of pool.

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The Garden Bar area

Next we headed up to the Cue & Cushion, the pool table area of the bar, located upstairs.

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Mr Thomas told us that the wooden stairs and paneling are all original. They looked to be in excellent repair and I was impressed that a Hotel that is over 100 years old could be in such great condition.

We walked through some of the many pool table rooms, and the outdoor balcony area which can be hired out for functions including birthdays and special occasions.

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The upstairs bar

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An old telephone, still mounted on the wall in one of the rooms

Walking through the rooms we were led past the poker machines, and back down the stairs to the Bar & Grill. 

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The tour gave us a lovely insight into the historic Hotel and really brought home the importance of supporting local businesses which work so hard to preserve Sydney’s historic and cultural history.

Service

Mr Thomas was lovely and MC and I both commented on how he and his son, Andrew worked in the pub, wearing the same uniform as the rest of the staff, and doing the same jobs.

They were friendly and down to earth, and you could see that they had a real connection with the patrons and locals in the area.

MC and I both noted that the staff were also quite relaxed and friendly, very helpful and polite (although I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that we were a table of food bloggers!). 

Nonetheless, we had no complaints with respect to service.

We were also excited to hear Chef Danny Russo’s explanation of the menu.

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Chef Danny Russo

He mentioned that it was designed to deliver tasty and exciting food which is good quality, without alienating the locals who were after good value pub grub.

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He also noted that there were plenty of salads and dishes to please the ladies, as well as a number of good sharing options. 

Food

The Oaks has about 5 different bar and restaurant areas: Bar & Grill, Garden Pavillion, Cue & Cushion Bar, Nineteenthirtysix and Garden Bar, each with it’s own distinct style and vibe.

We dined at the Bar & Grill area and had an array of entrees, mains and desserts.

We started off with a drink- I had a Lemon Lime Bitters and MC had a cider.

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Entrees

To start off with we had:

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Brioche bun with smoked butter, $6.00

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Buffalo wings with blue cheese aioli, $15.00

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Beer battered potato scallops, with sea salt and vinegar, $10.00

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Fried buttermilk chicken with aioli, $15.00

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Popcorn shrimp with chilli mayonnaise, $19.00

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Ocean trout gravlax with baby capers, radish, horseradish cream & fresh dill, $22.00

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Fried baby calamari with lemon and aioli, $18.00

All the entrees were delicious: the salmon fresh and light, the calamari and chicken crunchy and golden, the brioche (best I have ever tasted) soft and sweet, and the blue cheese aioli, creamy yet tangy.

There was a great selection and although some of the entrees were a little pricey for their size, they were quite filling and all were great quality.

My favourite entree: a toss up between the Buttermilk Chicken and the Brioche. The chicken was so crunchy and flavoursome, and the brioche was just soft and moreish.

Least favourite entree: the potato scallops were a bit too oily for my liking and not very crunchy either.

Mains

For mains, we shared a variety of dishes around the table:

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Slow roasted Pork Belly with cauliflower puree, brussel sprouts, bacon, red wine jus & apple cider relish, $28.00

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Roasted brussel sprouts, crispy bacon & almonds, $8.00

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200g fillet mignon (grain fed), wrapped in bacon with spinach and mash, $28.00

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Not sure which steak this is (I think sirloin- 300g $28.00?), served with Cafe de Paris butter 

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Eye fillet, 200g (grain fed), $28.00

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Au Congo Mussels, cooked with coconut cream, lemongrass & chilli, $29.00

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The Original Burger with tomato, lettuce, ‘tomato ketchup for grownups’, fries & condiments, $18.00

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The Vegie Burger with grilled zucchini & eggplant, roasted tomato, rocket, haloumi cheese, caramelised onion, aioli & fries, $22.00

Sorry I don’t have an image for this one!

The Classic Cheese Burger with tomato, lettuce, beetroot, cheese, apple wood smoked streaky bacon, ‘tomato ketchup for grownups’, fries & condiments, $23.00

All the dishes were great but the delicious steaks were cooked to perfection (we ordered them medium rare). They were soft and juicy and there was a lot of variety from the meat to the sauces.

The burgers were great too, with a quirky brioche bun and some crunchy and golden chips on the side.

Favourite dish: I loved the pork belly, I am always a fan of it but the crunchy crackling and soft belly, paired with bacon (double pork) and apple cider relish, is definitely a winner.

Least favourite dish: the mussels. Although there was a fabulous portion size, the flavour of the mussels did not appeal to me, it was a little too much as I would prefer them with fresher flavours like chilli and garlic. Perhaps Provencale would have been better!

Desserts

Finally, we tried three of the desserts:

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Hot apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream & cream, $14.00

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Warm sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce & vanilla bean ice cream, $14.00

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Banoffee pie served with caramel gelato, $14.00

All the desserts were tasty but the Sticky Date could have done with a little more sauce (personally I thought my own version of sticky date was better and so did MC).

I would have liked to try the soft centred chocolate fondant with hazelnut gelato ($14.00), and the passionfruit creme brulee with passionfruit gelato ($14.00), but we ran out of time and couldn’t wait the 15 minutes for the fondant. Oh well- next time!

Favourite dish: Can’t beat a banoffee pie, and this one was delicious with a gooey caramel and a creamy gelato.

Least favourite: probably the apple pie. It was pretty average and just not as good as the other two!

Summary

Overall, The Oaks is a fabulous place for a Sunday lunch or a post-work drink. It is a 30 minute bus ride from the city, and the Coles carpark in Neutral Bay has free parking on weekends (there is also metred street parking).

The lovely family-owned Hotel has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and the renovations are modern but still in line with the pub feel of the Hotel.

The new menu is extensive and full of great options which are sure to please anyone and everyone.

Definitely recommend this place!

Cost

TCFB and MC dined as guests of Wasamedia and The Oaks.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 8
  • Food- 9
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value – 7.5

The Oaks on Urbanspoon

Guest Review: The Australian Youth Hotel – Angus and Bacon Cheeseburger

Address: 63 Bay St  Glebe NSW

Tel: (02) 9692 0414

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

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One of the final burger reviews in the Guest Blog series by Mike & Dave, this review    looks at Glebe’s Australian Youth Hotel.

Let us know what you think in the comments, below!

Mike’s Review

Following the completion of our five-burger challenge, we were informed by Dave that The Sydney Morning Herald’s Pub Food guide team had previously declared The Australian Youth Hotel’s ‘Angus and Bacon Cheeseburger’ as the best burger in Sydney. Naturally, we were inclined to check it out to see how it stacked up against the rest.

Thankfully, the burger lived up to its name. The beef, bacon and cheese melted in your mouth and was complimented nicely with tomato chutney which had sultanas in it – a great touch. I do like a bit of salad in my burger so it was nice to have tomato and lettuce thrown in but the flavours were still very powerful. It was this diversity and a superior bun that helped it to edge The Landmark Hotel’s ‘100% pure beef burger’.

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I gave the Angus and Bacon Cheeseburger a 9.5/10. It’s got everything you need in a burger.

Dave’s Review

The Australia Youth Hotel in Glebe offers a dining environment like no other venue whose burgers we’ve reviewed. Within the white walls of the gloriously quaint old pub is a dining room, where the furnishings and table service are absolutely up to restaurant standard.

These features almost made us hesitate to say “3 burgers please”, as the classic pub burger seemed almost out of place in such an elegant setting. When it came out, however, all such hesitations were swept away.

The burger was incredible. A sensation on the tongue, with texture and flavour melding together in every harmonious mouthful.

Above and beyond expectation was the crowning feature – the relish. As it is usually tasty no matter how or where it comes, relish can be glossed over by burger creators, who spend more time and effort on the paddy.

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The chefs within the Australia Youth Hotel, however, have gone to every effort to ensure that no aspect of this splendid burger has been overlooked. The juicy, succulent, sweet relish was as tasty as you could possibly imagine, and then, on top of that – raisins. I’m not saying that this is unique to the Australian Youth Hotel, but having previously sampled Sydney’s “top 5 burgers” without a hint of a sultana, they were a surprising and most welcome addition.

Now, unfortunately, I have to write that my burger had a faint taste of burnt bun to it, taking away slightly from the experience. Had it not been burnt (and I was assured that my colleague’s were cooked to perfection), I may well have given this a perfect score.

As it was, this burger had to get a 9 out of 10.

The guys also made a YouTube video review which you can find here.

DISCLAIMER:

This review is a guest review and reflects the reviewers’ own personal opinions on the product. The Casual Food Blogger accepts no responsibility for anything that is said in or caused by this review or anything contained in, caused by, or arising out of, the videos or photos contained in or referred to in this review. 

 Australian Youth Hotel on Urbanspoon

Guest Review: East Village- Wagyu Beef Burger

Address: 234 Palmer St Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9331 5457

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

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One of the final burger reviews in the Guest Blog series by Mike & Dave, this review checks our the Wagyu Beef Burger at the East Village Hotel.

Mike’s Review

After the long anticipated “Return to East Village” we were finally able to sample the last of the five burgers on our list. Unfortunately, the burger’s fate was sealed as soon as I sunk my teeth into the bun.

Ironically enough, we postponed our review of this burger because they had run out of burger buns and I’ve got to say that it certainly wasn’t worth the wait. The bun seemed to be cold, stale and hard to chew. It didn’t match up with the soft meat patty, cheese and aioli. The tomato relish was also applied fairly lightly and absorbed into the bun so it hardly made an impact.

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The flavours were all there, don’t get me wrong, but the bun spoiled it for me. It wasn’t quite as disappointing as the burger at Three Weeds so I’m going to give it a 7/10.

Dave’s Review

East Village Balmain was to be my first review, but for a cruel twist of fate which saw us awkwardly exit the premises after being informed that the kitchen had run out of buns.

A few months later, we were back, nervous, excited and most importantly, hungry. Somewhat ironically, it ended up in fact being the last burger we reviewed (of the initial 5).

I’ll dive straight in.

The burger was great. It presented well, with cheese and aioli blending in and oozing over the paddy, which was succulent and jammed full of flavour. The chips, delicious, and the salad was served as a side, which was a nice touch. Unfortunately, the burger was let down by the bun.

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I’ll admit straight away that I generally prefer pre-warmed, toasted or charred buns, though, when fresh, an unaltered bun can sink in quite nicely to a warm paddy. With this particular bun, however, I wasn’t impressed. It was almost stale, and certainly detracted from the burger as a whole.

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I would’ve loved to have given the burger a 9 or more based on flavour, however the bun really did bring it down to an 8.

The guys also made a YouTube video review which you can find here.

DISCLAIMER:

This review is a guest review and reflects the reviewers’ own personal opinions on the product. The Casual Food Blogger accepts no responsibility for anything that is said in or caused by this review or anything contained in, caused by, or arising out of, the videos or photos contained in or referred to in this review.

East Village Hotel on Urbanspoon