Lord of the Fries Review

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Sydney
There was a lot of hype when Lord of the Fries opened up shop on George Street. A fast food outlet promising locally sourced ingredients, burgers that were all vegan and fries that weren’t dripping in grease and fat makes people talk. I finally decided to give it a try.

The burgers come in two sizes, which is handy; mini for $3.95 or big for $7.95. They are fairly basic; other than the vegan patty, you’re only left with sauce and, depending which burger you get, lettuce, onion or tomato. The patties themselves aren’t much either- they’re quite thin and fail to leave any long lasting impression. One thing you can say for the burgers is that they are light. Whether you actually consider that to be a good thing is of course your call.

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Luckily the burgers are not the main event here (as the name may suggest). The fries come in three different forms: classic, chunky and sweet potato. As promised by Lord of the Fries, their fries do not seem to be covered in grease and cheap oil. They are quite heavy though- a $4.95 regular serve feels like it might contain the equivalent of around three potatoes. Lord of the Fries also offer a lengthy range of sauces to top off those fries. I had the European Mayo which was actually quite dull and it didn’t help that they didn’t put much on.

All in all, Lord of the Fries is probably better suited to a late night snack rather than a burger to make an event of having. They are cost effective and will fill you up, but nothing to rave about.

Atmosphere 1/5
Quality 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 6/10

537 George Street, Sydney

lordofthefries.com.au

 

Lord of the Fries on Urbanspoon

Charlie & Co. Burgers Review

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Sydney

Following in the tradition of Westfield food courts, Charlie & Co. Burgers is horribly overpriced; burgers ranging from $14-16 and chips starting at $7. They may have a small area for private seating, but when it comes down to it, we’re still talking about a fast food burger from a food court. Regardless, Charlie & Co. still attract large queues, with signs indicating that their burgers are worth the wait (no mention of the cost).

Most of their beef burgers feature a Waguyu patty, and admittedly, it’s a pretty good quality and taster patty. Their are also chicken, vegetable and fish of the day (with an actual fish fillet rather than patty) burgers. Most come with caramelised onions, but if you want the luxury of salad, you’ll need to purchase one of the more expensive burgers or pay the extra $1-1.50 per topping. The buns are quite nice, and bigger than what you’ll find at most burger joints, they’re also not particularly greasy which against the trend of many of the “gourmet” burger outlets popping up nowadays.

If Charlie & Co. weren’t so expensive, I’d rate them pretty highly, I mean the party did taste good quality. When you pay $14 for a food court burger and all you get is a patty, onions and sauce, it’s hard to be impressed.

Atmosphere 2/5
Value 2/5
Quality 3/5
Overall 6/10

Westfield Sydney Food Court, Pitt Street Mall

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Image from Not Quite Nigella
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Bench Espresso Review

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Considering the rest of the coffee scene in Perth’s east, Bench Espresso made a very welcome addition to Hay Street when it opened its doors in 2011. It sports a pretty casual style; wooden high benches, green walls and some seating (although not a lot).

For $3.90, the coffee is on the expensive side, but they use beans by local roasters, Five Senses which give a smooth and slightly fruity flavour. There are also cold brews available in aeropress, clever dropper or pour over, although the extent of the selection seems a little unnecessary (I’d rather they pick one method and master it).

Regular: $3.90

Atmosphere 3/5
Value 2/5
Quality 3/5
Overall 7/10

191/471 Hay Street, Perth

benchespresso.com.au

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Dulce Luna Review

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Dulce Luna is a self-claimed Viennoiserie (bakeries making goods from yeast-leavened dough or puff pastry) whose speciality, the dulce luna (probably didn’t see that one coming) is a cross between the French croissant, Italian cornetti and Argentine media luna and comes in a host of different flavours. Aside from this, they offer hot drinks and empanadas.

The Argentine hot chocolates (“submarines”) are done a little bit different here- the cup is initially lined with a small amount of chocolate sauce, filled up with steamed milk and then you’re given a big bar if chocolate to melt and store in to give the extra chocolate flavour ing. Having a big stick of chocolate to stir into your drink sounds all well and good in theory, but in practice, it does mean having to wait a considerable amount of time for the chocolate to melt so that you can enjoy it. If you get impatient, you’ll end up drinking plain steamed milk and then be left with a delicious but unattainable lump of chocolate in the bottom. Once melted, it does taste pretty good. One of these will cost you $4.50, and you can get white, milk, dark and dulce de leche.

The empanadas are slightly on the salty side but have good fillings otherwise, although the pastry is soft and doughy rather than crisp and flakey (but maybe empanadas are meant to be like this?). For $4.50, these seem to be on the expensive side, as they are not particularly big, but the ingredients are good quality.

The Luna’s, are probably the star of the show. A luna is like the croissant’s South American, soft-pastried smaller cousin. They look a great deal like croissants with toppings, but if you’re expecting them to taste like croissants you’ll be disappointed. As mentioned, they are a lot softer, and halve flavours that would make an authentic pastry chef cry- dulce le leche, raspberry, glazed, etc., but presumably, this sorts of flava ours are more common amongst the media lunas. With prices ranging from $2.50 – $3.50, they’re pretty good value too.

Value 3/5
Atmosphere 3/5
Quality 3/5
Overall 6/10

66 King Street, Sydney
72 Pitt Street, Sydney

dulceluna.com.au

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Brooklands Coffee Review

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Perched in a small kiosk on the corner of Martin place and pitt street, the Brooklands Coffee Co have converted their prior Nut Hut into a coffee stand.

What attracted me to this place was the price – $3 per coffee, $5 for two and only $2 for a filter coffee from a reputable coffee outlet is nothing to sneeze at – but be warned, the low price indicative of the small serving. The cups looked considerably smaller than a regular cup, and once accounting for that, you’d probably find the prices on par with most places. Still, if you’re after a smaller than normal coffee, this is the place for you.

The coffee itself is supplied by Rueben Hills, so you know it’s going to be good. It is quite a bitter flavour, but also has some fruitiness to it.

Corner of Pitt Street and Martin Place, Sydney

Regular: $3

Taste 4/5
Value 3/5
Atmosphere 3/5
Overall 7/10

The Lab Cafe Review

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If you pass The Lab Cafe before 9 in the morning, you’ll see a decent-sized crowd hovering outside waiting for their morning brew. So it is worth the wait?

The “cafe” itself is small with a fairly minimalist outlay. The walls are tiled black and silver lamps hang from the ceiling. It makes for a stylish and welcome contrast to the otherwise dull and outdated Hunter Connection (similarly to the Martin Place Circle outlet). The beans come courtesy of Marickville’s Di Lorenzo, a team that boast pretty good coffee flavour.

Once ordered, coffees are pumped out in their red and white striped cups pretty quickly, although due to the large amount of customers, you can still expect to wait around five minutes.

Now, down to the coffee itself. It’s smooth, a good temperature (no signs of burning), and has a rich flavour without too much bitterness. At only $3 for a regular coffee, the quality is pretty impressive.

On the downside, the Lab Cafe is a true “whole-in-the-wall” kind of place, which means nowhere to sit and they don’t serve any toast or baked items- just coffee. But if coffee is all you’re after, then to answer the original question, yes, it’s worth the wait.

Regular: $3

Quality: 4/5
Value: 5/5
Atmosphere: 2/5
Overall 7/10

Hunter Connection, off Pitt Street, Sydney
Shop 18, Martin Place Shopping Circle

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