Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Burger Head, Penrith

Attention Western Sydney and fellow burger geeks! There's going to be a new kid in town and it looks very promising! It's been announced that Tim Rosenstrauss (ex Master), Richard Borg (ex Momofuku Seibo), Josh DeLuca (ex Quay Restaurant) will soon unveil their burger haven called Burger Head.

It will be the latest joint to hit the Western Sydney burger scene. The Burger Head will open at Henry Street in Penrith in a few weeks time with the usual burger menu suspects that includes mash, fried chicken, and milkshakes plus items like puffed pork crackling, craft beers and cocktails. Fortunately, they had a stall at Penrith's first Aussie Night Markets earlier this evening where they showcased samples of what to expect from The Burger Head. I was able to try their burgers and it is mind blowing stuff folks! Expect nothing less of excellent.

You can keep it simple and have fries with your burger. But I took it to the next level by ordering puffed pork. It is basically spiced puffed pork ($5) crackling that's flavoursome, crisped and airy.

Bacon cheeseburger

Their cheeseburger ($10) is off the chainz!! Smashed beef patty, pickles, American cheese and a creamy house secret sauce in a lightly toasted milk bun. Their own juicy patty blend was cooked medium rare and had a perfect caramelised crust that gave it super extra umami. The meat was slightly coarsely minced which kept pockets of amazing meat juice. Just like shake shack's! It is simple, perfect and executed freakin' well! You can easily handle it with one hand and have a drink in the other. You need to get this with extra bacon ($4). It was crispy and smoky!
Fried chicken burger
The fried chicken burger ($14) had lettuce, sauce and coated chicken patty. The coating had crispy edges and the tender thigh meat was juicy and flavoursome. The spices used was the highlight! 
Shroom and kale burger
Last but not least was the shroom and kale burger ($14). This is possibly the best veggie burger I have come across to date. The combination of the smoked mushrooms and kale with the daikon cabbage slaw was sensational! So packed with umami!
Roasted white chocolate milkshake
Also, I flashed it all down with roasted white chocolate milkshake($15). Loved the nutty and caramel flavours!

I can't wait to try the rest of their creations when the shop opens! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

The Burger Head
Shop 17, 98 Henry Street

Penrith NSW

Monday, December 5, 2016

Uncle Kurt's, Parramatta

First it was the specialty coffee places that started popping up in Parramatta. Now, the small bar scene has started. It wasn't long ago when Uncle Kurt's opened at the ground level of Secure Parking's complex near the Roxy. It's a bit hipster with a dose of grunge and a hell lot of character.

I'm talking about a hip diver bar with craft beers, whiskies, spirits and cocktails.  Hiphop tracks playing in the background whilst enjoying New York style deli snacks. It's the first of its kind in Parramatta and I'm sure it won't be the last.  For a second there I thought I was in cool town Newtown!
Aperitivo julep
The aperitivo julep cocktail ($19) hits summer in its face with a refreshing mix of beefeater gin, lillet blanc, fino sherry, watermelon and sage. I freakin love it!
Brisket pastrami po'boy
The brisket pastrami po'boy ($14) has pastrami, saurkraut, Russian dressing, American mustard, pickles and dill in a milk bun. It's a solid po'boy but  it needs to hold back just a tad on the mustard as it can be overpowering at some parts of the po'boy.
Smoked sausage roll
The smoked sausage roll ($14) was awesome! A double smoked andouille, saurkraut, Russian dressing, mustard, pickles and dill in a milk bun. The smoky essence of the sausage punches through whilst the mustard, saurkraut and pickles compliments the smokiness well.

Uncle's traditional reuben

Their Uncle's traditional reuben sandwich ($16) is one of the best I've had in Sydney. A perfectly balanced amount of smoked brisket pastrami, super melted Edam cheese, Russian dressing and coleslaw in toasted rye bread with a pickle on the side. The edam cheese was mild and smooth with notes of nutty flavour, which compliments the pastrami well. The dressing and coleslaw gives acidity and sweetness to cut through the pastrami and cheese.

Uncle Kurt's
22B Horwood Place
Parramatta NSW
Opening hours:

Wed-Thurs: 5pm to 10pm
Fri: 12pm to midnight

Sat: 5pm to midnight
Uncle Kurts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Superior Burger, Wakeley

Long before we saw the rise of American-style burgers in Sydney, there were OG joints that already existed. One of them being Jovan Curic's Pub Life Kitchen (PLK). Following the success of PLK Ultimo and Rozelle, Curic (born and raised in Sydney's Southwest) has decided to open a place that possibly serves the best burgers in Western Sydney.

Enter Superior Burger! An old school milkbar/diner that serves everything from classic burgers, fried chicken, milkshakes etc. So what sets this place apart from other burger places out West? It's the beautifully aged whole Watagan naturally raised beef used for their burger patties. "You know which body you are eating down to the tag number" says Jovan.
Iced tea and beer battered potato scallops
They do housemade sweetened lemon iced that's zesty and refreshing. You can also get old school beer-battered potato scallops ($2 each). These delicious potato scallops had a super tasty crisped batter. Dayumn!
Fried chicken
Their fried chicken ($6) consists of two juicy dark chicken meats (drumstick and thigh) with crunchy rippled buttermilk coating and some pickles.

Then there's the burgs:
The bird
The signature Pub Life Kitchen fried chicken burger, The Bird ($18): Deep fried chicken fillet coated in a rippled batter that consists of crushed Doritos with slaw, cheese and mayo in a soft milk bun. You need to get this!
Superior burger
The superior burger ($16) is a diner-style burger: beef patty, tomato, onions, lettuce, cheese and superior special sauce in a milk bun. Classic, no-nonsense and superior burger indeed from structure to flavours.
 Jovan gets what a classic cheeseburger ($15) is supposed to be: no salad in sight. Just aged beef patty, American cheese, onions, Mclure pickles, mustard and ketchup in a slightly toasted milk bun. I added extra doubled smoked streaky bacon ($4) for that smoky touch. The patty was perfectly seasoned and had more depth in flavour due to the aging process of the beef. The pickles offset the bite from the raw onion. The tang, acidity and sweetness from the ketchup and mustard sealed the deal. The whole burger handles well and not messy to eat at all. Still my favourite classic cheeseburger in Sydney to date.

Now you know where to find the some of the best burgers in Western Sydney. Come get it!

Superior Burger
Shop 5
30 Bulls Road
Wakeley NSW
Monday-Sunday: 12pm to 10pm

Superior Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Meraki Merchants, Parramatta

Parramatta is transforming and growing as a thriving metropolis. So is the third wave coffee scene in this city! Take Circa Espresso, The Elevation, Darcy Street Project and Paper Planes for instance. Speaking about Circa, a former Circa barista and a good friend of mine Toufick Chami (also ex - The Cupping Room and Tap) has recently opened Meraki Merchants.

At the corner of George Street and Angus Lane is where you'll find Meraki Merchants. The space has a mixture of Scandinavian and homey interior. I like that the menu is minimal but it works well. The food ranges from delicious classic jaffle specials, to toasties, sandwiches and pastries. The coffee beans is sourced from Stitch Coffee Roasters by Nawar  Adra (another Circa alumnus).

Piccolo latte
Toufick was mentored by world champion Sasa Sestic. So you can expect excellent cups of coffee from him. I've tried their Ethiopian and Colombian blend on a piccolo latte ($3.50)  and a flat white ($4). The coffee had medium body with sweet and nutty notes. It was strong enough to pierce through milk. One of Toufick's strong points as a barista is that he consistently textures milk to a perfect temperature.

The sultan's jaffle ($10) is something I would have for breakfast everyday. A jaffle of pure comfort that has Danish feta, sujuk, cheddar, kalamata olives & homemade relish. It tastes like breakfast pizza. 
Pastrami sandwich
The pastrami sandwich ($10) is a solid sambo: tasty pastrami, saurkraut, cheddar, gherkins and seeded mustard in sourdough.
Smashed avo on toast
The Aussie breakfast staple smashed avo on toast is also available.

You can really see Toufick's passion for good coffee and food in his cafe. Perfection in simplicity and consistency are Meraki's strengths.

Meraki Merchants
Shop 5, 111 George St
Parramatta NSW
Hours: Monday to Friday

7am to 3pm