Dec 24: A proper Aussie Hamburger; Birthday Celebration at Parry Street Garage

Lunch

After collecting Foodie Greg from Newcastle Airport, the Foodies followed our niece’s recommendation and found ourselves at a proper, Greek-run, hamburger and take out shop. For whatever immigrators reason, there were a preponderance of Greek-run take-out shops during our youth and young adulthood.

We both wanted a real, Aussie style burger and you can see from the image above, it includes a lot of additions you won’t see on a burger in the United States: egg and beetroot in particular, but much more salad than is usual and way less cooked bacon. Cheese would have been processed, (to be authentic) so we skipped that.

The Aussie Bacon and Egg burger with bacon, egg, grilled onions and salad, with beetroot (a larger version of beets) cost Au$8.00 or US$5.85.

Dinner

As it was our niece’s birthday we took the family to a restaurant chosen by  said niece: Parry Street Garage. After just one meal there, it comes with our very high recommendation. The atmosphere modern, converted garage with an open kitchen and limited menu cooked very well.

Our niece, and half the table, ordered their:

Wood Smoked Salmon- faro grain, grilled zucchini, soft feta, toasted almonds, dill, parsley, lemon & olive oil  GF

Only one at the table were able to finish the dish because it is so filling because of the faro grain probably, but all – including Foodie Greg – found the combination of flavors worked very well, in an unexpected combination.

Foodie Philip opted for the:

Wood fired pork belly, apple & fennel puree, rosemary roast potato & steamed greens

The pork was perfectly cooked with ‘crackling’ – the crisped skin of the pork belly. (Pork scratchin’s are a very pale imitation.) The crackling was that perfect blend of crunchy, without losing the flavor and texture, and without being too hard. The pork itself had the fat perfectly rendered and unctuous. 

We assumed that it had been initially souse vidé to cook and render the fat to perfect temperature, and later observed them preparing a pork belly primal for souse vidé. Great to see a restaurant prepare their own food from scratch when so many rely on big food service vendors for the basic preparation.

The unctuous pork belly with perfect crackling.
The unctuous pork belly with perfect crackling.

While the pork was definitely a 10/10 dish – it’s hard to imagine how it could be improved – the rest of the dish didn’t do the protein justice. The pork really needed something a little acidic to balance the fat: something pickled perhaps, or ceviche onion, or a tart apple sauce (green apple and verjuice compote?). The potato and greens were serviceable, but uninspired while the apple and fennel puree only occasionally had an apple hit.  As a dish, probably 7/10 but the pork… Perfect.

The average of the two dishes was a very reasonable Au$22.25 or US$16.25 all up. The final bill for the entire meal, with wine and beers, was very reasonable and much less than was expected.

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