Tag Archives: cheap eats

Foogoo, Lane Cove

(August 2018) Lane Cove food is on the up.  There’s been a spate of new openings in the last twelve months, prompting even the likes of Terry Durack to venture to this side of the bridge.  Foogoo, a modern Chinese diner, is among them and we’re here to exchange some post Europe travel stories with some friends.  A rustic style clock with French text gives away the venue’s previous incarnation, and it’s simply but pleasantly decked out.

And as we marvel with our friends over the fact that we bumped into each other in the Vatican, where some 25,000 people set foot each day, we enjoy some very tasty Chinese.  The ingredients are very obviously fresh, the quality good, and the service quite pleasant.  And we love that it is BYO. Pricing was very reasonable, though the serves are on the smaller side and we could have ordered a couple more dishes for our bottomless pit Small People, but even then it’s a good value meal and you can eat here for $30 a head or less.

The crispy soft shell crab is exactly that and not at all oily as it often is at many restaurants.  The chilli and lemon salt give it a lovely flavour.

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And we were very happy with our soupy xialongbao.  There are plenty of dumplings on the menu if you’re in the mood for pure yum cha.

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Also on the menu:
Delicately steamed barramundi with ginger and shallot

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Kung pao chicken with a pleasant but not overpowering amount of heat

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Wok fried black pepper fillet with oyster mushrooms and blackbean – I loved this

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We all really liked the Shanghai style dry noodle with shallot oil, sweet soy and crispy shrimp

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And there was a good amount of tasty BBQ pork in the special fried rice.

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The steamed Asian greens were so fresh.

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It’s a good addition to the ‘hood, and we’ll be back to try the rest of the menu.

Foogoo, 94B Longueville Road Lane Cove, Ph (02) 7900 7081

Johnny Lobster, Crows Nest

When I heard about a place serving Maine style lobster rolls in nearby Crows Nest, I had to check it out.  Johnny Lobster is its name – its a cute, fun, casual eatery with an appealing menu.  You can eat in or takeaway, and I thought the prices were very good.

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The lobster roll at $20 is the most expensive item on the menu.  It is bigger than I expected, with an excellent brioche bun and fresh, succulent lobster.  People will even cross the bridge for this.

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The other dishes are good too, served with a very fresh, crisp salad.  The salad dressing needs a little work (just tastes like oil has been squirted on it) but its a minor thing in the scheme of it, considering the place has only been open a week. I note on the menu it says all the seafood is from sustainable sources.

Grilled fish with salad – you’d have to be pretty happy with this for lunch or dinner at $10.80

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Chilli octopus and salt and pepper squid

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Soft shell crab

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Thrice cooked hand cut chips – forget your new year’s resolutions and diet, and grab a bowl.  Seriously good.

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I’d say its going to be a hit.

Johnny Lobster, 48 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
http://johnnylobster.com.au/

Johnny Lobster on Urbanspoon

Chur Burger – Sydney’s finest?

Ok, so I’m the last person with a food blog in the Southern hemisphere, and possibly the universe, to try and then write about Chur Burger. Well, I’ve been busy, and also I’m not a burger fanatic so don’t go traipsing around Sydney especially for them. In case there is someone out there who has been trapped in a cave for several months, Chur is the burger haven of Warren Turnbull. He had the fine diner Assiette, decided fine dining was dead, opened the more casual Albion Street Kitchen, which then got burnt down in a fire (awful). He decided then he’d go with a casual burger joint, which by all accounts has paid handsomely, selling over 3,000 of the $10 burgers a week, plus fries $5, and $8 milkshakes. Never have I seen so much hype about a bun cut in half with a slab of something in the middle. Parlour Burger subsequently pretty much copied this formula (but theirs are definitely smaller for the same price, and less preferable).

I didn’t go to the original Surry Hills venue, but stumbled across their new one at Manly Wharf, near Papi Chulo. We tried the beef (with cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle), the fish (with pickled cucumber, lemon mayo, and dill), and the pulled pork (with Chur BBQ sauce, red slaw, fennel mayo). What did we think? Not as mindblowing as the huge amount of raving led us to expect. The classic beef was my pick and the one I liked most – good quality meat and liked the tomato jam, this one is a good feed. And the others? The fish was decent but a touch underseasoned, the pork was very tender, but was missing the mark on flavour and was probably slightly on the sweet side. The brioche buns are probably a touch too soft and also seem more suited to something sweet. So I can’t proclaim this the best burger in Sydney, but I haven’t really tried enough to compare.  For $10 its not bad, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.  For $10 I’d probably prefer Asian noodles from one of Sydney’s many holes in the wall that dish up great cheap food.

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Chur Burger, Manly Wharf Hotel, Surry Hills, and Paddington
http://www.churburger.com.au

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Stain @ The Cove, Lane Cove North

Following the successful Stain @ The Hill, the experienced team have opened up a second venue in Lane Cove North. There’s a lovely outdoor balcony, a play area with some equipment for the kids, and a good stretch of grass in front.  The balcony was a very pleasant place to sit on a nice Summer’s day.

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The breakfast menu has plenty to appeal and is well priced, as are the children’s selections.

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Coffee is good and the food was great! Pictured below, clockwise are – scrambled eggs with salmon, feta scrambled eggs with black toast, French toast with yoghurt, nuts and maple syrup (absolutely delicious), and avocado toast with poached eggs.

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While the lady who welcomed us was lovely and warm, our waiter was unfortunately very very grumpy, rude and abrupt. Maybe he didn’t like us? I’m hoping he was just having a bad day, as this has to be one of the best breakfasts in the 2066 postcode.

Stain @ The Cove, Corner of Mowbray and Felton Avenue, Ph (02) 9427 8083
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stain-Cafe-Lane-Cove/1432090903676419?fref=ts

Stain @ the Cove on Urbanspoon

Parlour Burger, Sydney CBD

It’s a pretty simple formula at Parlour Burger, Sean Connolly’s offshoot of The Morrison and right next door to it. The burgers, each a tenner, a few sides, order at the bar and grab a number, then take a seat. He apparently decided to do this after noticing they were selling large volumes of The Morrison Burger a week, though I’m sure the much talked of success of Chur Burger – who has a similar formula – helped.

The menu is short and sweet – five burgers, four sides .

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Pictured in order, we tried the chicken, fish and black widow burger (there is some kind of charcoal added to the bun to make it black). You’ll notice straight away that they aren’t big burgers, slightly bigger than a slider, so if you’re a big eater or very hungry one probably won’t do the trick. I liked the chicken and quinoa that I tried, but found the ceasar mayo too salty. My dining companions gave theirs the thumbs up.

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The fries, I thought, were incredibly small for $8 – this photo is before we’d eaten any, they weren’t half finished (have a look at the photo on their website! Ours is not the heaped plate depicted!). And they were nothing special, so give them a miss.
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What I did like was the cabbage slaw, finely sliced and with a good acidic dressing.
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So the verdict – it is “ok”. The burgers aren’t going to blow your mind, but for a quick, unfussy meal, it’s not bad, and I’d come here before Bridge Street Garage.

Parlour Burger, 225 George Street, Sydney, ph 02 9247 6744
http://parlourburger.com.au/

Parlour Burger on Urbanspoon

Pottery Green Bakers (with a side of pho), Lane Cove

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My local little homestyle bakery, the kids are pretty partial to the cupcakes and gingerbread men; you’ll also find meringues, lamingtons, and plenty of other sweet treats as well as pies, quiches and sausage rolls if you’re after something savoury, and of course a selection of bread. Me, I’m a fan of their oversized sultana scones – light and not too sweet.

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Keeping true to their Vietnamese roots, the Tran family have introduced beef and chicken pho to the menu, $12. Pho at a bakery? Well, why not. Its a generous, steaming bowl, with plenty of fresh herbs and chilli sauce on the side for extra heat. The broth isn’t as flavoursome as other pho I’ve had, and the chicken is a little tough, but its a filling meal; I notice most people order the beef version, so maybe this is the better of the two.

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The better pick in my mind is the Vietnamese Pork Roll ($8). Cased in a crunchy bread roll, its packed with a generous amount of salad with a tangy dressing, and worth a try.

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Pottery Green Bakers, 112 Longueville Road, Lane Cove, Ph 02 9420 4793
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