The best meal in Cabramatta

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

OK, I realise that this article is subjective, and really, it should be called ‘My favourite meal in Cabramatta’. But in this world of attention grabbing clickbait, you’re lucky this isn’t a top ten list of Cabramatta related hashtags and GIFs that will inspire and shock you.

Cabramatta is one of my favourite places to visit in Sydney. It’s the first place I’ll try to take visitors to, and some friends who have come with me multiple times will groan when they get there because they know that I refuse to sit down for just one meal. I can’t do it. Every visit to Cabramatta is like a strange three hour long holiday where I need to walk up and down John St, stopping to eat, drink and shop along the way.

Over the next four weeks I’ll be highlighting some of the spots that I eat at almost every time I’m in Cabramatta. There will be some obvious picks (Tan Viet is coming up) and others less so, but I thought I’d kick this off by writing about three small spots that collectively contribute to my favourite meal in Cabramatta.

Let’s call this the Cabramatta Happy Meal – consisting of roast chicken banh mi from KK Bakery, a large fries from Red Lea Chicken and a sugarcane juice from Thu Phung N. If you want the complete package you can buy a cheap knockoff toy from one of the variety stores nearby.

The heart of this Happy Meal is the banh mi. I’ve eaten rolls from all of the banh mi joints in Cabra, and most of Sydney. In my banh mi adventures thus far, I’m yet to find a pork roll better than the one you find at Marrickville Pork Roll, but my overall favourite banh mi in Sydney is the roast chicken banh mi from KK Bakery. KK Bakery is hiding inside one of the many arcades that stem off John St. Each of these arcades houses a fruit market, a fish monger, a butcher and fabric store, but only one has a bakery!

What makes the roast chicken banh mi at KK special is the meat. Usually a chicken banh mi means dry chicken breast that’s been sitting in the fridge all day – at KK they only use marylands, roasted in a masterstock and then kept warm. They shred the super soft chicken to order and stuff it inside a fresh bread roll, with a huge spear of pickled daikon, carrots, pate, mayo, chilli, coriander and maggi seasoning. It’s a bold combo that burns its way through its flimsy paper bag faster than you can eat it, and will only cost you $4.

Next, walk over to Freedom Plaza where you’ll find Red Lea Chicken, the Cabramatta outlet of a franchise mostly found out west. You’re not here for the fried chicken though, you’re here for the best box of chips in Sydney. I was first recommended these chips by Dan Hong, who grew up smashing boxes of them after school, on his way to Thanh Binh, the restaurant his mother opened down the road. The crunchy Red Lea chips are covered in a bright red seasoning that’s a little spicy, very salty and will stain your fingers. How much can I write about a box of chips? They’re crucial to the Happy Meal and an easy inclusion at just $5 for a large.

Completing the Happy Meal is our drink, which can be acquired about 100 metres down Park Rd at Thu Phung N. There are a lot of places offering sugarcane juice in Cabramatta, but Thu Phung N does it best. The long sticks of sugarcane are juiced as soon as you order, flowing into a pit of ice and cumquats, which give the juice an awesome citrus kick. Cold, creamy and insanely refreshing, Thu Phung N’s sugarcane juice is also the cheapest, with a regular setting you back only $3.

Take your sandwich, fries and drink to a bench near the Friendship Arch (if you didn’t bring friends to share lunch with you’ll be at the best place to make some new ones) and enjoy your Happy Meal in the sun. It’s a great introduction to the incredible (and cheap) Vietnamese food on offer in Cabramatta. If you go get it within seven days, you can spare some room for the other essential meals from Cabramatta I’ll be writing about next week. See ya then.

Al Kalyk

KK Bakery, 2/85 John St, Cabramatta
Red Lea Chicken, 57 John Street, Cabramatta
Thu Phung N, 49 Park Road, Cabramatta

Mon-Sun, 8am-7pm

How much
Roast chicken banh mi, $4
Large fries, $5
Regular sugarcane juice, $3
Happiness = $12

RECIPE: Smoked Mortadella

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

“How much mortadella would you like?” asks the lady in the Coles deli section as she readies the slicer. “Um… all of it?” I reply, before walking out of the supermarket, holding my 4kg trophy of processed meat above my head.

I’d only seen smoked balogna on a menu once, at Payne’s BBQ in Memphis, and the thought of it was too terrifying to order. A hot slab of pink sponge, covered in sauce? My fear got the better of me and I ordered the pulled pork instead, the deliciousness of which only overwhelmed my immediate regret for a few hours, and I returned to Australia accepting that I would never know what smoked baloney tasted like.

Late last year I ordered one of the baloney sandwiches at ACME, which is actually some thin slices of mortadella on a fresh potato roll. I’ve since come to realise I’ve been living a fools life ever since Memphis: I could just smoke my own mortadella at home. I did it on Saturday night, it was out-of-control delicious, and here is how you join me in smoked pork product valhalla.

You will need:

A kettle bbq, like a Weber, or a smoker that you made out of a garbage bin
Hickory woodchips
4kg of mortadella

For the rub:

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
¼ cup salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp mustard powder

For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup treacle
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup American mustard
3 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped

Step 1

Light about eight beads of charcoal on one side of your BBQ. You wanna cook this mortadella on indirect heat. Keep it low and slow, no more than 120°c.

Take two handfuls of woodchips and soak them in water.

Step 2

Cut that gnarly red wrapping off the mortadella.

Use a knife to score the mortadella horizontally and vertically, cutting a couple of centimetres deep into the meat. Don’t forget to score the top and bottom of the mortadella as well.

Step 3

Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl, then rub it all over the mortadella.

Try your hardest to work the rub into all of the grooves that you just cut so the flavour gets right in there.

Step 4

It’s time to smoke! Put your prize piece of mortadella in the barbecue, on the opposite side that the hot coals are on. Drop some of the wet woodchips onto the coals and chuck the lid back on your BBQ.

Let the mortadella smoke for an hour, and go back to the kitchen to make some BBQ sauce. Heat the oil on medium-low in a pot and slowly cook the garlic until it softens, about five mins. Stir through all the other sauce ingredients, turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Leave the sauce to simmer while the mortadella cooks.

Step 5

Pour yourself a cup of the BBQ sauce (let the rest of it continue to simmer) and take it outside. Lift the lid off the BBQ and baste the mortadella with a nice coating of sauce.

Check the temp of the BBQ and add more coal if necessary. Throw another handful of woodchips onto the coals. Let the mortadella smoke for another two hours, adding more woodchips and re-basting with sauce every half hour. Your backyard should smell incredible.

Step 6

After the mortadella has cooked for at least three hours all up, lift the lid and it should look like this.

If you’re ready to eat, take it straight to the table, or wrap it in foil and keep it warm until you’re ready for morta-domination.

Step 7

Cut the mortadella into thick slices. Fight everyone over the crunchy end bits which have absorbed the most smoke. You put that effort in and cooked this thing, you deserve the best part.

Serve the mortadella on soft white rolls with pickles, coleslaw and the BBQ sauce. Throw caution to the goddamn wind and stack that mortadella HIGH. This is the very definition of a ‘sometimes food’ and you should definitely take advantage of that.

Leftover mortadella is inevitable and best served for breakfast the next day. Just heat a pan up, cut some slices and fry each side, knowing that bacon will never be good enough again.


To reward your stomach with exotic deliciousness

How much

4kg of mortadella will set you back about $40 and will feed approximately everyone you know



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In 2013 I made a hot mix of classic rock anthems called KOOL DAD FM. The stuff of legends, it took me three long years to put together the sequel but now I am proud to announce that KOOL DAD FM 2 is finally here, just in time for Father’s Day!

I’m throwing a party to celebrate the arrival of this incredible dad-venture in sound this Sunday at The Lord Gladstone. There’s gonna be all the ingredients for a good time: cheap tins, hot meats and dad rock classics. I even made merch! Come along and be the first to proudly own the official DJ Levins / Kool Dad FM beer cooler! Nothing says “I’ve bloody made it” like your name on a stubby holder!


Listen to the mix below or download the mp3 from here. Get in contact if you want a stubby holder but can’t make it to the party on Sunday and we’ll work something out. Thanks to McKinley for the artwork and the stubby holder design!


DRAGON april sun in cuba
THE SWEET love is like oxygen
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA sweet talkin’ woman
TALKING HEADS and she was
MEN AT WORK who can it be now?
INXS original sin
THE SPORTS don’t throw stones
BLUE OYSTER CULT burnin’ for you
SPLIT ENZ nobody takes me seriously
STEVE HARLEY & COCKNEY REBEL make me smile (come up and see me)
GREG KIHN the break up song
BILLY JOEL all for leyna
THE POLICE can’t stand losing you
RUPERT HOLMES escape (the pina colada song)
CHICAGO 25 or 6 to 4
SPIRIT i got a line on you
GOANNA solid rock
MIDNIGHT OIL king of the mountain
AEROSMITH dream on
STEVE MILLER BAND take the money and run
DONNIE IRIS ah! leah!
JO JO ZEP & THE FALCONS hit and run
WEEN even if you don’t
COLD CHISEL flame trees

I’ll do a rap mix next I promise.




Hey Fam..! is a weekly comedy / pop culture podcast that I host with content king and memelord Angus Truskett. Each week we talk about new movies, games, TV shows – mostly we just complain about how bad DC movies are these days. We regularly have guests on, like comedians Tommy Dassalo, Gen Fricker, Becky Lucas, Cameron James, Steele Saunders and more – most of which were featured on our massive live episode recorded at Giant Dwarf last year, which featured a live reading of a script Angus and I wrote for a long lost episode of Entourage (we used to spend 50% of each episode making jokes about Entourage, we still name every episode of Hey Fam after an episode of Entourage).



The Mitchen is a weekly podcast about food in Sydney. Each week, ACME‘s Mitch Orr and I sit down with some food industry legends and talk about their craft, how they started doing what they do and the issues facing the industry today. Plus I make lots of bad jokes. Some great episodes to start with are our manic live episode featuring Dan Hong and Mitch having a cook off, the episodes featuring Mark Best and Jeremy Strode, and this episode about tea.



Serious Issues is the official Kings Comics podcast – a comic book podcast that actually talks about comic books! Every week Siobhan Coombs and I read and review almost all the new issues of comics that come out (seriously it’s like 40 comics a week) and let you know which comics you should be reading too.





I played the Meredith Music Festival in Melbourne at the end of last year and some people were mad at my set so I was a bit of a dick to them online and a few people thought that was funny/newsworthy so for a hot December minute I was all over the internet.

I finally got my hands on the audio from the festival and uploaded my set. I really like it, it’s just a bunch of party songs with me telling a few shit jokes and farting out a few airhorns from time to time (the intro in particular is obnoxious as hell) but I’ve never uploaded a straight up party mix so have at it.

My Soundcloud got deleted for having too much fire on it and endangering the lives of others so it’s up for streaming on Mixcloud. Let me know in the comments if you want me to upload an mp3 of it somewhere and I’ll break the law for you.

Earlier today Thump put up a pretty funny piece about it all – ‘An Oral History of Levins’s Iconic Meredith 2015 Party Set‘. Read that while you listen. If you like this mix and would like to hear something like it in a club near you, get in touch using the contact form in the top corner.


KAMAIYAH how does it feel
YG feat DJ MUSTARD left, right
TRAVIS PORTER feat TYGA ayy ladies
JUVENILE feat LIL’ WAYNE and MANNIE FRESH back that azz up
HOT BOYS feat BIG TYMERS i need a hot girl
PARTNERS-IN-CRIME feat DJ JUBILEE n.o. block party
MAGNOLIA SHORTY monkey on tha dick
BIG FREEDIA azz everywhere
BIG FREEDIA rock around the clock
NICKY DA B hot potato style
NICKI MINAJ feat LIL’ WAYNE and DRAKE truffle butter
BASENJI can’t get enough
DRAKE feat MAJID JORDAN hold on, we’re going home
GYPTIAN hold yuh
KREPT & KONAN feat JEREMIH freak of the week (SEAN PAUL hype edit)
TINASHE all hands on deck
USHER good kisser
SAGE THE GEMINI feat JUSTIN BIEBER and IAMSU gas pedal (remix)
BEYONCE love on top
RIHANNA no love allowed (BIGGI & RAJEEV GUALTIERO zouk edit)
RICH GANG lifestyle
JAMIE XX feat POPCAAN and YOUNG THUG i know there’s gonna be (good times)
DEJ LOAF try me
DEJ LOAF back up
iHEART MEMPHIS hit the quan
RICH HOMIE QUAN flex (ooh, ooh, ooh)
T.I. what you know (CUTSO remix)
RAE SREMMURD feat NICKI MINAJ throw sum mo
BEYONCE drunk in love (JR BLENDER remix)
USHER climax (JR BLENDER remix)
RIHANNA where have you been (JR BLENDER remix)
FRANK OCEAN thinkin bout you (RYAN HEMSWORTH bootleg)
DRAKE hotline bling
SILENTO x ARIANA GRANDE whip it one last time (VAPORDOG x CASHMERE CAT bootleg)
JEREMIH pass dat
DRAKE feat RIHANNA take care
WHITNEY HOUSTON million dollar bill
CARIBOU odessa



I record a podcast every week called HEY FAM with my pal Angus Truskett. Every week we make jokes about all the hot content we’ve consumed, mostly geeking out over comic books, video games, movies, TV etc. We ask funny mates to come join us every other week, sometimes we even get on some actual industry people with real careers! Hey Fam is almost 20 episodes deep now, and I haven’t written about the podcast since episode eight, so here’s a stack of links and pics for the last nine episodes! The easiest way to hear them all is to subscribe on iTunes, but you can also stream it on Stitcher or on our Libsyn page. Enjoy hearing me waffle about things I love with people I love! Follow more of our adventures on the Hey Fam Facebook page.

rage eb

Episode 9: The Boys Are Back in Town (with Radge and Eb Yusuf)

Radge and Eb Yusuf spend half their time and all their money watching movies in Gold Class. They are the 1%, and the only people on the planet that liked the Fantastic Four movie, so we got them both on to discuss the best and worst of superhero movies, from the depths of Daredevil and Elektra to the soaring heights of The Winter Soldier. We also ask them to recommend TV shows to fill the True Detective sized hole in our hearts AND we respond to the biggest beef in podcast history – the heroes of Hey Fam versus those scum at the Blank Slate Movie Podcast!


Becky Lucas is a comedian and also the woman responsible for our LEWDEST EPISODE YET! Get ready for thrills, Wils and grills when we ask our first guest who doesn’t watch TV, see movies, play games or read comics to talk to us about TV, movies, games and comics! Marvel as we compare Disneyland to Banksy’s new art stinker ‘Dismal-land’, justify our embarrassing tattoos and serve up another hot slab of beef to our sworn enemies at The Blank Slate Movie Podcast!
This week we stole Lewi McKirdy, the voice of Australia’s youth, from the triple j studios and forced him to reveal unbelievable facts about himself to us over the course of 90 minutes. Did you know he’s an obsessive iPhone gamer who has at one point held the highest scores in the world for some apps? Or that he recently entered himself into a Mario Kart 64 tournament and has a man crush on a particularly beautiful Nintendo rep? Or that he was on an MTV reality show that saw him swap lives with an American farmer? Also, once he peed his pants on a flight to Hawaii. We learnt all these things about Lewi and learnt a few things about ourselves, like how Angus gets an abscess every time a Metal Gear Solid game comes out, or how Levins still doesn’t know if it’s Sex And The City or Sex And The City. Listen and learn with us, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about ~yourself~.
It’s our first all musical episode with our special guests, the Godfathers of Australian Dance Music: The Meeting Tree! We invited Joyride and Raph to talk about movies, TV, video games and comic books – but end up talking about the ARIA awards, memes and the fact that Raph hasn’t seen a movie since Avatar. Plus Joyride books flights to Brisbane during this episode and it’s an absolute thrill to listen to.
We invited Steele Saunders, comedian and host of the hit podcasts Steele Wars and I Love Green Guide Letters, into the Hey Fam studios and we made him cry! Actually, he made himself cry as he recounted his emotional journey through Hall H for this year’s Star Wars panel at ComicCon. It’s an all Star Wars episode this week, while Steele isn’t crying we get amped about The Force Awakens, go over the revisions made to the first trilogy and recount our Force Friday experiences. We actually interviewed a line of Star Wars fans out the front of a Toys ‘R’ Us for the midnight launch last week and crammed that into this jam packed episode too.


Goodgod goes totally 90s this Friday night for The Rhythm Of the Night! With an all star lineup across the entire venue from 9pm – playing 90s rap and RnB classix in the front bar and nothing but 90s dance anthems out the back. Featuring sets from Ariane, Beni, Harry Hunter, Matka, Tulett and me! In anticipation, I put together a playlist of ten horrible 90s dance crazes that are welcome to make their comeback this Friday night at Goodgod.


Tickets are still available for Friday but selling fast – get them from Moshtix before they sell out!

1. The Hammer Dance

I’m putting this one first because the best way to do the Hammer dance is while wearing Hammer pants – so this is your chance to run out and buy a pair before Friday. I’m sure you can still get them at Target.

2. The Las Ketchup

Latin fever was high on the charts in the late nineties – from Ricky Martin’s Cup of Life to Shakira’s small and humble breasts – but nothing featured a dance as infectious as this incredbly forgettable number one hit. Oh wait, except that one song…

3. The Macarena

Still the absolute highlight of every Moby Disc DJ’s wedding set, The Macarena dance moves are forever burned into the brains of every single person who spent even one second in the 90s.

4. The Rump Shaker

Anyone can shake their rump but you get bonus points if you do it while playing a saxaphone and wearing a bikini.

5. The Hamsterdance

The instructions for doing the Hamsterdance are vague at best – “stomp your feet” is almost immediately followed by “you don’t even have to move your feet” – but this high pitched, crudely drawn piece of shit captured the hearts of the entire world.

6. The Jiggy

This one is easier to do while staring into a camera the entire time, barely moving your lower body. Don’t get ahead of yourself and whip your hair back and forth! If anyone bumps into you while getting jiggy, feel free to punch them in the face and shout “welcome to earth!”.

7. 5, 6, 7, 8

Almost as big as the latin dance pop craze was the now thankfully forgotten country dance pop craze. Steps may have been a million times more easy on the eye than Rednex, but the infectious lyrics of 5, 6, 7, 8 are no less haunting than Cotton Eyed Joe. They almost made line dancing cool again except of course they fucking didn’t.

8. Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much

The Spice Girls needed somebody with a human touch in 1998 and this song helped people all over the world slow it down baby and have some fun with these easy to learn dance moves. This was the Spice Girls’ last single but their first song with dance moves attached to it. If you’re looking for something to blame for the Spice Girls break up, look no further than this dance.

9. The Bartman

Was this song and dance the best or worst thing The Simpsons was responsible for in the early 90s? Do people still carry this song around on their walkman to hijack otherwise boring dance recitals?

10. The Carlton

If enough people bring candles will we be prepared to play Tom Jones just so everybody can do the Carlton. We might even install a staircase for the full effect.

OTHER DANCES WELCOME THIS FRIDAY INCLUDE: The Urkel Dance, The Train, The Humpty Dance, The Achy Breaky Heart, The Tootsie Roll, Da Dip, Vogueing.

Originally posted on Two Thousand.

The Mitchen: a podcast about FOOD

TheMitchen1400I’ve started another podcast! This one’s called The Mitchen​! It’s a weekly panel about food, hosted by ACME‘s head chef Mitchell Orr​ and I from his his kitchen table, with four guests from the food world joining us each episode to discuss food and restaurant news.


For our first episode we are joined by four talented and hilarious chefs – Mike Eggert (Pinbone), Analiese Gregory (ACME, ex-Quay), Kerby Craig (Ume) and Clayton Eggert (Automata, ex-Momofuku Seiobo). Together we mourn the recent closure of Pinbone, find out how to pronounce Clayton’s new restuarant, react to the news of Noma hosting a pop-up restaurant in Sydney next year, argue over our favourite sandwiches and take a few shots at our good friend Dan Hong.

Subscribe to The Mitchen on iTunes or stream episodes from our Libsyn page. Throw us a like on Facebook too! New episodes up every week!

Two new eppys of HEY FAM!


Two weeks have passed, which means there’ve been two more episodes of my smash hit podcast Hey Fam..! Both episodes feature my co-host Angus Truskett and I shredding it up with bonafide Melbourne comedians. Subscribe to Hey Fam on iTunes or stream those shits below! No girls ALLOWED (until next week).


Episode 7: The Scene (with Tommy Dassalo)

Levins and (sober) Angus are joined by Melbourne mate Tommy Dassalo, host of The Little Dum Dum Club Podcast. We think about the things that make YOU think, including that second last eppy of True Detective, the abomination that is Pixels vs. the Adam Sandler movies we grew up with, Nintendo in Japan and how hard it is keeping up with Ballers every week. Plus we introduce multiple new segments, like the enthralling DREAMCAST and the extremely next level MAKES U THINK.


Episode 8: New York (with Stuart Daulman)

Hey Fam is eight episodes old! We celebrate by cutting us a birthday slice of Melbourne comedian (ugh we know, another one) Stuart Daulman. Together we dissect that final episode of True Detective season two and take a look at the season overall. Did we love it? Who do we want for season three? Is there any other podcast in the game that will spend a solid 20 minutes recasting The Sandlot Kids for a new generation? We answer all these questions PLUS give you some tight chats about Star Wars, The Beatles and our favourite laneways of Melbourne.

Subscribe to Hey Fam..! on iTunes or stream it on our Libsyn page.

My new podcast: Hey Fam!


I’ve started a new podcast, three years after the death of my short lived Hip Hoptimists podcast with Franco. This new one is called Hey Fam..! and I host it with with my good friend Angus Truskett, the genius behind my favourite Facebook page, Plucka Duck Memes. Each week we hang out in his living room and talk about all the pop culture we’ve ingested over the past week – movies, tv shows, comics, video games etc etc. Recording the podcast has become the highlight of my week and we’ve started getting guests to join us in Angus’s living room.

You can subscribe on iTunes (and leave a review if you like it!) or listen to each episode individually below. Thanks fam!

Episode 1: Entourage

For our very first episode we slap on a few classic Entourage eps and talk about the new season of True Detective, our reservations regarding the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, the emotional rollercoaster that is being a Nintendo fan and our favourite lines (AKA every single line) in The Rock’s new HBO sitcom Ballers.


Episode 2: The Review

Episode 2! Levins and Angus get deeeeep into Pixar’s new movie Inside Out, catch up on the latest True Detective (and Ballers obviously), discuss the recent Spider-Man and Marvel comics news and compare Arkham Knight to Yoshi’s Wooly World.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.51.25 am

Episode 3: Talk Show

We’re back! Angus and Levins check in on Vinnie and the boys before going through the highlights of the latest episodes of Ballers and True Dickies. Angus tries to convince Levins to buy a PS4, we go through the latest Star Wars news (and comics!) and try to work out what those darn Minions are all about!

Episode 4: Date Night (with Gen Fricker)

Angus and Levins welcome the first ever guest to Hey Fam HQ: comedian Gen Fricker! She brings with her some hot takes on Magic Mike XXL, we reflect on the new DC previews from Comic-Con, read the new Archie comic, catch up on True Detective and pay homage to gaming legend Satoru Iwata.

Episode 5: The Script and the Sherpa (with Siobhan Coombs)

This week the babybros are joined by comics guru Siobhan Coombs for A long look back at the work of Geoff Johns after it was announced he was co-writing the new Batman movie! We also review Marvel’s latest flick Ant-Man, dissect another episode of True Detective and make some bold predictions for the future of Ballers!

Episode 6: Busey and the Beach (with Henry Stone)

Our first drunk episode! The fam is joined by Henry Stone, former YouTube star and host of our rival podcast The Blank Slate Movie Podcast. Angus plays a drinking game where he drinks whenever Levins says something. We discuss the latest episode of True Detective, Henry’s habit of finishing the Arkham games a day after they’re released, the dark side of the extended Star Wars universe and work out what the funniest part of the male anatomy is. Oh yeeeeah!

Subscribe to Hey Fam..! on iTunes or stream it on our Libsyn page.