REVIEW: Nhu Y Juice Bar, Bankstown

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

“I remember when I drank my first avocado”, I’ll say to my grandchildren 30 years from now, sipping a cold green beverage through a gigantic straw from styrofoam cup. “Back in my day most of us used to only eat avocado in guacamole, or we’d pay nine bucks for half an avocado smooshed onto toast with a bit of lemon drizzled over the top! Nobody even imagined it could be a dessert.”

Eating avocados is just one of the many things they do better than us in South Asia. Never will you see a thin smear of avocado hidden beneath a few layers of cheap ham. Instead an avocado is a decadent dessert. In the Philippines it’s common to slice one in half after dinner and fill the hole left by the seed with condensed milk. Simple, sweet and rich – this combo is made even better when blended with ice and poured into styrofoam, as is done on the streets of Vietnam, Thailand and Bankstown.

An avocado shake is one of the smoothie options available at Nhu Y Juice Bar but if half a litre of thick green caramel seems a bit much, maybe selecting four different fruits to be buzzed until they become a fun shade of browny pink is more appealing? My go-to fruit combo is strawberries, rockmelon, lychees and pineapple, and you’ll be pleased to see that there’s no kale in the mix. They keep smoothies fun at Nhu Y.

45 Old Town Plaza, Bankstown

Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

How much

The Darling Jerky Co.

I once sat in the passenger seat of a car driving from Sydney to Canberra one night and watched the driver demolish two bags of Jack Link’s BBQ beef jerky before we even got to Goulburn. An hour out of Canberra, we made a pitstop at a Caltex where he was disappointed to find that they only had bags of teriyaki beef jerky left. He bought two anyway and they were empty by Queanbeyan.

It’s easy to snigger at the word ‘handcrafted’ on The Darling Jerky Co’s labels, but when word association immediately links ‘jerky’ to ‘service station’, you’ve gotta work a little harder to let people know that your product is something special. Desperate measures have to be taken, and we should be glad that the word ‘artisinal’ doesn’t feature on the label as well.

Beneath the label are thick meaty chunks of flavour country, dehydrated bars that rehydrate after a few chews, releasing one of two flavours on offer: Original or Pickleburger. Original is a classic smokey flavour with the slight zing of lemon and habanero, Pickleburger tastes like a Macca’s cheeseburger turned into a Space Food Stick. Both are available by the quarter kilo, or together as a half kilo, which would easily last an entire Sydney to Canberra run.

Available online

How much
$40 for a quarter kilo bag

REVIEW: Yang’s Malaysian Food Truck

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

I’ve whinged about the state of Sydney’s food trucks before. Something that should’ve been so easy was made to be so hard, life sucks, woe is us etc. The only food truck we’ve written about in the past year is in the middle of Burwood, surrounded by darkness. On the rare occurrence that I hear about a new food truck in Sydney, my immediate reaction is “ugh! Too hard!”, then I crawl under my desk and eat an entire box of Jatz.

Yang’s Malaysian Food Truck must’ve been reading my LiveJournal, because they’ve started parking out the front of our office and sending alluring laksa smells directly to my desk. You win this round, food trucks.

Where most food trucks offer a bakers trio (four) items, Yang’s tiny truck is a clown car that pumps out ten different dishes and six different drinks. Taking your entire office with you and insisting they each order something different so you can try everything is highly recommended.

Make sure you start with the Hainan hot wings, battered and fried with a side of ginger, cucumber and ginger. Move onto a roti dahl which can be eaten like the messiest taco of your life. Six dollars is an absolute steal for the nasi lemak, a hot box of rice, egg, sambal, peanuts and crisp anchovies. Avoid the Ramli beef slider, a little burger that tastes more like an old sausage and egg McMuffin than it does Malaysian. Everything is cheap, cheerful and served in nutritious styrofoam boxes. Best enjoyed on the grass in Harmony Park while dogs look on with jealousy.

If only all food trucks would make an effort to operate next door to where I am most of the week. Instead of the hard to navigate Sydney Food Trucks schedule, can I suggest the City of Sydney put up our own weekly schedules so that the food trucks have to find us?


Throughout Sydney CBD, see their schedule here

How much

From $5

REVIEW: Mr Gee Burger Truck

Remember food trucks in Sydney? We were all so excited about becoming a food truck city! At the beginning of 2012 I made a pact that I would stop eating at restaurants like a gross old person and exclusively eat meals sold to me from a moving vehicle. Then Sydney council decided to set the dumbest parameters imaginable and my food-truck-only diet was dead in the water before the year had barely started. While there are a gem or two (shout out to the Nighthawk Diner!), a majority of Sydney’s food truck ‘revolution’ offered disappointingly average food or ginormous pictures of Masterchef hosts emblazoned on their walls.

In some of America’s best food truck cities, you can buy a taco from a truck parked in a car wash that’s closed for the day. The car wash washes cars from 9-5, the sun goes down, a truck drives up, sets up some stools and sells tacos until the sun comes up again.

By night, Burwood Deluxe Car Wash is home to Sydney’s newest food truck, Mister Gee Burger Truck. Pulling up on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm, Mister Gee offers a burger, fries and shake on a menu that changes week to week. Last week’s burger was the ‘Truffe’ burger, with beef, cheese and truffle mayo, their fries were ‘dirty fries’, covered with cheese, salsa and mayo and the shake on offer was a baklava flavoured. We ordered all three and took a seat on a milkcrate in the parking lot. It was a tremendous vibe, surrounded by 30 others taking advantage of said milkcrates and vibe.

The Truffe burger was somewhere between a classic Aussie and a classic American, in a soft bread roll, cheesy, meaty and thankfully not overpowered by truffle flavour – instead the truffle added richness to the whole package. On the opposite end were the lightness of the fries/salsa combo, but then we were back in rich town again for the super caramelly baklava shake, sweet and milky with little flecks of baklava crunch. Really awesome.

Do you own a car wash? Get in touch with a homeless food truck and give them somewhere to live. You’ll be doing Sydney a great service, just like Mister Gee Burger Truck.

55c Shaftesbury Rd, Burwood

Thu-Sat, 7pm till they sell out

How much
$10 for a burger

REVIEW: Sydney Kopitiam Cafe

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

File this one under: small Malaysian joints with smaller kitchens that miraculously pump out an almost impossibly large amount of dishes (alongside Yang’s Food Truck and hopefully a growing list as we become Sydney’s premier online guide for Malaysian hotspots).

I’ve walked past Kopitiam a good hundred times and never once thought to go inside, the unremarkable shopfront somehow overpowering the incredible smells coming from within. Maybe I knew how overwhelmed I’d be by the menu, a double sided A4 laminate with no less than 60 dishes on offer. One hot and frothy sweet milk tea was all I needed to calm my mind and focus on the dishes that needed to be ordered the most.

There’s probably not a bad dish on the menu, although the cheap price will effect the quality of certain elements – a ten dollar prawn dish will always taste like a ten dollar prawn dish, but a ten dollar pork belly dish can taste at least double that when stewed with taro and served sweet, sticky and decadent. Nasi lemak, nasi goreng and other Malay staples are on point, celebratorily so given the price point.

Kopitiam is a long running, family owned business and the friendly personalities of the owners shine brightly on the walls, amidst hand written menus and photo collages. This might be Sydney’s only proper ‘dive bar’, and they don’t even sell booze.

592-594 Harris Street, Ultimo

Mon-Sun 12-3pm, Tue-Sun 6-9:30pm

How much
$12 a head

REVIEW: Brooklyn Boy Bagels

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

Things that are in Matraville:

-The high school that our former Premier Bob Carr went to
– 100 years of ANZAC history
– Brooklyn Boy Bagels

You may have eaten a Brooklyn Boy Bagel at the markets over the last few years. A labour of love for ex New Yorker Michael Shafran, who decided to fill Sydney’s bagel shaped hole by perfecting a true NY style bagel at his kitchen in Matraville, then selling them each weekend at markets around Sydney, including Marrickville, Manly and Frenchs Forest. After boiling and baking some ten thousand bagels from his boarded window commercial kitchen, Michael installed a shopfront and opened the Brooklyn Boy Bagel cafe earlier this year.

A stencil of Travis Bickle is somehow more welcoming than the anthropomorphic spray can out the front of the shop but once inside the aroma of hot baked goods is all the welcome mat you need. On the shelves are bagels topped with various seeds (when in doubt, always order the ‘everything’ bagel), which can be cut in half, filled with ham, salmon or variations of the word ‘schmear’. There are also pretzels, rye and challah bread, sandwiches, celery sodas and salted caramel babkas: irresistible sticks of dough, sweet and sticky with caramel.

Earlier in the year I’d be hard pressed to come up with many reasons to visit Matraville (and I’m a HUGE Bob Carr buff) but I can think of at least ten reasons to visit now – and all of them come out of the ovens at Brooklyn Boy Bagels.

448 Bunnerong Rd, Matraville

Mon-Thu 7am-3pm, Fri-Sun 7am-4pm

How much
Bagels from $4.50

REVIEW: Waterman’s Lobster Co.

A lobster roll? In Sydney? I’ve been burned before and spend most of my nights crying myself to sleep over our city’s inability to cram a bunch of cold lobster meat into a hot dog bun and charge me twenty bucks for it.

Someone’s been listening to my midnight sobbing, as the last few months have seen two new lobster-roll-dominant menus launch in Sydney. One of them has a fun name and will be featured in the future, the other has the considerably less fun name that you can see above.

“You know it’s imported, right” barks a disgruntled Potts Point resident as she walks past my lobster-roll-chomping co-worker, before flying into the night while cackling about the success of the lock-out laws. The lobsters at Waterman’s are sourced from Maine, home to a sweeter lobster than the ones that swim in the Pacific. It’s just one of the many steps the restaurant takes to ensure their rolls are as authentic as possible – showcasing the quality of the lobster meat without overpowering it with the other ingredients. You’ll find just warm lobster, butter and a little lemon in the Maine style roll, while the Connecticut option boasts mayonnaise and celery. Much to the surprise of the others at my table, who spend most of their nights being surprised at boring tidbits, I found the Connecticut style lobster roll to be the better of the two, the creaminess of the mayo allowing the cool lobster meat to shine a little brighter.

Did I wish there was a little more meat on the roll? Did I wish they baked a New England style bun, the perfect buttered vessel? Should I spend less time obsessing over pointless minutae? The answer to all those questions is yes. But! Did I spend that night crying myself to sleep? No. The lobster rolls at Waterman’s are the real deal, and just one of the many marine creatures worth eating on the menu, which includes rolls filled with scallops and pork floss and fish rillettes served with pickled carrots and saltines. Washed down with a truly great spritz from the bar (sparkling wine with peach, orgeat and lemon), and Waterman’s Lobster Co. gives you more than enough reasons to chase down that disgruntled local and cram a lobster roll down her mouth (just ask if she’d prefer Maine or Connecticut style first).

5/29 Orwell St, Potts Point
Mon-Sat 12pm-late, Sun 10am-6pm
How much

REVIEW: Burger Liquor Lobster

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

I feel like you’ll be able to buy unicorn dumplings before somewhere serves a proper lobster roll in Sydney. Every few months somewhere new pops up offering their take on the coastal American classic, and these takes can range from the roll containing more potato than it does lobster to a quaint little bun the size of a cupcake.

A lobster roll is simple and can be perfected with just three ingredients: lobster, butter and a hot dog bun. Specifically: fresh lobster meat, slathered in butter, heaped into a warm hot dog bun. If you visit Maine, Connecticut or Nova Scotia, a lobster roll will set you back somewhere between five and ten bucks, with a pickle and some potato chips on the side. If you’re in New York you’ll be able to find the same thing for about double the money. If you’re in Australia you’ll find something completely different for about three times the price.

Burger Liquor Lobster opened last week, in the space above the London Hotel in Paddington. My eyes immediately ignored the first two words of their name. Their menu is divided into three sections, with the lobster portion offering a lobster roll, popcorn lobster, a lobster cobb salad and for some reason, crab and prawn burgers. All the lobster-y options cost $15. I ordered all three of them, because the L in YOLO stands for lobster.

No piercing screams were heard from the kitchen as my three course lobster meal was prepared and after a short wait it was brought to the table. The three dishes each featured salt and pepper lobster – this was deep fried chunks of frozen lobster meat, which I should’ve figured given the price point. On its own, the salt and pepper lobster is crunchy, salty and vaguely fishy. Dipped in lemon aioli, it’s a decent drinking snack. If you’ve ever wondered what deep fried seafood and blue cheese taste like together, try the lobster cobb salad.

The lobster roll features the salt and pepper bites in a hot dog bun with lettuce, onion, aioli and chives. They haven’t been dishonest – it is lobster in a roll, therefore it is a lobster roll. But it’s not the lobster roll that I cry myself asleep about each night, this seemingly simple dish that, due to the cost of fresh lobster in Australia, is anything but.

I realise that Burger Liquor Deep Fried Seafood doesn’t have as nice a ring to it, and that maybe I should just give up on my dream of eating a proper lobster roll in the Southern Hemisphere. Pass the unicorn dumplings.


85 Underwood St, Paddington


Mon-Sat, 12pm-12am

How much


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


REVIEW: Happy as Larry Pizza Truck

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

Sydney’s food truck scene is actually getting good! Who saw that coming? There’s Mister Gee’s serving up very decent burgers, Yang’s and their impossibly large selection of Malaysian snacks, and now we have Happy as Larry, a pizza truck responsible for pizzas that you’d place up there with Sydney’s best.

Size wise, Happy as Larry puts all other Sydney food trucks to shame. If there was ever a food truck monster derby, you’d put all your money on the Happy-as-Larry-mobile. It’s huge, big enough to house a genuine woodfired oven and still provide enough room for the 6ish staff to dance around in.

Two of those staff members might look a little familiar – the two chefs used to work at Newtown’s Gigi Pizzeria and know their way around a Napoletana approved pizza. You’ll find a handful of traditional pies on the menu (margherita, marinara, mushroom) and then a handful of wildcards, like the lasagne pizza, topped with beef ragu and parmesan. They’re all served on that perfect charred ‘n’ chewy base, that fills your stomach up with delicious carbs while miraculously always leaving room for “just one more” hot slice.

You might find Happy as Larry at a music festival in the future, the only good food option at an otherwise uninspiring event. But you should try your hardest to seek them out – lately they’ve been setting up shop at a carpark on Bexley on Saturday nights (479 Forest Rd), where crowds are encouraged to pull up a milkcrate and smash an entire Nutella calzone by themselves.

Where Around. Follow them on Instagram to find them.

How much From $14

Contact Facebook

Related links Website