The Best of the West (so far)

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Six months ago I made a promise to both you and my stomach that Two Thousand’s EATDRINK section would widen its reach (while widening my stomach). For every review of a new restaurant opening in the new restaurant thunderdome that is the stretch of Newtown to the CBD, we would write about an incredible institution out in the suburbs. Specifically, the Western Suburbs.

Now, maybe I’ve lost my way in the last few weeks, writing about Vegemite pizzas and Maccas cafes when I should’ve been in the burbs, but here are some of the best meals I ate in 2014, all out west where the miracles happen. Plan a day trip and see how many can eat at in 12 hours. Less than six and you’re soft.

2015 UPDATE:

For the last six months we’ve made it a bit of a mission statement to expand the reach of our restaurant write ups. For every brand new Merivale mansion or CBD based fusion hot spot, we’ve featured a classic eatery from the true heart of Sydney: the Western Suburbs.

Some would call it a pilgrimage to find the realest food Sydney has to offer, others would call this Parramatta based editor too lazy to go to the city every week, but one thing is certain: listed below are 20 of the best joints in town, all of which are worth visiting, preferably all on the same day.

Consult these articles before roadtripping out west for some outrageously good Vietnamese in Bankstown and Cabramatta, supremely satisfying Lebanese in Granville and the best African food you can find in Merrylands. You see those little red dots ten centimetres from the city in our directory? That’s real progress, people. Delicious progress.


The best 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.”

Phu Quoc

“I love a good spring roll, and would say that Phu Quoc is where you’ll find the best ones in Sydney. The cha gio come long and thick, stacked on your plate and surrounded by herbs. They’ve spent a nice amount of time slowly deep frying, the layer of rice paper developing an impressive and golden crunch.”

Que Huong

“Que Huong keeps things crunchy, even after a prolonged swim in the spicy fish sauce. Make sure you get a plate of banh khot, cute little deep fried cakes with a school prawn sitting proudly on top. Like banh xeo, the cakes are eaten with herbs and lettuce, but their insides are gooey and coconutty!”

Tan Viet Noodle House

“Tan Viet Noodle House is probably the most popular and famous restaurant in Cabramatta. But nobody goes there for the noodles. They go there for the fried chicken.”


El Jannah

“If you have leftover garlic sauce do not take it home – you will eat it with a spoon and have nightmares for a week.”

Abla’s Pastries

“The real Abla’s magic happens at 1am on a Sunday, there’s always a few families and friends enjoying a coffee and some baklawa, like it’s the most normal thing in the world to do at 1am.”

Afran Lebnan Bakery

“The plain manoush goes through the oven with a thick smear of za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix with sesame seeds and olive oil. When it comes out you can cut it up like a pizza, or roll it up with tomatoes, mint and olives.”


New Star Kebab

“I’ve eaten the mixed shish plate from New Star Kebab at 11am, 3pm and 12:30am. It’s a thing of beauty. Three skewers of meat (chicken, lamb and minced beef, all expertly cooked over charcoal for all to see) sit atop a pile of various salads and a stack of freshly made Turkish bread.”


Lao Village

“Nam Khao is the Laotian take on fried rice and they don’t mess around – balls of rice are deep fried, then busted into bits and served with pieces of sour pork, coconut, peanuts and herbs. As soon as you sit down you should order two plates of it, planning to order one more later in your meal.”


Sky Mountain Hand Made Noodle Restaurant

“The highlight of the meal is a giant plate of multi-textured plants, meats and miscellany (delicious miscellany), carefully arranged around a bowl of ‘family sauce’. The dish had a great name, but all I can remember about it is the family sauce, a vaguely vinegary satay-like liquid that was poured over the other parts of the dish.”

Harris Park

Taj Indian Sweets & Restaurant

“Taj’s is one of the few places in Sydney that serve puri – an amazing south Indian snack that comes in different variations. At Taj’s you can get pani puri; small crunchy balls filled with chickpeas, potatoes, chutneys and tamarind water, bhel puri; puffed rice with chickpeas, vegetables, tamarind and mint sauce and sev puri, crackers topped with all of those aforementioned ingredients.”


Pho An

“The meat at Pho An in Bankstown is incredible. Thin, raw and abundant, it’s just one of the supporting actors in a bowl of pho tai. The star of the show is the broth, a rich, hearty and slightly sweet stock that will effectively ruin every other bowl of pho you eat in Sydney.”

THY Vietnamese Eatery

“Banh cuon is Thy’s signature dish. Freshly steamed rice pastry, rolled loosely around minced pork and chopped mushrooms. On the side there’s thick slices of Vietnamese ham, a pale processed meat with a sponginess that goes well with the wet rice pastry, broken into pieces with your hands and stuffed into your mouth after a brief dip into the sauce bowl.”

Nhu Y Juice Bar

“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.”

Bay Ngo

“Everyone’s got their favourite banh mi spot. That magical place that can feed you a football’s worth of meat, carbs and vegies for less than five bucks. For mine, the best pork roll can be found at Marrickville Pork Roll and the best chicken banh mi is at KK Bakery in Cabramatta. But the best all rounder? Is that something that any sane person should care about? Probably not, but I will fight anyone at my height or shorter who tries to tell me that Sydney has a better overall banh mi spot than Bay Ngo in Bankstown.”


El Shaddai

“El Shaddai specialises in West African cuisine – you can tell this when you walk in due to the smell of ginger and hot spices, plus the Nigerian dancehall videos showing on the TV. It looks like a humble takeaway joint from the outside – and those looking for humble takeaway food will find cheap fish and chips on the menu – but the rest of the fare is proper sit down knife and fork stuff.”

Aaboll Cafe

“So excited was I when I found out about the existence of Aaboll Cafe that I didn’t even curse the heavens for learning about a restaurant just ten minutes from my house from a fucking Broadsheet article, instead cancelling plans so I could go for dinner there that night.”


Boom Chicken and Bing Master

“Boom Chicken and Bing Master is one of the many fast food options in the underground strip that connects Westfield to Parramatta station. They offer two things: Taiwanese fried chicken (aka Boom Chicken) and jian bings, which their name states they are the masters of. Where Mr Bing’s menu inspires you to sample as much of it as possible, here your eyes are drawn to one thing only: The Boom Chicken Bing. Taiwanese fried chicken wrapped in an eggy crepe. Have Good Food Guide ever given somewhere four hats?”


Mister Gee Burger Truck

“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.”

Phu Quoc, Cabramatta

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Spring rolls. Not the frozen ones that come out for special occasions like your second cousin’s wedding reception at Hornsby RSL, vaguely crispy and filled with a mix of potatoes and sea water, drowning in a sauce as sweet as it is inexplicably red. Vietnamese spring rolls (not to be confused with the cold rice paper rolls served at your second cousin’s outdoor engagement party) are an improvement on their dull fried counterparts in every way. They look better, they taste better and you better order two plates of them when you visit Phu Quoc.

Last week I wrote about the best meal in Cabramatta and this week I’m going to do the exact same thing. There are a lot of best meals in Cabramatta and I love a good cop out. I also love a good spring roll, and would say that Phu Quoc is where you’ll find the best ones in Sydney. The cha gio come long and thick, stacked on your plate and surrounded by herbs. They’ve spent a nice amount of time slowly deep frying, the layer of rice paper developing an impressive and golden crunch. The pork inside is juicy and fatty, which is nicely balanced by wrapping the spring roll in herbs and lettuce, then dipping in nuoc cham dressing.

Phu Quoc (and Cabra in general) is a great place to visit if you like using your hands to eat (personally I would put hands at the top of my overly complicated hierarchy of eating utensils, which will no doubt be outlined in coming weeks). There’s no shortage of dishes here that are to be wrapped by hand in herbs, lettuce and rice paper (to varying success depending on your complete and utter whiteness). The sugar cane prawns here are some of the best in town and make sure you don’t go past the fresh rice pastry (banh uot). For those of us desperate to use chopsticks to eat, you have the option of consuming pretty much an entire duck in a salad that’ll only set you back $15.

After your meal, the bill is sent to your table with a Mintie for each of your dining partners. While “we just smashed an incredible Vietnamese meal in a super friendly restaurant” is hardly what you’d call a moment for which you’d need Minties, the gesture just cements Phu Quoc as one of the spots in Cabra you’ve gotta visit again and again.

WhereShop 11, 117 John Street, Cabramatta
WhenMon-Sun, 9am-9pm

REVIEW: El Jannah

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

When my now father-in-law suggested to my now-wife and I that we move to an apartment that he owned in Granville, we laughed it off. Thanks for the offer, John, but Granville? Way too far away. We’ll stick to paying $600 a week for an apartment we hate in Paddington, surrounded by nothing but shit cafes and dogs we can’t own because our head of strata is about 200 years old.

John brought up his offer a few times in the following weeks. In every conversation he’d tried to sell us on Granville as a suburb. His main argument was El Jannah, an incredible charcoal chicken spot near the station. It was a successful motivator, but it wasn’t the chicken that convinced us to move. It was their garlic sauce.

You could smell the smoke from El Jannah from the balcony of our new place. We were excited to make it our local – but so were our families and close friends, who visited us throughout the first fortnight we were there, insisting they bring us El Jannah for lunch. After less than a month of living in Granville, we never wanted to eat ‘the reason we moved there’ again.

We broke that promise to ourselves a good hundred or so times in the almost three years we’ve called Granville home. Charred pieces of El Jannah chicken made appearances at picnics and parties that we couldn’t be bothered to cook for. I regularly walked home from the station with a chicken roll in my hand and garlic on my breath. We made our way through the various skewers on the menu, which take about ten times longer to serve than the chicken does.

We’re moving out of our Granville apartment tomorrow so we went for one last big feed at El Jannah while we still lived around the corner. It’s the best way to eat there, get a crew, sit outside and order big. We got a whole chicken, which comes with Lebanese bread, pickles and garlic sauce, plus a side order of hommous, babaganouj and tabouli. And some chips and falafel. We ordered big.

You tear a piece of bread, smear it with hommous (which I think is the best hommous you can get in Sydney, it’s so thick and rich with tahini), then add an additional extra large smear of the garlic sauce, an addictive creamy paste that’s made from just garlic and olive oil (if you have leftover garlic sauce do not take it home – you will eat it with a spoon and have nightmares for a week). Next you rip into a piece of chicken (the thigh is always best), placing pieces of charred, smoky skin alongside the juicy meat. Top the meat with a couple of pickles, both green and pink. The pink ones are white turnip spears, turned pink by adding a piece of beetroot to the pickling jar. Sneak in a few hot chips, covered in chicken salt, next to the pickles because you’re an adult who can make their own decisions. Spoon some tabouli over the top, roll it up and eat it, spilling half the roll over your pants. Try your hardest to save some room for something sweet from Abla’s up the road.

El Jannah is a Granville institution, one that is slowly branching out and opening stores in Punchbowl and Blacktown. There are other charcoal chicken stores in Granville but I refuse to go to them (unless the line is REALLY long). I’ll miss being five minutes walk from a perfect chicken roll, waking up and smelling the glorious charcoal smoke from my open window, using everything in my power not to smear the half finished tubs of garlic sauce in my fridge on every carbohydrate in the house. No matter how far away I live from Granville, it’ll only take having severe garlic breath to remind me of being neighbours with my old mate El Jannah.

REVIEW: Abla’s Pastries, Granville

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

The outside of Abla’s Pastries is pretty underwhelming, its brown walls and dark tinted windows taking up one of the busier corners in Granville. It almost doesn’t look open – but it’s actually open for 18 hours of the day, from 7:30 in the morning until 1:30 at night. You can walk in and risk getting diabetes from a single visit whenever you like.

Past the (also tinted) automatic doors Abla’s is a different story – fluorescent lights illuminate every millimetre of the always decorated store. Towers of Lebanese sweets wrapped in colourful foil line the walls and are stacked on top of the long counter that stretches from the entrance right down to the kitchen, and within that counter is the reason you should go to Abla’s.

Abla’s hours are long because they are continuously baking an unbelievable variety of Lebanese pastries. Some of them are easily recognisable, like one of the ten varieties of baklawa, rolls of crispy pastry stuffed with pistachios or cashews and soaked with sugar, others I’ve not seen anywhere else in Sydney, like the magnificent karbooj, a huge semolina and pistachio pie topped with a beyond generous slab of white meringue.

You can sit in at Abla’s and enjoy a way too big slice of sweetness with a coffee, or you can order takeaway sweets by weight, making your way from one end of the counter to the other, pointing at various displays and mangling the Arabic names of each sweet as you order. If you’re sitting in, make sure you try halawat al jobn, a crazy concoction of slow cooked mozzarella cheese in sugar and semolina, topped with ashta, a clotted cream. For takeaway you’ve gotta get a few fresh lady’s arms (znoud el sit), deep fried pasty filled with ashta, soaked in sugar syrup. My favourite sweet of all is ballorieh, a simple take on baklawa with pistachios between two sheets of kataifi pastry, which looks like vermicelli noodles!

Pop into Abla’s after a meal at El Jannah down the road and get some takeaway – a plate of about 10 sweets will set you back less than $15 and makes a great little gift to anybody that doesn’t already have diabetes. The real Abla’s magic happens at 1am on a Sunday, there’s always a few families and friends enjoying a coffee and some baklawa, like it’s the most normal thing in the world to do at 1am. Enjoy it before they impose a lockout (yes I am slightly concerned about ending this article with a barely topical joke that probably won’t make any sense a year from now THE END).

REVIEW: Coogee Pavilion

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Pizza. Burgers. Juice Bar. Ping Pong. We’re only at the entrance to Coogee Pavilion and we’ve already read the first of many strange combinations we’ll experience during our one hour visit. Before the recent Merivale refurb, Coogee Pavilion was known as the Beach Palace Hotel, where the strangest combination you’d find, repeatedly, was backpackers and vomit.

A fistful of millions later and Coogee Pavilion stands proudly over the beach, defiant in the face of a miserably overcast August afternoon. It looks incredible inside. Was the Beach Palace Hotel this enormous, or did Merivale spend those millions on warping space and time itself so they could fit everything inside here? Each slight turn of your head reveals three entirely new vendors within Coogee Pavilion – on your left there’s a cocktail bar, a flower market and fresh sushi, directly in front of you is fresh organic juice, a coffee stand and a pizza oven, to the right is a bar, a barber and whatever the hell a theatrette is. It’s like Justin Hemmes wrote down every single thing you could buy in Coogee and made sure you could get it in the Pavilion.

We take a seat in the middle of this nautically themed David Jones food court and realise there’s also a games area for kids up the back, with ping pong, a small library and a giant Scrabble board. What Coogee Pavilion lacks in good beers on tap it makes up for in literally everything else, and we enjoy some incredible fresh oysters with our drinks, freshly shucked by the someone someplace over there (the barber?) who brings them over to us after getting a triple word score for C O L L O S A L.

It’s a common complaint of visitors to Coogee that there just isn’t anywhere that you can get fresh sashimi followed by traditional wood fired pizza, but Coogee Pavilion offers both. The pizza is fantastic, thin, crispy and perfectly charred. The Coogee Diner burger also gets the thumbs up, reminding us of a Shake Shack burger, however the secret sauce contains a dollop of hot English mustard which made us wonder if it came to us via the sushi bar and received some accidental wasabi. The ‘roll’ part of our mini lobster roll dominated the ‘lobster’ part, and was far from bad, but at $18 it only further confirmed that Australian menus just shouldn’t include lobster rolls – leave it for other parts of the world where ten bucks gets you a whole lobster on a hot dog bun.

We left Coogee Pavilion happy and will return again for some more weird combos. We barely scratched the surface of what’s on offer – and this is just the beginning, there’s still two more levels of Coogee Pavilion which won’t be open for a few more months. Our guess is that they’ll include an IMAX cinema, an Olympic-size swimming pool and an international airport.

REVIEW: Bar De Thé

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Darlinghurst’s newest venue Bar De Thé can be pretty accurately summed up by one of its off-menu cocktails: the gold leaf martini. It’s a standard American martini, but for 20 minutes, head bartender Ana Page will carefully wrap your martini glass in gold leaf. It doesn’t affect the taste at all, but it does cost $100.

‘Style over substance’ is hardly a new concept when it comes to eating and drinking in the Eastern Suburbs. Bar De Thé’s style is hilariously extravagant, from the bow ties on the bar staff to the floor-to-ceiling marble (has anybody tried to rack up on the wall yet?), yet the substance behind all the extravagance is quite good.

Martinis make up most of the drinks menu, and the classics are excellent – dirty, wet or with an olive wrapped in delicious gold leaf (for the paltry sum of $40 it’s a much more affordable way to waste your money). The signature martinis range from acceptably adventurous to kale-infused, the ‘Six Bébé’ with Vietnamese mint and lime being the standout.

The bar menu (and full dining menu downstairs at Salon De Thé) is French-Vietnamese, which means some of the dishes have the word ‘Vietnamese’ in their menu description. Our jasmine rice chips were delivered to our table looking like polenta fries, but are thankfully ten billion times tastier than polenta fries – crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Just another “this might have been shit but it’s actually really good!” moment that Bar De Thé may become famous for.

REVIEW: LUXE Woollahra

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Queens Court used to be home to Bills of Woollahra. Every Sunday morning, tourists would flock to the cafe to see Woollahra residents in their most natural habitat, ordering Bills’ famously overrated scrambled eggs and the obligatory plate of fries for the table as they complained about their fat sons losing their rugby matches that morning.

Last year Woollahra got a lot less Woollahra-y when Bills shut its doors. In its place we got Luxe, the little franchise that could, who years ago was just a sandwich spot in Bondi Junction. Now Luxe has two Bondi locations, a cafe in Newtown and this new Woollahra bar and cafe.

Fill your plate from the mountains of salads at the bar, then order some meat from the kitchen. The lamb kebab, skewered with rosemary, looks great, but isn’t big on taste. The kingfish comes grilled and surrounded by veggies, couscous and harissa in a proud bowl of excellence.

At the end of the mostly healthy menu sits an awesome surprise – the deep fried apple pie, an absolute must for anyone who has ever dreamed of a Macca’s in Woollahra.

REVIEW: LP’s Quality Meats

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

It’s so disappointing to see the state of ‘American BBQ’ in Sydney. How could we have treated one of the world’s best cuisines with such disrespect? Instead of it being celebrated we treat it with an ‘avoid at all costs’ mentality whenever we see it (and its more misused associate: ‘pulled pork’) written on a menu, entirely due to it becoming a buzzword used by restaurants who didn’t know the first thing about the practice of ‘cue.

When Luke Powell, the ‘LP’ behind new Chippendale restaurant LP’s Quality Meats, announced that his new spot would specialise in smoked meats, he was quick to point out that he would not be serving American BBQ – and as mouth wateringly good as the smoked meats on offer at LP’s are, it’s a real bummer because LP’s Quality Meats could well have been Sydney’s first genuinely good American BBQ joint (they even have a Southern Pride smoker!).

That said, the smoked meats on offer aren’t too far from American fare. In fact, the beef short ribs, soft and tender with an impressively pink smoke ring, rival the beef on offer at Franklin BBQ, the current reigning champ of the best BBQ in Texas. Equally impressive is the chicken, which is smokey as hell without being dry at all.

Less American are the cured and cold cuts on offer – the coppa di testa and bierwurst are delicious, but neither were as memorable as the belly ham. LP’s few vegetarian options are the sides, best of which are the kale with chickpeas and the extremely addictive mashed potato and gravy.

Pouding Chomuer is LP’s solo dessert offering, for good reason too – it’s incredible. Simple, rich and great to look at, it sums up everything on offer at LP’s Quality Meats. We can’t wait to return – even if they start doing pulled pork.

Jonkanoo Canteen at Goodgod Small Club

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

For three years I ran a restaurant inside Goodgod Small Club. Up until last weekend, we were called The Dip and we were one of just three million spots in Sydney with an American diner menu. After a monumental send off, The Dip died and just three days later Goodgod had welcomed a new eatery to its tropical insides.

That eatery is Jonkanoo Canteen, a more casual version of the Jonkanoo restaurant in Surry Hills, which opened at the start of this year with a huge menu boasting dishes from Trinidad, the Bahamas and Haiti. Jonkanoo Canteen’s menu is broken into five categories – all of which feature the word ‘ting’, which is fun for people who like abbreviations that don’t really save any time. ‘Small Tings’ offers fried plantains, jerk wings and oysters – making Goodgod Sydney’s first nightclub where you can enjoy an oyster on the dancefloor. In ‘Jerk Tings’ you’ll find a selection of deliciously spicy and smoky jerked meats, marinated for days in head chef Damion Brown’s secret family sauce. Those looking for something a little more burger-y will be happy with a Cubano or fish torta, found under ‘Bread An Ting’.

All of Jonkanoo Canteen’s dishes go great with their huge selection of Caribbean hot sauces – or you can douse your entire plate in their homemade ‘Jamaican gravy’, which is made in rum bottles with malt vinegar, scotch bonnet peppers, pickled vegetables and rum. It might not be gravy but it goes great with chips (you’ll find those under ‘Small Tings’ as papas fritas).

Goodgod has made sure Jonkanoo Canteen feels extra welcome with a few new licks of paint. The front bar now looks more vibrant than ever, with colourful lights, huge bench seats and hand painted decorations surrounding the dance floor. Next time you’re shaking your butt at Goodgod, make sure you do it with a Jamaican oyster in your hand.

REVIEW: New Star Kebab

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Sydney is a massive city. Like really big – over 600 suburbs make it up. But if you look at our directory, or map out the restaurants featured on other websites, you’ll mostly see the same ten suburbs over and over. Focusing on new restaurants and bars means returning to the same postcodes, as a new pop up pops up where that old pop up used to pop. Sydney’s most popular suburbs open and close their restaurants pretty frequently – while the further away from the city you go, you’ll find restaurants and food vendors who have been around for so many decades that they’ve become an institution. Yet these are the spots that you’ll rarely find on websites like ours that are supposed to direct people to the greatest places to eat in their city.

So from now on we’re gonna start looking at some of the best spots to eat when you’re in a postcode that isn’t 2010 or 2042. I’m talking about 2166, 2142 and 2144 – the last of which is the postcode that we’re eating at today. Fire up your Opal Card, we’re headed out to Auburn for some cheap and amazing Turkish food.

Auburn’s main street is so happening that they named it after themselves, and a common site on Auburn Rd is charcoal smoke billowing onto the footpath. The smoke comes from several Turkish restaurants, and New Star Kebab is in the middle of the three most prominent billows of smoke, in between Sofra Kebabs and Brothers Kebab (further up the road you’ll find the Turkish restaurant Mado, which we’ll write about really soon).

I’ve eaten the mixed shish plate from New Star Kebab at 11am, 3pm and 12:30am. This place opens every day at 7am and stays open until at least 1am every night – busier nights will see it stay open till 2 – and it’s always the same legendary staff behind the counter, serving the same incredible food.

The mixed shish plate is a thing of beauty. Three skewers of meat (chicken, lamb and minced beef, all expertly cooked over charcoal for all to see) sit atop a pile of various salads and a stack of freshly made Turkish bread. There’s a huge oven out the back of New Star that cooks hundreds of soft, fresh loaves of bread each hour. If you watch the dude on the grill you’ll notice that he doesn’t use tongs or an oven mitt to handle the meat – he grabs it with a piece of bread, sopping up all those good juices before smacking it down on your plate to soak up even more of those aforementioned good juices. The salads are great too, as are the grilled tomato and grilled jalapeño – which is usually mildly spicy but one time I couldn’t talk for about three minutes after I was caught off guard by a rogue grilled chilli.

In the instance that you get burnt, fret not – by the counter you’ll see a huge vat of drinking yoghurt, perfect for dousing off rogue spice. Next to it is an equally big vat of a sweet lemon drink, and both of these beverages are served in gigantic mugs proudly bearing the New Star logo.

There’s a lot more to explore and love on New Star’s menu, from numerous delicious vegetarian boreks and pides, to pizzas the size of a child, covered in enough shawarma meat to kill off eleven hangovers. Pull up a plastic seat sometime and breathe in that sweet charcoal smoke.

Where 15 Auburn Road, Auburn
When Mon-Sun 7am-1am
How much $23 for a mixed shish plate, less than $10 for almost everything else
Contact 9643 8433