The Nighthawk Diner at The Unicorn Hotel

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The Nighthawk Diner Verdict: 8/10

 

Beef Burger:  9/10

Chicken Burger: 8/10

Sides: 5/10

 

Why the Nighthawk Diner?

She says: I am going to claim this one as my find – I reckon I saw them first on the Instagram account of their food van, which has always looked pretty awesome. And we have had their burgers before – when they did a pop-up at the Icon Park venue on Stanely St, Darlinghurst (a myriad of issues including bad pictures and a number memory fading bourbon milkshakes ensured that the review from that visit never eventuated).

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He says: I’d heard and read myriad glowing reviews regarding the mobile van and pop up incarnations of these guys. As mentioned I hit up a recent pop up of theirs with the gorgeous She recently and really enjoyed the burgers and sides. Had big expectations of their new kitchen at The Unicorn Hotel (which they’ve claimed vehemently is not a pop-up but here to stay).

What did you order?

  • Cheeseburger – $16
  • Southern Fried Chicken Burger – $16
  • Buffalo Wings – 50c each (!!)
  • Chilli Fries – $8
  • PB & J Milkshake – $6

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Tell us about the Cheeseburger?

He says: This cheeky little fella made me feel like I was mainlining the culinary equivalent of euphoria. When I’m on my death bed and my life flashes before my eyes I’m pretty sure the patty and sauce on this burger will feature prominently. Very hard to fault and I can’t wait till the next time my mouth gets to annihilate it.

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She says: This cheeseburger was pretty special. Not your classic ‘cheeseburger’, the usual American cheese and meat patty were accompanied by butter lettuce, tomato and special sauce – and by god, that sauce was special. The deliciously soft bun and the most special of special sauces, as well as the rich, quality meat patty (that perfect marriage of chuck and brisket according to the menu) took this burger to the next level. Highly recommend!

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So then, how did you find the Southern Fried Chicken Burger?

She says: To be honest – when it saw this bad boy headed to our table I thought perhaps we had made a bad choice, or maybe they had messed up and served us a fish burger.  I’d not seen a chicken burger which had chicken which was so lightly  crumbed before. But this little baby was a taste sensation – lightly fried chicken with iceberg lettuce was kicked up a notch with the ‘Chipotle Barbie-Q Mayonnaise’. Same great bun as the beef this burger is totally worth a go.

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He says: This looked a nightmare but tasted like a dream. The chicken itself cradled the middle ground between a southern fried and lightly crumbed schnitzel style. The mayo had an addictive and unique tang and perfect complimented the chicken. Not meaning to sound like a broken record here but I can’t help but wonder just where this would sit in the grand pantheon of chicken burger land if they’d added a heap of cheese…..

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And what about the sides?

She says: Let’s get one thing straight – the peanut butter and jam milkshake was one of the very best milkshakes I have ever consumed in my entire life. Apart from that life changing milkshake however the sides were a bit of a letdown. Both the chili fires and the wings were cold when they got to us (and i know what you’re thinking, but we aren’t the types to let the food sit while take ages to photographs – photos are a two minute affair and we always pick at the sides pre-pictures anyway). And the wings were a bit too dry, they weren’t slathered with that finger licking, chin messing sauce that can make or break a wing.

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He says: I concur with Her regarding the peanut butter and jelly shake – off the freaking change ecstasy in liquid form (especially when you hit the bottom and could scoop out the glorious chunks). Unfortunately there were major issues with the fries and wings. The fries were almost stone cold and had a very strange cardboard like taste to them (seemed like an oil issue). The wings were dry, bland and also strangely cold. This was further baffling as we seemed to be the only ones in the hotel dining at the time. Maybe just a bad day in the kitchen on the sides department and considering the quality of the burgers our expectations were indeed very high.

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||106 Oxford Street Paddington Sydney 2021 || Menu  || Website ||

Opening times

Monday-Thursday 12pm – Late
Friday 12pm – 3am (no lock out)
Saturday 12pm- 3am (no lock out)
Sunday 12pm – 10pm

 

The Nighthawk Diner on Urbanspoon

The Tuckshop

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The Tuckshop Verdict: 8.5/10

Beef Burger: 9/10

Chicken Burger: 7/10

Sides: 7/10

 

 

Why the Tuck Shop?

She says: I saw this one popping up all over Instagram and of course He researched it through all the blogs. We agreed it was a must. Lucky for us our friends who live in Parramatta had a second beautiful baby who we were yet to meet so we combined the trip with a detour to Glennhaven. It was perhaps the hottest day of the year and although we sat outside, the heat is the only logical explanation for how we stupidly neglected to also order the cheese burger, the star of so many reviews!

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He says: So much blogging food porn has been afloat regarding this place. The arrival of a gorgeous new child for two of my favourite people in the world and the close proximity of their house in Parramatta to The Tuckshop had serendipity knocking on the door.

What did you order?

– Beef n Bacon Burger – $16

– Southern Spiced Grilled Chicken Burger – $14

– Malt Milkshake – $5

– Fresh Coconut – $6.5

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Tell us about the Beef n Bacon Burger?

He say: This little guy reached for the heavens and nearly hit the ceiling. Top notch patty mingled with to die for bacon and hunger levelling cheese (plus the fresh salad stuff). The tangy special sauce was generously administered and served to enhance the flavour of every other ingredient that it became involved with. A legend of a burger is born.

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She says: The bun on this burger, in fact on both burgers looked like brioche but was actually a really good, squishy, fingerprint retaining consistency that flattens right out and makes taking a bite easy and enjoyable. The meat was super tasty, not too oily and clearly good quality. It had that great caramelised, burnt bits taste that i love. The bacon added depth and salt, and the cheese provided a good tang and point of difference to make this an awesome burger. All of this with a small amount of fresh lettuce and tomato and this was a winner. Special burger, worth the long drive.

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So then, how did you find the Southern Spiced Grilled Chicken Burger?

She says: This was one of the better grilled chicken burgers we have had lately (still…hanging for a fried chook burg!). One of the major problems we have notices with grilled chicken burgers is a lack of sauce, however this burger laughed at a lack of sauce – it was slathered with awesome mayo and had a really well dressed slaw. Also, it wasn’t too much chicken, in fact it may have been just a bit to little, as to the end of my half i was munching on bread. Really solid example of a grilled burger.

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He says: Not ordering the cheeseburger regrets aside (we considered actually driving back a couple of hours later just to try it) this was a solid little burger. Have to stop complaining about grilled chicken in a burger if I keep ordering it. Unlike the last few I’ve had from a various places the chicken itself was juicy and tender as opposed to dry and the slaw and jalapenos gave it a good kick.

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And what about the sides?

She says: We didn’t order extra chips, having learnt our lesson over and over again and realising these burgers came with chips. The chips themselves were pretty good. One step up from your normal maccas style french fry, they were ‘old bay seasoned’ indicates is an actual brand. Anyway it was great, particularly with his predictable ordering of extra aioli. Oh, and of course we got drinks too – a malt milkshake (amazing) and a fresh coconut (I was heat mad and the coconut looked like the next best thing to the actual beach). Both were top notch!

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He says: If this is what Old bay seasoning in then feel free to coat anything and everything in it from this point on. The beautiful She is a massive malt fiend so the milkshake was a hit. Now if only we can get back here asap to try that friggin cheeseburger!


|| Shop 1/78 Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven NSW 2156 || Website  || Menu ||

The Tuckshop on Urbanspoon

1346 Venice [CLOSED]

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1346 Venice Verdict: 7.5/10

Beef Burger: 7/10

Chicken Burger: 6/10

Sides: 8/10

 

 

Why the 1346 Venice ?

She says:  This is close to my home suburb of Newton and…  okay okay, I can’t even pretend it wasn’t another of his finds. The venue is awesome. Great converted industrial space with beaten up old chairs, converted industrial machines and restored motorbikes. We turned up pretty much as   they opened. The people who worked there were really really lovely. Definitely the kind of place where you feel welcome and comfortable.

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He says: I’d read a few things online regarding Venice and the whole concept reeked of cool and, most importantly, the burgers looked boss. Although relatively quiet on the Saturday we attended there was a slick yet homely vibe coupled with super friendly and attentive service.

What did you order?

  • Juicy Lucy – $16
  • Chicken burger – $14
  • Hot wings – $5
  • Aioli
  • Apple juice and Jameson – $5

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Tell us about the Juicy Lucy ?

He say: After our last experience with a Jucy Lucy I nearly shuddered in dread when I saw it on the menu. Flashbacks aside my trepidation was to be overcome as what was served up was a perfectly acceptable burger. Special mention to the flavoursome patty and although I wouldn’t wax lyrical about the the burger, it sat in I certainly would have any issues devouring it all over again. Another solid addition to the burgeoning ‘American style’ burger infatuation currently booming in Sydney. Wish there was more cheese though as double cheese should be to a burger what Vladimir Putin is to dickheads – synonymous.

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She says: As a beef burger this was a solid contender. (It was not however a ‘Juicy Luicy’ where the beef paddy is usually stuffed with cheese – thank god!). The star of this burger was Americana trio of pickles, mustard and ketchup – giving it that great diner taste.  The patty was quality but it was all let down a bit by the bun which was a bit to dry for my liking. I would defs’ eat this again though. I think it would be fantastic as a hangover cure.

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So then, how did you find the Chicken Burger?

She says: Oh grilled chicken burgers… there always  seems to be a bit more grilled chicken than I require (I am beginning to think its me that is the problem) – and this was no exception. The chook was cooked well though, juicy and if you like that much chook you would be stoked. The bright red sauce had a chili capsicum flavour, again not to my tastes but well executed. There was also some kind of difficult to describe, cubed, green salad. Which was prettly nice, and added a good fresh crunch to the whole burger.

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He says: I just don’t think this was ever going to do it for me – grilled not fried chicken (this worrying trend is bordering on sacrilege now), no cheese (there is never any fucking excuse for that!) and a dominating capsicum sauce (straight up not a fan of ‘capsicum sauce’ on anything let alone a precious burger). In saying that it was all well cooked and compiled and I have a feeling I may know some types who might really get into this one. Matter of taste I guess.

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And what about the sides?

She says: two words – HOT. WINGS. Hot, sticky tangy hot wings. Gaaawh – these were awesome and come back to me in moments of hunger, or boredom, or simply moments of existing.  If they had a blue cheese sauce this would have been a 10 for me! The chips and aioli were also good but I only have eyes for hot wings. Oh, and the freshly made Apple juice and Jameson which was cheap as chips was puuuuurfect.

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He says: The chips and aioli were difficult to fault and really lifted the meal as a whole up. The buffalo wings were just the way I like them and their consumption certainly warranted the glorious hot sauce that clung to my face, hands, and and shirt at their completion. The fresh apple juice and Jamesons were refreshing, addictive and utterly delicious.


THIS VENUE HAS NOW CLOSED DOWN.

 

The Burger Project

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The Burger Project verdict: 7

 

Beef Burger: 7
Pork Belly Burger: 6.5
Sides: 8

 

Why The Burger Project?
She says: Because we won a competition! (I assume it was genuine and we won because of the beautiful 25 words or less that I wrote about my favorite burger “it was with my now boyfriend and made me realize he was a keeper”) We were stoked because have been watching the Instagram keenly, waiting for TBP to open.
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He Says: Because the marvellous She won a competition! Am a bit of a fan of the Neil Perry food empire so to say I was excited to devour the creations from his new outlet solely devoted to burgers would be the understatement of 2014!

IMG_5123What did you order?
– Bacon and cheese burger – $9.50
– Pork belly burger – $9.90
– Salt and vinigar thrice cooked chips – $4.90
– Chipotle chilli thrice cooked chips – $4.90
– Malted creme de leche milkshake – $6.50
– Mandarins house made soda – $4.50

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Tell us about the Bacon and Cheese burger?
She says: First thing – expectations for this one were high. This is a Neil Perry burger and though I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the Rockpool burger, I was ready for something pretty great. And it was pretty good  – but not crazy amazing mind blowing awesome. You can tell that the paddy is made with high quality meat and it was paired with a nice amount of a tangy cheese. The paddy though was a bit inconsistent in its shape – He and I always halve each burger and we swapped halves because the meat in my half was a bit too thick. Turns out, he had all the pickles too – which were a big draw card and added a of flavour. I would eat this again though, perhaps we were just privy to some first night jitters.
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He says: This was a solid addition to the burger scene in Sydney. I really was expecting it to blow my socks off (which it didn’t) but would be keen to see how it develops once they’ve been open for a little while (especially on an evening when there isn’t a line around the corner and it doesn’t resemble a refectory production line). Basically everything with this burger is solid (patty flavoursome and well cooked, double cheese kudos, tasty sauce) but nothing makes it all that memorable. Am hoping my next visit relegates it to the upper echelons of burger heaven.

IMG_5146So then, how did you find the Pork Belly Burger?
She says: If you have read many of our previous posts, you’ll see that we usually try one beef and one chicken burger, but it was always intended to be one beef and one ’something else’. This time we went for pork, at my insistence because we have had such a bad trot with the grilled chicken burgers lately. It was not my finest choice (particularly in light of all the love that the Burger Project Korean burger has been getting on other blogs). Huge ups to TBP for using free range pork though -I think you can definitely taste the difference. The meat itself was high quality, well cooked with crispy crackling.  A little less of the chill sauce and the addition of some mayo or other sauce would vastly be warmly welcomed by the team here at OBM.
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He Says: I won’t lie – I’m just not that much of a fan of pork belly in a burger. I’ve noticed a lot of the other bloggers have really enjoyed this one so it might just be a taste thing. I’m not sure if it was quite on point tonight either as the pork was a little dry and not much ‘crack’ in the crackling. As She mentioned I also definitely craved some kind of creamy sauce or mayo in there.

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And the sides? What were they like?

She says: The chipotle chilli and the salt and vinegar thrice cooked chips were both amazing. The three rounds of cooking makes them the most crunchy, decadent chips I have had for a while. Old school style, they come out recognisable as roughly chopped potatoes with skin on. They were a highlight. The salt and vinegar could have been more strongly seasoned but either way I was still happy with them. I loved the mandarin soda too. And the salted creme de leche shake was a killer. I would go back in a heartbeat for these sides. And perhaps they are an indication of the quality of this place – maybe with some time, we will go back and see how they are going after a few months of being open.

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|| Shop 11.06 World Square Shopping Centre, 644 George Street Sydney || Website || Menu ||

Hours: 11am – 10pm Monday – Sunday

Burger Project on Urbanspoon