Jack’s Newtown

IMG_6927Jacks verdict: 9/10

 

Beef Burger: 9/10

Other Beef Burger: 9/10

Vegetarian Burger: 6/10

Sides: 8/10

 

So why Jacks?

She says:  I have been obsessed with this place ever since it was a kebab shop that closed because it was vandalised. He used to claim that the kebab shop was superior to Istanbul down the road but I have stood by my boy Istanbul because I am 100% sure it saved me from alcohol poisoning in my early 20s a million times over. He and I stalked this place every day it was under renovation and when we were popped our heads in during the renos and the lady inside informed us that it would be a ‘fast food’ restaurant we had our fingers and toes crossed for burgers. And we were pumped when the neon sign was revealed and our dreams came true.

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He says: This place is located literally around the corner from our house and after hearing that it was ‘fast food’ moving into the space we’ve been peering in for months trying to decipher what would open up. When the doors opened and there was talk of them being Sydney’s answer to Shake Shack we were there for their first Saturday of service.

What did you order?

  • Cheeseburger with Onion  – $11
  • Bacon Cheeseburger – $12
  • Vegetarian Burger – $11
  • Crinkle Cut Fries – $5
  • Pistachio Frozen Custard Shake – $?

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Tell us about the Cheeseburger with Onion?

He says: Immediately hit with what is up there with the most flavoursome patty in the city – perfect salt to meat ratio on this one and it disintegrated into my mouth. My bun was a bit on the doughy side and I could have done with double the amount of sauce provided. The onions gave a great crunch. All in all a very welcome addition to the burgeoning Sydney burger scene.

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She saysI loved this. The bun is awesome, almost the sweetest milk bun I have had, but it worked. The bottom was soggy but it actually didn’t bother me. The meat was cooked well and the lettuce had a good crunch. I was dubious about the fried onions but they were a really good addition – added a bit more crunch and another flavour level. Great burger – highly recommend.

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So then, how did you find Bacon Cheeseburger?

She says: Very much like the cheeseburger with onion but without onion and with bacon. It is hard to pick favourites between these burgers as they are both very similar but I think the juicy, flavourful thick cut bacon takes this one over the line for me. This will sit in the hall of great burgers of my life. Love it and have been trying to drop it into conversations casually to entice people to come back to Jack’s with me.

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He says: Great quality bacon that formed an effective team with that aforementioned patty. My bun on this one was a little better but could have done with being a little softer. Again not enough sauce for my liking.

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Wow – you have three burgers?? Well, what are your thoughts on the Vegetarian Burger?

She says: It was after eating this burger that the insightful He and I realized that we have no place reviewing vegetarian burgers. The answer to us trying a vego burg will always be ‘It was good, but it could have done with some meat’. This burger had the same bun, sauce and salad elements as the other two angels but the patty was a rice and bean patty that fell apart as you ate it. It was to me, a very strange choice.

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He says: Hard to judge as I wouldn’t normally order this but the patty (seemed like it was made of rice and black beans) had a strange texture and taste that I didn’t think went all that well with the rest of the burger. I’d come back here for the cheeseburgers but in the off chance I was craving a vego burger I’d go around the corner for Raven’s Eye’s tempeh number.

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Now, what about the sides?

She says: Crinkle cut fries make normal fires look like idiots. They are far superior. These were golden and seasoned perfectly. In the war of the fries I would join the crinkle cut army and I would die for their cause (unless there was a waffle fry contingent, in which case things could get complicated). Oh and that Pistachio Frozen Custard Shake – get outta town, it was awesome. Just a slight pistachio flavor, it wasn’t too sweet but it was good and thick.

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He says: High points for the frozen custard shake having a great consistency and not overdoing it on the sweetness front. The crinkle cut fries were simple but delicious (and must be dunked in a side of the burger sauce!).

|| 170 Missenden Road, Newtown, NSW, 2042 || https://instagram.com/jacksnewtown/ ||

HOURS: Open seven days, 12pm – 12pm

 

 

Jack's Newtown Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Huxtaburger Pop Up (Sydney)

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Huxtaburger Pop Up verdict 8.5/10

Beef Burger: 8.5/10
Other Beef Burger: 9/10

Chicken Burger: 7/10

Sides: 6/10

 

So why the Huxtaburger pop up?

She says: I have been waiting to try Huxtaburger for ages. Particularity since He killed it on the radio in an interview about recent comments by David Chang about Australian burgers with the Chef from Huxtaburger not so long ago (yep, for real). Also I have drooled over their Instagram many, many times and the fact that we braved the line process, (not just  line but a ‘process’ given that really three lines, a name taking exercise and a ordering and retrieving stage) for one and a half hours is indicative of my level of commitment particularly in light of our recent 5 minute line effort with the Ume pop up. I should mention though that there was popcorn delivered to the line at regular interview by the friendly staff and really it wasn’t THAT painful.

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He says:  Safe to say that it feels like there’s been a burgeoning swarm of people banging on about Huxtaburger for what feels like eternity. The Sydney pop up craze continues and with it provides me an opportunity to inhale the Huxtagoodness. Excitement was at it’s peak (and kind of needed to be as we queued up for an hour and a half which is shithouse no matter how you look at it).

What did you order?

  • Huxtaburger Burger – $9.50
  • Theo Burger- $12
  • Claire Burger – $13
  • Crinkle Cut Chipotle Chips – $4

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Tell us about the Huxtaburger Burger?

He says:  Like a Hungry Jacks burger with top shelf ingredients and that is by no means a criticism. Great combo of flavours in a bun that felt like it would disintegrate in my mouth. Slightly marred by a patty that was overcooked – it was perfect pink on the outside but a little charred and even crispy on the outside. Weird.
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She says: No complaints from me. This burger was a  made up of a beef patty (I didn’t have the same issue with the patty as He) with lashings of  mustard, mayo and tomato sauce. It had nice fresh  tomato and lettuce and was topped off with some tangy pickles and American cheese. I loved it from its super squishy outer bun to its saucy middle of goodness.

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So then, how did you find the Theo Burger?

She says:  This one was definitely the winner – just more of everything, slightly bigger and some bacon which really stood its ground and look at it, what a beauty queen!

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He says: My pick of the night. Basically the Huxtaburger with the addition of bacon and BBQ sauce. The bacon made all the difference and I’ll always have a soft spot for the way mayo and BBQ sauce mingle together. Would love to try this in one of their Melbourne restaurants to garner the quality.

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And can you share your thoughts on the Clair Burger?

He says: Thought this would be a little stronger. The chicken was more on the warm side than hot, the slaw was average and there was too much of it and I was expecting more kick  and flavour from the jalapeño mayo.

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She says: This is one of those rare occasions where I have to say I disagree with him. I really liked this little guy (maybe its Stockholm Syndrome – see above re ‘Line Process’), I liked the way they did the slaw – it was chopped up and lathered in sauce rather than sliced. I thought the fried chicken was spot on.

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And what about the sides?

She says: Oh my – its a sad day when crinkle cut fries fail to impress me. These were soggy and unremarkable. We did have quite a bit of burger to get through so really, its probably a good thing.

He says: Epic let down. Basic crinkle cut fries which didn’t have enough chipotle and were cold as soon as they arrived.


|| http://www.huxtaburger.com.au || Check website for address details in Victoria ||

HOURS

This was a pop upheld for one weekend only (25th & 26th July) at Harpoon Harrys in Sydney. (Cross your fingers for more!)

The Royal Albert Hotel

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The Royal Albert Hotel Verdict: 7.5/10

Beef Burger: 8/10

Chicken Burger: 6/10

Sides: 8.5/10

 

Why this place?

She says: We have had a couple of people leave comments and send us emails about this one (shout out to Enrico particularly!). I realised once we turned up that I had eaten some dumplings out the back previously and was pleasantly surprised by the contrast between my previous experience and this one.IMG_6051

He says: This had been running around my head as a place to chow down on burgers for some time. The photos I’d seen looked on the delicious side and the location fitted in perfectly with our plans for the remainder of the day.

What did you order?

  • Royale with cheese, double patty, streaky bacon and fries: $16.50 (bacon $2.50)
  • Chicken Katsu Burger with fries: $14

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Tell us about the Royale with cheese?

He says: In a show of beauty and selflessness the wonderful She informed me that she didn’t mind if we went for a double patty today (which is not so much her thing but most definitely mine). This was a decent little burger but with just a little bit of tinkering and care could have lifted it’s level big time. The patties had a great flavour to them but were overcooked to buggery. The bun also seemed a little stale, the cheese could have afforded to have been melted and there must have been a pickle scarcity in the kitchen that day because the quarter one we got was nothing like the whole ones I’d seen in all the pictures. In saying that the although overcooked but undeniably tasty patty was a perfect match to sensational special sauce and the addition of streaky bacon soothed my stomach and soul.   

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She says: It really was an act of charity to agree to the double patty, He is right. One may think that a two patty burger easily becomes a single patty burger of just as high quality when one paddy is removed but one would be wrong because one would forget the amount of cheese and sauce the second patty takes with it. I did keep that in mind though and was willing to be kind to this burger on that basis. Big stand-outs for me in this burger were the pickles and special sauce. I think I may have got the pickle half, which was great for me (sorry to my He!) and the sauce was plentiful and delicious. The meat was a bit dry for me and crumbled a little too much for my taste. As always, I wanted more sauce (we noticed too late that there was a whole bottle of the special sauce at the cutlery station that we could have helped our selves to).

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So then, how did you find the Chicken Katsu Burger?

She says:  The chicken in this burger was a bit bizarre – my notes say ‘Weird salty chicken square’. It was covered in a really fine coating of crumbs, almost like a fish finger. The ton katsu sauce was great (but I do have a soft spot for that sweet goodness). I didn’t really like this one so much but I do feel like this would be a burger you could get a strange craving for late at night, in the same way that you (or maybe just me) sometimes get a craving for fish fingers in the early hours of the morning.

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He says: This was a strange experience. Everything in the burger when tasted on it’s own was great but when brought together seemed a little lost. Compared to a similar chicken Katsu burger we had at Bonarche  this was nowhere near being in the same league. I think the issue was the katsu sauce, which had a weird balance of sweetness. The chicken itself also had a processed chicken nugget vibe to it.

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And what about the sides?

He says: The only sides in the menu were the crinkle cut fries that accompany each burger and boy were they good. Although not breaking any new ground they served as a potent reminder of just how good perfectly cooked golden brown crinkle cut chips taste covered in salt and doused in sauce actually are.

She says: GREAT CHIPS. They had those chips that you can fossick through time and time again and keep finding crunchy, awesome gold. Do it for the chips. And maybe just to experience the weird salty chicken square.

|| Corner of Commonwealth and Reservoir Streets, Surry Hills, || www.royalalberthotel.com.au || 02 92812522 || info@royalalberthotel.com.au ||

 


HOURS:

Monday – Saturday: 12pm-12am

Sunday: 12pm-10am

 

Royal Albert Hotel on Urbanspoon

Burger Liquor Lobster at The London

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Burger Liquor Lobster Verdict: 7/10

Beef Burger:  7/10

Crab Burger: 7/10

Sides:  7/10

 

Why Burger Liquor Lobster?

She says: One of my friends from work was talking about how she had gone back to Chur Burger above the London and it was really, really good.  Later that same day He had told me about Burger Liquor Lobster and about three days later I put two and two together and worked out my friend had actually gone to Burger Liquor Lobster and given it a glowing review. Long story short this was another one of His finds (although I maintain I heard about it first!!… I just didn’t realise).

He says: Had been to the Chur Burger pop up here a few times and got rather excited by the early press that arose from the new effort. As a concept the lobster focus had me on my knees before you even had to mention burgers

What did you order?

  • Beef burger – $10
  • Soft shell crab burger – $15
  • Lobster bites – $15
  • Chips  – $7
  • Aioli – ?

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Tell us about the Beef Burger?

He say: It was uspiciously hard to tell the difference between this burger and the Chur burger beef version that preceded it in the very same venue. Almost too similar that it’s hard not to feel it’s a little disingenuous. In saying that it was still just as tasty as it’s Chur counterpart.

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She says: I quite liked this burger. It featured a good, quite thick patty, and a ‘smoked tomato chutney’, which I didn’t think I would like but which tasted to me to be less of a ’chutney’ (as it didn’t have that chutney spice) and was more sweet and smokey  – it was great with the mayo. The bun looks pretty doughy but was good and squishy and the cheese was perfectly melted.

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So then, how did you find the Crab Burger?

 She says: After the great soft shell crab debacle of 2014, (the offending burger still trails on our Burger Scoreboard) choosing this burger was a hard for Him and I. But it paid off. All the ingredients of this one worked together – the slaw  and the Singapore chili sauce (which has that almost curry powder taste of Singapore noodles) and the actually really crispy soft shell crab were great. (It was so crispy and battered that at the end it tasted a bit like a chip sandwich – which is a good thing.)

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He says: I’m not sure I’ll ever rant and rave over the virtues of soft shell crab in a burger but I’m so pleased to say this eradicated the prejudice formed after Brooklyn Social. The crunch of the crab smacked a minor home run when coupled with the slaw.

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And what about the sides?

She says: Popcorn Lobster? Amazing…. But it really could have been popcorn anything as you could hardly taste the lobster that well… and I have a feeling that if it had been chicken or prawn there would have been a lot more in each serve. The serves as shown in the picture are a little deceiving – the basket is about half filled with iceberg lettuce at the bottom! As for the chips – they are somewhat of a sore spot. We thought that at a whopping $7 the serve would be huge or the chips would be special – neither of these assumptions were correct.

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He says: Everything she said. I have nothing more to add other than maybe being a little less forgiving of the notion of serving 7 fucking dollars for a serve of chips. Really dudes?


|| 85 Underwood St, Paddington NSW 2021 ||  Website and Menu ||

Hours:

Midday till late, seven days a week.

 

Burger Liquor Lobster on Urbanspoon

The Forresters

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The Forresters Verdict: 7/10

Beef Burger: 7/10

Chicken Burger: 8/10

Sides: 6/10

 

Why this place?

She says: Again, this was His suggestion. Perhaps it should just be a given that He does the research and has the experience, and I willingly follow His advice based my trust of His encyclopaedic burger knowledge. (Also, based on my previous experience of Queenies, the restaurant upstairs, I knew that this would have to be okay.)

He says: In my experience the Drink n Dine company have always been rather reliable with their burgers and The Forresters also doubles as an enjoyable weekend drinking spot.

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What did you order?

·         Cheeseburger – $18

·         Fried Chicken Burger – $18

·         Fries with Pulled Pork & Cheese – $12

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Tell us about the Cheeseburger?

He says: This was top notch and hard to deny. Not on the same level as the Oxford Tavern but still a cracker. The addition of the fried onion rings atop the tasty patty was a masterstroke. My only complaint was that the quality and freshness of the bread left a little to be desired.

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She says: This was a really good, solid cheeseburger. It hit the spot. Not too much bread in the bun, a good amount of sauce. Juicy patty and nice fresh thinly sliced iceberg lettuce. I liked the onion rings too – nice touch. It tasted like how a burger should taste and I would go back for it again, for sure.

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

She says: After the Oxford Tavern fried chicken burger, I didn’t have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Foresters’ chicken burger was far more cohesive than the Oxford Tavern’s version. This one had a good amount of sauce and avocado which held the bun and the chicken together and incorporated the chicken as part of the burger rather just a piece of chook between two pieces of bread. It was indulgent and luxurious. This is another burger that I have thought of again and would definitely return for. Order it. You will not regret it.

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He says: I didn’t wax lyrical about this one like She but can understand why she loved it so much. The chicken was a knockout but there was the same issue with the bread as their was on the cheeseburger and, it is a personal taste thing admittedly, I’m not that into guacamole and sour cream on a chicken burger. Unless you’re going full tex mex I just don’t get what they’re doing there.

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And what about the sides?

She says: Well to begin with, we probably didn’t need to order fries – both the burgers came with a good amount of fries already…and well, basically we dropped the ball okay, we missed the Mac and Cheese on the menu until it was too late.  And then also, I think perhaps this dish was ready to go a while before the burgers, because by the time it got to us the cheese had hardened and cooled to form one giant cheese and pulled pork mass, which was not super pleasant. Hot, hell warm even, I think this side would be fantastic, but in its brick like state it was disappointing.

He says: Not realising there was Mac and Cheese on the menu was a gross oversight on our behalf. The pulled pork and cheese fries were a little confused. The crinkle cut fries are always a familiar and enjoyable old friend but they just seemed to haphazardly shove some blocks of cold pork in between them like they were playing a drunken game of reverse jenga. The cheese and sirracha were never going to be enough to save the day here.


Visited on DATE

|| 336 Riley St Surry Hills NSW 2010 || Website || Menu ||

Hours

Food served from 12 til around 10pm daily.

$12 lunch menu is available Mon-Fri, 12-3pm.

The Forresters on Urbanspoon

Oxford Tavern

Oxford Tavern Verdict: 7/10

Beef Burger: 9/10

Chicken Burger: 4/10

Sides: 7/10

 

 

Why Oxford Tavern?

She says: I grew up in the inner west and used to pass the Oxford Tavern back in the days that it was a genuine girly bar, advertising “jelly wresting” (which I have since learnt is not as delicious as it sounds). Needless to say, I was repulsed by the whole thing back then but since it has been re-done but the Drinkn’Dine crew (also responsible for the Norfolk and the Foresters, among others) I was intrigued.

He says: Unlike She I have no stigma attached to the Oxford Tavern’s ‘shady’ former life. My knowledge of the venue mainly revolves around the Drink n Dine group taking it over. Being a fan of that company’s other and prior burger exploits (Norfolk, Carrington, Forresters and a special shout out to the Abercrombie’s {R.I.P.} Thursday night cheap cheeseburger debauchery) was enough to get me through the door with a decent amount of excitement. 

 

What did you order?

  • Hickory Burger – $10 (lunch)
  • Fried Chicken Burger – $10
  • Fries with Sour Cream, Bacon, Green Onions and Sriaracha – $10
  • The Jelly Wrestle – $20
  • Bloody Mary – ?

Tell us about the Hickory Burge?

He says: This is one of the better cheeseburgers I’ve had in Sydney. Every mouth water inducing element (from a patty wheeling and dealing in perfection for both taste and tenderness, glorious oozing cheese, a zingy pickle and a special sauce to rival any other) came into play to explode into burger excellence. Sure it was a Sunday, and perhaps I was a little hungover, but this cheeseburger was almost enough to make me  kneel down and cry tears of joy and deference.

She says:  I was really, really impressed with this burger (thank god because we have been on a not so great run with beef burgers lately). It had that great grilled burger taste with the chewy, crunchy, great almost-burnt bits around the edges of the patty.  There was more than ample cheese, which is always a plus and a nice amount of sauce, including a authentic American mustard which, with the pickle, added the perfect amount of tangy punch. Fresh, sparse salad finishes it perfectly. I HIGHLY recommend this burger!

So then, how did you find the Fred Chicken Burger?

She says: Oh my. I am not sure how to describe this one in kind terms. The fried chicken by itself was worthy of note, but as a burger it dropped the ball. It was little more than a bit of fried chicken wedged between two halves of a bun. The coleslaw lacked flavour and was generally un-sauced, and the corn added little to nothing to the burger as a whole.  It lacked the cohesion that we have seen executed so well in some of the other chicken burgers we have tried recently. Next time I would order the fried chicken alone.

He says: Unfortunately this one nearly made me cry for the exact opposite reasons. I don’t want to be too harsh but this was a bit of a train wreck burger wise. The bun seemed a little on the stale side, the fried chicken leaning towards bland and cold, the slaw devoid of flavour and personality, the addition of corn completely superfluous and, seriously, WHERE THE FUCK WAS THE SAUCE DUDES???? On the strength of the Hickory burger though I’m prepared to accept that maybe this was a one off anomaly in the kitchen and would be prepared to give it another crack.

And what about the sides?

She says: Crinkle cut chips will always have a special place in my heart, nestled next to the bigger section of said heart devoted to the king of the chip, curly fries. These chips with sour cream and Sriaracha were pretty good, with a fresh, nacho-esk vibe. The Bloody Marys we ordered were also pretty good but the real star of the sides show was the dessert, which we ordered out of pure greed when we saw it go past. It is a MOUNTAIN of waffles, cream and jelly topped with 100s &1000s. We discovered about halfway in that there was also ICECREAM  buried in its depths. We were informed that they usually provide customers with rubber gloves and  refuse them cutlery, forcing them to eat with their hands. We luckily had utensils left over and were spared the embarrassment of shovelling this into our mouths with our hands (forks and our own gluttony worked just fine to embarrass us)

He says: The crinkle cut chips alone were tasty but the addition of siracha, bacon and sour cream didn’t bring that much to the party. Maybe needed more of each ingredient (and possibly some melted cheese wouldn’t go astray). The Bloody Marys were impressive and served their purpose with vigour but the Jelly Wrestle desert opened up a new level. It’s a must try that transcends the novelty the moment you start heaving all of the different elements into your mouth. Probably the most flat out ‘fun’ dish I’ve had in ages.

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Visited on 17 August 2014

|| 1 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW 2049 || Website ||

Hours:

Mon – Thu: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Fri – Sat: 12:00 pm – 3:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Oxford Tavern on Urbanspoon