It’s all burgers and fried chicken this week at Insatiable Munchies. Maybe it’s the hot weather. Maybe it’s the tantalising smell of when hot oil meets meat. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s my last hurrah before swimsuit season descends upon us like a good looking man at the beach: great to look at but a lot of effort to attain.
But we try anyway.
This time, we head over to Mary’s, home of what some call Sydney’s best burger and fried chicken. The menu is short and the queue is long – you choose one of three burgers, and one of two fried chickens. Then pick your add-ons and drink, and wait for your food.
I’m absolutely obsessed with Bloody Marys, and here they serve it up with a slice of melted cheese and a piece of crispy bacon. BEST THING EVER! But bacon and cheese aside – you can’t do much wrong with it – it’s one of the more balanced Bloody Marys I’ve had. Many overdo it on the pepper or the juice, and I’ve had Bloody Marys that come out like a watery mess. This was just tart enough, just salty enough (especially when you factor in the cheese and bacon) and just spicy enough. It was a great start to the evening.
We ordered a Mary’s Burger – because you gotta try the classic – and well, fried chicken, and it came swooping down to our table on a large tray precariously and flamboyantly balanced on the hand (yes one hand) of our waiter, who was wearing a massive floppy sun hat, skinny pants and a cut-off tee shirt, and reminded me very much of a young Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.
Mary’s Burger (pictured above), came with a side of chips, and ketchup sat on the table. I enjoyed it – nice balance of ingredients, nice sauce, grilled buns and all that – but it didn’t strike me as the best burger per se. In fact, while it was enjoyable on the night, it really was quite forgettable afterward, leaving me to wonder why the queues were so darn long.
The fried chicken was similarly forgettable. while it wasn’t a bad fried chicken, I’m not sure that my plebeian tastebuds and MTV watching childhood prepared me for fried chicken that wasn’t an onslaught of spices and flavours. Especially with all the different versions of fried chicken you can get around Sydney, I think I might have been expecting something that was just a little bit…more.
The service, while fast and polite, carried a slight note of lets-turn-this-table-over, which was understandable when you think about the queue, but does not make for a particularly relaxing night.
Maybe it’s all the hype. Maybe it’s the reputation of three people with fine dining backgrounds standing behind it. But Mary’s – for me – just sadly wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Love your burgers? Check out my reviews of other burgers in Sydney – Moo Gourmet Burgers, Chur Burger, Brewtown Newtown (for a heart stopping Elvis Burger), The Honest Kitchen (Korean burger!), and Jazz City Milk Bar (American Burger). Or, if fried chicken is more your thing, do check out Shihlin Street Snacks (Taiwanese fried chicken), Naruone (Korean Fried Chicken), Biru Biru (Japanese Chicken Karaage) and 3Q Fried Chicken!