BURGAHHHHHS! So two years ago I fell in love with Pub Life Kitchen back when they were located upstairs in the Schwartz Hotel (formerly The Macquarie Hotel). They pumped out a mean steak with crazy burger specials each Wednesday and I was pretty devastated when they shut up shop. They’ve done a couple of pop up stints since but have finally found a home at Lord Wolseley Hotel (265 Bulwara Rd, Ultimo)! Below is about 3 visits combined into 1 post so don’t worry my arteries are fine 😛
So there’s a blackboard with the day’s specials and I was intrigued by the House Smoked Barramundi Wings with Sexy Salada ($10) and while I had some inkling that the ‘wings’ would be the fins with part of the fish head, I had to ask and immediately felt like Jessica Simpson. Heh.
We were warned that they’d be super smokey and I was like, BRING ON THE SMOKEY. The heady smoky scent reached our table before the plate did and yep it was intense. I ended up picking the whole wing up and gnawing away at the flesh because I’m a bit uncoordinated with utensils and it was glorious with pockets of gelatinous fat and flesh and crispy charred edges on the fins. Oh and the salad was pretty sexy, put grilled corn in a salad and I will eat it. The corn that is. I heart corn.
I couldn’t help but chortle when our table of hungry eaters ordered the Sticky Hot Wangs ($9) because I am forever 12 years old. The deep fried chicken wings were drenched in a lip smacking sauce that weren’t as spicy as I’d feared and I actually admitted that I could use a little more heat. Woah. I’ve changed. Or I’ve finally whipped my tastebuds into obeying.
The Grilled Corn Cob with salty lime malt vinaigrette ($6) tastes like summer, each kernel bursting with juiciness. Corn is my favourite non digestible food product.
Fries with bone marrow gravy ($8). I kinda wished there were globs of marrow in the gravy but hey golden fries with rich gravy is the perfect food with a cheeky beverage or two.
The Cheesy Polenta Chips with Jalapeno Mayo ($8) are the bomb, the fat fingers had the perfect fluffy to crisp ratio and we hoarded the jalapeno mayo which was crazy addictive.
The adults version of Fish Fingers ($12) kicks the stuff of my childhood to the kerb especially with the accompanying tub of zesty lime aioli. The fish is delicate and flaky and the crumb batter golden and crunchy.
And now onto the burgers! The Cheeseburger ($17) is every bit as delicious as I remembered and has cemented its place in my top 5 burgers list. What’s on the list you ask? A round up coming shortly so you’ll just have to check back 😛 Anywhos this burger is the bomb diggity, 2 slices of melty Monterey Jack cheese (aka the American orange cheese) hugs both sides of the fat, juicy, house ground patty, just the way a cheeseburger should. There ain’t no salad here, just a pickle, a single slice of onion, tomato sauce and mustard and boom! Perfection.
The Bird ($18) features a chicken fillet crusted in a batter made from Dorito chips and it is brilliant. I would totally order the fillets by itself if it was possible. Make it a bucket if it was the thigh piece… The burger had a pile of slaw which I liked because it was refreshing and I felt moderately healthier eating vegetables but I think I would’ve preferred it on the side instead of in the burger because it was crunchy enough already?
The O.G ($18) is the Original Gangster yo! I usually have mad issues with iceberg lettuce but I appreciated that each lettuce leaf was crisp and fresh and while the onion jam was a hit with only half of the table, we were unanimous in our love for the roast garlic and lime aioli.
I’d ordered the Vego Delight ($16) out of curiosity mainly because the menu had said the patty would be fried cheese and I was envisioning a patty that overflowed with cheese Juicy Lucy style. While there was no river of cheese, the burger itself was pretty tasty. Possibly made tastier with that slice of jack cheese to you know, make it even more cheesy. The swirl of cranberry jam automatically made me think I was eating turkey so my brain got all kinds of confused because I only really eat cranberry jam with turkey. But it paired well with the cheese, bringing the richness down a notch.
I’d been stalking head chef Jovan Curic on Instagram knowing that the return of the crazy burgers on Wednesdays was inevitable and when I saw a pic of sheets of glorious crackle, Helen Karen Shaun and I made our way over faster than you can say CRACKLELACKLE! The Swiney Chook ($19) is: Sriracha gravy glazed fried chicken, grilled pineapple and corn, maple salsa, Jack cheese and pork crackle. You know when you’re with a group of friends chatting away and then there’s just silence because you’re eating something so incredible that there are no words to be uttered because you don’t want to stop this feeling of happiness that’s enveloping your body? That’s what happened. This chicken and pork hybrid was all kinds of amazing and pretty much ruined all future burgers for me. Thanks a lot Jovan.
BUT THEN. The following Wednesday I happened to refresh Instagram and behold, The Skinny Bacon– double cheese beef burger with bacon jam, green sriracha and deep fried chicken skin. DEEP FRIED CHICKEN SKIN!!! Helen and I had a 30minute window before we were supposed to go to a dinner and debated if we could do it. YES WE COULD AND ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS. The beef pattie was a perfect juicy medium rare as always, enough cheese to make my heart sing and crowning the whole shebang were shards of chicken skin deep fried to a glorious crisp. There were also slices of cucumber and radish in there buuuut you all know how I feel about salad.
On another visit with Raff, this time for lunch, I opted to try a non burger item and went with the Wagyu Schnitty with fries, slaw and bone marrow gravy ($18). This was fricken massive and the schnitty hid a ginormous pile of fries that I had absolutely no way of finishing! I loved the crumb crust although I think I’m too used to a schnitzel being made of pork so found the meaty flavour of the Wagyu to be too strong, almost gamey? Does that make sense? I mean it was still tasty don’t get me wrong!
Dessert has finally made it on the menu and will change every so often so get your butts there fast because the ice cream this week was: The Snickers Sundae ($12), snickers gelato with dulce de leche, salted peanuts AND A SPRINKLE OF PORK CRACKLE. Oh and a smashed snickers bar on top just in case that wasn’t epic enough for you. Mind blown. Sweet and salty combo for the effing win!
You order and pay at the register, grab a number and either sit inside the bistro area or out at the bar/beer garden. And yes the burgers are a bit on the pricey side but they are massive and you will be defeated by the mountain of fries I promise you. Pub Life Kitchen is my new happy place with a chillaxed atmosphere, cheap drinks and awesome food, I’ll definitely be making this place my regular haunt!
Pub Life Kitchen
Lord Wolseley Hotel
265 Bulwara Rd,
Mon: 5pm – 9pm
Tue – Sat: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Sun: 12pm – 5pm