Snag Stand, Westfield Sydney

Standing in line

The venerable Friday lunch is always a treat at work. Many a pub and restaurant fill to capacity from noon onwards. CBD food courts are less frequented too, with a lot of people opting for a Friday lunch treat to kick off the weekend.

The one exception at the moment is the Sydney Westfield Level 5 food court, likely because it is so new but also because, as far as the cost of lunch in the CBD is concerned, it is pricier and ideal as a Friday treat.

This is what we had in mind one recent Friday: a no-fuss treat. AA’s suggestion was to check out the Snag Stand, the home of ‘haute dogs’ (ahur hur).

Standing in line
Around noon is still a good time to go… any later than that and you’ll need to hover to grab a table (but not chairs… they’re tied to each table!).

Alas, no variety here. Four of us only ordered two unique hot dogs. Immediate unanimous impression was the low size-to-price ratio: these hot dogs are on the small side.

I had the Grilled Wagyu Sausage with sauteed onions, spicy horseradish mayo and beetroot relish on a soft poppy seed roll. I love horseradish but, unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly strong enough with this dish. Also, the flavour of wagyu is lost to me in sausage form. The relish was tasty enough.

Beef and Horseradish $10.90

Two of the others each had the Spicy Spanish Chorizo, which is grilled with semi sun-dried tomatoes, chipotle aioli, baby rocket and shredded Spanish goat’s cheese on a brioche roll. It’s apparently very rich (the cheese especially) and one wouldn’t want anything that rich any larger.

Spicy Spanish Chorizo $9.90

The word? The hot dogs, while very tasty, are on the small side (for the cost). Have a side (like chips) or dessert. Would make a good snack.

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Snag Stand
Level 5 Shop 5012a Westfield Sydney
188 Pitt St NSW 2000
Telephone: (02) 9221 9600

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Charlie & Co Burgers at Westfield Sydney

Takeaway queue in front; Dine-in queue on the left

Takeaway queue in front; Dine-in queue on the left
Justin North and I have had a long relationship. I take liberty with uttering “relationship” however. I don’t actually know the renowned chef and he doesn’t know me… but I (and many others) have been enjoying his excellent wagyu burgers as long as he’s been churning them out. This is a level of commitment as steadfast as most relationships, culinary or otherwise.

Work colleagues and I had, for a few years, been visiting Plan B at Clarence St, the small cafe extension of his flagship restaurant, Becasse. We would make the traditional trek from Martin Place to the end of Clarence Street behind the QVB. Our objective: the 600-Day Grass Fed Wagyu Burger with caramelised onion and beetroot (the sole non-beef eater among us would have the Roast Pork Sandwich).

Alas, it was with much disappointment that we received the news of Plan B’s closure. The silver lining? Justin North was opening a new burger restaurant at the new Westfield on Pitt Street Mall.

Enter Charlie & Co Burgers, one of the first places to open on Level 5 of the new shopping centre. I’d mentioned the lavish interior of the food court in a prior post and that we’d visited Charlie & Co previously. Thankfully, I had my camera in tow this time.

The main attraction is the Wagyu & Co Burger: a Wagyu burger with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin, lettuce, aged cheddar and aioli on a sesame bun. It’s a chunky burger that will leave you full til dinner. I miss the brioche bread of the Plan B wagyu burger though… it just made the meal that much more sinful.

I’ve also had the Rustic Chorizo Classic: a Beef pattie infused with smoked paprika, chorizo and fennel, with soft peppers and fried egg. It’s a protein monster; the beef flavour still stands strong.

Today, BC and I both have the Federation Burger: a seasoned Angus beef pattie with tomato relish, tomatoes, lettuce, aged cheddar, fried egg, bacon, sautéed onion and aioli. Initial observation: it appears to be bigger than the wagyu burger. The pattie is perfectly pink in the inside, giving it a great, tender texture. Taste-wise, BC reckons the marbled fat flavour is stronger in the wagyu but I’m happy enough with the Angus beef; the saltiness of the bacon doesn’t overpower the flavour of the meat.

The Federation Burger

On the side, we have a serve of the parmesan and truffle fries. We suspect its truffle salt as we could hardly taste it over the parmesan. It’s still lovely chips.

Parmesan and Truffle Fries

Regarding cost, Plan B was the most value-for-money at $10 a burger. Charlie & Co burgers are $14-16 (for takeaway) or $16-18 (for dine in). For reference, the Wagyu Burger and Rockpool Bar and Grill is $20.

The word? Charlie & Co continues the burger excellence set by Plan B. However, for the few extra dollars, Rockpool Bar and Grill offers nicer surrounds.

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Charlie & Co Burgers
Level 5,
Westfield Sydney
Cnr Market & Castlereagh St
Sydney, Australia
T: (02) 8072-7777

Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon

Din Tai Fung at Westfield Sydney

Dumpling-makers on display

Dumpling-makers on display

It’s always a pleasure to have lunch with L. For our slightly-better-than-quarterly meet up, I suggested the newly opened Din Tai Fung at the Westfield in Pitt Street Mall. We’d come here a couple of lunches prior, to try out Justin North’s Charlie and Co Burgers. Since that visit a few months ago, the Westfield Level 5 “food court” has nearly completely opened, with an assortment of fine establishments popping up. “Food court” hardly does it justice; it’s the best looking and most luxurious, uhm, court that serves food that I’ve ever been in.

Unlike the Taiwanese franchise’s flagship restaurant at World Square, we need not worry about queuing up for a table. There’s a line to order but once placed, turnaround is swift. Not after anything too heavy, we go with the favourites, Xiao Long Bao and Beef Brisket Noodle Soup.

Tasty tasty dumpling

Despite my hesitation, we go with some Pork Buns, which I’m advised isn’t really too gweilo.

The food is as yummy as ever. The Westfield Food Court (or “heaven”, as L referred to it) is a great place for quick or even leisurely lunch during work, or hopefully, during shopping.

The word? You can now get your tried and true Xiao Long Bao dumpling fix in the CBD, without having to to queue for ages. The catch? Open only during food court hours.

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Din Tai Fung
Westfield Sydney
Pitt Street Mall
Sydney NSW 2000