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Cheapie Lunch (Under $20)

Huxtaburger Redfern

Remember Huxtaburger? If you’re from Melbourne, you’ll know it as the very first gourmet American-styled burger to hit the city – almost 10 years ago! – and was almost single-handedly responsible for ushering in the new era of quality burgers that we now take for granted. So am I back in Melbourne then? Unfortunately not, but there is a silver lining here. Over the last decade, Huxtaburger has turned itself into a mini-empire, and is now slinging sandwiches across 9 locations and 3 states. And the NSW branch is in Redfern, though those who have been to the original Huxtaburger in Collingwood would find this location almost unrecognisable. Instead of a tiny diner with retro vibes and the bones of…

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Chatkazz

When I travel, I am all about that street food. To me, there is no better way to guarantee that what you’re eating is the freshest, most traditional, and most delicious foods a culture has to offer. But whilst I’ve spent a good amount of my time eating around Asia, my knowledge of South-Asian street food is rather woeful. It comes as no surprise however that the good people of India love to eat, and whilst it’s not always easy to find Indian snacks at a restaurant, Chatkazz is one place where you won’t be left wanting.

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Temasek

Malaysian food is the name of the game today, and apparently Temasek is where people have been going since 1992 for the good stuff. Temasek is non-descript in the best way possible. It’s an unceremonious hole-in-the-wall type restaurant where you can be sure that the food is good, because people certainly don’t keep coming back for the location or décor. And indeed, although the interior looks like every Chinese restaurant from the 90s, the giveaway is in the front window, which is plastered full of awards and press cuttings from over the decades.

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Mary’s Newtown

Mary’s in Sydney is like what Huxtaburger is to Melbourne; it’s a stark divider from the before, where burgers are limited to either fast food, or sandwiches slapped carelessly together on the counter of a fish and chip shop. Their arrival marked the beginning of a change in the burger scene in their respective cities. All of a sudden, the burger was elevated beyond a greasy hangover cure. In came the brioche buns, the good quality beef (with the cheese melted over the top, of course), and the hunt for the perfect combination of sauces that makes you want another burger the moment you’ve finished your first.

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Sydney Dumpling King

You know what was the best? Driving 10 minutes to David And Camy’s in Box Hill for a plate of the most delicious dumplings in Melbourne, and having change to spare from a tenner. Growing up with some amazing dumplings on my doorstep, it was easy to take the local Chinese restaurant for granted. Unfortunately all that changed when I moved to Sydney, and whilst there was some fantastic Lebanese food in my area, I was left bereft of dumplings.

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BBQ King

As obnoxious as the term may sound, I consider myself to be a flexitarian, which is really just a buzzy way of saying that I’m semi-vegetarian. For those of you who’ve read a few posts on my blog, this may seem like a big fat, juicy, meaty lie. But even taking into account the one or two times where I go out to eat, I probably don’t have meat more than 4 or 5 times out of the total of 30-odd meals I have each week. Mind you, this wasn’t so much of a conscious decision on my part as a combination of a lack of time, and seeing one-too-many limbs amputated due to diabetes at the hospital, but I…

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