Porterhouse Bistro Wiseman Park – Gywnneville NSW Restaurant Review

We spent Saturday lunch at the local lawn bowls club in Wollongong with a number of my partner’s colleagues just before the holiday season. It was my first time lawn bowling in a few years, the first being during my first week of internship in a similarly-vibed orientation event.

The salt and pepper squid ($13) was a nice, reasonably priced dish with a light batter, served with a side salad of “young leaves” and a plentiful pot of aioli which found more purpose with some hot chips than the squid they came with.

The half rack of pork ribs with chips and salad ($24) featured the return of the young leaf salad, which remained fresh from its first outing with the squid. The pork ribs were unfortunately a bit dry and underwhelming, and not improved in my opinion by the pot of BBQ sauce. I enjoyed these fresh chips, and even more so with the aioli pictured above.

The roasted cauliflower salad ($17) with chicken ($5) was actually very good. A number of my partner’s colleagues ordered it just by itself, but I for one could not resist the addition of some juicy meat to bite into. The roasted cauliflower was sweet, with a texture that avoided mushiness. Tahini, hummus and roasted cauliflower are a synergistic trio that ticks all the right boxes every time they’re together, and this salad was no exception. Cauliflower aside I enjoyed the fresh and tangy addition of pomegranate arils and the juicy cherry tomatoes, though I was less impressed by the rest of the salad being essentially the same side salad that gets served the Porterhouse Bistro’s other dishes.

The food at Wiseman Park is not what it’s is famous for, but honestly you could do much worse. I wouldn’t take a bus to Wollongong just for this meal, but if you’re there enjoying a quick game of bowls why not?

Porterhouse Bistro Wiseman Park
1 Foley St, Gwynneville NSW 2500
(02) 4229 4132


The Vic on the Park – Marrickville NSW Restaurant Review

Here are just some quick thoughts about the food from a recent work dinner to celebrate the end of the clinical year. I’m in a bit of a post-alcohol phase right now so I cannot comment on the drinks, though I understand from my colleagues that they did flow freely.

These nachos ($18) were pretty alright. I enjoyed their freshness and minimal seasoning, and found myself coming back to them when I wanted a break from the rest of the saltfest. They are vegetarian, though can be optioned for another $5 with some spicy pulled chicken.

It had been a good long while since I had had fried onion rings ($12), and these ones were far superior to what I remember from Hungry Jacks (Burger King) in the early 2000s. These onion rings were large, moist on the inside with a crunchy batter on the outside. They were delicious warm, though a bit too salted for my liking. The horseradish ranch sauce was pleasant, but again it was a bit salty for me to have any significant quantity of it.

The Vic Chicken Wings ($16) were texturally good – crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, but similarly to the onion rings they were quite salty. This was a theme that was continued by the salt and pepper squid ($19, not pictured).

I wonder if perhaps having oversalted and overseasoned food may however be synergistic at a pub where the markups on beverages may be a more significant profit maker than the food. I have no other way to explain why the textures hit so well, yet the salty taste for such a large majority of their food is so strong.

The Vic on the Park
2 Addison Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
(02) 9114 7348

Australian British

Fish Butchery – Waterloo NSW Restaurant Review

We were excited to eat at Fish Butchery after reading some pretty glowing reviews online and glowing feedback from our friends about related restaurants Saint Peter and Charcoal Fish. Despite such expectations our moderately-long drive to Waterloo was sadly not met with as much joy as we had hoped.

While I’m not usually one to complain loudly about service, preferring to focus on the food, I think that the ultra-premium prices paid at Fish Butchery does invite greater reflection into what exactly one is paying for. The first red flag of our visit, apart from the prices of the familiar raw fish (Murray cod and Clhinook salmon) in the fishmonger’s display that were easily 50-100% greater than what you’d expect to pay from your favourite internet-based fish market delivery service, was that the staff seemed to be too busy to wipe the crumbs off the tables between customers until the new customer’s food was ready to be served. This meant that we sat with crumbs in front of us, not really seeing a staff member venture outside for about half an hour as we waited to be served.

Though Fish Butchery styles itself as a takeaway joint the reality of it is that it’s a restaurant, complete with both indoor and outdoor seating. There are just normal expectations around the cleanliness of tables when you’re spending $80 between two for lunch, and these weren’t fulfilled.

The Al Pastor Swordfish Tacos (2 pieces for $24) were not what I was looking for. Though grilled, they were not as grilled as I had hoped, and arrived to us lukewarm at best. The internal fish meat was on the raw to rare spectrum, which is not what I was expecting but did not cause any physical bodily harm. The flavours of this taco were highly mild, though the sweetness and juiciness of the grilled pineapple was a very welcome addition to what was otherwise a barren and expensive half moon.

The fish sausage roll ($22 with chips and a Strange Love soda) was the highlight of the situation. The sausage roll, filled with a mixture of Murray Cod, Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, and cured Murry Cod fat had a very good depth of flavour and fatty moistness inside. The pastry was a crust above your average sausage roll, but to be expected given the asking price. The potato chips were unfortunately actually not very good, and even my potato fiend partner was unable and unwilling to finish them. The tomato sauce was rich and good. Unlike the rest of the things we had at Fish Butchery I could actually give a positive recommendation for this sausage roll, though by itself ($14) rather than with the chips.

I didn’t love this hyped up Yellowfin Tuna Cheeseburger Double ($20). I don’t think there was anything special about it apart from the use of fish over mammal, and I don’t think the flavour or texture really lived up to a burger made of methane-producing cow. The inside of these tuna patties was a bit rare, but I think that’s probably OK because we literally eat sashimi and these guys are the fish experts.

The regular salad ($14), half cauliflower and half eggplant was actually pretty good, if oily. A non-fish product that was not weighed down by fishy expectations.


I really wanted to like Fish Butchery, but outside of the single sausage roll nothing else that I had really wowed me, especially at its price point but even if they were more reasonably priced. I expected better from a guy who charges $150 for a piece of stainless steel specifically to weigh down cooking fish.

Fish Butchery Waterloo
965 Bourke St, Waterloo NSW 2017
02 8960 0903

American Australian

BUSH – Redfern NSW Restaurant Review

BUSH’s cheeseburgers were the stuff of legend. Heralded across the internet as some of the best in Sydney, these now-discontinued drew countless intrepid eaters to this tiny 7-item-menu restaurant.

To be honest, I didn’t’ find BUSH’s cheeseburger ($15) to be that much of a revelation. What I found was an extremely standard affair – smash pattie, a slice of American cheese, some pickle, and some tomato-mayonnaise between two pieces of bun. It was just a very normal burger, and I actually think that in its single configuration it was a bit under-meated. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware that it came as a double until a gentleman on an adjacent table received his, as the option of adding an additional patty was not written on the extremely brief menu. Not amazing.

Nan’s Sausage Roll ($6) was an excellent rendition of the classic Australian sausage roll. It wasn’t long – almost party-roll sized – but what it lacked in length it made up in height and width. The well puffed pastry was wrapped around a relatively gargantuan mass of textured beef mince, which was tasty and juicy. The gob of standard tomato sauce was as standard as standard could be.

This MAPO wattleseed ice cream drenched in honey ($5-ish) was pretty good. Light and refreshing, with that unmistakable MAPO quality.

While BUSH didn’t quite live up to the burger-hype, their menu has since completely changed and my lukewarm feelings might need to be refreshed by another visit.

55 George St, Redfern NSW 2016
0432 439 966