Flame House Co – Campsie NSW Restaurant Review

I actually had a great Portuguese style grilled quarter chicken here like a year ago that I clearly forgot to write about, but let me now tell you about this excellent burger I had recently.

This Fried Chicken Slaw Burger ($13) was one of the best chicken burgers that I’ve had in recent memory. The chicken was thick and juicy, deep fried fresh to order, which is the only way that you can achieve such a perfectly crispy exterior. The slaw was your average mix of carrot and cabbages, but swimming in a rich creamy mayo that seemed to amplify the creaminess of the slice of American cheese which melted under the heat of the chicken patty soon after this photo was taken. The buns were oiled and grilled on the outside, making it a mess on the hands to eat, but absolutely delicious and probably awful for those watching their macros, as well as anyone a mere five days after their laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The pickles were present and yummy but not out in force today. I will ask for extras next time.

Very solid.

Flame House Co.
Clemton Park Shopping Village. 60 Charlotte St, Campsie NSW 2194
(02) 8084 7314


Renegade Burgers – Greenacre NSW Restaurant Review

Renegade Burgers is one of many burger trucks on my way home from work, visited by my partner and I a couple of times after late nights and late ward rounds.

Strengths first. The Potato & Gravy Chips ($8) are kind of monstrous. Who would’ve thought that potato on potato would be such a game changer? The mash was creamy, the fries were crispy, and the gravy was just gravy. After having this once, my girlfriend did not allow us to come back without ordering it again.

The better of the burgers that I had was The OG ($13), which I got made into a double (no memory as to how much extra this was) because apparently I want Terumo to make money off my stent in the future. It’s pretty hard to mess up a traditional burger of pickles, American cheese, beef, mustard and ketchup, and this was a solid showing but also did not allow Renegades to differentiate themselves.

I have no particular memory of The Drip ($14), which in all honesty must be a good thing, given what I do remember about the next burger.

The Chilli Chicken Smash ($14) was weak in many ways, most problematically of all in terms of its structural integrity. Beef smash burgers tend to work as a layer of caramelisation and searing holds the overall patty together, however attempting this with a chicken burger did not achieve the desired effect of a cohesive patty. This chicken patty absolutely fell apart, and this, together with the copious saucing, made for a disappointing burger, in my opinion. This would’ve been better as a normal chicken burger.

The potato and gravy chips are nuts though.

Renegade Burgers
20 Norfolk Rd, Greenacre NSW 2190


Chooksy’s – Bomaderry NSW Restaurant Review

Chooksy’s, Nowra and Bomaderry’s answer to Wollongong’s esteemed Chicko’s, was on our must visit list during my partner’s recent stay in town.

First, the hot chips ($4). These were seriously good, next level. They were freshly fried with an incredible amount of crunch that persisted for well into half an hour after we got them. A colleague of mine had mentioned that she had thought about purchasing the restaurant (apparently up for sale at time of writing), but that perhaps she didn’t need to as her friend had worked at Chooksy’s and knew the secret recipe for the chip seasoning, though I suspect the actual secret to these chips are how freshly fried they are each time. Amazing.

The cheesy potato bake ($6) was really as described – cheesy and potatoey. Not too salty, which was good, but definitely one for my partner’s love rather than mine.

Interstingly, Chooksy’s does all of their burgers as either a wrap or a burger. We had an Extreme Chilli Chick ($13) as a wrap, which was actually extremely chilli. It was a chicken schitzel folded into a wrap with jalapenos, lettuce, onion, and two types of extremely hot sauce. I must admit that we underestimated just how extremely chilli this wrap was going to be, and it was nigh inedible for my poor weak tongue. Perhaps someone else would enjoy it.

This Salt & Vinegar Chicken Tender ($2.20) was quite bad. It didn’t give the impression of real meat that came from an animal.

Quite surprisingly, Chooksy’s fried chicken ($3.20 per piece) was actually unavailable the first time we visited, at around 2PM on a weekday. They were all sold out, and so we had to go back a second time to experience the promised delight. Their fried chicken was actually quite disappointing, perhaps moreso in light of our second journey, with a sad moistness after just ten minutes in the bag, and not much discernable flavour apart from saltiness. I would not rate this chicken above the Colonel’s.

The Chippy Chick ($13) as a roll I also felt like took some good ingredients and put them together only to make them worse. This roll consisted of a chicken schitnzel, hot chips, and liquid cheese and gravy. Unfortunately the combination of these winning ingredients, (especially their chips, which as mentioned above are usually great) made everything a bit moister, less crispy, and more mushy than desired. A surprising disappointment, though definitely much more edible than the Extreme Chilli Chick.

In the face of other options and in a somewhat health-conscious state, I would only recommend the hot chips at Chooksy’s, which I believe are of the top tier of hot chips in all of NSW.

1/429 Princes Hwy, Bomaderry NSW 2541
(02) 4421 8884


SoCo Kitchen – Wollongong NSW Restaurant Review

Hearing-to-eating time at this restaurant was around 18 months, waylaid by COVID-19 closures, my partner finishing up in Wollongong and moving back to Sydney, and then finally facilitated by a trip down the South Coast to Shoalhaven for my work.

These Buffalo chicky nuggz ($13) were excellent. More like actual pieces of fried chicken than nuggets, these are made of proper pieces of chicken breast rather than mystery mincemeat. The pieces were big, juicy and moist on the inside, with a pleasantly sour and not too spicy buffalo basting on the outside. The side of blue cheese dressing that it came with was alright, though didn’t have such a strong blue cheese taste, really more of a creamy thing. Overall these were huge, however, and excellent. They triggered me to fry my own chicken at home whilst writing this review.

The Cuban pork bites ($12) were the first dish that I had heard about from SoCo, and the actual reason that I had been keen to visit. Though I had been keen, I ultimately didn’t love them. I found them a bit dry yet oily, and not so tasty. While the bowl looks small, the fact that it is full of pork belly means that it is actually quite a substantial entree. If you can only choose one though I’d strongly favour the Buffalo chicky nuggz instead.

I’d never had or even seen gumbo on a menu before, and so we had to get the SoCo Gumbo ($31 including $6 for prawns) to cross that experience off the bucket list. It was a rich and dark stew with a bit of beery bitterness, filled with vegetables, chicken thigh, house-smoked andouille (pork sausage), and a few big prawns. It was really ok, a good experience to have had, but not mindblowing in a way that I would think that I’d eat it all the time. My partner did surprisingly enjoy the andouille, which was a bit unexpected for a woman who does not usually eat parts of the animal that are not muscle.

The gumbo was served with two pieces of cornbread that deserve their own mention. Incredibly heavy, rich, and reasonably sweet these drenched in oil breads were more of a deep fried dessert than a carb in the regular sense. Very tasty, but definitely only in moderation. I can definitely see myself dying an early cardiovascular death if I were to keep eating these.

I thought this bathroom had quite a witchy vibe. My partner didn’t agree.

Overall not bad, pretty-good, worth a stop-by. I wanted some burgers but we just couldn’t eat any more. There really aren’t that many places to get Gumbo and other specifically Southern dishes in NSW and I think they have carved out their niche well. Do note that the restaurant is tiny, so if you’re set on eating here it’s best to call ahead.

SoCo Kitchen & Bar Wollongong
Shop 4/63-65 Crown St, Wollongong NSW 2500
0447 556 816


Marci Lou’s Burger Co – Belmore NSW Restaurant Review

This burger truck is just down the road from where I live, but with difficult access as it’s right on Canterbury Rd (hint: we like to park on Platts Avenue, approaching westbound on Canterbury Rd). We’ve gone a couple of times, mostly on Tuesdays, to take advantage of their excellent value $9 Tuesdays single-patty burger deal.

Though the exact details of what we ate have been forgotten, my general impressions of this burger shop are as follows:

  • The chips have always been made fresh for us, and have always been great. Sadly there is no discount for them on Tuesdays
  • The burgers are solid, though their beef offerings I think are more solid than their chicken offerings.
  • There’s a real texture to their beef, that sets them apart from some rivals with softer beef patties.
  • I preferred their beef burger to their truff burger
  • $7 single patty burgers on Tuesdays were an absolute bargain, I think they’re now $9 each, which is still pretty good.
  • See if you can call ahead, the wait can be long-ish, and the waiting conditions aren’t particularly pleasant

I do sincerely hope they survive Chubby Buns apparently impending opening across the road.

Marci Lou’s Burger Co Belmore
668 Canterbury Rd, Belmore NSW 2192