Number One BBQ House (No. 1 BBQ House) – Campsie NSW Restaurant Review

Just a few doors down from Yummy King BBQ Campsie is their biggest competitor, a Cantonese BBQ restaurant with a hyper-focus on Southern Chinese barbecued meats, with a distinct lack of faffing around with an extensive eat-in menu.

What No. 1 BBQ House does is all your classic barbecued favourites – from soy chicken to crispy roast duck, to BBQ pork and roast pork, as well as some other things in between. There is no in-house seating (this may be a COVID-19 thing, but it’s already January 2023, perhaps it was just for the afternoon that we went), and no need for it. Just meat.

Both the BBQ Pork and Roast Pork were $, about the going price up and down the road, and everywhere else.

The char siu was very good, with good flavours – a balance of sweet, salty, and umami, as well as good texture. It was cut in the traditional way, against the grain, with each piece having a good mouthfeel with no particularly chewy bits – more than I can say for Yummy King BBQ.

To contrast, the siu yuk (roast pork), was not as good as next door. It was certainly not bad, with again good texture, crispy skin even when eaten as takeaway, and a good amount of lean meat with a little bit of fat. The taste however was too salty for my liking, and I longed for the more mild but still tasty variety that I had had from Yummy King just days ago.

The ginger and shallot oil was clear, which in comparison is definitely a plus.

Though we’re yet to have any of the birds at No. 1 BBQ House, my opinion is that their char siu is superior to Yummy King, whilst their crackling roast pork is not as good. Seeing as they’re right next to each other, it’s not overly difficult to just get what you like from each place.

I will note that No. 1 BBQ house imposes no EFT surcharge for purchases over $10, and only a 50c surcharge for purchase under $10, which is both fair and extremely above board. I pay my income tax, and appreciate when others do the same.


Number One BBQ House Campsie
152 Beamish St, Campsie NSW 2194
(02) 9718 6147

Asian Fusion Café Chinese

STIX – Marrickville NSW Restaurant Review

My partner and I have been eating a lot of good food recently, much to the disappointment of my healthcare team and our mortgage deposit. This morning’s late start for my partner found us at STIX, a farm to table café with a much appreciated all-day menu.

We started with the potato hash ($8). I couldn’t stop her. For what it’s worth, these were great. These were extremely buttery and luscious, multi-layered with a thin crispy of an exterior and a soft interior. Pretty tasty.

The smoked trout rillettes ($24) with fennel and kohlrabi remoulade, celery, pickled eschallot, apricot jam and sourdough toast was next. I enjoyed the taste and texture of this dish, as something I could not dream of making myself. The base of sourdough bread was nice and crusty, with good structural integrity and able to carry the weight of its toppings with ease. The brightness, freshness and crunchiness of the celery was excellent with the more creamy textures of the remoulade and trout rillette. The taste and texture of the rillette, something difficult to make or find outside of a restaurant, were both good, and a reasonable volume was provided with our order.

The poached egg was comically small, though we do understand that when you’re raising the hens yourself there is a spectrum of eggs produced, and it’s not possible to only have 58 gram eggs. Unfortunately the small size of our poached egg may have contributed to its overcooking – I have no photos but it was 0% runny compared to what a normal poached egg is.

The last thing to mention would be the apricot jam, which was just a little bit sweet but added so much to the overall flavour of the dish, complimenting the saltiness and savouriness of the rest of the meal. My partner particularly liked that it was dolloped on in discrete bits, so that some mouthfuls would have some sweetness and others would not.

The very good chicken and sweetcorn congee ($21) was a dish that I felt I could probably make at home, and am in fact probably ethnically and genetically obliged to make at home at some point. It was a really tasty and hot bowl of congee, with a bit of spiciness from some tamari chilli relish, some sweetness from the corn, some ginger, and some saltiness from what I presume is just plain salt. The texture of the rice was very nice and soft, and has prompted me to freeze a bit of washed and soaked rice in my freezer just now so that I can make something similar soon. The chicken was not particularly plentiful, with a shredded grocery store rotisserie chicken kind of quality (though I do not mean to defame – I’m sure it was much fancier than this), but enough for enjoyment. This was ultimately a simple but very well executed dish, one that will inspire me to be a better Asian this week.

I made my partner wait a full twelve minutes after the end of our meal to decide if she still wanted this tea and toast croissant ($9.50). $9.50 is a lot to pay for a croissant. I thought that the earl grey tea cream filling of the croissant was plentiful in volume, but sadly not so in taste. It felt highly calorie dense, fatty and thick, but without the taste payoff that such expenditure should entail. I would’ve much preferred a stronger earl grey taste in this situation, preferably also without as much volume of cream. Filling aside, the marmalade glaze on this croissant was enjoyable, although in my imaginations of Beverly and Betty tea and toast diets (I am, for these six months, a geriatric medicine advanced trainee after all) I had always assumed it was plain toast straight out of the toaster that they were eating. I doubt you would get too malnourished if this croissant were your staple meal.

I don’t know how I feel about a place that only takes card, with a mandatory card surcharge for all payments. It feels like any mandatory, unavoidable surcharge should be built into the menu price from the start, but I guess the gods of the ACCC disagree with me. Pretty good food. Worth a visit.

20 Chapel St, Marrickville NSW 2204
(02) 9550 2772


Frencheese – Spotswood VIC Restaurant Review

We didn’t actually have this meal in Melbourne, but rather a food stall by the Frencheese people at a very small Christmas market in Sydney.

We had, among other things that day, this raclette traditional ($17) with melted raclette cheese poured on butter sautéed potatoes, rosemary and thyme, shaved pastrami and ham with some mixed lettuce, vinaigrette, and baby gherkins. The odour and umami taste of this mixture was just incredible, with such a strong cheesiness and creaminess from the mixture of cheese, meats, and potatoes. It was a taste I’d never had before, and I’m glad I got to try it before the heaviness of it all put me in the ground.

Grazeland Melbourne, 20 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015 (Permanent stall)
Multiple stalls around the place. Check soicals.


Let’s Chon – Sydenham NSW Restaurant Review

People with cats probably make up a significant portion of IKEA’s repeat customers for their IKEA 365+ line of glass, snap-and-lock lidded food containers. The reason behind this is twofold:

  1. We have an inherent and inalienable need to keep food away from the paws of increasingly intelligent cats, who will one day become so good at getting into containers that eventually they’ll need to be secured with retinal scanners (whilst confusingly lacking the intelligence to understand that onion and chocolate are not good for them), and
  2. Cats, on a good day, LOVE pushing things onto the floor, and the more glassy and fragile the more joy they get out of it. Bonus points if there is food in the box that gets released upon a good shattering.

And so we two cat slaves keep going to IKEA Tempe and buying more and more boxes every time we run low. Perhaps tempered glass boxes would be a better alternative considering the frequent breakage, but they’re far more expensive, and going to Tempe gives us an extra opportunity to eat some seriously good food.

We entered Let’s Chon with the spit turning, fat falling into the charcoal and flames occasionally erupting and licking the meat.

Seeing this great sight we could of course not resist ordering the lechon belly ($15 for a single serving), a delicious roast pork with perfect crackling skin and a light salting, spicing, and herbing. The woman who took my order checked with her colleague in the back to confirm the meat was ready before accepting my order, after which it was taken off the spit and carved up for us fresh. We didn’t see the belly return to the spit during the duration of our meal, so I suspect that we lucked ourselves into some incredibly fresh, juicy, and delicious belly, lauded by my partner as the “best pork I’ve ever had,” a compliment I’m sure she’s given to multiple other porks in her life. Subsequent customers may not find their timing to be so perfect. We did not have any Mang Tomas sauce, because we did not know about it (apparently it is there on a counter for self-serve), though I’d love to try it in the future if we’re ever back for their fortnightly roast whole pig.

I did not love the chicken adobo ($18), but more likely than not this is me simply not loving it rather than them doing a poor job. The mixture of garlic, soy sauce, peppercorn, and vinegar really reminded me too much of the fish that my grandfather would stew in my childhood that wasn’t my favourite. The meat of the steamed chicken drumsticks and wings were tender but the flavour was not for me.

I was hesitant for the porksilog ($16) pork chop with garlic rice, but it was really good. The garlic fried rice was super flavourful and fragrant, probably some of the best we’ve had. The pork chop, with a umami and sweetness that I’m told most often comes from a mixture of soy sauce and sprite, was delicious, tender, and flavourful with a delicious thin fatty outer rim. The egg was done beautifully, and the pickles were bright, fresh, and tasty. This was really good.

OVERALL a great meal, with the pork dishes that we had being a total standout. Would not hesitate to recommend.

Let’s Chon
7 Gleeson Ave, Sydenham NSW 2044
0404 710 531

American Bakery Café

Small Talk Coffee & Snacks – Dulwich Hill Restaurant Review

This is Small Talk’s Lox Bagel ($17.50). I don’t know the physical or legal difference between a bagel with filling and a sandwich, apart from the type of bread, but nonetheless enjoyed this bagel with filling. The bagel has a sweet and savoury flavour, with a mildly dense texture providing a perfect balance of bite and chew. The filling of smoked salmon, caper paste, pickled onion and cream cheese was deeply umami, with a good mix of different textures and flavours. My partner and I shared the one bagel, and I do not think it was inadequate. They come pre-sliced in half, so if eating with a friend or colleague they are optimal for sharing two different halves of two different bagels.

Another item pre-destined for sharing is their Raspberry Fritter ($7.50), essentially a square glazed donut with a light hint of raspberry filling. If you were to close your eyes it would be almost indistinguishable from a Krispy Kreme original glazed donut, though the grooves did make it extremely convenient to tear and share. Not the strongest dessert though, and I feel too expensive for what it was.

Please note that this venue is more takeaway oriented, with only very limited outdoor benching available.

Small Talk Dulwich Hill
Shop 2/355 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203