Burgerville – Merrylands NSW Restaurant Review

I hadn’t taken part in the night-shift delivery order in months, but a set of unexpected circumstances put an end to the health kick. I was recently involved in a minor motor vehicle accident which left me physically OK (long-term sequelae yet to be seen) but the car not so much. My insurance doesn’t cover a hire car in my situation, and so I was left with the choice of either an 1.5 hour public transport trip each way between home or work, or simply staying at work between shifts in one of the on-call rooms in the dungeon under the unit. It was a Saturday between night shifts where my partner was working the day, so not only could she not pick me up, but I would’ve had no crossover with her at home had I actually gone home that day. So I stayed at the suggestion of a colleague (thanks GD), had extremely poor sleep, and had since I was completely unprepared for this at-work siesta I had nothing to eat either.

Enter Burgerville’s Double Down ($13), two halal beef smash patties fused together by cheese, vegetablised with shredded lettuce and seasoned with pickles, onions, lettuce, and ketchup between a brioche bun. This was a pretty good burger, with a good ratio of fillings to bread, with juicy patties, reasonable freshness, and tasty condimentation. My esteemed fellow MTNMK, who asked specifically to be quoted, remarked upon biting into his similar burger that “brioche buns are so soft, it’s like chewing on a pillow”.

Though visually attractive, the chilli chicken ribs (5 for $8) were quite dry and not really that flavoured, with I think mostly the suggestion of chilli. I ate two, and there are three still left forgotten in the fridge. I wouldn’t recommend these. I only have a short break before my next run of nights (shout out only one day shift among 11 night shifts in the month of December), so I’ll throw them away once I’m back at work.

The beef burger was pretty good, and though I wasn’t game enough to order the triple-patty pounder burger, it might’ve been even better with a bit more meat. I wouldn’t recommend the ribs though, an MTNMK also preferred his beef burger over his chicken burger. RIP MX-5.

Burgerville Merrylands
227 Merrylands Rd, Merrylands NSW 2160
(02) 8628 0135

Middle Eastern

CK’s Canterbury Kebabs & Burgers – Canterbury NSW Restaurant Review

Probably unrelated to CK Kebab in Westmead, CK’s Canterbury Kebabs & Burgers provides a high-mid tier mixed kebab for a hefty $12. The salad is fresh without any hint of weirdness, the meat used is good, and the service is fast.

There is no additional charge for tabouli or multiple sauces, though I would’ve preferred a 50 cent surcharge or something to get an actual quantity of tabouli worth mentioning. I will ask for this the next time I go.

We’ve had probably ten kebabs over the course of the year since I first drafted this post, and they have been repeatedly high quality. The bouli to bab ratio has improved without us asking for anything in particular, and the kebabs have remained plump, juicy, and tasty. Unfortunately I don’t have any recent cross-sectional imagery to prove this.

Other things we have eaten from CK’s Canterbury include burgers, snack packs, and chips. See below.

This beef burger with egg was probably $9-10. It was really only OK, with the patty too soft and untextured for my liking.

I don’t know how expensive these chips with chicken salt were, but they were pretty good, fresh, and sogged only by tomato sauce.

The snack packs were also good, I’ve had a few, uncaptured, that I shouldn’t have. CK’s is just so convenient on the way home from the city after an expensive meal that we often find ourselves topping up on it.


Not gourmet, but not everything needs to be.

CK’s Canterbury Kebabs & Burgers
280 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury NSW 2193


Sneaky Burger – Nowra NSW Restaurant Review

During my time in Nowra my two junior colleagues each recommended me a South Coast burger chain to try. Though I never made it to The Hungry Monkey, I did manage to go to Sneaky Burger as my last dinner in town.

I had and ruined the Pineapple Express ($14) with an additional beef patty ($3). I had been craving a bit of a pineapple burger after seeing a chicken schnitzel pineapple burger on the menu at Chooksy’s, and I must admit that the weird combination of peanut butter and pineapple on a burger drew me in. While most of the other burger options on the “Baller range” at Sneaky Burger feature two patties, the pineapple express comes as default with only one, so of course I had to ruin it with an extra.

This $17 abomination turned out to be an extremely oily and greasy mess, not to mention ergonomically difficult. It is my own fault and my own regret that I did this, as I suspect the base burger would’ve been just as good, perhaps better. Despite the greasiness and the clear presence of pineapple, the flavours of this burger didn’t quite stand out for me. I think that in particular the patty wasn’t as seasoned as I would have expected, and the use of peanut butter rather than a standard sauce again meant that the flavours were blunted. Though I could definitely appreciate the presence of chunky peanut butter, I don’t know that overall it’s a great flavour to use in a burger.

I ended up feeling extremely guilty about halfway through this burger, and started to open it up and pick at it a bit (also because two pieces of bread, no sauce, and the added textural dryness from peanut butter just kind of made it extra dry). This co-incided with my consultant’s arrival in the restaurant, and so I said hello to him and we did a bit of a clinical handover with half an open burger in my hands. He loves the place.

As an aside I really enjoyed this Google Review from Cassandra. I actually disagree with most of the content the woman serving me was likely an adult, could clearly read, and there was no problem with customer service at all. I got all the bacon that was promised to me, and any additional servings of bacon are $3 and not $3.50, so six of those could probably buy like half to three quarters of a nice pizza from nearby Pietro’s in South Nowra. I just thought the last sentence was funny.

Sneaky Burger Nowra
130 Kinghorne St, Nowra NSW 2541
0432 513 910


BlackBear BBQ – Wetherill Park & Blacktown NSW Restaurant Review

I’ve enjoyed Black Bear BBQ ever since my first visit during internship; back whilst I was living and working in the Deep West. Their little restaurant in Blacktown’s industrial district was my first introduction to Texas-style BBQ, and even though it took a few attempts to try and go (their opening hours were very strange at the time) I finally managed.

My first bearlesque adventure in 2018 was with their Hungry Bear Breakfast Box, featuring big slabs of their beef brisket, pork belly, a hot link, two sunny side up eggs, and some baked beans. My memory fails me (it’s been three years), so enjoy the pretty picture instead. This item is no longer available on their menu.

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a quick takeaway meal just as the Delta variant of COVID-19 struck Sydney, which is almost funny looking back at it and writing this in the early days of the Omicron strain.

These tater tots ($6) started off pretty strongly. Freshly fried and seasoned with parmesan and rosemary salt, each little tot came with a nice crunch and a warm centre. Unfortunately, as is often the case with deep fried starchy and cheesy foods, as these tots cooled down they started to taste a little bitter. Unavoidable.

The O.G Burger ($14), not to be confused with an O&G Burger, was pretty good. The beef brisket patty was moist with a good mouthfeel, while the salad added a good degree of freshness to balance out the fatty patty and associated cheese. It’s a good thing that this burger is essentially the same as the cheeseburger but with extra salad, as any other differences would have meant us ordering both.

The Hungry Bear Box ($32) is designed to satisfy not only a hungry, but also a peckish* black bear. While you can order Black Bear BBQ’s boxes with a choice of either beef brisket or pork belly for a slightly lower price, truly hungry bears are able to experience a tasting of both, along with a jalapeno and cheese hot link (sausage), some potato crsps, pickles, and coleslaw. Both the pork and beef were tender and juicy, though both my partner and I preferred the brisket over the pork. The hot link is quite tasty and nice, and at $4 a pop are great as a stand-alone or add-on order.

Black Bear BBQ is a true friend to bearkind. I’d recommend every (non-vegetarian) bear that every there was to gather here.

I have been informed that the word peckish does not describe a bear who wants a little bit of everything, merely a bear who is a little hungry but not fully hungry. I refuse to look this up, and what I don’t know can’t hurt me.

Black Bear BBQ Blacktown
11/27 Forge St, Blacktown NSW 2148
(02) 9672 3353

Black Bear BBQ Wetherill Park
93-97 Newton Rd, Wetherill Park NSW 2164
(02) 9756 1117

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