Ashfield Apothecary – Ashfield NSW Restaurant Review

Growing up Asian in Western Sydney and visiting only the highly-Asian establishments around the place I never really understood Ashfield as an “Inner-West” suburb. I think as the West has extended westward so has the inner-West, and places like Ashfield have transformed from a suburb of Asian grocery stores and Beijing roast duck restaurants to a suburb of cute little cafes with their own seasonal merch collection.

This pastrami sandwich ($16) was unusually priced but ultimately pretty good, I guess. The collection of flavours and textures with the overnight-cured pastrami, the crispy toasted and seeded bread, the mild Swiss cheese and the crisp sauerkraut was quite pleasant in the mouth, though not in the wallet. I feel like this would’ve been right on the money at $12, but $16 is a stretch.

A more substantial bowl at $22-ish, the roasted eggplant with halloumi was an oily mix of eggplant, walnut feta, and pomegranate, served with ciabatta. Though my partner did not like this uncharacteristically vegetarian choice, I found the mixture of flavours and textures (thanks, walnut) sufficient to maintain interest throughout the course of the meal. Pomegranate brightens up even the most eggplant everything.

Ashfield Apothecary
19 Charlotte St, Ashfield NSW 2131
0423 495 012


Lenny Briskets – Botany NSW Restaurant Review

I lived in Botany for an entire year, but it was six months after I had left that Lenny Briskets set up shop in their Botany warehouse location, and another six months of mouth-wateringly looking at Instagram posts before I was able to go and see what all the fuss was about for myself.

The strengths and weaknesses of the food truck business model are centred, unsurprisingly, around its mobility. While having your restaurant on wheels might mean that you’re able to service geographically diverse populations and get your product in front of more hungry eyes and mouths, the itinerant lifestyle also means that it’s difficult to establish a home base with a loyal local following and reliable opening times. It’s the balancing act that’s birthed a million SWOT analyses – but eventually we took ourselves to Botany and got our mouths around that beef.

This Pastrami on Martin’s ($17) was perfection. The meat was so incredibly juicy, tender, and flavourful, not to mention generous, absolutely overflowing the soft, tumeric-coloured potato buns. The yellow theme was continued with just a bit of French’s classic yellow mustard, enough to add a second degree of flavour interest, without being overpowering. The three simple flavours of smoked meat, a bit of mustard, and the sweet bun all worked in perfect harmony, so much so that I found the included side pickle (happily not too salty, but ultimately not needed). While Lenny’s offers a similar sandwich with 500g of pastrami, I think the bread to filling ratio of just the regular one (I think it might be 250g?) is the sweet spot.

The New Amsterdam ($18) of BBQ brisket, American cheese, sweet red peppers and Russian dressing, again on a Martin’s potato bun was my second favourite, but still good. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, though I thought that the red capsicum made it just a bit too wet and sweet for my liking. The flavours of the pastrami sandwich just hit the right spot for me. The cheese was nice, and I wonder if it could be added to the original pastrami sandwich.

This samoyed, known as Bibi, is hyper friendly and super soft, and though we ate our meal with our hands we could not resist giving Lenny’s mascot some well-enjoyed pets.

Good. Catch them if you can.

Lenny Briskets
9 Margate St, Botany NSW 2019
+61 492 907 215