Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Part of the Parramatta Square redevelopment, Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches promises to bring American-style submarine sandwiches to the rapidly gentrifying slums of Western Sydney.

The Beef Dip Sub ($16) was one of the more unique subs on the menu, featuring a submarine sandwich of heavy onion, beef fillet, horseradish mayo, and lots of provolone cheese served with a small tub of dipping gravy. The sandwich itself was reminiscent of a backyard barbeque, with strong onion flavours and tender beef. The gravy was thin and salty, and though I was keen to try a sandwich dipped in gravy I must admit not many of my bites were dipped. It didn’t add much.

The Nashville Hot Chicken Sub ($16) was the better of the two subs that we had. The chicken was freshly fried and juicy, with good moistness maintained throughout the sub thanks to a healthy smattering of vinegar slaw, pickles, and sauce. We had the medium spicy option (damn hot), which we felt was not very spicy at all, though your tastebuds may vary. Though a good sandwich overall, I am still more partial to the hot chicken sandwiches at Belle’s Hot Chicken (though this is a good Western Sydney alternative).

My girlfriend has never walked past a potato and not eaten it, and so for us Harvey’s Salt and Vinegar Potato Salad ($4) was just destiny. Though we are usually fans of salt and vinegar on potatoes, we felt that this offering was really only okay. The flavouring was actually a bit mild for us, though we did appreciate the dill scattered on top which added an additional layer of flavour.

The Creaming Soda Float ($7) with house made vanilla ice cream was great. I always appreciate when a restaurant’s menu says house made rather than home made (unless the food is being made in a home).

Not bad, a bit more fancy than your local Subway, but it’s going to be a tough sell getting your general Western Sydney guys to spend $16 on a sandwich. That said, there are still a few that I want to eat.

Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches
Parramatta Square Shop 4, 05/12 Darcy St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9169 0838

Café French

The Hardware Société – Melbourne VIC Restaurant Review

I managed to avoid eating at Hardware Société in my six years as a Melbourne local, but as fate would have it broke my streak on a recent visit back.

This Twice Baked Cheese Souffle ($23) didn’t really live up to expectations, though not more so than any other menu item that we had at Hardware Société. What I would consider the focal components of this dish – the cheese souffle and poached eggs – were actually quite good. I enjoyed the cheesy taste and the airy but somehow still creamy and dense (is this an oxymoron?) texture of the souffle, as well as the perfect runniness of the masterfully poached eggs. What didn’t quite appeal to me was the multigrain bread doused in an oil, pickled grapes, and nuts that my partner thought tasted a bit stale, and the salad whose limited freshness I felt was inadequate to counter this.

Some restaurants excel on taste and presentation but fail on their portion sizes. Hardware Société does more or less the opposite with their gigantic Confit Free Range Chicken ($26.50), with a truly larger than normal chicken maryland, pulled from some monster of a bird. Though I was in awe of the size of this chook, I was not so inspired by the actual flavour of the meat, which I found to be bland despite the better-than-usual texture of both the meat and the crispy skin covering it. The herby potato salad was much enjoyed as are most potato dishes by my partner, though I felt that there was a lot of room for some additional heat to be added to the system. The swirl of green tangy sauce was perhaps the only thing I truly enjoyed on this plate.

This hot chocolate ($7.50), served deconstructed in classic Melbourne fashion, was quite good, if a bit sweet. Note the addition of a miniature Easter egg, as if it were a little apology for the 15% public holiday surcharge across the menu.

The soy latte ($5.30) was truly quite small, expensive, and unspectacular.

I had quite a few good and special meals on my recent trip to Melbourne, but my trip to Hardware Société wasn’t one of them. It’s possible that we simply chose the wrong items on their menu, but I don’t think I’d give them a second chance to find out.

The Hardware Société
10 Katherine Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9621 2100