Bianca: I will pretty much travel far and wide for any food but when I get word of a popular burger drifting through the airwaves I’d pretty much sell my unborn children… and any other children I happen to come across. This was one of those through the grapevine murmurings.
‘The Greens’ is fairly new, opening late last year with a little help from ex ‘Grounds of Alexandria’ chefs Lilly and Nathan Fasan. Operating out of the old North Sydney Bowling Club, the view is jaw dropping, with a clear vista overlooking the harbour. I kind of made a mental note to keep the Greens in mind for my 30th…until I remembered you cannot book or reserve a table/space.
I did like the novelty of all the large outdoor furniture with a great emphasis on a casual meal/drink with friends and family, my first visit I went on a Friday during lunch service so it was a mainly corporate crowd, though I have heard that it draws a lot of families. Ordering is done at the bar which for this lazy pants, is rather tedious. At least they bring the food out to you when it’s ready.
Getting straight into it my friend and I decided to share the ‘Oxtail Croquettes’ – w/ a sweet pimento dipping sauce. $13. I was not blown away – which became a theme for the day. Expensive for the portion presented. All my experiences with croquettes in the past have had some sort of carbohydrate element, mashed potatoes for example. This was literally an outer breadcrumb shell filled with oxtail, which hey, some people may love but I felt it would have benefited from some other element to cut through all the meat. The heavy ‘meaty’ flavour became particularly overwhelming after a bite or two. We also both agreed that the sauce was underwhelming, the sweetness of the oxtail and the sauce combined just become a bit of a mess, something with a bit of a kick would have been far more suitable.
On to the main goods, we each got the ‘Wagyu Beef Burger’ – American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, chips & smokey sauce. $19. When it came out it certainly looked the part, all my burger eating of late has made me realise I’m partial to milk/ brioche buns. Appearance wise it was a strong 10/10 but upon taking that first bite I knew that it was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I became a little more depressed with each bite. It had a few issues, the first being the patty – criminally under seasoned with bits of gristle. Then what completely killed it for me, it was really wet. Odd right? I’ve actually never come across a burger like it really, juice seemed to be seeping all over the place, meaning I couldn’t put it down back in the plate or I would lose it in the soupy behinds. I was happy with the sauce and cheese meltage (it always tends to make me happy) but as an eating experience as a whole it was too messy to enjoy and the liquid leaching out from the burger tended to water everything down. My friend enjoyed it so perhaps I’m being particular – but when you devote your life to the burg’s you don’t mess around. For my Facebook FBAS friends I’d give it a 2.5/5 pickles.
I couldn’t justify a write-up on a burger alone so felt I needed to go back. This time around I steered clear of all burger related menu items and went with the ‘Lamb neck cooked in pastry’ – w/smoked carrot, yoghurt & garden peas $25. First things first, again overpriced. The drinks on the other hand are reasonably priced. In saying that, it was a dish I’d be happy to eat over and over again. The lamb was slow cooked and shredded and then encased within pastry, which when fried produced a crispy exterior. Combined with the carrot purée and mushrooms (not mentioned on the menu) it was an almost faultless dish.
My pal went with the ‘Blue Swimmer Crab Spaghetti’ – w/zucchini, chilli, garlic & lemon $28. It was certainly a vibrant dish when it hit the table, as well as being a generous portion. My friend enjoyed his dish but mentioned he would have liked to see more crab throughout as it was a little sparse, there were also far more veggies than he cared to eat.
So a few hit and miss menu items, the venue and the view are both great but I can’t say whether I’d return for those two things alone.