Tagged: 3stars

Flossy Hamchez – For when one pork product just wont cut it

Flossy Hamchez – $2.60 from Barby, 2 locations in Haymarket (Sussex St and Market City)

In life, as in pork-products, two’s company.

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Author’s note: If you are reading this, you are one of a small minority of people blessed with the honour of being able to read this highly informative and socially important blog. However, dwindling numbers of visitors have caused me to reconsider my approach. After researching the successes of other major media outlets, I have decided to convert the blog to tabloid format, to cater for those commuters who find the broadsheet version just too unweildy. To take advantage of this new format, simply rotate your computer screen or mobile device 90 degrees to the right.

There comes a time in a man’s life when he feels that eating one pork based product at a time is just not enough. Luckily, the buzzing brains at Barby’s have their fingers on the pulse, and have created a snack for such a man, the Flossy Hamchez.

This snack is a throwback to the days of the once great Porcine Ingestion Group, who campaigned for years for mandatory minimum pork standards. The PIGs popularity peaked in the late 1980s following a heavy media campaign, but soon fell out of favour after a tell-all documentary revealed just how poorly the animals were treated. A number of snack purveyors, who had invested heavily in gaining ‘two-pork preferred’ certification, were left to cut their losses, and few have been game to combine pork products ever since.

Barby have bravely returned to the territory though, and have come out with mixed results. The Flossy Hamchez combines pork floss, diced ham, melted cheese, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, and herbs, presented attractively in a plain bread bun. At first, eating the Hamchez feels like a flavour overload. Sauce is the first to tickle the tastebuds, then the herbs and ham hit you like a one-two punch. The floss adds a lasting chewiness and texture, but for the life of me I couldn’t find the cheese. I knew it was there, but it became obscured in the face of so many other flavours. If I had some advice for Barby, it would be to put the cheese on last before grilling, giving eaters enough time to savour some dairy goodness before diving headlong into pork paradise. All in all, a solid snack, but just doesn’t have the same appeal as other options. I applaud Barby’s bravery though in attempting a two-porker, and look forward to other eateries following suit. Three stars.

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Good

Value – OK

Overall judgement: 3

 

* For those of you who were wondering,  I’m not counting the Nicky Sausage as a two-pork snack, as we all know frankfurts aren’t really meat, and if they are, we can never be sure what animal it came from. Most likely horse.

Tuna Dog – Best Left for Cats

Tuna Dog – $2.60 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)

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My last trip to Fuji-Pan left me wanting more, so it was inevitable that I would return. This time, while perusing the various snack booths, I saw a little face peeking out at me. I soon realised that I had stumbled across an entire litter of that rarest of creatures, the Tuna Dog. Easily recognised by their flat boiled egg faces and mustard features, Tuna Dogs are timid fellows, often only seen between the hours of 11:00am and 2:30pm when they come out to feed. Ironically, most Tuna Dogs end up being eaten themselves, by those very people that the Dogs believe are there to feed them.

Distantly related to the hot-dog, the Tuna Dog is essentially a bread roll filled with tuna mornay, and with a face. Now I don’t know about you, but when faced with the choice between a snack with a face, and anything else, I’ll choose the face 9 times out of 10. The Dog itself is a satisfying snack, the mornay a good balance of tuna, mayo, corn, and onions, with the eggy mustard face bringing a slight warmth to the palette. I found myself content with my first bite, not excited, but not underwhelmed either.

If anything, the Tuna Dog is only brought down by its honesty – it’s a bread roll with tuna mornay on it. In my books, tuna mornay isn’t really a snack food, and putting something on a bread roll doesn’t quite make it so. Although Caroline, the neighbours cat, must disagree as she’s been eyeing it off for the last five minutes. Three stars.

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Originality – Fair

Execution – Good

Value – Fair

Overall judgement: 3

Bacon Potato Goro-Goro – Is that the sound of thunder?

Bacon Potato Goro-Goro – $2.90 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)

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As I sat at my desk yesterday afternoon, I heard a strange sound. Was that a distant roll of thunder? The skies were grey, but the noise seemed closer to home. Once more, the rumble, but this time accompanied by a small pang of hunger. My stomach! Snack Time!

I headed to Fuji-Pan, fast becoming my favourite obscure snack purveyor. A number of new items caught my attention, but I was strangely drawn to the Bacon Potato Goro-Goro. It was like a tiny dormant volcano, ready to spew forth it’s bacony contents at any moment. Needless to say, I had found my snack.

Intrigued by the origin of the name, I consulted a number of sources, and discovered that goro goro in Japanese often refers to the noise of thunder. Reading on, it seems the literal meaning is similar to ‘roll’, as in a roll of thunder, so I’ve decided to translate our snack as the Bacon Potato Thunder Roll.

The roll itself was also intriguing. Cubes of diced bacon peeked at me from beneath a mossy crust of oregano. On first bite, I discovered the potato, small cooked and herbed chunks hiding in the bottom of the bready exterior. The flavours were appealing, but I got the feeling something was wrong. Towards the end of the roll I discovered the culprit. The bacon cubes filling the roll appeared to be the travesty of meat known as ‘bacon style pieces’, which bear as much resemblance to a pig as seafood extender does to a fish. Not a deal breaker, but to be honest I was a little disappointed, after all, it’s not Bacon-style Potato Goro Goro is it?

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Average, good potential but let down by fake bacon

Value – Fair

Overall judgement: 3

Takoyaki – a spherical seafood delight

Takoyaki (octopus balls) – $2.70 from Sushi Show, QVB lower ground

What better way to start than with a strange looking sea creature, cut into small pieces and fried in balls of batter. Today we cast our eye on takoyaki, or octopus balls for the uninitiated. These are a traditional Japanese snack, made in a special hemi-spherical pan using a fishy batter, boiled octopus chunks, spring onions, a special brown sauce and mayonnaise, and topped with waving shavings of bonito. Think of a spherical savoury seafood poffertje.

Sushi Show have made a fine attempt from their small shop in the Queen Victoria Building. Look past the racks of sushi and you’ll see a small selection of other fine fried snacks, including some tasty looking prawn parcels (keep an eye out for a future review).

Now I’ve always appreciated a rolling  snack, and with an axle, it’s even better. Balanced flavours, generous on the octopus, but not too fishy. Where the snack falls down though is in the heat department. Takoyaki should ideally be served at a temperature so hot, that even the fires of hell seem tame by comparison. Since Sushi Show are aiming for the take-away fast food market, the takoyaki are prepared in advance and kept in a warming rack, where the full potential is lost. This also means that Sushi Show omit what is perhaps the most exciting element of takoyaki, the wavering bonito flakes, which would be wasted here. Not quite an every day go-to snack, but good every now and then to mix things up a bit. Three stars.

Originality – Good

Execution – OK

Value – Fair

Overall judgement: 3