Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jazz City Diner: burgers and all that jazz

American cuisine and specifically burgers have cropped up as a food trend in the last year or so, and while not necessarily associated with fine dining or indeed healthy eating, there is warm comfort in wrapping your mitts around a soft burger bun, biting in and having sauce ooze out from within the melange of meat patty and salad.

Jazz City Diner, Crown Street, Darlinghurst
With a great offer from OurDeal, I headed to Jazz City Diner one Friday night, looking forward to burgers and a touch of American culture.

My knowledge of the classic American diner comes purely from movies (the Back to the Future trilogy sticks in my mind, though you’d hardly call it classic in some of the movies), so I had only a vague idea of what to expect.

Seats at the open kitchen
It turned out to be a delightfully cute, small setup with booths, tables for two and bar/diner-style seats right at the busy open kitchen. And it seemed I wasn’t the only one keen for some American style burger action.

A&W root beer
I had been hanging out for a milkshake, though I was rather put off by the hefty $10 price tag for a normal sized shake. I went instead for a root beer – something I’ve heard of but not tried before – which was what I imagine the initially medicinal Coca-Cola might have tasted like.

Dark and sweet with a heavy hint of a medicinal spice, it was not nearly as strong as it smelt and not too bad an accompaniment for the burgers.

Double cheeseburger – Double ground beef burger patty, onion,
tomato, mayo, pickle relish and lettuce
I couldn’t go past the double cheeseburger – two ground beef patties sandwiching a slice of melty tasty cheese, with onion, lettuce and tomato; the latter which rendered the bun base a little soggy.

The quite regular sesame seed topped burger buns also wore a healthy helping of mayonnaise and a gorgeous and light pickle relish, which combined made tomato sauce seem downright boring. The sauce combination certainly helped the thin beef patties, which were of a good beef quality although just a tad dry for lack of fat within the meat.

Buttermilk onion rings
I had my burger with the buttermilk onion rings; circles of Spanish onion in an impossibly crunchy batter that stayed so beyond my heroic attempts to finish the large burger.

Sweet potato fries
As scrumptious as the onion rings were, they were no competition for the sweet potato fries that were staring at me from across the black-topped table.

Deep fried juliennes of sweet potato didn’t quite retain a crunch, but this was compensated for by an amazing salty-sweet flavour sensation, as well as swoon-worthy fluffiness within the thin sticks. I’ll never look at potato french fries the same again.

Texas chilli cheese burger – Texas style spicy beef chilli, cheese, lettuce,
mayo, pickle relish with sweet potato fries
The Texas chilli cheese burger was a little more exciting, with more moisture from a slightly spicy chilli salsa of sorts. Combined with cheese and the aforementioned sauce combination, this was the winning burger on the night, although it was just as messy as my burger (which I eventually requested cutlery for).

As filling as the burgers and fried vegetable accompaniments were, I had to have dessert as it was going to be an experience as American as pie. Banana cream pie to be specific, over the other selection of pecan pie, and it awesome – with my most American accent.

Banana cream pie
Gorgeously plated on a black slate tile with caramel and dark chocolate sauces, chocolate shavings and icing sugar, the perfect slice itself was a work of art (how did it not slide everywhere when cutting?). The almost uniform layers of thinly sliced banana seemed to be bound together by a very small amount of custardy pudding filling, which was simply delightful and thankfully restrained on the sugar level.

The fluffy fresh cream piping on top acted unexpectedly as the lightest part of the pie, while the cakey-flavoured base was a bit on the hard side, though manageable with a bit of force with the fork in vertical position.

Well done to Jazz City Diner if this pie is made in-house, but even if not, the fabulous home-made flavours of the pie should make any baker proud.

With what seems like an already steady regular trade and walk-ins getting turned away from the tiny diner, it seems the American/burger trend is well and truly going strong in Sydney, with shakes, pies and all that jazz too.

Jazz City Diner on Urbanspoon


Dumpling Girl said...

The banana cream pie looks so good but I really want those onion rings.

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

You couldn't finish those onion rings? Awww.

I'm still not convinced by this place, but the review today in the SMH should help it get more diners.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Just saw this place reviewed on SMH online. Wow, I'd struggle too with that double cheeseburger and onion rings which look oh so crispy!! Mmm! 50 minutes until lunchtime!

Tina said...

Hi Dumpling Girl - They'd be a tie for me ;)

Hi joey - Yeah, the non-burger perspective is interesting - might have to re-try

Hi Angie - It's a big meal, for sure!

Anonymous said...

With so many quality Aussie-style burgers around I don't really see the need for American-style burgers. But maybe it's good to have the variety. That pie slice certainly looks American (especially the size!).

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

MMm banana cream pie sounds like an absolute dream pie. I've heard some haven't been impressed by the prices of the shakes here though but perhaps that Our Deal voucher helped in that respect.

myinnerchick.com said...

Um, I think I'll have the Onion Rings with the Banana Cream Pie. Ohhhh, MY!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Ooh buttermilk onion rings and sweet potato fries! I'm lusting after that banana cream pie too. You're right - I wonder how they cut it so neatly?

Tina said...

Hi lateraleating - I admit I haven't really tried any of the new gourmet burger chains... though I hear good thing about them.

Hi Lorraine - The pie WAS a dream! The shakes were still $10 with the deal :S

Hi myinnerchick - Good order...! ;)

Hi Helen - Tricks of the trade...? :)

Anonymous said...

The portions are big!! Love the cream pie......

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

I go weak for American diner style food....well, any American food really, soul food in particular.

Yes, good choice with the sweet potato fries- they look like neat carrot sticks! LOL

I'd love for more Jazz eateries to open up.

hollypop said...

your pictures are so much better than the ones i took! i liked jazz city a lot - it was fun. but i didn't love it.

Tina said...

Hi Ellie - It was gorgeous..!

Hi Adrian - The fries were gorgeous; highlight of my meal :)

Hi hollypop - I have sort of the same feeling...

Helen Lee said...

I've already taste their Banana cream pie and it's very delicious and yummy to eat! Best combination with hot shake coffee! Nice Review. Maybe you can post that in Hungry? City Guides/Blog wherein there's a lot of city dining and drinking guides in various Cities in USA.


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