Charlie & Co

November 18, 2010
By

I don’t do crowds. Patience is not one of my strong points and when you add a lack of patience to a crowd quite obviously not knowing where they’re going, it can get messy. This is how I felt walking through the new Westfield Sydney on its first full day of opening two weeks ago. Don’t get me wrong, I was suitably impressed and very glad it has reopened but I feel like – as I described it to my friend – as the best place on earth and the worst place on earth at the exact same time. The shops are amazing, the crowds are amazingly oblivious. The place is huge, the crowds are huger (I know, it’s not a word but you get my drift). Admittedly it’s not as bad since then and although I wouldn’t say the novelty has worn off, the crowds are nowhere near what they were two weeks ago so I was extremely excited to head down to Charlie & Co for lunch to try out Justin North’s new venture.

I was still pretty hesitant about the crowds as I had heard the wait was long and the space was small but we arrived around 12:45 and got a table straight away. There wasn’t too many left but the turnover is so frequent (what with all the business lunches) that you probably wouldn’t wait too long.

The place is really cool and looks more like a trendy café than a burger joint. Although this is Justin North so what else would we expect? Filled with suits fitting in a quick bite, it’s a great place for a good catch up – or ketchup….get it???? :) ok lame dad joke

Anyway, we were on a pretty tight schedule so I had already eyed the menu mid morning in excitement. I went with the The Wagyu & Co. Burger – Wagyu burger with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin and aged cheddar on a toasted brioche bun, Rach had the producers’ burger – marinated local mushrooms, haloumi, sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach and aioli on a sesame bun and we ordered the parmesan and truffle fries to share. Service was pretty quick so for anyone with a short lunch break, this place would be perfect.

The patty of Wagyu was massive! I’m talking could-barely-fit-in-my-mouth massive and I quite pride myself on being able to shovel a lot of food in at once (ladylike, I know) and even I was struggling. But the meat was charred on the outside and just the right amount of pink in the middle. So succulent and juicy that along with the pickled gherkins and beetroot relish was probably one of the best burgers I have ever eaten.

Rach’s burger also looked amazing with a field mushroom replacing the meat; I almost mistook hers for mine when the waitress arrived as it looked so much like a patty. She loved her burger too and although we hadn’t seen each other in a while and needed to swap goss, we were unusually quiet during the meal. Always a good sign.

With the first bite of a chip you can immediately taste truffle *insert mini happy dance here* and I am immediately transported to fries heaven! They are pillowy soft in the inside with a crunch on the outside that makes me smile like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America.

If you get the opportunity, head down (or up? Its on level 5) to Charlie & Co for some great burgers, sandwiches or hotdogs. Justin North is bringing the art of a great burger back to Sydney and let’s face it, we can use it in the CBD. As long as you are willing to brave the crowds, I can tell you that the food is definitely worth it!

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.