19 November 2010

Charlie & Co: Wagyu Burger, Westfield Sydney (17 Nov 2010

The Sydney Room, Level 5, Westfield Sydney
Cnr Market and Castlereagh St Sydney NSW 2000

High-priced burger expectations

Justin North is expanding his Sydney food empire from Bécasse and Le Grand Café into the food court stakes at the new Westfield Sydney. Currently it's ranked No. 1 on Urbanspoon's NSW 'Talk of the Town' and is closely followed by a few of the other Westfield eateries although it looks like the great expectations of their high priced burgers are receiving mixed reviews. With the standard already set high with his Plan B Wagyu Beef Burger for only $10 I was curious to see, like many others, if Charlie & Co will be better. There's a longish wait in the take away queue at 12.30 during the peak lunch time and the kitchen looks like it's in full swing although looking a little frazzled under the pressure. The Wagyu & Co. Burger ($16 take away) is a wagyu beef patty served with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin and aged cheddar on a sesame bun. Slightly different to Plan B version but it's around the same size — smallish but high. I find the beef patty a little too thick for my liking and it's not as juicy as hoped. The base of the bun falls apart a little too easily making it a messy job to eat by hand. I like inclusion of the beetroot relish and pickled gherkin though. For me it doesn't quite met my expectations for a juicy and well-balanced burger which is easy to eat — would Hamburger Charlie approve it as a burger you can eat while you walk?

You can smell the truffle aroma of the Parmesan and Truffle Fries ($8) as soon as you collect them. This is a welcomed addition which Plan B doesn't offer although it comes at a price. An appropriately named Charlie's Honest Juice Orange ($4) will help my body absorb the iron today. The promise of swift service isn't really the case due to what seems like a slow queuing and ordering system when very busy. If you want to avoid the take away queue then you have the option of dining in with table service but unfortunately you'll have to queue up as well to get into this area. When you order for yourself you have the option of take away packaging or plated where upon you'll receive a buzzer. You don't pay an extra if you want to sit in the allocated self-service dining area, only for the table service area. It was quite confusing at first to work out the options and system so hopefully I've clarified it for my readers.

PROS: Seating available, Hard working staff trying to cope with rush hour, Different burger options, Chips are tasty
CONS: Premium priced burgers, Long queues when busy, Burgers might not live up to expectations
MUST TRY: Some of the other burgers and hot dog to compare

The Wagyu & Co. Burger: Wagyu burger with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin and aged cheddar on a sesame bun ($16 take away)

Parmesan and Truffle Fries ($8)

Charlie's Honest Juice Orange ($4)


The story and promise

Kitchen station

Buzzer for Self-service dining in

Reserved area for self-service dining and take away

Table service dining in area

Self-service dining area

View from Self-service seating of table service area and counter

Drinks available

Dining choices
Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon


Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

It seems like Charlie & Co is a blogger hot spot at the moment! I like the idea of the open kitchen and being able to see them making your burger

Zina @ tastedbytwo said...

I'm not a fan of the Plan B wagyu burger so have stayed away from wagyu selection at Charlie's. Try the fried chicken burger next time, it is awesome! (The fried chicken is more karage than KFC). The Angus beef burger is also good.

BGDino said...

I had the parmesan and truffle fries the other day, all I can say is NOM NOM NOM... :D

Finished off with a mango gelato from Via Del Corso :)

Anna said...

Looks great! I have yet to make it to the new Westfield, but the idea of a somewhat sophisticated burger place sounds tempting for those unhealthy lunch breaks!

Ben said...

Hot tip: Eat the burger upsidedown.

1. The bun won't go as soggy.

2. It actually fits in your mouth.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

How good does the melty cheese look?! It is a very thick pattie though...

I like Jobe's tips - will have to try next time

missklicious said...

I had quite a bit of trouble eating my burger too, it was quite messy and you definitely wouldn't be able to walk and eat

Stephanie said...

I loved plan B's $10 wagyu burger but wasn't too impressed with Charlie and Co. when I went there over the weekend

We had the Mexican burger (which was rather bland considering it was a 'macho' mexican burger - nothing macho about it but the meat patty was great) and the Chili Dog - which was quite unexpectedly unpleasant because of the super hot English mustard.. couldn't tell you anything about the hot dog or the onion relish because the mustard was so strong it over powered everything else - I was crying from the first bite.. the fries were brilliant though.

Not sure it's going to be on top of my list if I visit that food court again.

Simon Leong said...

hi kristy, it certainly seems to be the case. i'm not sure if it's worth it but time will tell if it's successful.

hi zina, thanks for the tip about the fried chicken burger. i'll give this one a go next.

hi BGDino, i thought the chips were better than the wagyu burger so i'd probably have again. gelato from Via Del Corso sounds good. on my list :-)

hi anna, yeah it is a bit unhealthy i guess. thankfully not having every day.

hi jobe, wow that's an interesting idea. will i look silly at the same time? i hope not :-)

hi tina, it sure was a thick pattie. i'm not a fan of the thick pattie because it masks the rest of the ingredients too much i think.

hi missklicious, i'm glad to hear i wasn't the only one having trouble eating it with grace :-)

hi stephanie, don't you hate those dishes that promise one thing and deliver something else. witha title of 'macho' you'd think it should have some taste bud muscle under it. oh too much mustard. that's a mortal sin isn't it :-) i'm going to concentrate on trying the other places now.

stephanie said...

hi simon - the chili dog holds an american pedigree (as far as i know!) thus there shouldn't be any english mustard on there! funnily read about the same thing on not quite nigella..

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