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Tuck Shop Cafe - 18 Dec 2013

Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch, Modern Australian
Location: Northbridge, Newcastle St

We were having a leaving lunch for one of our team members and the Tuck Shop Cafe was chosen. I see from Urbanspoon it’s a highly visited and very popular restaurant so I was happy to finally visit to check out what all the fuss is about. Arriving at the venue, they have a few comfy deck chairs out the front and a few tables outside to dine. Then you step in to the interestingly decorated restaurant, slightly eclectic. We took a table towards the back where there is also a blackboard with the specials.

After being presented with the menu, most meals are under $20, with the pies at $12.50. There’s also sides, smoothies and juices (some really interesting combinations). You’ll notice that the menu appears predominately one of brunch as eggs are the key ingredient in some shape or form (boiled, poached, fried, etc). However, the meals are far from pedestrian serving up some really interesting combinations to illustrate their culinary flair and suiting a wide range of tastes. You can see some of their creations below.

Tuck Shop Cafe - Menu

Tuck Shop Cafe – Menu

Unfortunately for me, I’m not a fan of eggs so that limited my choices. However, for lunch one of Tuck Shop’s specialities is their pies. When we had placed our orders we were informed there would be a 30 minute wait as breakfast was very busy and the pies have just gone in to the oven. Not a problem as we instead snacked on a couple of bowls of hand cut chips with aioli (or gravy) for $7.50. They were really yum and hit the spot with the tasty aioli livening things up.

Tuck Shop Cafe - Hand Cut Chips with Aioli (or Gravy)

Tuck Shop Cafe – Hand Cut Chips with Aioli (or Gravy)

For lunch, I ordered the Beef, bacon and cheddar pie and I also had a taste of some of the mushy peas that a colleague ordered with their Lamb, rosemary and vegetable pie.

Tuck Shop Cafe - Lamb, Rosemary & Vegetable Pie with Mushy Peas

Tuck Shop Cafe – Lamb, Rosemary & Vegetable Pie with Mushy Peas

Tuck Shop Cafe - Beef, Bacon and Cheddar Pie

Tuck Shop Cafe – Beef, Bacon and Cheddar Pie

I can’t say I’ve eaten mushy peas too many times, maybe not at all, but they were pretty good. The pie which looks small on the plate is deceptively filling and packs a punch in providing sustenance. The really flaky pasty is a delight to sink your knife and fork into but being straight out of the oven, it’s also very hot. So I cut mine in half and waited rather anxiously for the pie to cool down while my mouth watered and stomach rumbled. Just under the surface of the pasty lid is where the gooey melted cheddar lies. It’s great eating a pie or any meal for that matter and being able to taste all the ingredients. The cheese sung out and wasn’t lost in the chunks of delicious tender beef in a lovely delicious gravy. There was ample bacon providing a salty kick and complimentary flavour to the gravy. It is really filling as I was struggling to finish it off. Others just gave up, but it was too good to leave on the plate. Boy was I full and satisfied with that meal!

Tuck Shop Cafe Food Review Summary

Verdict: Well after finally visiting the popular Tuck Shop Cafe, I had a pie and chips. Ok, sounds pedestrian, but our table munched on 2 bowls of yummy chips with delicious aioli while we waited 30 minutes for the freshly made pies to cook in the oven. The delay is courtesy of the popularity of the restaurant causing a delay on lunch from the breakfast session. The menu comprises strongly of brunch items pairing egg with some interesting concoctions. The lunch specialty is their pies so I ate a beef, bacon and cheese pie which appeared small at first but proved to be deceptively filling and well packed. At just $12.50, one can enjoy a delicious pie full of flavour, lots of tender beef in a lovely gravy, gooey cheese, salt kick from the bacon, encased in a flaky pastry. A solid offering, I might have to order a brunch item and forgo the egg just to see what their brunch creations are like. I rather did fancy the baked beans with smoked ham hock.
Price: Bargain
Taste: Delicious
Value: Excellent
Recommendation: Recommend

Tuck Shop Cafe Restaurant Details

Tuck Shop Cafe on Facebook
Tuck Shop Cafe on Urbanspoon

 

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Tuck Shop Cafe - 18 Dec 2013, reviewed by Shaun on 2013-12-18T21:50:27+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5
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Restaurant Rating System

It's subjective but I base my reviews on 4 key areas:

Price: Bargain > Reasonable > Moderately Expensive > Expensive
Taste: Poor > Average > Great > Delicious
Value: Poor > Good > Reasonable > Excellent
Recommendation: Eat At Home Instead > Try Once If You Want But Not Worth Visiting Again > Worth Visiting > Recommend > Highly Recommend

The final recommendation will consider the price, taste and value. Value will be based on price and other factors like service and serving size.