Over the weekend we visited the revamped diner at the Lansdowne Hotel. Re-named the Phoenix diner, it definitely seems fitting considering that it has risen from what was previously there that was damaged a few months ago by a fire (or at least from the sprinkling system that was set off due to the fire). There’s a new coat of painting and a new exciting menu that has gotten onto the American diner bandwagon that seems to still be going strong in Sydney.
Having had studied at USyd in the past and having chowed down a number of those $5 menus they had, I feel that the new revamped American-style dining menu actually provides much better value and quality. For entrees we chose the buffalo wings and the mac’d out cheese bites. Had we known that the portion sizes were so generous, we could’ve easily just had these two as our meals. The Bucket O’Buffalo Wings was my favourite out of the two, and was a generous serving (typically 6-8 pieces according to manager Matthew) of perfectly coated slightly spicy tender mixture of wings and drumettes. The wings are served with a few celery sticks and with either bleu cheese, bbq or F’n hot chilli sauce (and it is really hot). If you can, see whether you could get the wings with both the bleu cheese and F’n hot chilli sauce because those two are a lethal combination! In comparison with the wings, the mac’d out cheese bites weren’t bad as well. The creamy mac and cheese inside the crispy outer layer complemented each other extremely well although by that point our taste buds were slightly dulled by the f’n hot chilli sauce.
We had a hard time making up our minds for the mains, yo-yoing between their burgers, pizza and main dishes. In the end we settled on the Ruby Ribs and the Sticky Fingers Pizza. The Sticky Fingers pizza sounded amazing on paper and the toppings turned out to work really well with one another. It consisted of 12 hour slow cooked pulled pork mixed with sweet thin slices of pear that is played against the creamy bleu cheese, walnuts & watercress. What let the pizza down was the base that was quite flat and could have had much more rise. My favourite main would definitely have to be the Ruby Ribs, which at $15 is an absolute steal! The tender, falling-of-the-bone meat was well marinated and smothered generously in a smoky sweet BBQ sauce, lying happily on top a bed of golden crunchy fries and a side of salad (to balance it all out). Highly recommended and excellent value for money.
Whilst there, also check out the bar on your way in. The bartenders were friendly and helpful, and helped us pick out cocktails on the basis of what spirits and flavours we like.
All in all, we had a wonderfully chilled night enjoying the laid back service and vibe of the place. It certainly has changed since our uni days, serving better quality food and drinks at a reasonable price (especially those ribs and buffalo wings)! For students on a budget, visit them at lunch when are currently running their $9 special (that includes any item on the menu and unlimited soft drinks).
Disclaimer: PlanMB dined as guests of Phoenix Diner
2 City Road Chippendale 2008