Sydney Pop-Up: Pub Life Kitchen x Barrio Chino – Camperdown (Sydney)

What do you get when two of the kings of Sydney’s brimming burger scene collaborate to the benefit of hearts and minds across the city? You get a brilliant summer residence from Pub Life Kitchen and Barrio Chino at inner-west fashion-slash-cafe staple Deus Ex Machina, propped up in the large space that has become known as Deus Cafe. With the official title of Deus Presents PLK x Barrio this summer-long pop-up brings together two minds which have shaped and lifted Sydney’s burger game to a level of unprecedented feverish demand.

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Last year, many thought the “burger trend” that took Sydney by storm would melt and wither away but Jovan Curic (Pub Life Kitchen and Peter Lew (Barrio Chino/Cellar), along with a handful of other proficient grillers, only refined their art and grew the trend, to the point where tabloids across the city regularly attempt – and fail – ‘Best Burgers in Sydney’ listacles simply because of how much discussion (and traffic) they generate.

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Jovan and Peter both nod to the old-school style of burgers, avoiding the over-done and impossibly large overflow of fatty ingredients and simply focusing on classic, fresh, and rich ingredients. That’s what you’ll find at PLK x Barrio, as soon you walk off the corner of Parramatta and Lyons roads the wafting aroma of juicy beef patties, buttermilk fried chicken, and melting American cheese.

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Like all good burger joints in Sydney, the menu doesn’t throw many options at you so it’d be easy to get across the full experience in a couple of visits. The primary option, the cheeseburger is available as a Single ($12) or Double ($16). I personally lean towards single patties most of the time, but the double is hard to resist here. There are two thick beef patties, American cheese, a McClure’s pickle, lettuce, tomato, and “dirty sauce”. The salad is fresh, the pickle is tasty, the cheese is rich and perfectly melted, and those medium-rare patties are packed with flavour, juicy with rich seasoning to match up with what you’d expect from these two big name burger makers.

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You can add Bacon ($4) and Jalapenos ($2) to any of these burgers, and also request that the beef be well-done. The Fried Chicken Burger ($14) and Vege Sandwich ($12) (with a panko-crumbed eggplant) are available for a bit of variety, and if they are held to the same standard as the cheeseburger then you can be sure they are worth the repeat visits.

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken Nuggets ($12) is a necessary side with hot, sweet Korean-style sauce and McClure Pickles, but as good as it is, it has nothing on the Get ‘Em Dirty Fries($7). The same tangy sauce that is on the beef burger comes loaded onto these shoe-string fries, along with a generous amount of sticky, melted cheese. Other sides include Onion Rings ($8) and Jalapeno + Pickle Slaw ($8). Though, if you don’t have a serving – or two – of those special fries on your table then you’re doing it wrong.

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Jalapenos, pickles, nuggets, burgers, house sauce, milkshakes, and cocktails feature all across this brilliant pop-up. It’s only up until the end of January (though demand may push it a bit further) so get in quick. With Pub Life Kitchen and Barrio Chino/Cellar crossing paths numerous times this year, we’re hoping this isn’t the last we see of this endearing partnership.

**UPDATED** The Pop-Up has been extended until February 21st, 2016.

Deus Presents PLKxBarrio
Address: 98–104 Parramatta Road, Camperdown
Hours:
Mon & Tue 12pm–3pm
Wed to Sat 12pm–3pm, 5.30pm–10pm
Sun 12pm–5pm

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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