On appeal: Majority Verdict.
Ratio decidendi: A good CBD lunch spot for decent food in a classy yet relaxed setting. It’s such a shame though that the quality seems to have gone backwards over the last few months. Bring back the old Reuben!
Salient features: Pork Cotoletta ($27), Braised Wagyu Short Rib ($58)
Scope of discovery: Reuben ($16), Pork Collar ($46), , NY Cheeseburger ($18), Ice Cream Sandwich ($-)
Case Note: The pork cotoletta i.e. a really really good schnitty (and I don’t mean that in a bad way!) is impressively sized. This juicy pork cutlet with a side of ‘slaw could probably feed two less hungry individuals (or one happy dimsumforone blogger). If I had my time again though, I’d order it as a share dish for the table as it might be a bit much as a main for some.
The braised wagyu short rib has been the pick of the ‘share’ dishes for me so far. Tender and oh-so-bad-its-good fatty – the scouter says that the marbling on this baby is OVER NINE THOUSANDDDDDDDDD. Pairs really well with the horseradish cream – we were a bit too liberal with the cream at the start and had to go into severe rationing mode towards the end.
Once upon a time, Bowery used to make what was my favourite rendition of the Reuben (below-left). Since then it’s morphed into something completely different (below-right) which is a real shame because they had a winner on their books. It’s really hard to spot any similarities at all between the new and the old, and suffice to say “they don’t make ’em like they used to“.
Dishes sampled on other visits include the homely tasting pork collar and the NY Cheeseburger with bois bourdan sauce and monterey jack cheese. No complaints with either but also hard to call out something especially distinctive or unique about both.
On the sweet side – the Hershey’s cookies & cream milkshake met expectations. As a massive fan of the flavour, I was never not going to like it – although I would have preferred it to have a thicker consistency. The ice cream sandwich promised so much but didn’t manage to live up to my (high) expectations unfortunately, but it might just be a matter of personal preference. I would have liked for there to have been at least one ‘light’ or ‘cooling’ element (e.g. vanilla instead of chocolate ice cream) to cut through and balance out what I felt were too many ‘heavy’ or ‘heaty’ elements on the plate.
Obiter dicta: Bowery Lane is now my go-to group lunch spot. Classy enough for a work lunch yet still casual and relaxed. Being able to book online is a big plus. A definite comeback from my initial breakfast visit, looking forward to my next visit now that they’re open for dinner (and on Saturdays!)
At first instance: Jury’s still out.
Sample size: Steamed Moroccan Eggs ($16), Banana Smoothie ($8)
Case Note: Given how high my expectations were going in for mid-week brekkie, Bowery was always going to struggle to meet them. I was surprised by the sweetness of the steamed Moroccan eggs which may have been better received had I paired it with a coffee instead of a banana smoothie. While I’m certainly no expert on steamed Moroccan eggs, I would have preferred for the sweetness of the tomato chutney to be taken down a notch or two to let the dukkah shine a bit more. On a positive note – to contrast Uliveto’s baked eggs, the simple grilling/toasting of the turkish bread made a world of difference to the egg dunking (and thus eating) experience. Another case of the small details making all the difference.
The inclusion of dates and coconut milk worked well in the banana smoothie, offering something distinctive which I haven’t tried before. Relative to other banana smoothies at generic cafes, $8 seems (almost) good value given the novel additions, but I can’t shake the thought that $8 buys you coffee and a bacon & roll at most (admittedly generic) places in the city so I’d have to sit this one in the ‘met expectations’ category.
Obiter Dicta: Regretted not sticking to my original plan of trying the salmon bagel but ultimately the lure of a hot breakfast on a cold morning was too strong. Bowery uses Brooklyn Boy’s bagels which are sold at markets around Sydney (e.g. Frenchs Forest) and appear to be the (unofficial) consensus best bagels.
Hours: Closed on Sundays, 5pm-late on Saturday.