Poutine at Hartsyard
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The great nation of Canada has gifted us many dubious and unsolicited exports: Justin Bieber, Nickelback, five-pin bowling. These crimes are mitigated by two Canadian triumphs: Degrassi Junior High (circa late-1980s), and poutine. At Hartsyard, the hand-cut chips are seasoned with celery salt then topped with slow-cooked David Blackmore Wagyu shin and capped with a cheese sauce concocted from sharp cheddar, Kraft singles and Indian Pale Ale that’s aerated and sprayed on using a whipped cream canister. Finally, a flourish of cracked black peppercorns and sweet spring onions is applied just before serving. Bon appétit!
Chili Cheese Fries at The Soda Factory
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’Dawgs, burgers, malted milkshakes and spiked ice-cream floats: we’re in late-night American diner territory here and we love it. Pull a fridge door to gain entry into this not-so-secret speakeasy and add a serve of Chili Cheese Fries to your drinks order – the American-style squeezy cheese is so wrong it’s right.
Garbage Fries at Brooklyn Depot
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Shoestring fries get the Garbage treatment at Brooklyn Depot with bacon, onion string, cheese and “frickles” (fried pickles). The whole mess does look a little trashy but it’s hot-chip perfection, the fries miraculously remaining crisp beneath their plethora of toppings.
Crispy Pork Nacho Fries at Mr Crackles
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The big draw here is the crispiest slabs of pork crackling you’ve ever challenged your teeth with (you can order cups of the stuff) but the loaded hot chips are more than a support act. There are three rather debauched options: Chilli Cheese Fries; Sticky Pork Fries; and Crispy Pork Nacho Fries, which could be the wickedest.
Gogi Fries at Flying Tong
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Brother-and-sister team Jeff and Julie Oh (formerly of Kobe Jones) are serving up the Korean flavours of their childhood in this tiny eatery. In addition to spicy, crunchy fried chicken, kim chi and bibimbap, the menu gives hot chips the Korean treatment to delicious effect. Crisp yellow batons are topped with thinly shredded sweet-soy marinated beef, doused in a Sriracha mayo dressing and crowned with shredded shallot.
Kim Chi Poutine at Chicken Institute
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Kim Chi Poutine is the result of an unholy union of Canadian and Korean sensibilities and sauces. The boffins at the Chicken Institute know their stuff: hot shoestring fries are topped with gravy, kim chi, finely grated cheese and shallot. Toss it around and let the cheese melt; devour.
Ze Chips at Ze Pickle
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A plate of Ze Pickle’s Ze Chips comes speared with toothpicks to make getting a chip loaded with IPA beer “cheeze” sauce, maple-smoked bacon and Ze Pickle special sauce more finger-friendly.
Loaded Fries at The Milk Bar by Café Ish
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If the jars of lollies, jukebox and exotic milkshakes (miso caramel; Bounty) weren’t enough to bring all the boys to The Milk Bar’s yard, a weekly loaded hot-chip special will do it. This week it’s a mass of bacon, melted cheese and smoky maple aïoli.
Lord of the Fries
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Lord of the Fries talks a big game with its pun-tastic moniker and rapid expansion. So are its fries all they’re cracked up to be? Well, they’re made from Australian potatoes, cooked in a sustainable cottonseed/sunflower oil blend and they’re 100 per cent vegan with no chemicals or preservatives. But really, it’s all about the sauces. The fries here come in shoestring, chunky, sweet potato and classic styles – it’s up to you to top them with sauce options such as East LA – hot cheese, salsa and jalapenos; Italian – hot Napoli sauce with shredded cheese; or spicy Mexican Deluxe with chilli salsa and sour cream.
Loaded Fries at Milky Lane
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Taking a very welcome swerve away from Bondi Beach’s green juice and hot yoga ethos is Milky Lane. Here, beer battered chips are topped with maple smoked bacon bits, cheesy gravy, shallots, American cheddar and Milky Lane’s special sauce, a blend of chipotle, pickles, onion, American mustard, garlic and a couple of top-secret ingredients the proprietors will not divulge for love nor money.
Bar Luca Bomb Frites Fries
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Bar Luca made waves with its gimmicky Blame Canada burger topped with poutine and maple-glazed bacon. Behold the chip-based equivalent: chips with a gut-intimidating topping of pulled pork, liquid cheese, sweet corn, coriander and chipotle mayonnaise. If it’s any consolation, it’s gluten-free.
DD Special at Devon Cafe Barangaroo
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Maybe your brother did it. Perhaps it was you. Someone you know ordered McDonald’s fries and ice-cream and used the cold, sweet soft-serve as a dipping sauce. Everyone feigned disgust. Everyone secretly loved it. Devon Café has taken this widespread secret shame and legitimised it as the DD Special. All the menu will tell you is that it’s soft serve and hot chips. We can divulge that it’s everything the child in you desires: hot, cold, sweet and salty.
Salt Meats Cheese Italian Fries
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Things are rigorously Italian at Salt Meats Cheese Alexandria, except for the hot chips. Hot chips are not, FYI, Italian. Italians prefer to turn their potatoes into gnocchi, or sliver it thinly and bake it on a pizza or focaccia. They’re admirable uses but so is Salt Meats Cheese’s attempt to Italian-ify the fry: crisp shoestring chips drizzled all over truffle oil and parmesan.