Monday, August 29, 2011

The Abercrombie Hotel (Chippendale) - Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Deep-fried Golden Gaytime After Midnight)

When dining out, a to-do list is usually not the norm, but when it comes to the newly reopened Abercrombie Hotel in Broadway, it pays to be prepared:
  1. Get your affairs in order. In particular, check your will and make any necessary codicils.
  2. Ensure you have a plentiful supply of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, etcetera), or at the very least, policosanol. Better still, some Anginine and/or Nitrolingual in the worst case scenario.
  3. Ring your family and friends and tell them you love them, because you may be gone for a while. Or for good.
  4. If you are diabetic, have a few extra ultra-short-acting insulin pens ready. You're gonna need them.
  5. Have 000 on speed dial at the ready.

So what makes this prep work so necessary when eating at the Abercrombie? Three words (or four words if you so desire): Deep-fried. Golden. Gaytime.

Phwoar. These immortal words are guaranteed to send nutritionists and the health nut into a tailspin but everybody else into unbridled ecstasy. And/or a hyperglycaemic coma, whichever comes first.
As the name implies, this iconic Aussie treat is wickedly given the deep-frying treatment at the Abercrombie, and all for a measly seven bucks. No wonder this is the only dessert available on the menu; there needn't be anything else and I defy any sane person not to order this holy grail of guilty pleasures.

The Abercrombie is one of a glut of newly refurbished hotels/bars hoping to make a mark in this increasingly crowded segment of Sydney's dining pie. Without a unique selling point, it would be just another cookie-cutter bistro, but it smartly distinguishes itself with its quirky Scottish theme, modern bistro menu, and the aforementioned Deep-fried Golden Gaytime (DGG). Strangely, the Scottish influence is only decor-centric and little of the food is remotely Scottish except perhaps for the (loosely applied) Glasgow Hotwings.

Instead, there is a mixture of de riguer American fast food (sliders, tacos, nachos, burgers, mac and cheese) with a few British staples (Welsh rarebit, Scotch egg, Toad In The Hole), and for those hoping to eschew a premature atheroschlerotic death, there are two salads.

But before we get to the DGG, we must talk about the non-DGG foods on offer at the Abercrombie. Sigh.

Mac N Cheese ($12)
Gooey, fatty, cheesy, crunchy, and with a good aioli. Next.

Glasgow Hotwings ($12) - spicy baked chicken wings
Sticky and quite fiery with a side of bread to mop up the sauce.

Scotch Egg Slider ($6) - scotch egg, mayonnaise, mini roll
Delish. And cute. Quail egg wrapped in sausage is moist and the coating is crispy. Comes with a small serving of great crinkle cut chips. Are we there yet?

Double Cheeseburger ($17) - double beef pattie, double cheese, pickle, mustard, and tomato sauce, served with fries
Fantastic burger. Along with the wagyu burger at 4143 at the James Barnes, one of the best I've tried this year. Meaty and cheesy (doubly so!), succulent, moreish, and with a bouncy sesame seed bun. Tomatoes and lettuce are served separately and there is a generous amount of the crinkle cut chips. Even better, it's only $10 on some nights as a special. Ace.

Schnitzel with Bolognaise ($16) - parmagiana with spaghetti bolognaise and chips
Average tasting schnitzel. A bit overcooked in the fryer. Nice doona of ham and cheese. Spag bol is a little bland, lacking meat and sauce, and is redundantly carb overload.

Finally! With the supporting acts out of the way, we can concentrate on the star of the show .... drum roll please.

Deep-fried Golden Gaytime ($7)
Ta-da! The DGG comes minus fanfaronade and superfluous additions, with no flowers, creams, jellies, smears, or nonsense to distract from the main attraction; just a simple Golden Gaytime ice cream battered and deep-fried into heavenly bliss, drizzled with a caramel sauce and placed on a stark white plate.

Another view
Bite into it and you get the ice cream centre oozing out majestically in a smooth trickle of toffee and vanilla. The deep-fried battered exterior adds a level of richness only your arteries can't appreciate. Stupid blood vessels.

And another ....
The best way to consume it is with a spoon, but no matter the method, eat it fast because it melts quickly!

The Blue Steel ....
That's right, work that honeycomb biscuit girlfriend!

Quay may have the overrated Snow Egg, but the Abercrombie has the equally tremendous DGG, and it is far cheaper too. It may be technically inferior to the Peter Gilmore creation lionised on MasterChef, but for sheer tastebud-tantalising orgasms, the DGG performs the job with aplomb. So good that there was almost a riot of London proportions when they had exhausted its supply one day.

The Abercrombie may not win any Good Food Guide hats or garner the chef a spot on next year's MasterChef Australia, but in four short weeks since its reopening, it already has attained rock star status among the hipsters. What's not to love? It has the cool nickname (The 'Abba'), 844 'Likes' on its Facebook page, and reasonably priced modern bistro food with a twist; but best of all, it has the stunningly simple signature Deep-fried Golden Gaytime. Damn the atheroschlerosis, damn the myocardial infarction, and damn the reduced life expectancy when food tastes this good.

The good: Deep-fried Golden Gaytime; Scotch Egg Slider; Double Cheeseburger; crinkle cut chips; value for money; efficient service
The bad: Not enough inside tables; spag bol that comes with the chicken schnitzel is bland and superfluous; almost all the food is heart attack-inducing
What the?: Scottish theme but no Scottish food

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  1. It has been hailed as glorious, but what i'd like to know is whether you still appreciate the coating of biscuit-bits on the Gaytime underneath the deep-fried layer?

  2. This is seriously cheap comfort food. Good stuff.

  3. This place is just a hop, skip and a heart-attack jump from my office. MUST RESIST!

  4. Looks so unhealthily tasty - all of it! I rather like Gaytimes as they are, so not too sure about the fried one. I'd try it out as a gimmick though

  5. you make me weep at the lack of deep fried ice cream in my life

  6. OMFG!! deep fried gay the corner of my did i not know of this when i studied at UTS for 5 freakin years!!

  7. Def need to go here. Stud's Scottish so would appreciate the interior, shame theres no food to remind him of the homeland

  8. Would it be wrong to ask for a one of these fried Gaytimes with a side of crinkle cut chips?

  9. I think after that meal, a double dose of 80mg lipitor is at least required. Looks like fun though, will keep in mind when I'm feeling like some comfort food, drawn to the scotch egg slider though and Cheesecake Boy will definitely go for the DGG :)

  10. Golden Gaytimes are my all time favourite ice cream. To deep fry it and add caramel sauce...its the greatest thing I've ever heard of. I will go to sleep tonight dreaming of this amazing creation!

  11. The Abercrombie rocks! I like how they plate up the Golden Gaytime, like, to make it a bit classier.

  12. Awww, I wanna go! Those MAC & Cheese balls for a start and although you didn't try it, I've been looking for a place that serves Welsh Rarebit for some time. If theirs is half as good as their Double Cheeseburger looks. As for the DGG, I don't even want to guess at how many calories that alone must have. Sigh, one day! Most enjoyable read for a while, thank you!:D

  13. You really didn't want deep fried haggis on the menu did you? Although I wouldn't mind if they added that fabulous toasted oatmeal with whiskey and cream to the dessert menu!

  14. lol Love all the various shots of the deep fried Gaytime! This dessert is calling for me, I think I'll need to pay a visit pretty soon.

  15. This place looks delightful. I want to try the deep fried Gaytime!! I love the interior decor as well, I can't wait to visit this place.

  16. Hi madem - I still appreciated the biscuit coating still! LOL

    Hi lateraleating - yes, cheap comfort food FTW!

    Hi MissPiggy - Don't. Resist.

    Hi Tina - you will love the DGG if you already love Gaytimes. Doesn't everybody? :-)

    Hi Suze - don't weep. Your tears are staining the Gaytimes. ;-P

    Hi sugarpuffi - not sure they had the DGG five years ago, but they're there now! Make up for lost time!

    Hi Nic - forget the Scottish theme; the food is cheap and delish!

    Hi John - that would be most apt actually. I wonder if they could crumb the chips and deep fry them too?

    Hi DG - the Scotch egg slider and the DGG were my two faves! And 160mg of Lipitor would probably result in myopathy.

    Hi Apple - dream away! I know I have. :-)

    Hi Bel - I agree about the Abercrombie, so good. Not sure about the plating being classy though! ;-)

    Hi gummi baby - glad you enjoyed the read! And I will try the Welsh rarebit next time. Trying to work through the entire menu including their burgers. LOL But so much to try!

    Hi YaYa - I've had deep-fried haggis would you believe? In Glasgow! LOL. It wasn't half bad either!

    Hi Phuoc - pay a visit but don't leave it too late in the evening as one of the staff told me they have run out of DGGs before the evening is finished. That would be a tragedy!

    Hi ourbillplease - welcome! The Abba is a cool place but it gets busy! Lucky there's a beer garden out the back because there aren't many tables inside.

  17. Haha this is awesomely fantastic and terrible at the same time. Terrible for health, but I'm still excited by it. I've showed this post to a few girls at work and 2 of us want to try this deep fried gaytime! The scotch egg slider is a great idea too :D

  18. I just gained 2 kilos by looking at all this!! I couldn't do it... maybe just one dish and it would be the Scotch egg. Who am I kidding? That Gaytime is one to be shared!

  19. sounds like our kind of place! have been resisting going on the "Baked and Fried Stoner Special Day" - although it looks like that is every day at the 'Abba'!
    Love the 'Blue Steel' photo!!

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