Have you just been through a really bad break-up, failed a subject, lost your job or experienced some equally devastating event that makes you want to eat away your sorrows with food so bad for you that it effectively constitutes self-harm??
I’ve found the perfect place for you.
Mr Crackles is a little “Carryout” (because “takeaway” sounds lame) on Oxford Street, founded by two chefs who had a little pet pig called “Mr Crackles” but then fell on hard times and had to sacrifice Mr Crackles to their empty stomachs. But if their beloved companion was going to be turned into a roast pork, they wanted it to be greatest roast pork ever made. In a labour of love, Mr Crackles was slow braised for 10 hours and then his belly was specially roasted to create the ultimate, crispy, flavoursome crackling. In honour of the wonderful gift that Mr Crackles gave the two hungry chefs, they opened this store.
Okay none of that was true except for the two chefs bit and the cooking process. I just thought Mr Crackles was an awesome name for a pet pig (even better than “Kevin Bacon”).
I’ve wanted to check this place out ever since I started seeing photos of the pork crackling chips appear across the Sydney food blogosphere. To a former fat kid who used to make a snack from frying cheese directly on the pan, pork crackling chips sounded like a dream come true. I mean, everyone knows that pork crackling is the best part of any pork roast – but very rarely is someone shameless enough to completely set aside the meat and JUST serve the crackling. Even KFC doesn’t sell its deep fried battered chicken skin on its own.
So on a not-so-busy day at work, former fat kid friend and I jumped on a bus and went on a lunch excursion to Darlinghurst.
The shop is tiny and pretty unassuming amongst the many takeaways, restaurants and special interest stores along Oxford St. There’s very limited seating, if you don’t mind eating on the narrowest wall ledge on earth. Guys who wear plaid shirts seem to like it.
It looks like just another humble takeaway, but look a little closer and you’ll see…
Ooooohhhh yes. Bubbly, golden crackling.
More crackling… with meat attached this time.
I ordered the Crackles Classic (half size), FFKF ordered the small 6″ dog and we got the chilli cheese fries and cup of crackling to share. Don’t judge. At least with didn’t order a “Manwich” (twice the meat, half the veg) WITHOUT the veg like the guy in line after us.
Crisp skinned slow roast 5 spiced pork belly served with vietnamese salad in a roll
This is Mr Crackles’ take on Bánh mì – replacing mystery meat with luscious pork belly and crackling bits sprinkled on top. It was as delicious as it looks – but could have used some extra kick from Maggi sauce and a bit of fresh chilli.
FFKF’s hot dog – looks pretty dang tasty.
Chilli Cheese Fries!! I demolished these and it was worth every single calorie, all 10,000 of them.
PURE CRACKLING. These chips are broken off the massive display crackling and then given a quick “freshen up” in the deep fryer. This is what it is: fat fried in fat. With the first bite your brain is screaming “MORE!” and with the second bite, “Okay, that’s enough.” Not that it disappointed – it was exactly what I expected but it just takes things to such an ultra-fatty level that your body starts reacting pretty quickly. I couldn’t take more than one chip. Yeah, I’m weak sauce. I’m sure the guy who ordered the Manwich with no salad could eat this all by himself.
If you’re in any way calorie-conscious, I would avoid this place. Not that it’s not worth it, but I don’t want you to spend hours crying on the treadmill because you ingested your monthly fat+calorie intake in one sitting. However, if you’re happy to eat with abandon, if you don’t have a family history of heart disease or diabetes, or if you’re just a plain old fatty – Mr Crackles is a must visit. Even for just one crackling chip and the chilli fries. Your heart and your hips may hate you for it, but your taste buds and inner fat kid will love you.
155 Oxford St