Earlier in the year, Helen (our designer) introduced me to Jazz City Diner. It is a tiny American diner just off Oxford St that takes you back to another age; there is jazz music playing in the background, booths with retro seats and waitresses donning old school outfits. Back then, the diner was still relatively obscure and was easy to get a table but since then it has exploded in popularity and with good reason too.
Today we get a couple of dishes to try between the two of us. We are greeted by ‘Mary Sue’ who is attentive, friendly and provides consistently good service throughout our meal.
Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo – $18
First up is the gumbo for an entree. This consists of chicken, andouille sausage and diced ham in a dark stew with some rice. The dish is surprisingly small for the price we pay. However, there is a lot of chicken and the sausage tastes like chorizo which adds a lot of flavour into the gumbo. I find it tastes like a thick meaty soup with a curry-like texture and smokey chicken flavours; my eating companion believes it tastes like ham. The rice is also a good accompaniment and absorbs the flavours. Although small in size, it is a good portion for what it is and makes up for the size in flavour and meat.
Texas Chilli Cheese Burger (texas style spicy beef chilli, cheese, lettuce, mayo, pickle relish – $17
Add guacamole, jalapeno chillies, fried tortilla chips and cumin mayonnaise + $3
Next up is the Texas burger of which we opt for the ‘ultimate’ combo, adding in some extra fillings and tortilla chips. Mary Sue was very accommodating of our sharing arrangement and got the kitchen to cut the burger in half – great service! The mince was spicy and I was unfortunate to have bitten straight into one of the chillies which set my tongue on fire. The mayo in the burger tastes like sour cream but complements the chilli mince patty nicely. The corn chips are a bit hard but go surprisingly well with the burger. When all these ingredients are combined, the result tastes like a nachos-burger – great Mexican inspired flavours.
Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzle – $10
Our last dish for the day is the banana cream pie. The last time I had this I nearly died – it was absolute heaven on a plate and today was no different. The pie is constructed manually for every order with a crispy base and layers of custard and fresh banana before being topped off with whipped cream and caramel sauce. The combination of flavours and freshness is wonderful, but I think the custard and ripe banana are what really makes this dessert perfection.
Not long after, Yvn and our friend were both keen on giving this place a go too so I took them to Jazz City Diner to try out more dishes off their delectable menu. This time we have a craving for some fried chicken and this ends being half our dishes for the meal.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings – $20
First up are the Jamaican jerk chicken wings with a jerk seasoning, served with onion rings and a citrus dipping sauce. The citrus sauce is contained in a small squeeze tube resembling a travel-sized toothpaste, which is cool for the novelty factor. The chicken is tasty with lots of seasoning and flavour. Most of the wings are quite small so they’re easy to eat up quickly! I put some citrus sauce on my chicken but after the first bite, there wasn’t much lemon flavour remaining. I think this sauce is more of a fun gimmick rather than an addition to the flavour. The onion rings on the side are very crispy and crunchy, with the innards not that juicy compared to some other onion rings.
Chicken & Waffles – $22
After this we get the chicken and waffles, which consists of a Belgian waffle topped with southern fried chicken, spinach (under the chicken), brown butter and a side of maple syrup. The chicken is crispy and very meaty with small bones and surprisingly not that oily. Eating a waffle with chicken and maple syrup isn’t as weird as I thought it would be as the waffle acts like a carb base, similar to a piece of bread. The caramelised sweetness of the maple syrup and savoury flavours of the fried chicken somehow work when mixed together, similar to how bacon with maple syrup is a surprise hit as well. However, I do find it strange eating spinach that was been sweetened by maple syrup, and without the spinach, the dish would have been a lot better.
Peanut Butter Malted Milkshake – $10
Our drink of choice is the peanut butter milkshake. It is thick and creamy, with an additional dollop of whipped cream on the top in case it wasn’t thick and creamy enough already! It has a very strong peanut flavour and is perfect for the warm weather. I think it is a bit pricey for a milkshake but if you have the spare cash, it is definitely worth trying as it is delicious.
Overall, Jazz City Diner is a massive hit. They’ve got interesting menu items, do delicious food and are an uniquely themed diner. I’d recommend anyone looking for something a bit different to come here. But beware it is a tiny venue and only fits about 20 people, so make sure to either go early, book, or go in a small group.
Jazz City Diner
238 Crown Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Ph: (02)9332 2903