The city of Manhattan is known for its eclectic everything, and that of course includes cuisine. One type of cuisine that is not that common here is from the “land down under“, otherwise known as Australia. Burke & Wills, nestled in the heart of the Upper West Side right off the 1 train at 79th Street, shines in this category by bringing Australian influences to the greatest city in the world. Yesterday, we tried their fabulous brunch fare, and were introduced to all of this and so much more.
The convenience of Burke & Wills first off rests in its location, as anything near the subway station especially with how cold the weather is, makes me a happy camper. Nevertheless, the space itself reads like a true Manhattan hotspot, with a gorgeous bar in the front and and a beautifully open space towards the back. The glass ceilings make for an inviting atmosphere, from light to dark, and the usage of the plush green coloring on the walls really enhance the entire experience.
Before I dined, I was treated to a “hidden” part of Burke & Wills that is located on the 2nd floor of its premises. The secret door of sorts led us to the Manhattan Cricket Club, which is a space opened from Monday to Saturday and is generally reserved for members of the club but is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. This particular part reads very much like old New York, with boutique champagnes and wines adorned throughout and a beautiful view of 79th street level beyond the windows. Member or not, this is a cool place to escape to, and a big rarity in the Manhattan culture scene. More on that here.
With the Australian theme in mind, we dove head (and mouth) first into their scrumptious brunch items. And yes, they do have Kangaroo as an option, which for a brief second I thought about trying… until I saw their Braised Pork Belly. Braised Pork Belly is my food drug, and it is very hard to pull me away for it (I may have to start going to meetings, mind you) and their was absolutely delicious. Pairing it with a yummy and runny fried egg and some wonderful carrots and onions make this a perfect brunch dish.
If you are more on the greens side, then their Salad with the Lot might just be it for you. It comes with rotisserie chicken, kale, carrots, feta cheese, olives, beets, and egg, which swam perfectly well with each other to make for a healthy yet filling meal that my friend truly enjoyed. A simple side of their fruit salad does well to cleanse the palate in both cases, just an FYI.
We were treated to something really interesting as a finish to the meal. In the dessert category, they had a dish called Pavlova, which consisted of passion fruit curd, fresh berries, whipped cream and had a base that was reminiscent of a macaroon. The hard bottom mixed with the soft, creaminess that made the top part turned this dish into a great ending for any time of day, brunch, lunch or dinner. It is something I have never tried before and would recommend trying again.
Oh, and the cocktails! Or mocktails in this case. Two of their classic mocktails are named after famous Australian stars that are well known worldwide. I tried the Kylie Minogue, which of course was as delicious as she is and came with Hibiscus-wildberry cordial, fresh lemon and club soda. Fresh and tasty! My friend tried the Paul Hogan, which came with Oolong tea infusion, peach, club soda, Maine Root organic ginger beer. Just as amazing and two great examples of drink options without the alcohol.
Overall, Burke & Wills excelled in all categories and made for a fun and educational trip for my culinary adventures. For more information on Burke & Wills, check out their official site.