We can certify that 62.5% of Redline Kitchen’s small share plates are 100% good!
Ok, I have to admit that this week I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Trams! Yes, you heard right, T R A M S Trams! This all started because there has been discussions that the commencement of Light Rail services along George Street might be brought forward to December 2019! Woohoo! Which is a long-time coming for residents like us, who have been experiencing daily disruptions from the construction since 2015! So as I got excited about the future prospect of accessing hard-to-reach suburbs like Randwick by tram, I started to read up on the current Inner West light rail line – and I was interested to read that you can get to Tramshed by tram!
Tramshed is a relatively new commercial re-development in Glebe/Harold Park, of a long derelict tram depot which had seen better days in the 1950s. But today it is a mini shopping mall with mainly restaurants, a supermarket, and some retail shops.
So this morning after completing all of our weekend chores, we hopped on a tram at Capitol Square station and slowly trundled our way out of South CBD, to Jubilee Park station located at Forest Lodge/Glebe. Hey, the folks who live out here are living the good life! There are open green spaces, fresh air, shops, and easy access to public transport! All you want really.
Alighting from the Tram, it’s a short climb up to the Tramshed, then down an escalator and a travelator and you’re in the main part of the old tramsheds. Walking around to check out all that Tramshed has to offer is a quick 5 minute affair, and after reading a few menus we had narrowed our lunch options down to American or Italian (Flour Eggs Water). After pondering harder over the price they were charging for pasta, we turned our backs on Italian and strolled into ‘Redline Kitchen & Taphouse’ for some good Ol’ American grub!
Redline Kitchen & Taphouse is a large and spacious restaurant/bar that serves up American favourites from the South, like Jambalaya to region-less favourites like buttermilk pancakes (available on their 9am to 2pm breakfast menu). We felt like variety today, so we chose to order only from the ‘Small shares’ so as we went down the list of 8 options, we checked off on our fingers all the shared plates which tickled our fancy, and then re-confirmed what we could realistically finish between 2 people. We ended up with:
Achiote Pulled Pork Taco ($6.00); Corn + Cheddar Hush Puppies ($8.00); Butter Milk Fried Chicken Wings ($12.00); Mac & Cheese ($10.00); and Potato Skins ($10.00).
Orders are made at the bar, and you’re free to sit wherever you want- inside where it was cool and spacious, or outside where it was sunny in the beer garden. We elected inside (when it was clear that most of the clientele had elected outside) as although it was Saturday lunch-time, it was a little bit quiet in there. The Taphouse portion of the operation offered up a large variety of craft beers on tap and interesting tinnies, but knowing how expensive beers can be at venues like this, I didn’t even bother looking at the drinks menu and ordered a 220ml can of Sprite for $5. Ouch!
After a short 10 minute wait our food started to arrive, and we started to think ‘Did we order too much’? As it was really hard to gauge how large or how many of each item we were going to get, as the menu didn’t indicate ‘pieces’ and relying on the price alone wasn’t a good indication (we didn’t want to travel all this way for a single chicken wing each and a single mouthful of Mac).
First to arrive was the Corn + Cheddar Hush Puppies – crispy deep fried cornbread and cheese balls. These were pretty good, tasty, gooey and gritty from the cornbread. It came with a tasty peach chutney which you smeared over it. Yum! This was value for money at $8 as there were 8 large balls =$1 per piece.
Then everything arrived in a hurry, and soon our table was overrun with all our ‘Small shares’- small on their own, but quite a large heap when gathered all together!
The next dish I tried was the Potato Skins- Fried potato skins with bacon, cheese, pico de gallo, jalapeno, ranch + pesto. When we ordered this we didn’t really know what to expect, I had pictured potato peelings dropped into a deep fryer but what we received was much better than that! Picture apple slices, when you cut around the apple core? So we got these pretty large potato cheeks with their skins on, smeared with cheese and sauces and accompanied by bacon bits! This was really tasty, all the flavours and textures came together and it was very moreish. Again, good value for money- 5 pieces for $10 =$2 per piece.
The third Small share I tried was the Butter Milk Fried Chicken Wings- served with an Alabama BBQ sauce. This was tasty, the butter milk batter is a thinner batter, so the chicken doesn’t end up being as thickly coated with batter as other types of fried chicken can be. Thus the batter was more a coating of flavour, than a layer of crunch. But the batter was well seasoned and the chicken was soft and tender, falling off the bone. This dish hands-down was the best value for money, as you were given 6 full wings for $12 =$2 per piece! That’s ridiculous value!
Our fourth Small Share was a literal ‘small share’, Achiote Pulled Pork Taco- soft corn tortilla, Achiote spiced pulled pork, black beans, pineapple, and radish. And we really had to share this one, as there was only one Taco to be had. This was probably the only let down of the 5 dishes, the tortilla was so small that it couldn’t hold in the ingredients, so it just lay open and flat on the plate; with the pork, beans, and pineapple all lying on-top of it. The pork was nice and spicy, but a bit dry though. This small share wasn’t value for money, at $6 =$6 per piece.
At this point I was still feeling hopeful that we could finish everything, while my wife was suggesting otherwise. And as soon as I heard the doubt in her voice, I felt the spirit of the ‘eating challenge’ come over me- i.e. The steely resolve to finish my fair share of the meal, and prove that we hadn’t ‘over ordered’. Haaha.
The last dish we were yet to try was the Mac & Cheese- Macaroni in cheese sauce and gratined. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of Mac and Cheese, our American cousins go nuts for it! So much so that one of our cousins at their buffet-style wedding reception actually served Mac & Cheese! And as guests went down the self-service line, one by one you can hear the guests exclaim in delight “Oh! Mac & Cheese!” But it’s literally just macaroni in a cheese sauce, people! Chill-out! But admittedly, today’s mac & cheese was pretty darn good, especially when I got a layer of the melted baked cheese top! Mmmmm. We got 4 healthy servings out of the ramekin at $10 =$2.50 per serve, so again value for money!
And at this point I started to feel the weight of the food challenge, it was the cheese from the mac which was ladening down my stomach, sending messages to my brain that I was nearing fullness. But I opted to hit ‘Manual override’ and told my brain and his accomplice – the stomach – that we were going to see this one out to the end! Haaha.
So now that I’d tried everything once, it was time to circle back to the beginning and have a second serving…a second serving of the Corn & Cheese balls; a second serving of the Potato Skins; a second serving of the
Buttermilk Fried Wings; and a second serving of the Mac. *Red sweaty face emoji*. And at this point I was starting to show all the signs that I was struggling. You know, those slow deep breaths you take in and out as you meticulously chew; when you start to lean back in your chair, hoping that lengthening your body might help with stretching out an extra pocket of stomach space; and the loosening of the belt was a given. Haaha. At this point I kept hearing my dad’s voice in my head, saying in Cantonese “Don’t force it”……….
But I did it! After reaching this stage, I still managed to consume 2 more Corn + Cheese balls, and another entire fried chicken wing! I consumed my entire share of the ‘Small dishes to share’! Not to mention my 220ml ice-cubed heavy glass of lemonade! Fist pump moment*. While my wife gave up on her share probably 20 minutes ago, leaving her 2 balls and 2 chicken wings for the doggy bag. Here below is a before and after shot of our table.
And methinks, perhaps this is how I ended-up being a 5’5 foot Chinese guy who almost weighs in at 100kgs! Haaha.
Our end verdict for Redline Kitchen & Taphouse, 4.5 Stars from 5! (3 from 3 for Food, as we really can’t fault the food, it was nearly PERFECT!); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (our interaction with staff were brief, but they were quick and efficient); 0 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (as it was pretty empty inside, but they had a nostalgic 80s pop playlist going on – ‘Love Shack’ anyone!?); and 1 from 1 for Value for money (for less than 50 bucks, our table was groaning from the weight of all the tasty quality food! That is a Bargain even on an Asian scale!)).
Final comments……. The restaurant options at the Tramshed was a bit limiting in the end, and slightly on the pricier side. But Redline Kitchen & Taphouse was the clear stand-out at the Shed! They served up American classics at a level which met all of our expectations, reminding us of all the good meals we’ve had over the years from all of our past US trips! We’ll keep exploring different stops along the Inner West Tram line, and whenever we feel like another American feast, we’re sure to come back to Redline Kitchen & Taphouse! Of course after tapping on, and tapping off our Opal cards on the Tram (as the trams are based on an honesty system, and we got carded by Inspectors on the way back =50% chance of being caught-out people!). Next-time I’ll mentally prepare for lavishing out on +$10 beers, you can justify that if you’re off-setting that with $2 Chicken Wings!
NB. After all the calories we’ve consumed for lunch today, we were so in the positive – fuel gauges in the 8s! Now that is a tank so full that we were able to skip dinner. And my wife has her left-overs for tomorrow’s breakfast! Pretty wild hey? $50 feeds 2 for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Haaha.
Redline Kitchen & Taphouse– Saturday 2 March (4.5 Stars)
https://www.redlinebrewingco.com.au/ PH: (02) 9188 3688
Tramshed, 1 Dalgel Way, Forest Lodge, Glebe
Mon-Fri 11.30am – 11pm
Sat-Sun 9am – 11pm