Sydney is already home to an iconic opera house and waterfront restaurants. Now the pork belly, crackling pie and its distant cousin, the bacon cheeseburger sausage roll, have joined them in taking up residence.
New Alexandria arrival Anything But Humble has lifted the game for neighbourhood pie shops.
"The pork is slow braised for two days with cider and homemade chicken stock, the apple is roasted with cinnamon and we put the crackling on top," says Anything But Humble owner Kit Lennon.
Lennon explains he had his lightbulb moment for the pork belly pie in a small town outside of Christchurch, New Zealand. The pie wasn't quite as exotic, more of a simple mix of pork belly with gravy, but it got him wondering how he could amp it up. It wasn't the only inspiration.
"I really admire the way they make everything from scratch in New Zealand; even little cafes don't buy pies in," he says.
Anything But Humble pushes boundaries with its pie line-up, including a menage a trois of chicken, portobello and tarragon, and a three-cheese truffle cauliflower number.
Morphing the flavour of popular burgers has become serious business in recent years. The Big Mac-inspired risotto made famous by Ryan Clift at Singapore's Tippling Club popped up last year on the Estate Kitchen menu in Coogee, and the cheeseburger spring roll is now served across Sydney. Lennon has taken the cheeseburger concept and squeezed it into a sausage roll at his Alexandria start-up.
"I've seen a cheeseburger pie, but think it works better as a sausage roll because a burger patty resembles a sausage roll [filling]," he says. Bacon is also added to the mix.
For the moment it remains the lip-licking stuff of dreams, with Anything But Humble closing temporarily for the lockdown. But the plan is to open as soon as they can.
Shop 2/133-137 Mitchell Road, Alexandria, 02 8385 9195, anythingbuthumble.com.au