Whether it’s a late-night snack to ward off the impending hangover or the meal you get the morning after, these new fast-casual eateries are the antidote to your sore head. They serve meals loaded with salt, fat and flavour – and they’re quick. You never know, maybe we’ll see you in the queue at one of these places in the next few weeks.
Shwarmama, Surry Hills
Ah, kebabs, they really are the perfect one-handed snack. And when you’re not feeling your sprightly self, they don’t even require cutlery coordination.
Our go-to at this excellent, tiny, mostly takeaway new joint in Surry Hills is the eponymous Shawarma. The kitchen alternates between house-made spiced chicken and lamb, which it shaves off the rotisserie. The meat tumbles onto flatbread, then dollops of tahini, hummus and harissa are added, plus cucumber, onions, pickles and a couple potato chips for extra oomph. It’s rolled tightly and handed over like a life-saving baton.
It’s open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 10pm, so you can get one to line your stomach or for breakfast the following day. The official hashtag is #cometomama and we can’t think of a better way to describe the approaching deliciousness.
El Jannah, Newtown
Western Sydney Lebanese charcoal-chicken joint El Jannah opened in Newtown earlier this month. While it brought its cult-status chook with garlic sauce closer to the city (which is a worthy hangover-cure in itself), Sydney food journalist Lee Tran Lam (host and founder of the podcast The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry) tells us the hot-chips roll is your best bet to nip your hangover in the bud. With coleslaw, tomato sauce, pickles, garlic sauce and chips, it’s a salty, acidic and fresh addition to your hangover-killing artillery. (And it’s just $6.90.)
Need something a bit heavier to sort you out? The Southern-style fried chicken (only available at the Newtown outpost) comes in three, five and 10-piece portions, with honey-mustard and sweet-and-spicy sauces on the side. It’s also a perfect pre-drinking snack to keep you going till your 3am kebab fix. Add some salty, carby chips on the side and you’ll be set for a solid session.
Thirsty Bird, Newtown
“Once you’ve decided whether your hangover’s in the mood for some pieces of Thirsty Bird’s chicken or one of its signature burgers (the Thirsty Sanchez with jalapeno salsa is a perfect, zingy morning-after balm), the secret to nursing that pounding head is to absolutely surround yourself with sides,” Broadsheet writer Tristan Lutze tells us. “Bacon-spiked mac’n’cheese, tater tots loaded with bacon, cheese and gravy, pickles, coleslaw and – oh man – those waffle fries. Work your way through those cardboard bowls of goodies and you’ll be ready to back up last night’s sins with another big one.”
If you can’t fathom leaving the house to get your fix, Thirsty Bird delivers – and has designed its dishes to be as tasty on arrival as they are straight out of the kitchen.
The skeletons in the shopfront of Mary’s Pitt Street outpost might resemble how you feel if you’ve chosen this eatery to cure your ills. But beyond them lies salvation: Mary’s beloved cheeseburger; skinny, salty fries; fried chicken; mashed potatoes with gravy – and everything can be served vegan, too.
We like this Mary’s outpost because it’s easy to get a seat on the weekend at lunchtime, and there’s not a lot to distract from you and your meal. The kitchen will turn out your burger at lightning speed (you won’t have to sit with your nausea for too long) and the staff are friendly (we’re fairly certain they’ve seen their fair share of hangovers as well). And unlike the other Mary’s venues, you can book – so if you’re in the middle of a big one now, reserve a table and make life a little easier for the hungover you of tomorrow. The hungover you of tomorrow will thank the reckless you of yesterday.
Hopper Kade, Darling Square
There are two ways to kill your hangover at Hopper Kade: go for a hopper (cup-shaped rice-flour crepes) with an egg cracked inside for a nourishing breakfast, or go for the roti roll – a bit like Sri Lankan-style kebab. If you choose the later, you’ll get a flaky, buttery roti enveloping rice, slaw, sambol (a coconut-chilli condiment), pickle and your choice of chicken, beef or veg curry.
We know what you’re thinking – heading to a food court to feed your hangover is ill-advised. But we promise this is a fancy food court, and the vibe is more relaxing than hustle and bustle. It’s in Darling Square’s Maker’s Dozen, which is a cluster of upmarket mini eateries, and visiting means you can also swing by Saga Lyte and pick up a meaty pie or sausage roll for later.