You’re probably not bored of the burgers Mary’s dishes out from its Newtown haunt.
Even so, it’s good to shake things up every so often. Earlier this week we revealed that the Mary’s team is taking over the Cliff Dive kitchen to bring its own style of kebabs to the people of Darlinghurst. What started as a joke in the Mary’s camp has become a fun reality.
From 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday nights starting this week, Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham of Mary’s will produce a varied and rotating selection of kebabs, with prices around the $10 mark.
These will be classic kebabs in structure – protein, salad, bread – but with unorthodox fillings. “We’re mixing it up a little bit,” says Smyth. “There is a Middle Eastern influence and we’re using pretty traditional ingredients but not ones you would expect to get in your local kebab shop.”
Flavours include smoked chicken, Lebanese pickles and garlic sauce; devil pork curry, mango pickle and sorrel yoghurt; slow roasted lamb neck with XO sauce and pickled turnip stalks. Vegetarians also get a look-in with an option of roast-pumpkin, corn, cheese and turnip topped with salsa verde.
For Smyth and Graham, the kebab “at 2am when you’re drunk” has become the ultimate in Aussie street food. While its Middle Eastern influence is still at play, Australians have culturally appropriated it by bringing their own ingredients into the mix.
“The flavours at Istanbul on King in Newtown, for example, are about as far from Middle Eastern as anything. We’re just pushing it that one step more,” says Smyth.
Mary’s will use in-season ingredients, with a focus on “better, market-driven produce” from butchers such as Vic’s Meats. “We’re moving away from that mystery-meat-doner idea,” he says.
“So there will be a lot of fun, fresh flavours and we’ll be exploring a different side of what we do creatively. We’re still Mary’s though this is definitely going to be Mary’s kebabs.”
Pair this with The Cliff Dive’s sunken dance floor, Pacific-kitsch, tropical cocktails and canned beers and you’ve got one hell of a party.
The Mary’s guys themselves are definitely poised to have a good time. “We can’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Smyth. “It’s a little bit of fun too: a kebab shop in a nightclub.”
The Mary's kitchen at The Cliff Dive will be operating every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Thursday May 7, 8pm until late.