#youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 02

#youcalltheshots (2014).

Project Background

“Growing numbers of youths are heading towards adulthood without drinking at all, let alone binge drinking, and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre says this may be partly because teenagers now spend much more of their social time on the Internet.” — Brad Crouch, Medical Reporter | The Advertiser

Alcohol is the second largest contributor to substance-related abuse in Australia. In 2008, the Australian Government funded the National Binge Drinking Strategy where the ‘Don’t turn a night out into a nightmare’ campaign was first launched in result. Subsequent to the 2008 campaign that ran until the end of January 2010, follow up campaigns were introduced. According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, in 2010 (via Australian Drug Foundation, 2011):

  • 87.9% of Australians aged over 14 years had drunk alcohol at some stage in their life
  • The average age at which Australians first tried alcohol was 17
  • Among 12-year olds, around 49% of boys and 38% of girls admitted they had consumed alcohol at some stage (ABC News, 2013)
  • Among 17-year olds, it was 89% of boys and 90% of girls (ABC News, 2013)

Contemporary media is changing the way we interact with people and our surrounding environment. Studies show that teenagers today are drinking less, and even opting out from drinking at all, and this may well be a result of the influence of the time spent on the Internet. It was speculated that the age group’s love for the Internet such as, social media and online games, is taking up so much of their time, and in result, not enough time left to find themselves in drinking situations.

Another reason for the decline in teenage drinking, as pointed out in this article, is a theorised explanation of the immigration of youths from different cultures where which drinking is uncommon. “The shift in drinking behaviour is likely the result of broad cultural factors,” Dr Livingston said.

There are many factors that lead to teenage drinking. If you ask a teenager why they drink, responses vary from (via Lohmann, 2013):

  • “I was bored.”
  • “Everyone else does it.”
  • “I like how it makes me feel.”
  • “People like me when I drink because I act different.”
  • “I just wanted to see what it would make me feel like.”
  • “My parents do it so it must not be a big deal.”
  • “It helps me escape reality.”

Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to short-term and long-term effects, ranging from immediate harm such as injuries and accidents, to chronic harm. For teenage girls especially, when intoxicated, they are more likely to indulge in risky behaviour such as unsafe or unwanted sex, which can then lead to teenage pregnancy.

Campaign Strategies

Print vs. Online

Instead of using print media, the focus of the distribution of the campaign will be through online platforms. Not only is this a sustainable strategy, it also addresses the target end user and how they will interact with the campaign. Posters would be irrelevant in a sense that most teenagers would not want to be caught looking at a poster on anti-binge drinking as chances of being stereotyped by peers and society on a whole, that she is an individual with a drinking problem.

Through an online-based strategy, teenagers are able to view the campaign in the comfort of their own homes and in the privacy of their own rooms. As pointed out above as well, teenagers are spending more of their social time on the Internet. These social media platforms will communicate with our target audience by providing information about the campaign such as advice on drinking responsibly and how a night out is always better when you’re in control, and helpful contacts. All of this will then be tied together with various Social Events – using social media to inform audiences of upcoming social events and where to find us, as well as photographs of our social events.

Project Aims & Objectives

  • To create an prevention campaign for teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years old who are actively involved in binge drinking.
  • To promote safety awareness amongst these teenage girls, like making bad decisions that leave them vulnerable to dangers like date rape.
  • To then educate these teenage girls in the risks involved with excessive drinking, risks involving an unstable mindset, and wilfully agreeing to unsafe or unwanted sex, even if it was not their intention.
  • To encourage them to make the right decision when on a night out with friends, to stay safe, and to stay in control.
  • To provide guidance to these teenage girls through Raise Foundation’s mentoring program, allowing for them to feel supported through tough times, especially when dealing with alcohol abuse and sexual health.

Conceptual Framework

The concept for the campaign is based on the ideas of Proverbs, a campaign that contains wisdom, truth, morals, and is memorable so that it will be spoken about amongst teenagers for a while (making the campaign go viral over the Internet i.e. #yolo). The campaign will not make the decision for them, but will provide advice between what is right and what is wrong. Approaching the campaign this way will allow teenagers to think and reflect on their habits, and are eventually able make to their own decision. Imposing the right way onto them may cause a ‘who are you to tell me what to do’ attitude as some teenagers do not like being told what to do. Hopefully the campaign will then encourage young teenagers to postpone the age at which they first start to consume alcohol, and for those teenagers who are already consuming alcohol, to promote responsible drinking.

Environment/Spatial Design Aspect

Social Events

#youcalltheshots Event Booth

Apart from the campaign launch party, #youcalltheshots will be making appearances at various social events. An information booth will be set up so that event/festival-goers will be able to know more about the campaign and participate in activities such as carnival-themed games, giant twister, obstacle course, trampoline bungee, photobooth, etc.

Where the booth is located is an important factor to consider. As you can see, by having a corner booth, it allows one of the sides to be open, therefore allowing the ease of flow for visitors for easy access and making the booth more spacious.

Photo Booth

#youcalltheshots Photo Booth #youcalltheshots Photo Booth #youcalltheshots Photo Booth
#youcalltheshots Photo Booth #youcalltheshots Photo Booth #youcalltheshots Photo Booth

Everyone, especially teenagers, love to take photos, or get their pictures taken. There is a growing culture of this idea of needing to take photographs and uploading them to social networking sites as a way of proving to others that you were there at that particular event, at that particular day/time – as the lingo goes, “pics or it didn’t happen”. So what better way to grab the attention of those festival-goers into our photo booth?


Graphic Design Aspect

Branding & Logo

#youcalltheshots Branding & Logo
The final logo does not have a black outline around the speech bubble, this is just to make clear the shape of the speech bubble that is coloured white.

Through the development stage, I have changed and refined the branding and logo for this campaign multiple times, not just in terms of design, but also in terms of choosing the right colour scheme for the whole campaign. I ended up choosing the colour pink as it stereotypically represents the female gender, teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 17.

I came up with a variety of tag lines to piece together the message of the whole campaign. I then took my tag lines and did a small survey to see which got more of a reaction, and it appeared that the tag line ‘You Call The Shots’ appealed more towards the targeted audience as it is a clever play on words. ‘You Call The Shots’ is an idiom which, figuratively speaking means, to decide on the course of action; to be in charge; to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done. ‘Shots’ also referred to a series of alcoholic beverages served in succession, usually served in small amounts in ‘shot’ glasses. So by you calling the shots, you get to decide for yourself whether you should take the shot or not.

Besides the colour and messaging, the design of the logo is based on a speech bubble which ties in with the concept of ‘advice giving’. If you can see it, the left side of the speech bubble is a profile of a person’s face, as if speaking out into the speech bubble. The person is also smiling, indicating that they a putting forth a positive message unlike the demonising of people and negative connotations associated with binge drinking in previous campaigns.

USB Wristbands & Digital Cards

#youcalltheshots USB Wristbands

#youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 01

#youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 02 #youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 03 #youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 04
#youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 05 #youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 06 #youcalltheshots Did You Know Cards 07

Besides getting your photograph taken at the event, we will also be giving out free USB wristbands, which is essentially the digital version of a flyer or information booklet. This way, it will be easier for visitors to hold on to, or wear, while enjoying the festival and will definitely keep them for later use instead of throwing them out.

The USB wristbands are also personalised in a way that the photographs taken at the booth will be automatically uploaded into the wristbands. Visitors can then upload the photographs onto social media sites or print it out themselves. Besides the photographs, the USB wristbands will also contain posters/postcards with ‘Did You Know’ alcohol facts that they can later print as well if they want to. There is also a card with all the social media links for those who want to follow the campaign online.

T-Shirts

#youcalltheshots T-Shirt Mock Up Designs

#youcalltheshots T-Shirt Design #youcalltheshots T-Shirt Design

T-shirts are also available for purchase at these events. I have also added two extra colours besides the colour theme of the campaign. The black ink shirts are essentially for those (particularly targeted towards guys), who do not want to wear the colour pink.

Website

#youcalltheshots Website Design

#youcalltheshots Website Design Info Page #youcalltheshots Website Design Events Page #youcalltheshots Website Design Contacts Page

Social Media

#youcalltheshots Social Media

Public Prank Video

#youcalltheshots YouTube Public Prank Video

The idea behind this video campaign was inspired by movie producers merging movie trailers with public pranks to advertise their upcoming movie i.e. the Telekinetic Coffee Shop prank used to promote the movie Carrie, it sparked a lot of views and went viral in an instant.

For this campaign, I wanted to go along the lines of creating a public prank to promote the campaign by making the video go viral. The concept of the prank is as follows:

  • A new, unopened, chilled bottle of beer glued to the walkway as part of a public prank.
  • A person walks by and spots the bottle of beer.
  • Curious, they bend over to pick up the bottle of beer but then struggle to actually pick it up.
  • The person is confused, and then maybe realising that they were just pranked.
  • The person may snap a picture and upload it to Facebook, Instagram, etc. and #totallyjustgotpranked #youcalltheshots #ycts2014 #icalltheshots #alcoholfree, etc.
  • The person walks away without the bottle of beer, and the tagline ‘You Call The Shots – preventing teenage binge drinking’ implying that you left the beer behind and didn’t need it after all.

For the purpose of this project, the prank will be partly scripted and acted out by my peers – they will be told what to do, like walk towards the beverage, pick it up, and walk away, but they won’t be told that the beverage is glued to the ground or table to capture their raw reaction.

I have uploaded the videos privately on YouTube, but if you wish to watch them, click here for the first video, and here for part II (ps. I had to tell some of my peers to fake pull the beer off the ledge because it wasn’t glued on properly). Enjoy!

– Ally xx

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Meat District Co. – Sydney

Meat District Co. – Sydney aims to re-awaken the senses & bring a new kind of dining to the streets of Sydney. Besides pushing their enticing menu over social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Meat District Co. Sydney launched a competition to encourage their guests to eat, relax, and win some vouchers. Besides designing a graphic for both Facebook and Instagram to promote their competition, the other deliverable was to design a simple table menu stand for their restaurant.

Meat District Co. - Sydney Context

Meat District Co. - Sydney Table Menus

Meat District Co. - Sydney #mdcburgerselfie

– Ally xx

Milo French Toast

Milo French Toast

Hello Everyone! Anyway, so it’s week 4 of Breakfast/Brunch month and this week I will be sharing with you my now-favourite french toast recipes. I say ‘now-favourite’ because this is the very first time I’ve attempted these recipes. I’ve had and made french toast before, but the recipes I’ll be sharing with you this week are beyond than that of the classic french toast – they got a certain twist to them that will make you fall in love with french toast all over again.

Today’s recipe is one that I came across on Facebook as I was scrolling through my newsfeed. BuzzFeed Australia posted a video recipe for Milo French Toast. If you love milo and fancy some french toast to go with that, then this recipe was made for you, only that, you get to combine milo together with your french toast – how cool is that? You can top them off simply with some butter and syrup, or you can make it a bit more interesting by topping them off with some of your favourite fruits – I topped mine with some strawberries, crushed pistachios, honey, and a bit of powdered sugar.

I remember growing up, even up until now, my mom would make a classic french toast for breakfast at least once a week. When I came across this recipe and talked to her about it, we decided to try it out. It was a great success in my opinion and I loved it, so did my Mom and sister Angela. Original video recipe can be found on BuzzFeed Australia‘s Facebook page.

Milo French Toast Ingredients

PREP TIME <5 MINS | COOKING TIME 8-12 MINS | SERVES 2-4*

*Depending if you want one or two slices of french toast per person; recipe is for 4 slices of bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup milo
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional:

  • 1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled then halved
  • Handful of pistachios, shelled and lightly crushed
  • Honey
  • Powered sugar

METHOD

  1. Heat a bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium.
  2. Combine the milo, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice to soak up the wet mixture; do not soak it for too long.
  4. Place the soaked bread slice into the frying pan and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oils. Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
  6. Serve up this Aussie twist on a French favourite with some honey and butter if you like, or with some fresh fruits and crushed nuts and enjoy!

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BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

The Belrose Hotel

The Belrose Hotel will become the destination on Sydney’s North side for a comfortable and quality family dining experience. The Belrose Hotel has long been famous for delicious food and a friendly family feel, and it’s about to get even better. Since they have restyled their services recently, their graphic style plays on the family and food aspect, to promote their re-opening via social media to get across a wider, yet still specific audience – focusing on families living in Sydney’s North.

The Belrose Hotel Context


Examples of graphic works that I have created for Facebook and Instagram:
(Click on the images to see an enlarged version of the graphics)

The Belrose Hotel: Family Friendly The Belrose Hotel: Family Friendly The Belrose Hotel: Happy Hour The Belrose Hotel: Family-friendly Valentine's Day 2015
The Belrose Hotel: Staff Profile The Belrose Hotel: Customer Review The Belrose Hotel: Staff Profile The Belrose Hotel: Customer Review
The Belrose Hotel: Menu The Belrose Hotel: Menu The Belrose Hotel: Menu The Belrose Hotel: Menu

Besides creating weekly content for Facebook and Instagram, I also created Facebook Page Like Ads, below are three examples:

The Belrose Hotel: Facebook Page Like Ad

The Belrose Hotel: Facebook Page Like Ad

The Belrose Hotel: Facebook Page Like Ad

– Ally xx

Oliving by Hans

Oliving by Hans products are a uniquely delicious combination of the finest meat and olive oil, but also offer guaranteed quality and low fat content. The message that they want to push through on social media is the idea that their products are made with olive oil and less saturated fat than traditional smallgoods, making them a healthier choice to ones diet. My designs have been approved and went live on various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Oliving by Hans Context


Examples of graphic works that I have created for Facebook and Instagram:
(Click on the images to see an enlarged version of the graphics)

Oliving by Hans: Mozzarella Pizza Oliving by Hans: Bacon High-5 Oliving by Hans: Don't Go Bacon My Heart Oliving by Hans: Happy Australia Day
Oliving by Hans: Party Platter Oliving by Hans: Twiggy Sticks Oliving by Hans: Find Us in the Deli Oliving by Hans: The Hans Revolution Run

Oliving by Hans: Kabana & The Benefits of Olive Oil

Examples of graphic works that I have created for Pinterest:
(Click on the images to see an enlarged version of the graphics)

Oliving by Hans: Kids Pizza Oliving by Hans: Smoked Ham Sandwich Oliving by Hans: Mediterranean Parcels
Oliving by Hans: Roasted Asparagus Oliving by Hans: Mozzarella Pizza Oliving by Hans: Spaghetti Turkey

– Ally xx

Iku Wholefood

Iku Wholefood believe that nutritious food is essential for good health and vitality: Food that is natural, wholesome, authentic, freshly prepared and tasty. The style of graphic content that they want push through on Facebook and other social media platforms, are Natural & Organic – which as advised from the founder of Iku, a lot of green, and wood textures. This is to conceptually portray the message that all their foods are dairy free, additive free, preservative free, animal free, and free from genetic modification.

Iku Wholefood Context


Examples of graphic works that I have created for Facebook and Instagram:
(Click on the images to see an enlarged version of the graphics)

Iku Wholefood: Myth Iku Wholefood: Fast, Healthy Food Iku Wholefood: Well Being Iku Wholefood: Ken Israel
Iku Wholefood: Breakfast Iku Wholefood: Raw or Cooked? Iku Wholefood: Quotes BW Richardson Iku Wholefood: Beans
Iku Wholefood: Food was created perfectly Iku Wholefood: What's your story? Iku Wholefood: Cold Pressed Juice Iku Wholefood: Balanced Diet

– Ally xx

SHUK North Bondi

Hello Everyone and welcome back to our final Review Sunday for the year! Your read that right, and if you were able to catch my review last Sunday, you would’ve already known that I am stopping Review Sundays for a while. I have pretty much covered all the restaurants and cafés that I have visited over the past few months when I was in Sydney, and I have not been café hopping since I got back to Brunei. Instead of reviews on Sundays, I will be posting some of my design work on the blog.

All that aside, let’s get down to the review! So I’ve been wanting to go to this place for a very long time now and have had many opportunities to visit, but was always shot down for various reasons. The first time I tried to come here was for a brunch outing with Jialing and Yvonne. Yvonne was feeling under the weather at that time and said that she didn’t want to travel so far for brunch. The second time I tried to go there was with Jialing and her boyfriend for lunch; shot down again because he didn’t want to go to a place that has anything to do and/or supports Israel – just some firm beliefs and political issues he has with the country. So for my farewell brunch, I didn’t let anyone tell me otherwise because this would be the very last opportunity I’d have to go to this place. So how I came to know about SHUK was purely by just discovering eating places that I have never been to before. I came across a lot of places, but SHUK really spoke out to me, especially their Isralei Breakfast.

So yes, as mentioned above, I invited a few of my very close friends to come out and have brunch under the beautiful winter sun. Amongst the people who came out to see me were Annie, Daniel, Edison, Greta, Kevin, and Sophia. I know, you’re probably asking, where’s Jialing and Yvonne? Something happened the night before where Jialing couldn’t make it to brunch that morning. Yvonne technically had no excuse, but still ended up waking up late and therefore did not make it to brunch. I did however see her for a bit after brunch.

“The place is unstoppable. It’s Israeli by heart, Mediterranean on paper, Bondi by postcode and very Australian in its multicultural scope.” — Ryan O’Kane in GoodFood.

This café, bakery, and deli draws inspiration from the Hebrew term SHUK, which means marketplace. SHUK is North Bondi’s own marketplace where the freshest produce and dishes offered promises a flavour of Israel mixed with modern favourites for locals and tourists alike. Their menu is directly influenced by Arabic, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisines, and of course is inspired by Israeli dishes that the owners of SHUK grew up with, sharing with us what they’ve learnt from their families back home.

ALL DAY

SHUK: Green Shakshuka
GREEN SHAKSHUKA: Baked eggs, fennel, zucchini , kale, caramelised onion, feta, olives, and sourdough ($16.00) with extra chorizo (+$3.50)

If I ever have the chance to go back again, I would definitely order this dish. It looks like it would taste really good, I mean, of course it tasted good according to my friends who ordered it and didn’t share one bite (I forgive you Kevin). Edison was too far away from me to share, because I know he’d share 🙂 It is also a healthy vegetarian dish if you minus the chorizo add ons on the other dish!

SHUK: Hummus & Lamb
HUMMUS AND LAMB: House made hummus with 8-hour slow cooked lamb, served with pickles, olives, bread, and zhug ($18.00)

This dish that Sophia ordered looked amazing, and even the combination of hummus and slow cooked lamb was hard to resist. On their menu you could have hummus and mushroom as another option, and I remember when Sophia ordered this, she asked our waitress, “I really like lamb, but I also like mushrooms, so I was wondering if I can have the hummus and lamb with mushrooms as well?” The waitress said she’d ask but by the looks of the photograph, I don’t think she got her mushrooms. Anyway, I had a bit of her dish and it was delicious. The lamb was tender and juicy, and the hummus complimented it well. I can’t remember if it was from her dish, or Kevin’s, but I remembered eating the olives from someones dish because they didn’t like it.

BREAKFAST

SHUK: Israeli Breakfast
ISRAELI BREAKFAST: 2 eggs of your choice, Israeli salad, olives, labn’e, butter, house jam, avocado, and yoghurt with granola ($21.00)

This was the dish that I ordered. To be honest, even though it look spectacular in front of me, served in a massive pan with little bowls of everything, that was all it was. Don’t get me wrong, it was a bad dish, it’s just that he flavours and everything were average and nothing really blew my socks off. Also, when I got the dish, I felt like something was missing; I had all these spreads but no bread to put it on, so I had to call a waiter and ask for some toast for my dish. I still liked this dish; I only wished it impressed me more.

SHUK: SHUK Porridge
SHUK PORRIDGE: Oats, puffed whole grains, banana, dulce de leche, and roasted nuts ($13.00)

Now I know Daniel to be quite health conscious, so it was no surprise that he’d go for this dish (well except for the fact that it has dulce de leche in it). Daniel was sitting across the table from me so it was hard to want to try a little bit of his dish. From where I was sitting though, he seemed to enjoy his porridge, but I think he was a little bit upset by the fact that he ordered some smoked salmon on the side. Why was he upset? The side was priced at $4.00, and he got a puny bowl of it.

SANDWICHES

SHUK: House Cured Salmon
HOUSE CURED SALMON: House cured salmon with sour cream & dill, pickled cucumber, and spinach on an Israeli roll ($13.00)

I’m surprised that even though Greta sat next to me, I didn’t get to try her roll at all, well only because it’s kind of hard to bite into someones sandwich I guess. I did ask her how her dish was and she said it was very good. She had actually been thinking of going to SHUK for some time as well and thanked me for choosing this place as it then gave her to opportunity to.

SPECIALS

SHUK: SHUK Special

I’m sorry but I completely forgot what this dish was – it was on their specials menu which meant that it wasn’t listed out on their regular menu. A little back story here, so one of my friends, Annie, who came late to the brunch, went inside the café and ordered this dish. When he dish came out, she told us that it was one of the specials that they had for that week. We never asked the waitress who served our table what the specials were, and frankly she didn’t think to mention it to us as well, so I guess it’s no one’s fault. Also, because of that, I didn’t know what dish she ordered, nor did I remember to ask her what dish she ordered. I think she mentioned it, but it’s been more than a month since I was at SHUK, so it has already slipped my mind. So I did have a bite of the burger, I believe it was beef, and one too many sweet potato fries *cheeky grin* The fries, to die for, and the burger patty was tender and juicy.

Overall, I’m actually quite impressed with the food served up at my farewell brunch. It was actually quite a packed Saturday morning when I got there, but I was able to snag a table within 5 minutes of arriving. I’m just glad that they didn’t kick me out of the table because I had to wait a good half hour for the next three people to arrive, and an hour for the rest to come. We basically had the table for an hour before we even started ordering… Oops! Besides that, they can accommodate quite a lot of people in their restaurant, both indoors and outdoors. The service was pretty good, the waiters and waitresses who served our table were quick with requests and food came out very quickly too I might add. I’d give ambience/environment and service a clear 8/10 for our experience that day. I must say that I was quite surprised that the food served was fairly priced, though I’m not sure if I’d pay $21.00 for the Israeli Breakfast, but other than that, the other dishes definitely looked like you got your money’s worth; 8/10. The food looked amazing and some impressed more than others; 8/10.

SHUK is open everyday for breakfast and lunch, and dinners on Friday and Saturday night until 10pm. If I ever find myself in Sydney again, I would definitely hit this place up again and try dishes from their lunch and dinner menu as they look very enticing. As to quote Greta on that day, “you should just keep coming back and leaving so that we’ll have endless farewells.” Thank you Greta! 🙂

SHUK North Bondi
2 Mitchell Street
North Bondi, New South Wales
Australia, 2026

– Ally xx

Mr. Crackles

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! Just a little heads up, next week Sunday will the the last Sunday that I will be doing reviews. I’ve come to a point where I’ve pretty much covered all of the places I’ve been to when I was in Sydney and haven’t been to restaurants, cafés, and/or eateries around Brunei – well I have, but I haven’t been in a I-need-to-take-a-picture-of-this-so-I-can-review-it-for-later kind of mood lately. Don’t fret! I will still be posting on Sundays, they just won’t be reviews. Instead, I will be sharing with you some of my design works since I believe that the last time I posted anything design related on my blog was about a year ago; so you’ve got that to look forward to!

Back on topic, today I will be reviewing one of the best places, in my opinion, to get a fairly priced roll of tender, succulent, crispy-skinned pork crackling. Excuse me for a second while I wipe the drool that just dribbled down my chin as I typed that. Only kidding, but seriously, if you’re ain’t watching your calories, this is where you need to be at every opportunity you get! I’ve passed this place so many times before as it’s within probably a 10-minute walk away from campus, but I’ve never really gone inside and tried their rolls until August of last year I think (and I had been living in Sydney since 2011)! My high school friend (and still friends now) Andrew was visiting from Brunei/UK and I decided to take him here for lunch before his flight back to Melbourne, and then Brunei, eventually to the UK. Of course Jialing was with us too; no food adventure would be complete with my partner in crime.

The second time I came here was the Christmas of 2014 I believe, and that was when I saw my friend Marissa post a photo of their special Christmas roll; apple sauce and cranberry relish paired with crispy pork?! Hells yes! Of course I went back with Jialing; she indulged in her Sticky BBQ Pork again. I think I may have gone back a couple times more before I introduced this place to my family when they were over for my graduation in June. Everyone, and of course myself included, loved this place, and how I wish that a Mr. Crackles existed on one of the side streets of Brunei. I’d be their number 1 customer hands down!

ROLLS

Mr. Crackles: Crackles Christmas Roll
ROLL OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER 2014)
Crackles Christmas Roll: Crispy pork, apple sauce, cranberry relish, and herb crumb ($13.50)

As mentioned above, I could not resist saying no to this little gem. I think what got me was the apple sauce and cranberry relish; first, you can’t go wrong with crispy pork crackling being paired with some apple sauce. Secondly, the cranberry relish to really pull the idea of Christmas together in this man-sized roll. The pork was, as always, cooked perfectly; tender, juicy meat with a satisfying crispy crackling for that crunch we all look for in a great roast pork. Everything else complimented the roll nicely.

Mr. Crackles: Braised Beef Cheek
ROLL OF THE MONTH (MAY 2015)
Braised beef cheek, parmesan mash, and gremolata crumble in a soft bun ($13.50)

I mean, I know the presentation of this roll is less enticing and extravagant than that of the other rolls, but trust me when I say that this is one pretty amazing combination of tender braised beef cheeks and parmesan mash in a soft bun. I had actually forgotten that there was mash in this bun when I came around to eating it. This was only because the mash isn’t actually visible when you first look at the bun; it was hidden below the braised beef cheeks. When I took a bite and realised that there was in fact parmesan mash in it, it was a nice surprise indeed. If this special ever comes around again, be sure not to miss out on it!

Mr. Crackles: Sticky BBQ Pork
STICKY BBQ PORK
Smokey bbq, ranch, salad, and onion rings in a soft bun ($13.50)

I must say that amongst the other rolls, this was by far the best looking one out of the bunch. I mean, I still love and prefer a nice crispy pork on my roll, but this was just something else. Onion rings in your bun? Don’t mind if I do! Smokey, sticky, check! A bit messy to eat if you’re biting into it instead of being posh and using cutlery, but who cares really.

Mr. Crackles: Crackles Classic
CRACKLES CLASSIC
Crisp skinned slow roast 5 spiced pork belly served with Vietnamese salad in a roll ($13.00)

You’ve heard me talk about the crispy pork before in the Crackles Christmas Roll, so it’s basically that, tender, juicy meat with a satisfying crispy crackling, with a nice touch of fresh Vietnamese salad to compliment the meat.

Mr. Crackles: Manwich
MANWICH
Twice the meat and half the salad on any of our famous rolls ($17.00)

Its like their Crackles Classic Roll only twice as much meat on it for a man-sized bite, but who says women can’t have it too?

SIDES

Mr. Crackles: Crispy Pork Nacho Fries
CRISPY PORK NACHO FRIES ($12.00)

This would’ve been flawless for me if it weren’t for the tomato sauce(?) in the nachos. I can’t quite put my finger on what it tasted like to me, but all I know was that it was a bit strong and acidic for my liking. I had to pick out the fries that were least covered in the sauce as I did not want it to go to such a shameful waste. In the end, I ended up leaving about a third of the fries behind, but still eating all of the yummy crispy pork of course!

Mr. Crackles: Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
BUFFALO WINGS ($9.00) + blue cheese dip ($1.00)

The chicken packed just the right amount of heat in them and let’s be real here, you can’t possibly go wrong with buffalo wings AND blue cheese dip! These were delicious indeed.

Mr. Crackles: Cup of Crackling
CUP OF CRACKLING ($5.00)

When I first saw these cups of magical cracklings, I knew I needed to devour one. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with them as they weren’t quite what I had imagined them to be. They were a bit too salty for my liking, hard, and dry. I prefer the crackling on top of those pieces of meat on their rolls than this crackling.

Mr. Crackles is like a Western take on a classic Vietnamese pork roll. Overall, if you want your daily fix of crispy pork crackling, be it in a roll, salad, or topped with your nacho fries, then Mr. Crackles is the place for you. I’d say that their rolls are reasonable priced for the size you get, therefore I’d give value for money an 8/10. For those who haven’t been to Mr. Crackles on Oxford Street just somewhat opposite Taylor Square, you’ll notice that they have very limited seating – 8 seats to be exact. Every time I go there though, I still manage to snag a seat and that’s only because everyone that goes there gets their rolls to go. I guess I can’t really judge the ambience of the place seeing as it’s more of a place where you’d grab your food and eat elsewhere, but if you do end up sitting down at the place to have your food, it’s quite loud from all the traffic noise on Oxford Street. It can also get a wee bit crowded if you go during peak hour, which is usually lunch and dinner I’m guessing. I saw crowded because you’ve got a lot of people lining up and waiting around for their order. If I were to give the place a rating, I’d say 7/10 as it’s alright as a takeaway place, but I’d give it a 4/10 for a sit down place. Besides that, I’m pretty sure you all know that I’m definitely going to give the food a sure 10 for the rolls. The sides had some minor issues with me, but nothing too big that would make me take it out on the rest of the menu. You can’t fault a perfectly great roast pork like that from Mr. Crackles! If you can, than you are not my friend.

Mr. Crackles
155 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst, New South Wales
Australia, 2010

– Ally xx

South Dowling Sandwiches

South Dowling Sandwiches

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday on the blog! Where do I even begin with South Dowling Sandwiches? I’m not quite sure how many weeks into my first year of university it was when my friend Simon introduced me to this little shop on South Dowling Street just about a 5 minute walk away from the [then] COFA campus. What caught my eye at first was their sandwich signage that hung above their petit establishment, and thus I called it ‘the sandwich shop’ whenever I referred to it amongst my friends. It wasn’t only until a year or so later that I realised they were actually called South Dowling Sandwiches.

Anyway, my friend Simon and I decided to get a different sandwich each, and share the other half with each other so that we’d get the best of both worlds. I got the chicken schnitzel on brown bread while he got the leg ham on white, no extras included at that time. The size of these ginormous sandwiches freaked me out just a little bit because they were insanely massive, which I guess it’s a good thing because then they were definitely worth the seven bucks.

South Dowling Sandwiches

To be honest, I don’t think I was a regular customer at South Dowling Sandwiches; I don’t know for what reason because right now I can’t think of a good enough excuse to skip out on a delectable Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich, especially when I grew into a new found love for their caramelised carrots! Those that know me oh-so well also know that I accidentally on purpose forget to bring my lunch to uni on Monday’s just so that I can have my weekly dose of Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots.

South Dowling Sandwiches

This is the best sandwich in the world; like if this sandwich was a man, I’d marry it. I’m serious.

I’m  serious. I totally captioned that on a photo I posted on Instagram 16 weeks ago when I was on a date with my Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots. PS: May I also add that these sandwiches are MASSIVE and that there’s no way you can eat this with finesse. Herb mayo all over your hands and mouth? Been there, done that too many times.

All-in-all, I would like to thank South Dowling Sandwiches for feeding me for the past four years of my university degree. I apologise that it has taken me this long to write a review for you guys on my blog, but honestly, if I had written it last year, all you’d be seeing are pictures of my absolute favourite, the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots. I’ve tried to branch out from my regular (but could sense betrayal from the Schnitz as I did), so I brought along my many friends and family whom I managed to steer them away from my regular so that I could provide you with a range of their dishes on this review:

SALADS

All salads consist of lettuce, rocket, roma tomato, green beans, cucumber, red cabbage, potato salad, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, mushroom, caramelised carrots, lentil, capsicum, beetroot, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil

South Dowling Sandwiches: Vegi Salad
VEGI ($10.50)

This was the very first dish that my Mom had when she first arrived in Sydney last May. I suggested that she try the veggie salad because I know she loves vegetables and tries to eat it more often. She really liked this salad, especially the little lentils and the caramelised carrots (which she thought at first was sweet potato). I don’t think she’s had a salad like this before, and when I say that I mean with so many different things going on in one bowl.

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chilli Chicken Salad
CHILLI CHICKEN ($11.50)

Pretty much the same as the sandwich I guess, just that you get the whole veggie works as well! Also, with the salads, you can ask to not include some veggies that you don’t particularly fancy, like how I always ask for no beetroot and cucumber, but add just a touch more carrots 😛

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chicken Schnitzel Salad
CHICKEN SCHNITZEL ($11.50)

I think the first time I ordered the salad instead of the sandwich was the first time I got to taste the magic of the caramelised carrots, and ever since I never fail to get the extra carrots with my sandwich (of course, there were a few times they had run out of the carrots and it completely shattered my heart). I remember the guy behind me in line even commented jokingly  when he saw the devastation in my face: “It’s all about the carrots, why else would we be here?” I think the salad is just as good as the sandwich, just that with the salad, as I have already stated above, you obviously get more veggies!

SANDWICHES

Special sandwiches include potato salad, avocado, caramelised carrots, boiled egg, tomato, and cheese (+$5.00)

South Dowling Sandwiches: Leg Ham Sandwich
LEG HAM: Honey mustard, herb mayo, bocconcini, roma tomato, lettuce, and rocket on brown bread ($7.50)

Where do I even begin? I think the last time I had the leg ham sandwich was when I had it the first time, as I explained above. My sisters shared this leg ham sandwich when they came to Australia a few months back for a holiday and to attend my graduation. Anyway, they both loved it and thought that it had good flavour to it from the fresh ingredients.

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with extra Caramelised Carrots
CHICKEN SCHNITZEL: Herb mayo, lettuce, and rocket on brown bread ($7.50) with extra caramelised carrots (+$1.50)

I mean, if you’ve managed to skip all of the above and went straight to looking at the photographs and write-ups, then you wouldn’t have known that this is the prize winner right here! You most definitely need to have the extra caramelised carrots in this sandwich otherwise why even bother if you don’t?! The Schnitzel is cooked well, crisp and golden brown on the outside, while still it remains tender and juicy in the inside. The caramelised carrots adds a little extra bite a sweetness to the sandwich and the lettuce and rocket adds a touch of freshness and peppery flavours. UH-MAY-ZING.

South Dowling Sandwiches: Chilli Chicken Sandwich
CHILLI CHICKEN: Red pesto, lettuce, and rocket ($7.50)

Next to the Chicken Schnitzel is the Chilli Chicken, which is also another famous order amongst the many customers that go in and out of South Dowling Sandwiches. Whenever I get the chance to sit in their little place, I always hear people ordering either the Chicken Schnitzel or the Chilli Chicken sandwich. I’ve tried the Chilli Chicken before, and although it is without a doubt just as delicious as everything else on their menu, it’s not for me. I have no issues with it whatsoever, I just can’t part away from my OTP 😛 But anyway, they definitely know the true meaning of chilli when they say chilli chicken – the chicken packs a lot of heat which makes it oh-so good.

Overall, a great place to get your (man-sized) sandwich or salad fix; a definite 9/10 for value for money. The great thing about it is that you get to customise your own sandwich/salad as well which is what I love about South Dowling Sandwiches. You get to make YOU in the form of a sandwich/salad. I’m pretty sure you all know that I’ll be giving the Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots a sure 10 out of 10; which goes for the rest of their menu. The place could be a bit better I guess (6/10), but it doesn’t bother me that much at all especially when you’re greeted with a warm welcome of a Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich on brown bread with extra Caramelised Carrots – oh and the always smiling owner, Avi, and my friend Celeste. Celeste has been working there ever since I first started coming to SDS (I presume even longer than that as well) but didn’t know her until we met at our mutual friend’s, Pam’s graduation dinner party last year July 🙂 From that day on, I need not tell her my order; she knows it off by heart. Although seating may be limited, it never stops me from dropping by and getting takeaway instead to eat it on campus since it’s only a 5 minute walk away; but if there’s a table available (which there always is whenever I pop by), then I always stay and have small conversations with Avi and my friend Celeste.

South Dowling Sandwiches: with Celeste & Avi

I’m so sad that I can’t just hop on a bus and travel to South Dowling Sandwiches for some sandwich love, but even though I am no longer in Sydney, I still keep up to date on what’s going on through their Instagram page – they’re soon to open a second branch so stay tuned for that! They could be coming to a place near you!

South Dowling Sandwiches
377 S Dowling Street
Darlinghurst, New South Wales
Australia, 2010

– Ally xx