Last time I wrote about Spit Shack (I’m a bit wary to say review because I kind of don’t do that) I said I would be back and I am! Person of my word I am but this time, I’m at the newly opened store in The Hamlet, located conveniently near the city on Lonsdale Street, Braddon. When I used to walk past this empty lot to and from work every day, I never knew what kind of joy could be found in a place like this. You know those ads where this family with 2 kids and a dog look at an empty lot and imagine their wonderful life? Yeah? Well I’m crap at that, can’t do it. So when I walked past the old blue shed looking thing with a fence around it, I just imagined that’s what it would always be. I’m pleased to be proven wrong on this one! The Hamlet is a new little area in Braddon that contains such things as Mr. Papa (which makes constant welcome appearances at The Forage), BrodDogs, BurraBerkshire, Chasing Mr Morris and many more to come, so definitely something I’m going to make repeat trips to, half because it’s cool but mainly because it’s close to my house.
The one thing that the Hamlet does that I’m very very much in love with, is that it has brought The Spit Shack, one of my favourite places ever, to a place that’s infinitely more accessible. No more planning my entire weekends around trying to ensure I get to Pialligo for The Spit Shack, I can now save roughly 7 minutes and get it here in Braddon (Yes, that was a joke about how awesomely small Canberra is).
The Spit Shack is hands down, one of my favourite quick, cheap and delicious eats in Canberra. I know the menu is pretty simple with only four different products, the pork roll, the lamb roll, the cevapcici and finally the egg and bacon roll but surprising with this limited menu there are hundreds of variations you can make thanks for the fantastic toppings and sauces. When I first came to The Spit Shack, it was pretty late so they didn’t have any crackling or any lamb left. I was determined to try these and I can gladly say, they were both worthwhile!
If you’re interested in some of the other rolls I’ve had at The Spit Shack in Pialligo, check it out here.
Alrightie, lets talk about some of The Spit Shack at the Hamlet, Braddon and their other rolls and variations!
By getting in a little earlier than usual, I managed to try the Lamb roll with gravy and mint sauce ($12.90). Last time by the time we got to The Spit Shack they had unfortunately sold out of lamb. I’ve been pretty keen to try the lamb, so what better way to usher in the new location than with a different meat? So here is the lamb roll, we decided to go with the gravy sauce, because 1) I love it and 2) whenever a place says “own recipe” or “secret recipe” or anything like that, it’s pretty much them giving you the hint that you need to order this item, and the other items on the menu are just diversions for the less observant. We also went with some mint sauce because, well, every time a fancy place gives you lamb, they offer mint jelly, so I just figure mint goes with lamb. What can I say? I’m conditioned for this stuff now.
This roll was damn good! The Spit Shack honestly will never do me wrong, and this was no different, the lamb was really tender and soft, it went perfectly with the bread which was really soft from the gravy sauce. I felt like I was eating a French dipped sandwich from Phillipe’s over in LA. The bread is something that probably doesn’t get enough love, but it’s really something special, it’s heavily buttered and just works with the meats so well, I believe this bread, and maybe a Saigon roll would be the only breads that could do these rolls justice.
These rolls at The Spit Shack are any meat lovers idea of food heaven. The mint actually added a surpisingly interesting edge to the roll. You can’t see it when you look at the roll, no hints of speckled green here or there but you can definitely taste it. The mint sauce adds this amazing freshness and lightness to the roll. It mixes up the flavours and takes away the heaviness of the meat and acts to balance everything out. I personally, as a meat lover, didn’t feel like it needed balance, and the more meaty the better. Calmer minds have told me that balance is good, so this is really up to your own opinions out there. One thing I should mention is that while I did love the lamb, the pork is definitely, and easily, my go-to roll here at The Spit Shack, it’s my absolute favourite, with the lamb a distant second.
Of course, no trip to The Spit Shack is complete without a pork roll. We decided to spice up the Pork roll with gravy and apple sauce ($12.90). Originally, during this trip we were hoping to try out the lamb (which we did, above) and the crackling at the same time. However, again they were out of crackling. We were a little disappointed but enjoyed our pork roll so much from The Spit Shack in Pialligo that we decided what the hell and grabbed another pork roll but this time we added apple sauce. Like last time, the pork was amazing. I could talk about it for ages or I could just link you to my old post were I rave about the pork roll with gravy. Check out it out here.
The only difference between that roll and this roll is the addition of apple sauce. We did this because, well as above, apple sauce is always provided with pork, so it just kind of fit in our minds. There’s a chance we watch too much American television because, I’m not sure where these ideas are coming from. The apple sauce added this mild sweetness to the pork. You would take a bite and be hit with delicious strong meaty flavours and then, in comes the apple sauce, rounding it off with some lovely fruity sweetness. I actually really enjoyed the addition of the apple sauce, the mint sauce above was kind of a cool thing, but if I were to get a lamb again, I’d probably get it sans mint sauce because I didn’t much care for the balance it brought. In this though, the apple gave it a sweetness that kind of worked well with the pork, I really liked it and would definitely do it again in the future. I can see for someone who doesn’t absolutely love meat, pork and gravy by itself could get a little overwhelmed by the limited flavours towards the end of this one foot mammoth of a roll. I feel like the apple sauce could really help out there.
On our third trip, we finally managed to get the Pork roll with gravy, apple sauce and crackling ($12.90)! I absolutely love this place. between the stores in Pialligo and now this one in the Hamlet in Braddon, I’ve had five rolls with a variety of meats and toppings and each time the rolls have been amazing in their own ways. This roll with crackling was the one I wanted right from the start but trip after trip, I was constantly too late and the crew at The Spit Shack had ran out of crackling. After finally digging into this roll, I can finally see why this one was the hardest to get. Crackling is, as always, is freaking amazing. The addition of crackling to these rolls really turn something amazing into something to die for. You don’t even get that much of it but that little sprinkle just blows your mind. The savoury and meatiness of the gravy sauce, coupled with the sweetness, fruitiness and hint of sourness from the apple sauce and finally, the crunchiness and fatty goodness of the crackling really is a bit of a party in your mouth, a delicious one. I’ve been known to just go on about how good things are, and even so I feel like I’m probably not doing this roll enough justice in my writing, if you’re a lover of all things meat, you absolutely have to try out this roll. It’s simply to die for!!
Finally, for all you people that eat in the morning, the Bacon and egg roll ($8.90). I was a little bit disappointed when I got this because, well, blame multiple trips over to the G Spot up in Gungahlin, where they offer bacon and egg rolls with gravy! If you’ve never tried it, you definitely should because it’s fantastic. The Spit Shack unfortunately only offers tomato and BBQ sauce with your bacon and egg roll, which isn’t really a problem seeing as bacon and egg rolls come standard with either tomato or BBQ sauce but the gravy sauce at The Spit Shack is just so delicious and quite readily available, why couldn’t they just let me mix it up a bit?!
Upon opening up this roll though, that earlier disappointment turned into absolute joy, this thing is huge!! It’s a foot long, just like the others, and inside there are three full eggs with a huge helping of the famous Pialligo bacon that’s won so many awards this year. The Spit Shack did no wrong here, and it’s something I can definitely see myself getting over and over again, it’s not cheap at almost $9 but considering for that price you’re getting three whole eggs and a whole lot of bacon, it’s actually pretty good value, in a Costco kind of way. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about how bacon and eggs taste, but this is easily my favourite bacon and egg roll in Canberra now, so I hope that gives an indication of how good this tasted.
I absolutely love The Spit Shack as may well be obvious now, everything I’ve gotten here has been delicious in one way or another. The meats are always soft and super tasty, the various toppings and sauces are fun, exciting and allows you to completely customise your roll and have something completely different every time. Plus, you can add as many sauces and toppings as you want for the same price. Plus, you can even mix it up and go with a lamb and pork roll! Whoppee! I absolutely cannot wait to try out the two foot long mega roll for $25, I mean The Spit Shack’s current one foot roll is massive and extremely filling but the crew has taken it up a step and given us the opportunity to completely satisfy our taste buds and belly. Good stuff – probably my favourite place in all of Canberra and I foresee plenty of trips to The Hamlet in Braddon for lunch over the coming weeks and months and it looks like everyone else in Canberra also has the same idea because it was pretty packed.
Oh on a side note, I also noticed that The Spit Shack in Braddon also offers a mini 6 inch roll for about $8, that’s good for those of us out there who can’t finish a whole foot long. Better for me because..well more meat for me.
Finally, yes that is a pig roasting away, right in the centre of Canberra. Bad picture I know. It’s kind of behind that guys legs.