Snags and Sons, Leederville
Update 13 November 2013: Snags and Sons has closed its shop in Leederville and moved into Jus Burgers Northbridge store to form JUSS. Now trading instead at Leederville is their new pintxos bar, Pinchos.
The last few years have been the Golden Age of the gourmet burger bar in Perth. There are many reasons we love gourmet burgers: the price is right, no need for cutlery and it's fast but not junk food. Sausages have just joined the party and it looks like we're onto another wiener.
Perth just got a little cooler and a lot more delicious with the opening of a new sausage shop in Leederville just over two weeks ago. Snags and Sons is the latest venture from Justin Bell, the man behind Jus Burgers. At Snags and Sons, the humble snag is the hero, with all sausages sourced from Western Australian producers. The menu reflects multicultural Perth, with a line-up of locally made kransky, bratwurst, boerwors, Toulouse pork, red curry sausage and more.
To call Snags and Sons chef-owner Justin Bell "busy" is an understatement. Now that the burger king of Perth has added gourmet hot dogs to his empire, Justin divides his time between four Jus Burgers stores, in Leederville, Subiaco, Northbridge and Fremantle, and now Snags and Sons. Masterchef has made babbling about your passion for food a cliché, but you can see it all over Justin as he talks about his new shop. He grins widely and his eyes sparkle as he tells Jac and me about the inspiration behind Snags and Sons - the old fashioned butchers and traditional pie and eel shops that he grew up with in London, where the food is fast and simple and wholesome and loved. A fully trained chef who's worked all over the world, Justin wants his food to be delicious and made using the best locally sourced produce, and most of all, he wants it to be fun.
The shop fit-out is stunning and the details make a gorgeous feast for the eyes. Justin was keen to preserve the character of the original building yet create a quirky, inviting atmosphere. The result is striking: strings of sausages and shiny saucepans hanging on hooks in the ceiling; the walls plastered with posters featuring meat, drinks and famous sauces; wine barrels converted into tables; splashes of red, black and brown wherever you look. There are exposed beams in the ceiling and in the craggy old brick walls, the ghost of an archway from a previous life.
Just as Jus Burgers uses all Western Australian produce and ingredients, Snags and Sons is a showcase of top WA meat producers: free range Linley Valley pork sausages; Amelia Park lamb and beef sausages; a free range chicken snag by Mt Barker Chicken; Chittering Valley venison snags; Elmars Plantagenet bratwurst; and organic Blackwood Valley beef. For vegetarians, there's a Margaret River tempeh sausage with lupin and barley.
Next to the front counter are two frying pans on the induction cooktop, one for sausage, one for fried onions. This is Sausage Sizzle TV with high definition smell-o-vision. Try not to leave nose prints on the screen.
There are salads ready for takeaway in the display case, but for customers who dine in, salads are made to order by the staff at the counter.
There's no coffee but you can add a cuppa to your meal for an extra dollar - grab one of the assorted mugs and make your own brew at the tea station.
It's time to taste some snags. We grab a seat at one of the wine barrel tables. Jac has the Chittering Valley venison snag (AU$9) in a baguette with horseradish cream, beetroot relish, apple and ginger jam and rocket. The venison snag is a meaty delight but the accompaniments make this gourmet hot dog truly superb.
I choose the Linley Valley Toulouse pork sausage (AU$8) with oven baked brie, caramelised onions, rocket in a baguette. The garlic pork sausage and sweet caramelised onions are outstanding but I've been dreaming of the molten melted Brie ever since.
The buns are toasty warm, soft and chewy. I've written about Jus Burgers' burger-strength buns before - these are hot dog-strength buns that soak up the sauces without getting too soggy or falling apart. Gluten-free buns are available too, and the Elmars bratwurst and the Blackwood Valley organic beef sausages are gluten-free. If you're avoiding carbs, for $2 less you can get a no bun snag and even get your snag on a stick.
It's not just snags that are the stars here. At Jus Burgers, the onion rings are my must-have side dish; the BBQ baked beans (AU$5) are a strong contender for the title at Snags and Sons, tender butter beans and juicy spinach in a tasty housemade tomato sauce.
The grilled Italian sausage (AU$6) is outstanding, served with mustard fruits, lemon & rocket. A slice of sausage, a smear of mustard fruit and a squeeze of lemon juice, all wrapped in a sprig of peppery fresh rocket and you may have the perfect mouthful right there.
At Justin's suggestion, we dig into an oven baked potato (AU$6) with Swiss cheese, candied bacon, sour cream & spring onion.
Under the gooey cheese and blob of cool sour cream, inside the fluffy potato are glorious strips of bacon that Justin reveals have been candied with brown sugar and maple syrup. As a proud bacon lover I'd never look at a baked spud for my bacon fix, so full credit to Justin to broadening my ordering horizons.
As always, Jac insists on some vegetables, choosing the Thai-style salad (AU$6), with crunchy fresh vegies, noodles and tangy nam jim dressing.
The shop is quite narrow and tables for two line the wall. There's a dining table in the back room suitable for a larger group.
Just remember the next morning after a big Friday or Saturday night, when you're feeling sorry for yourself and hiding behind your sunnies, Snags and Sons has a weekend special just for you: "Gotta av it" (AU$12), a sausage or bacon baguette served with an organic fruit juice, berocca and cold flannel. Other than "Gotta av it", there's nothing over $10 on the menu.
Snags and Sons is on Newcastle Street, Leederville near the corner of Oxford Street, between Subway and Jus Burgers. So...fancy a sausage?
Snags and Sons
749 Newcastle Street
Leederville WA 6007
BYO wine and beer AU$2 per person
Early bird menu 9am to 11am (sausage sanger AU$6, bacon butty AU$6 and chorizo snag AU$7, all available with a cuppa for $1 extra)
Lunch and dinner
11am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday
11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday
TFP and Jac sampled dishes with compliments of Snags and Sons. A special thanks to Justin Bell for the great grub and for taking the time to chat to us about Snags and Sons.
Good news for Melbourne burger fans
Get ready for the first Jus Burgers outside of WA with Jus Burgers opening on Chapel Street, Melbourne later this year.
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