The Stew


Words || Phillip Leason 

Have you worked up an appetite with all the ‘doing it yourself’ you’ve been at lately? Well then it’s time to treat yo’ self, kick back and let somebody else do it for you. When it comes to forking out the extra dollars to have a meal prepared for you, you want to know you’re getting your money’s worth. Here are a few places I’ve tenuously attached ‘DIY’ to that are worth (or not worth) your hard earned stacks.


McDonalds ‘Create Your Taste’ – Basically Everywhere


Mon-Sun: 10:30AM – 10PM

“How very un-McDonalds.” The most un-McDonalds thing about CYT burger building is how slow it is. While it’s not exceedingly expensive, with waits over 25 minutes you may as well buy ingredients and cook your own burger. Perks like free extra cheese are great, but when it comes to the patties (the most integral part of a burger) you’re reminded that it’s still just McDonalds. The chicken is particularly dubious, and pares apart like fish.

It’s an improvement on regular McDonalds, but the overall ‘taste creation’ experience is daft and, frankly, unpleasant. Let Maccas be what it is, garbage that you know and love, and stick to the menu.



IKEA Restaurant – Rhodes Shopping Centre, Rhodes


Mon-Fri: 10AM – 9PM, Sat: 9AM – 9PM & Sun: 9AM – 7PM

 If during your shop for affordable homewares you find yourself considering a visit to Ikea’s restaurant, think twice. There’s already something inherently unappetising about meatballs, and Ikea’s presumably ‘traditional Swedish’ presentation of compacted nuggets of beast-flesh only go to damage the food’s already sordid reputation. The appearance and taste of these meatballs, sweaty and congealed, equates to my idea of prison food. The dessert tarts are significantly more enjoyable, but still taste manufactured. By contrast, their Ikea cider (or ekologisk) is quite tasty and apparently organic to boot, but the alcohol content is 0.1%, so what’s really the point?

Unless you’re particularly hungry on your furniture shop I recommend waiting until you’re elsewhere to grab food, and I advise strongly against trekking to their warehouse for the sole purpose of a meal.


Lentil As Anything – 391 King St, Newtown


Mon – Fri: 12PM – 9PM, Sat & Sun: 10AM – 9PM

The implied guilt of a ‘pay what you want’ restaurant seems daunting but don’t let it put you off a trip to this vego spot, it’s one of the best meal experiences in Newtown. Volunteer operated with live music and good vibes, this place bustles with positivity. The lengthy lineups are off-putting, but their quick service and cosy seating see you eating in no time. The food is hearty and delicious, and there’s no pressure to fork out big bucks: a simple donations box by the door is where you pay. Leaving a few extra dollars if you can will leave you feeling like you’ve done some good after your meal, and you can always volunteer if you want to give a little extra back.