Melbourne’s beloved hot chips restaurant Lord Of The Fries has finally landed in Sydney. The new George Street store was giving away free fries yesterday, along with the usual selection of vegetarian fast food morsels. I stepped in line to find out what all the fuss is about... and ended up losing a tooth for my troubles.
Lord Of The Fries is a vegetarian fast food chain that specialises in freshly prepared french fries that come with a variety of sauces including satay, Belgian mayo and shredded cheese with hot gravy. The franchise has been a regular fixture in Melbourne since 2005, but hasn't expanded beyond Victoria — until now.
I headed over to Lord Of The Fries' Sydney outlet at around 3pm and the queue was still pretty respectable at this time; unlike McDonald's free breakfast deal, it seems people were really keen to snap up a freebie.
One thing we noted while lining up was that the in-store menu does not provide any nutritional information. The word 'kilojoule' is conspicuously absent from the entire menu board.
Isn't this in direct violation of NSW's fast food laws? [Update: turns out this only applies to franchises with over 50 national stores.] I still feel this is dodgy when you consider Lord Of The Fries is pitching itself as a vegetarian restaurant — some customers could conceivably be duped into thinking the food is actually good for them.
While it might sound like a healthy alternative to the likes of Hungry Jacks, Lord Of The Fries’ signature menu item is deep fried potato covered in a range of high-sugar sauces. Clearly this isn’t a path to weight-loss. (On the plus side, they use sunflower and cottonseed oil in their cooking but this doesn't make up for the nutritional informoation going AWOL).
Slightly perturbed by the lack of a kJ breakdown, I decided to opt for a Kid's Size fries, which actually turned out to be pretty mammoth. It comfortably dwarfed a large fries order from most fast food restaurants; which is just as well given the price tag.
My order came in at a fairly steep $5.95, which included Mexican chili salsa 'deluxe sauce' for $2.50. (To be fair, Lord Of The Fries also offers tomato sauce and vinegar free of charge.)
So how does it taste? Before I started tucking in I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd heard mixed reviews about these things, with some people slamming them as disgustingly greasy and others swearing they're the best chips in Australia.
Personally, I loved them. The chips are on the soft side but still have a pleasant crunch to them and while they are a bit oily, I wouldn't say this detracts from the flavour. I'm also a fan of Lord Of The Fries' decision to keep the potato skins on.
All in all, this is an excellent hot chip that comfortably trumps all major fast food rivals including McDonald's, Hungry Jacks and KFC. My only reservation would be the Mexican Chili Salsa which didn't have much of a bite (then again, my tolerance for spicy food is probably higher than most).
Indeed, the chips were so delicious that I inadvertently knocked my front tooth out while enjoying the meal. No really.
Regular Lifehacker readers will be familiar with my recent dental mishaps involving a loose tooth.
A dodgy gluing job at the dentist resulted in my tooth breaking off completely about halfway through the meal. Perhaps this was divine retribution for sneakily eating the fries in a Hungry Jack's Restaurant. (Lord Of The Fries does not provide seating for patrons.)
The tooth was sadly unsalvageable and I currently look like a filthy pirate. As I type this, I'm holed up at home waiting for my (new) dentist to construct a denture.
So in conclusion, I'm not sure the Lord Of The Fries meal was worth the $700 that a denture will cost me, but it was certainly very tasty. Once my tooth is fixed, I'll be sure to check out some of their vegetarian burger and hot dog offerings for a followup article.
The Lord Of The Fries Sydney store is located at 537 George Street which is a short walk from Town Hall Station.