XS Espresso is a large, bustling cafe in the Greenway Plaza in Wetherill Park. I had read that they made decent burgers and wicked freakshakes and as I work in the area occasionally I checked it out a couple of times and enjoyed the burgs. Coincidentally it was then with much joy that good foodie friend, @getfatwithnat contacted me and asked if I wanted to join her for an invited review lunch. Upon the words “free lunch” I was all over it.
Greenway Plaza and Centre is a large indoor outdoor retail centre with homewares outlets, a gym, fruit and vegetable place and a few foodie places. XS is basically the only real bustling cafe in the place and this has no doubt added to its huge visitation. There is also a fish and chips shop adjacent that pulls good numbers and a Thai restaurant. Furthermore a very cool food van, CHORIZO CHASERS, I have always passed as XS is that extra bit enticing.
The venue has a small outdoor area, a medium inside and a decent upstairs section. XS is ALWAYS packed and mostly has a queue out the front. The tables are all relatively close to each other and while I would have much preferred an outdoor table for better photography lighting we settled on the upstairs indoor section so the arriving crowds would not gawk at us. Unlike Nat (below) I am very gorgeous and everyone always stares at me, especially when we are having up to twelve courses delivered.
Nat (and myself as her feasting partner) were invited to try out and review the new dinner menu however due to a communication breakdown the night menu chef wasn’t present to make us things like pizza burgers and other insanely healthy morsels. In the evening they have an upstairs pizza kitchen that also kicks into gear along with the downstairs kitchen. Their experimental dishes and culinary delights are epically popular with the blogstagrammers of Sydney and no wonder, it is all food porn on a colourful scale.
Nat and I started with healthy sugar-free milk smoothies – or more like diabetic unicorn rainbow excrement from technicolor heaven. These are a sight to behold, Nat opted for the Kinder Surprise Shake and I went the Volcano. These things are like liquid crack, the sugar content is epic and the flavours are divine. These are a definite sweet treat item and not something you can have regularly. After this lunch I had to go home and sleep just to recover. It is not just the inside of the glass for the shake, it is everything else stacked as high as it can go. Furthermore the outside of the glass is caked in more sugary joy and even the plate has more ingredients.
My volcano was plugged with a chocolate muffin and the ingredients were basically the entire Willy Wonka factory stuffed in a glass. THERE ARE NO WORDS. That white chocolate you see down the side of the Volcano – that is hardened white chocolate so it is poured then chilled – I chipped it off with my spoon and then just stuffed my entire face into it. Serious multiple foodgasms from these weightloss drinks.
These were just AMAZING. Top five milkshakes of all time without a doubt.
And then to get those pesky sugary drinks out of the system we washed them down with six mains to share. We kicked it off with DELICIOUS DEAN (below) – a pesto influenced breakfast. It has avocado and cherry tomatoes on sourdough with goat’s cheese, prosciutto, basil pesto and poached eggs. Cost is about $15- from memory. Very reasonable for a breakfast/ brunch dish and it was delicious – don’t know who Dean is though :). Their eggs were poached perfectly, the pesto was not overpowering (bug bear of mine) and the prosciutto was marvellous.
BEST BREAKFAST DISH OF 2016:
Following this was my favourite dish of the day, a Spanish inspired Chorizo Big Breakfast. It was being trialled when we visited but is well and truly on the menu now and it is BLOODY AMAZING!! Large semi-hollowed out panini roll filled with spicy Spanish chorizo, red kidney beans, poached eggs, Spanish onion, Queso Fresco (Mexican Mozzarella), avocado, jalapeños and salsa. 10/10 dish for me and one of the best things I have eaten this year, definitely the best breakfast.
Then the venue mixed it up by bringing everything else at once, everyone else on the top floor was looking at us like reverse biggest losers aka Biggest Gainers – Fat Bastard and Fat Nat :). We decided to throw a dessert in first and I am pretty sure this was Nutella pancakes with bananas, strawberries and vanilla ice-cream. Just droooooooooooooooooollllll.
Did someone say haloumi?
Next up was the XS STACK: Avocado, grilled tomato, grilled haloumi with poached eggs on sourdough. I enjoyed this because I will eat shoes if they have haloumi in them. However, sadly, it came with balsamic drizzled on top and I didn’t think it benefitted the dish in anyway. I tried to scrape it off in fact.
BURGERS BURGERS BURGERS:
Then my forte; burgers, burgers, burgers. I have had the XS Chicken Burger in the past and I LOVED it but for this meal it was all about the BIG MAMA’S BURGER. Embarrassed to admit, I have also eaten this before haha. Two premium beef patties, lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, caramelised onions, cheese and secret sauce. Loved it both times, although I slightly prefer the chicken burger. On my Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms, how I score burgers on instagram, I rated this one a 4/5. I will eat it again!!
And our last dish of the day was PRESIDENT JIMMY. By this stage I was lying on the floor groaning and Nat had a chair on top of me pinning me down. Waiters held my mouth open and like Dumbledore force-feeding water I continued to indulge and physically stretch. The trials of being a food blogger never end!! President Jimmy is a delightful lamb back strap. It comes with a couple of vegetables and it is a dish you will love. So tender and so tasty, a truly brilliant lunch meal. I just wish I got to indulge in it before the eight other dishes :).
XS Espresso is a current “it” place. It is a place to be seen and a place to eat great food. From novelty shakes that may kill you to nice burgers. Also, from unique dinner creations to epic culinary delights. It is a place you need to try, it was well worth the seventy minutes it took me to get there. It is friendly, busy, well managed and staffed and it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Put it this way; I live in Manly and I have eaten at XS three times now.
XS Espresso Deets:
9A 1183-1187, The Horsely Drive, Weatherill Park, NSW
Phone: (02) 9757 4265
Mon – Fri: 6am to 10pm
Sat & Sun: 7am to to 10pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, ss always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.