Urban Mess + Inner City Winemakers

Urban Mess + Inner City Winemakers

Urban Mess has been lucky enough to have Inner City Winemakers collaborate with a few of our Urban Mess dinners so far, including a couple in their gorgeous premises in Wickham, as well as our first 2 events for 2018 at Merewether SLSC. If you haven't already, check out their fabulous range of wines, or better yet, pop in and say hello at their cellar door! www.innercitywinemakers.com

Euro 'research' trip 2017

Euro 'research' trip 2017

In April of 2017 Chef Tony and partner, Melisah went to France, Italy and Spain to do some very tasty 'research' for the Urban Mess menus! The cuisine was fantastic and Tony was inspired to put together some truly rustic, unique dishes for future menus. Here are just a few snaps from the trip, enjoy!

Blues at the Beach Urban Mess

Blues at the Beach Urban Mess

Way back in 2017 we hosted our biggest Urban Mess yet at Cooks Hill SLSC with a fantastic blues set by Dan Southward, Adam Miller, and band. It was a fantastic night and another one is certainly on the cards for 2018!

Bavarian Urban Mess

What a night! Our bellies were full and many of us might be slightly dusty with the generous amounts of beer consumed but its worth it! Thanks to our collaborator Grain Fed Brewing, owner and brewer Lauchie did a great job talking us through the beers with every course and sharing his wealth of knowledge of the brewing process with diners. Omas Kitchen in Newcastle provided us with delicious pretzels which were a huge hit! Those Germans sure know how to eat! Then again, so do we! If you want to register your interest for our next Urban Mess, email us at urbanmessevents@gmail.com

Bavarian Urban Mess with Grain Fed Brewers

We are so excited to announce we will be hosting a Bavarian Urban Mess at Lowlands Bowling Club in collaboration with Grain Fed Brewing on the 13th of March! Guests will get to taste 4 different craft beers that have been matched to the 5 course meal, and as always, chef Tony will give diners a little background on cuisine, and brewer Lachlan Macbean will talk through the beers.

We are anticipating a big crowd for this one and even including pretzels from local German resturant, Oma's Kitchen!


The Burger Empire

It seems everyone these days has jumped on the burger revolution. There are a mutitude of gourmet and not so gourmet on offer not only in Newcastle, but every major city in Australia  (not that were complaining). Here at Bistro Lowlands we take our burgers very seriously, if you overhear kitchen convos between the chefs, you can bet your buns that it will be about constructing the individuals dream burger, usually one upping each other with weird and wonderful ingredients (Baconaise anyone?)

The Royale with Cheese - a burger afficiendo staple.

The Royale with Cheese - a burger afficiendo staple.

One question that has been driving Tony since he opened Bistro Lowlands in 2014 is, what makes the perfect burger? He has done extensive research (many kilos worth actually), all over Sydney, Melbourne, Tassie, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and everywhere in between. Is it the bun? Brioche? Milk? Sesame seeds? Is it the pattie? The sauce? The construction? All of these come into play, and if the delicate balance of these essential burg cornerstones is thrown off, well, chaos reigns - and not in a good way. Every establishment has a different formula, and although we are extremly happy and proud of ours, we are never above trying new burgs and appreciating other takes on this gastronomic gift from the heavens. A great article on this very subject is here.

The other essential part of the burger evolution is the name of the burger. For us, it is an important part of the burger personality, no one wants to order a Firebird and not need a drink of ice cold beer to compliment the joyous inferno raging on their tongue. The special burgers we create for limited periods at a time get especially creative, take 'The Bad Mother-Clucker', a sweat inducing double chicken pattie, bacon, triple cheese, baconaise and special sauce.

The Bad Mother Clucker - anything but.

The Bad Mother Clucker - anything but.

Or the 'Nutmare on Elm Street', our oh so sweet dessert burger special with torched banana, nutella, walnut praline, peanut butter custard, peanut brittle icecream and a brioche bun.

Yes, its as good as it looks.

Yes, its as good as it looks.

Some of our other crackers have been The Kung-Fu burger - a vegan dream, featuring kimchi and Miso roasted mushroom, the Barack O'Parma, a chicken parmigiana inspired powerhouse, and even The Three Little Pigs, which combines pork belly, pulled pork AND bacon for a triple treat.

The Kung-Fu Vegan Burger

The Kung-Fu Vegan Burger

The mighty Barack O'Parma

The mighty Barack O'Parma

Of course however, the name does not affect the flavour, merely enhances it. Quality ingredients are key, as is the way the burger is constructed. Construction of Bistro Lowlands burgers is now down to a fine art, and only a priveliged few in the kitchen are allowed to engage in the creation of said art. Yes, one has to earn his/her stripes before they are allowed the honour of constructing our burgers. THATS how serious we are.

So weather you have been swept up in the burger revolution or not, make sure the next time you bite in to one - and we sincerely hope its with us - take a moment to reflect on the care that has been taken to make it. Has it been crafted in a way that addresses all its vital building blocks (bun, ingredients, construction)? If those things are performing a fine balancing act together, and you finish with an empty plate and a smile on your face, then my friend, you were just lucky enough to have a bloody great burger. Long live the revolution!


We are open tomorrow! From 10am - 5pm, come and get your burger on!

Private Catering

Do you know we do private catering? Recently we catered Shelley and Darren's wedding anniversary dinner in Cooks Hill. It was a very special and intimate dinner, with the menu created to match the beautiful couple's favourite flavours - and wine collection!

We are not just burgers, Tony and his team have a passion for delicious, creative dishes that compliment quality ingredients, and the individual space and requirements of diners.

If you are interested in catering for your event, please get in touch, we can cook at your place or ours! - bistrolowlands@gmail.com

The pups loved it - they even got some scraps!

The pups loved it - they even got some scraps!

Newcastle Mirage + Newcastle Herald

Well don't we feel special lately! It has been an absolute honour to be featured in the two biggest Newcastle rags this past month, we are so excited to meet all of our new customers coming in try 'the best burgers in Newcastle' (yes, thats a quote!), and even more so to reward our regulars with bigger and better specials for their continuing support. Big love guys!




Final Urban Mess for 2016!

Last night was our final Urban Mess for the year, with an all star menu featuring different dishes that were particularly well received from previous months. It was a great success and we would like to thank everyone who has come to support us in 2016. If you missed out dont worry - Urban Mess will be back next year with some new and inspiring dishes from across the globe!


Chilled Tomato Soup | Salt Cod Pate | Spiced Moroccan cauliflower salad with mint, pistachios, pomegranate and yoghurt | Patatas Bravas | French Cassoulet



Nothing 'Standard'!

We are so happy to have been featured in the Newcastle Herald this past Saturday! The article is a fantastic representation of Bistro Lowlands and certainly seems to have generated some interest - yesterday the Bistro literally SOLD OUT OF FOOD! With close to 200 customers for lunch, many of them saying they had come to try the food based on the newspaper review, it seems we will be doubling our food orders this week! Newcastles best burgers are a secret no more!

Check out the article here: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4056090/nothing-standard-from-this-bowlo/?cs=2373

"BISTRO Lowlands make the best burgers in Newcastle. There, I said it. This shouldn't come as a revelation to most people, but I think it needs to be said, again, nonetheless...

On a wintery Sunday afternoon, the Bistro Lowlands bowling green is bathed in orange sunlight. Wispy streaks of white cloud start to turn pink as the sky slowly shades from blue to purple to black. High above the synthetic green, floodlights flicker and help illuminate the bowls being rolled down below. Between the ever-present glow of the TV's, the industrially designed tables and chairs, and the broadloom carpet homage to Piet Mondrian, it's bloody hard to make a bowling club sound appealing. But, let's face it, you're not going to Lowlands for the decor, are you? You're there to meet a few friends, have a beer or a cheeky glass of wine, maybe roll a few bowls, and eat tasty foodstuffs from the Bistro Lowlands' kitchen.

The menu has snacks and starters featuring herb and garlic toast, sweet corn fritters, arancini balls, and southern style chicken wings. Mains include, bowlsey favourites; panko crumbed fish and chips, bangers and mash, chicken schnitzel, and a 300g rump steak, as well as dumplings. Then there are the $10 burgers... The Standard, the Royal with Cheese, the O-Fishl, the Veggie, the Colonel, the Pisgy, and, the recently returned, Firebird with hot sriracha sauce.

Over the last few months, my dining associate and I have been involved in some rigorous R&D, and now I can report the following about the Lowlands burger menu: The Standard is anything but, while the Royal with Cheese is worthy of its own scene in a Tarantino flick, and better with bacon (for an additoinal $3.50). For the seafood fans, the O-Fishl is legit delicious courtesy of a panko crusted Barramundi fillet, and for the vegetarians and lovers of a crispy sweet corn fritter, the Veggie burger elicits a smug, self-satisfied smile, every time. The recipe for The Colonel chicken burger might have been found in the back pages of Harland Sanders lost cookery book, but for me, the recent return of the Firebird is a bona fide blessing; ultra crispy buttermilk fried chicken sits between spicy slaw, jalapenos, and melted cheese, all liberally doused in Huy Fongs red hot sriracha masterpiece. Lastly, the Pigsy pulled pork with spicy slaw and hoisin sauce tastes like a delicious edible East meets West metaphor for how to reconcile tensions in the South China Sea. Each tasty burger is served in the type of red plastic basket made famous by Newcastle gourmand trailblazer, Big Al's.

Head chef Tony Harrison and his kitchen accomplice Ian Towse are not merely a one trick burger-pony. On the second Monday of every month, Harris and Towse conjure up a simple feast of foreign flavours as part of their Urban Mess communal dining nights. The Italian night featured roast spatchcock with farro and potato, while July's Urban Mess was inspired by the smells, tastes and textures of Morocco. On a recent Monday for $25 a head savvy locals were treated to a feast of recipes from the top of North Africa. Punters sat on makeshift long benches and chatted between mouthfuls of spicy lentil soup, fried eggplant, roast cauliflower, and lamb tagine with couscous. Each dish was full of flavour, clearly composed with texture in mind. Harrison occasionally comes out from behind the stove to greet guests and chat about the food. It's a nice touch. The next Urban Mess will be French themed.

This reviewer reckons Harrison and Towse make the best burgers in town, but that's not all. There's plenty more to discover just about any night of the week. Get along to the next Urban Mess, and, never judge a bistro by its cover." - Dan Honan

Urban Mess July - Moroccan!

This month's Urban Mess is a delicious Moroccan feast! There are not many spaces left so give us a call now on 0249293046 to book your seat!

In the spirit of the theme, here are some pics of Mel's Moroccan experience that the boys will be drawing on for menu inspiration!