Get your face into this Tiger.
Noodlies, Sydney goes all nostalgic in Liverpool, well, Warwick Farm actually. It’s a long (though hopefully interesting) story…
While the signage says Harry’s Cafe de Wheels has been around since 1945, it actually dates back to 1938 with roots in the depression years. That was when Harry Edwards started trading in a caravan near the front gates of the Woolloomooloo naval dockyards. Open late, it quickly became a favourite fast feed for the city’s nightlife: sailors, soldiers, cabbies, starlets and more. Back then it was called simply “Harry’s”. Trading was interrupted when Harry was enlisted for WWII.
After the war, Harry resumed trading in 1945. “Cafe de Wheels” when city council officers of the day insisted that mobile food caravans had to move a minimum of 12 inches a day. Harry dutifully obeyed and thus the name was expanded to Harry’s Cafe de Wheels.
According to the company:
“Sadly, by 1988, Alex was getting on in years and the business had fallen on hard times. Current owner, Michael Hannah, made Alex an offer to purchase the business and the exchange took place on Australia Day 1988… as a child his father, a Sydney cabbie, would take him and his siblings down to the ‘Loo for a pie at Harry’s. In 1970, Michael returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam and his first stop after disembarking the HMAS Sydney was of course Harry’s”.
Over the years, Harry’s has massed an impressive list of celebrity customers: Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Marelene Dietrich, Kerry Packer and more recently, Sir Richard Branson, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Brook Shields, Pat Rafter, Olivia Newton-John, Jerry Lewis, Billy Crystal, Pamela Anderson, Sara O’Hare, Lachlan Murdoch, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Adrian Greiner, Anthony Bourdain and Peter Blakely.
Noodlies, Sydney food blog visits their Liverpool eatery, opened in 2007, it’s the second Harry’s Cafe de Wheel franchise in Australia. The address might be Liverpool, but it’s really closer to Warwick Farm, nestled in the cluster of shops on Orange Grove road. It might seem and odd spot but in a way, this location is faithful to Harry’s nightlife roots. There’s not a whole lot of things to do for kids in the south-west so Harry’s makes for a convenient gathering place.
…it’s really closer to Warwick Farm, nestled in the cluster of shops on Orange Grove road.
I’m here during the day, 10am to be exact. It’s a a bright Spring morning and there are already a couple of families snacking on Harry’s pies and a couple putting in their order.
Apart from the wheels, Harry’s proud heritage is all around including nostalgic murals and countless photos of celebrities who have visited (predominantly the Woolloomooloo eatery) over the years.
And the place is Aussie through and through with traditional sauces (HP, Worcestershire, mint, vinegar) and some that reflect modern Australia (sweet chilli).
I’m here for a Harry’s Tiger, a feature of every Cafe de Wheels. During military service Harry earned the nickname, “Tiger” due to his boxing skills. Harry’s Tiger pie pays tribute to the man. And it’s man-sized; beef pie topped with mash, mushy peas and gravy. The filling is piping hot with thick, man chunks of beef that collapse into long strips of tender meat – some get caught between your teeth, the rest settle deep inside your stomach. You’d want to be hungry to conquer one of these Tigers.
The filling is piping hot with thick, man chunks of beef that collapse into long strips of tender meat – some get caught between your teeth, the rest settle deep inside your stomach.
The pie itself is fairly standard. It’s the dreamy topping that gets the party started; thick layers of pillowy potato mash (who doesn’t love a good mash?!) and roughly mashed green peas. Everything combines nicely when you mix in lightly spiced gravy.
If the Tiger’s a tad to heavy, downgrade to just peas (Pie and Peas) or just mash (Pie and Mash). Or go plain with a traditional Pie and Sauce, Chicken and Mushroom, even a Seafood Pie. There’s also Chilli Dog or Sausage Roll if someone in you posse isn’t keen on a pie.
Lot’s of the punters this morning went for a thick shake, too.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels
Shop 1/ 20 Orange Grove Road (Viscount Place, Liverpool Megacenta) Liverpool, NSW
(02) 9601 3607