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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Plan B by becasse, Sydney

EDIT: Plan B has now closed. 

This little piggy went to Becasse.

This little piggy went to Plan B.

It's hard to tell which excited me more: the prospect of sinking my teeth into one of Justin North's famous wagyu burgers, or watching a delivery man hoist a whole pig onto his shoulder and walk past us into Becasse.

Because it's not often that restaurants use and order whole pigs anymore. Whole pigs with heads still attached are even less common. I know because I looked in the back of his truck.

Bangalow pork

The deliveryman just smiled when he saw me taking photos. And I smiled back because it was time for lunch.

Plan B

The G-man didn't take much convincing to head to Plan B. Any mention of wagyu tends to send him nodding with vigorous approval. We arrived bang on midday as the kitchen opened, wary of warnings about lunchtime queues. Sydneysiders must still be in holiday mode, as it was reasonably quiet, the cafe devoid of people and the baguettes not loaded into the chiller cabinet until about 12.15pm.

Sandwiches and salads

Plan B is the casual offshoot of award-winning restaurant Becasse, a modest unassuming cafe in the premises next door. The scaled-down version of the Swarovski crystal chandelier above the chiller cabinet is a lovely design nod to its big sibling.

Custard tart and fruit frangipane tart

Mini cheesecakes

The famous Becasse wagyu beef burger $10
600-day grass fed wagyu beef burger
with beetroot and caramelised onions

There's one thing we must order, listed on the menu as "the famous Becasse wagyu beef burger". It takes 17 torturous minutes to arrive but it's worth the wait.

This is not just a burger. This is an homage to the succulence of wagyu, the kiss of a smoky hot grill, and the embrace of a lightly toasted sesame brioche bun. The G-man is in love at first bite. If the G-man's eyes widened any further, they would've popped on right out his head.

The patty is thick and juicy, a coarse mince of wagyu that is soft and flavoursome. A thin blanket of vintage tasty cheddar cheese melts its way into every crevice, the richness offset by a bed of caramelised onions and a thin slice of intense ruby-coloured pickled beetroot.

We've gone halves in the burger, and in a small way I'm glad, because the burger is decadent in an aortic heart-stopping kind of way.

Organic grass fed wagyu steak sandwich $10
Organic grass fed Gundooee wagyu steak sandwich
with onion jam, fresh tomato and aioli

The other menu option we share is the organic grass-fed wagyu steak sandwich. At first glance, it's not much to look at, but I'm hooked on the first mouthful. The bread. Oh the bread. It's real bread. A dense chewy sourdough that's somehow strong yet fluffy at the same time. It's the Schwarzenegger of carb land.

Whilst I relished the wagyu burger I prefer the wagyu steak sandwich more. This is a real slab of meat, seared to a blushing pink and then sliced paper-thin. Thick discs of tomato are juicy, onion jam and beetroot add sweetness, and the aioli gives a creaminess that holds it together.

It's hearty, honest and my kind of sandwich.

What will your next lunch plan b?

View Larger Map
Plan B on Urbanspoon

Plan B By bécasse
204 Clarence Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 92833440

Open Monday to Friday 8am-4pm
Kitchen opens 12pm
Limited seating only (seats 7 on three tables outside)

EDIT: Plan B has now closed. 

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Becassé, Sydney - Vin de Champagne Awards (Sep10)
22 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/10/2009 12:10:00 am


  • At 2/10/2009 1:11 am, Blogger Simon said…

    The wagyu burger looks a lot like one made by Thomas Keller, down to the brioche bun. It also looks just as good :)

    The burger look a little small, though (unless it's a Lord of the Rings perspective trick).

    Quality over quantity perhaps?

  • At 2/10/2009 1:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! It looks like I went to Plan B on the same day as you! I'm a big fan of your blog and it's a shame I missed you. It would have been awesome to say hi, oh well maybe next time =)

  • At 2/10/2009 1:50 am, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    Oh poor piggy! :(

    That wagyu sandwich is giving me heart palpitations - the good kind and not the bad aortic kind that you mentioned!

    Lol to your sneaky play on words :)

  • At 2/10/2009 3:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great pig over the shoulder photo.
    So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager

  • At 2/10/2009 6:40 am, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    I can't wait to go to Plan B! Looking forward to trying the sausage rolls too, to this day I don't think I've ever had one I've enjoyed. Scarred by the primary school tuck shop!

  • At 2/10/2009 8:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nothing like a little piggy with your morning coffee. How about two headless piggies.

    Burger looks so good. I wonder if I can have to go for lunch today.

  • At 2/10/2009 9:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh wow! I just went there yesterday! I had the burger and shared the soup with a friend. The soup was wonderful - chilled fennel and courgette and was a steal at only $6!

  • At 2/10/2009 9:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Helen, that first picture of the man carrying the little piggy is superb! One of the best you've taken I reckon..
    And that sandwich looks great...definitely have to try it

  • At 2/10/2009 10:20 am, Blogger aussiehen said…

    I completely agree about the burger - it's food of the gods.
    I haven't tried the steak sandwich but maybe next time I twist hubby's arm to go there we can go halves.

  • At 2/10/2009 10:47 am, Blogger M-H said…

    Oh oh oh, I wish I worked in the city. One lunch chain we loved in the UK was Pret-a-manger (called Pret everywhere). Takeaway only, but the sandwiches were interesting and fresh, the juices creative and fresh and the sweet things yummy and fresh. They seem to be spreading North from London. Wish they'd come here.

  • At 2/10/2009 12:23 pm, Blogger Implosion said…

    Hey, I'm glad to see that Plan B has opened its doors again- it was closed for a long time from 2005 onwards. I used to grab coffee and lunch there (you get a mini Becasse meal for a fraction of the price!) when I used to work in the area.

  • At 2/10/2009 12:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great first pic! I wonder if the burgers have gotten smaller. When I went which was a while ago, it wasn't really mini at all. I think they've also changed the sausage rolls (they used to be incredible).

    If you want to make one at home, I've got the recipe on my blog. It's eerily good!

  • At 2/10/2009 10:28 pm, Blogger Jen said…

    Oh looking at that wagyu burger really makes me miss the affordability of food back home. Here in London that burger would be about 15 squid!

  • At 2/11/2009 1:15 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - The burger isn't wide but it is tall, and the patty is very rich indeed. Have yet to experience the magic of Thomas Keller so the Plan B burger may be the closest I'll get for some time!

    Hi Johnnieboi - I was here last Thursday so not sure when you were there? And ha, there were a few people around when I was taking photos. I'm always expecting to get a furtive tap on my shoulder one day...

    Hi Karen - The piggy is no longer but I think we, as meat eaters, need to accept that meat does mean death of an animal. I think the use of a whole animal is admirable - it means nothing will be wasted.

    I did the burger very rich, and ha, glad you don't mind a pun or two :)

    Hi Lisa - Oh my you've never liked sausage rolls? They're best when eaten freshly baked (using quality ingredients) straight from the oven. I dare say that if Plan B's version don't satisfy, none will!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Hope you made it there for lunch. It's worth the trek!

    Hi Yvonne - Seems like everyone has been at Plan B lately! I saw the table next to me order the soup - was so tempted to ask for a photo, but thought I'd better not!

    Hi Tummbyrumblet.net - lol. Thanks. It was my only shot as I had barely enough time to grab the camera! I really loved the sandwich - I'm sure you will too!

    Hi Aussiehen - I preferred the purity of beef within the steak sandwich. I'm sure your hubby could be convinced to share!

    Hi M-H - Oh I remember Pret-a-manger in London. I don't think I ever ate much there though (strict backpacking budget baulked at their prices). I remember being impressed by their philosophy though - I think at times Australia is at least 5 years behind the UK on food issues.

    Hi Implosion - Probably a good thing I'm not around the corner, but I have heard good things about their coffee. May have to get a caffeine hit from there soon.

    Hi Lorraine - Smaller burgers? The tragedy! I was quite full after our meal although it may have been more from the richness of all that wagyu goodness. I did see your recipe - it looked great, altho' I don't think I'd have the patience to make the brioche (I tried once and it didn't quite work out).

    Hi Jen - Oh yes I remember the expensiveness of London. No such thing as a cheap meal out there! Will you be back soon? Maybe a flying visit for the food at least!

  • At 2/11/2009 9:15 am, Blogger Simon said…


    Has the financal crisis in London gotten so bad that they're now using seafood as currency? :)

  • At 2/11/2009 9:21 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    @ Simon - lol.

  • At 2/12/2009 4:50 pm, Blogger Y said…

    Love the picture of that pig! Ooo and I didn't realise they did steak sandwiches. I want a steak sandwich!

  • At 2/12/2009 7:41 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Y - Maybe steak sandwiches are a new thing? They are definitely a good thing! The meat is gorgeous.

  • At 2/13/2009 4:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh I work just around the corner from Plan B and love love love it!

    Highly recommend the baguettes espec. the beef. I has a beautiful beetroot relish on it! Mmmm!!!

    Also the chicken caeser is pretty darn good too!

  • At 2/13/2009 10:24 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sara - Beetroot relish sound fantastic. So many tempting options, but for the moment I don't think I could go past the steak sandwich or the wagyu burger :)

  • At 2/16/2009 6:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ooh droooll I must get the steak sandwich next timmmee!
    Hee hee lucky u got there the same time as the piggy! Great photo op!

  • At 2/16/2009 8:41 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi FFichiban - Enjoy the steak sandwich and yep sometimes it really is your lucky day.


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