Review | Jack's Hideout: It’s the best version of a steak sandwich I’ve had in a long time

GLORIOUS MESS: The Southern fried chicken burger at Jack's Hideout is finger-licking good. Pictures: Marina Neil
GLORIOUS MESS: The Southern fried chicken burger at Jack's Hideout is finger-licking good. Pictures: Marina Neil

The southern end of Beaumont Street in Hamilton is having a bit of a food resurgence of late. Mockingbird Cafe has opened its doors, as has java hotspot Lords Coffee and Associates. It’s bringing some life to the block. 

Now, a new face has moved into a well-known space right in the thick of it. Jack’s Hideout has opened where Apothecary Kitchen, and before that, Three Bean Espresso, once operated. It’s been taken on by three siblings who have grown up among the pans, produce and orders of the hospitality trade. It was their grandfather-figure Jack who encouraged them to dive into the industry on their own, hence the naming of the cafe. 

The hideout refers to the atrium section of the eatery. On a day with an icy wind blowing, the area is protected and surprisingly cosy. It’s hidden from the street and provides intimacy regardless of its size. 

CLEVER: A balance of textures and flavours that lasts until the final spoonful.

CLEVER: A balance of textures and flavours that lasts until the final spoonful.

The breakfast menu is available until 11.30am, and you can still find on it a few dishes from the Apothecary days including the cultured porridge with caramelised banana and toasted almond granola. The dragon fruit pitaya bowl is an explosion of colour and freshness, while the Hideout waffles are hot and house-made with cinnamon and berries, or Nutella if you’d prefer. If you’re keen on the more mainstream, try a bacon and egg roll with southern slaw and barbecue sauce, or Jack’s big breakfast: bacon, chorizo, eggs, sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, paprika hash browns and haloumi on sourdough. Turn it into a breakfast tower for two (literally on two levels of plating) with extra waffles and it should keep you going until dinner time.

Lunch kicks off from 11.30am, but there are a few crossovers from the breakfast offering.

The dishes are a mix of casual and comfortable, to the more creative. But, sometimes a humble dish is better. This is certainly the case with their pulled beef brisket sandwich. It’s the best version of a steak sandwich I’ve had in a long time. Swiss cheese has been melted over the top adding extra goo. A spreading of vibrant beetroot relish adds punch, caramelised onion provides sweetness. The tangy aioli plus the freshness of tomato slices and rocket keeps it light. Thick, crispy, toasted sourdough and plenty of melted butter makes this a melt-in-your-mouth experience. I’d come back for this alone. 

COMFORTABLE: A fresh face on Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

COMFORTABLE: A fresh face on Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

A Southern fried chicken burger offers a similarly delectable experience. The chicken breast is crunchy but decadently moist. A drippy, crispy house slaw complements the bird, while pickles add bite and a chipotle mayonnaise is smokey with a hit of spice. The bun is super soft and every bite is a pleasure. My fingers are dripping in juices and sauce and subsequently licked clean. Both the burger and the sandwich are served with a helping of perfectly cooked sweet potato fries and more aioli. 

If you’re after something that requires cutlery, try the bowl of mushroom risotto. The rice is firm, not gluey, with plenty of charred mushies on top. A dollop of creme fraiche and crumbles of feta add a bite, and puffed buckwheat keeps the texture interesting with each mouthful. 

Grab a freshly-made cruffin or slice to enjoy with a coffee or tea. Cold beverages range from frothy milkshakes and smoothies, to kombucha and cold pressed juices. 

Jack’s Hideout aims to please, whether it’s your dietary requirements, or foraging for food to go. The staff are friendly and attentive and no doubt Jack would be proud. 

Come and get out: It's casual and comfortable.

Come and get out: It's casual and comfortable.

QUICK BITE

  • What: Jack’s Hideout, 103 Tudor Street, Hamilton. 
  • Contact: 0413 138 992. 
  • Hours: Monday - Saturday, breakfast and lunch. 
  • Owners: Deacon Simpson, Tiffany Fordham and Susannah Simpson.
  • Accessibility: Yes.
  • Take note: Menu items are available for takeaway. Look out for Sundays opening soon. 
  • Bottom line: Dishes from $7-$39.
  • Must try: The pulled beef brisket sandwich​