The changing face of take-away in Strathfield. If you look closely, you can see the fading sign advertising hamburgers and BBQ chicken above the A/Cs. If you look even closer, you can see that this new shop sells ‘Mr. Dduckbocki and Miss Kkochi’. It’s not really all that different: dduckbocki is a kind of hot and spicy rice cake, while kkochi is skewered chicken. Whether or not you can get dduckbocki ‘with the lot’ is unknown, but what is clear is that Mr. Dduckbocki and Miss Kkochi clearly qualify as suicide food.
Someone certainly took away the food from this pitiful row of shops along Parramatta Road at Leichhardt. It’s hard to see, but beneath the BEEFBURGERS sign, it says ‘Millions of Varieties‘. Wow, what a boast, considering they’ve already chosen the very specific ‘beefburgers’ to promote the shop. By the look of the building, this middle shop might have been the jewel in the crown of these three businesses once upon a time, but those days are long gone.
Take away shops on busy roads like this tend to die off when surrounding businesses start to close down, because it’s not like motorists can easily stop and run in for beefburger variety #6,546,500. Parramatta Road anywhere is not really the right environment for this kind of place, but that doesn’t deter them. Nor, clearly, does it deter the button shop next door. That’ll work.
In just a few short years, the inviting hallmarks of a milk bar have become warning signs that a building has fallen derelict. There was a time when you’d see that Streets logo, a giant hamburger mural or one of those giant Coke cans with the name of the milk bar wrapped around the lip and think to yourself that yes, you were actually quite hungry and a big burger with the lot really would go down well right about now. These days, it’s more common that you’d sigh and keep moving, because there’s a McDonalds or a Subway just up the road, and at least then you can drive through and not have to get out of the car because you’re making good time and the in-laws’ll be upset if they don’t get to see the grandkids today.
Inside: classic milk bar decor. I always wondered what the mirrored walls were for. Was it to make the place look bigger? Was it to further enhance the iconic scenario of sitting in a milk bar and sipping a shake by allowing you to see yourself? Or was it for Spiro to be able to make sure he’s always looking dapper between serving up fish ‘n chips?
I like that even though they were ‘take away food’ shops, nostalgia has us missing the eat-in experience. If this place was open today, you wouldn’t want to take it away – you’d want to bask in an ambiance of another time, one that back in the day seemed timeless itself, and one you thought would always be there.