A new burger restaurant with a penchant for nostalgia-inducing ingredients is opening in Corrimal next month.
But before the grand opening, Moe's is popping up all over the Illawarra to give foodies an early taste of its American-style burgers.
Chef Maurizio Giraldi launched his new eatery at a series of pop-up events last month, starting with Reub Goldberg Brewing at Tarrawanna, the Illawarra Brewing Co and small bar Black Cockatoo.
His burger menu consists of Angus beef with spiced maple bacon, pulled pork with crackle and a caramelised mushroom, truffle and thyme option.
Then there’s a chicken burger made up of Crunchy Nut cornflakes-crumbed chicken thigh, pickled cabbage and red radish slaw and a black garlic (fermented garlic) mayo.
“Sounds bizarre but just trust the combination,” Maurizio says.
“I incorporate complex flavour combinations that are familiar to people. They make you think a little.”
They also make you remember.
Certain to bring back childhood memories are Moe’s range of sides – classic crispy potato gems, Vegemite mac 'n' cheese and cereal-flavoured milk.
Their Coco Milk tastes like “when you finish your Coco Pops and there’s that milk left in the bowl". Variations include Fruit Loops and Honey Smacks.
Maurizio chose Corrimal as the location for the bricks-and-mortar Moe’s “because nothing seems to happen around there”.
“It's a great little suburb with a loyal community and they are asking for more things to be happening in the suburb,” he said.
“I was lucky to secure the little Albert Einstein building at the back of the Wash and Shine (on Albert Street) a few years ago for my catering business, so everything just fell into place nicely.”
As for the mobile Moe’s, Maurizio came up with the idea for a series of pop-ups as he was preparing for the opening of his restaurant.
“I had a few tastings to get feedback,” he said.
“They were really fun, everyone had a great time and it was just a mini-light bulb moment when I realised these things don’t happen enough in the suburbs of Wollongong.
“Then I just started approaching local small businesses to collaborate with us and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Moe's popped up at Lou & Bobby’s in Thirroul last night, and will appear at Port Kembla’s Servo Food Truck Bar tonight.
Next Friday Maurizio will join forces with popular Fairy Meadow coffee shop the Broken Drum.
"We’ve known Moe for a few years," Broken Drum owner Jo McLuskey said ahead of the Moe's cameo.
"We thought we could help each other out to help get his name out there, while offering our customers something different from our regular lunch menu.
"It's great to see people working with each other from small businesses.
“It’s a tough gig sometimes so when we pull together and give each other a leg-up then it’s good for all concerned and creates a nice community feel."