St Ives Shopping Village, 166 Mona Vale Road, Shop 116, St Ives, New South Wales
I found myself a bit peckish in the St Ives “shopping village” (really just a name for a covered shopping centre), and saw this place adjacent to the food court area. Fare Game is a poultry butcher that sells a selection of uncooked chickens, chicken cuts, skewers, pre-marinaded chicken pieces, chicken sausages, and other meat such as turkeys and ducks. It also has a hot food section, selling hot roast chickens, lunch boxes of chicken pieces and chips, and on this day a suite of chicken sausage rolls.
I’d never seen a chicken sausage roll before, so I had to try one! The man behind the counter was serving raw chicken pieces to the previous customer, but I was happy to see that he was wearing hygienic disposable gloves, and that he discarded them before switching to serving me food ready to eat. I took my chicken sausage roll to the nearby food court and sat down to dissect it.
The roll has a definite hand-made appearance, looking very much like the sort of party dish that you could make yourself by rolling some commercial frozen puff pastry around a roll of meat filling. It’s thin and cigar-shaped, with the pastry looking a nicely cooked golden brown and very flaky in that pre-made pastry way – namely flaky layers that separate into large thin pieces, rather than crumbling into the smaller flakes of hand-made pastry. A bite reveals the pastry to be a little firm to the tooth, as though it has slightly sogged up from sitting under the heat lamps for a while.
The filling is a sausage made of minced chicken meat. It has the distinctive chicken flavour, and is well spiced, but unfortunately very dry. There are flecks of fresh green herbs in it, as well as small dots of what I presume must be black pepper. Flavourwise it’s actually not bad, but the dryness really ruins it, and the fact that it’s surrounded by limp and tired pastry leaves an overall impression well under par. Which is a shame, because I think a well-done chicken sausage roll could have the potential to be pretty good.
Chicken sausage roll: 3/10