6 June 2023

Would you survive Wagga's Triple Stack Heart Attack?

| Chris Roe
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Melanie Spanos serves up a Triple Stack Heart Attack in the New Oceanic’s Kooringal shop. Photo: Chris Roe.

For a fish-and-chip joint, Wagga’s New Oceanic Take Away does a pretty extraordinary burger.

In fact, the owners have quite literally taken the humble beef on a bun to the next level (or three), with the ”Triple Stack Heart Attack” putting even the most committed carnivore to the test.

“The burger patties are the same traditional recipe we’ve been using since the day the shop opened, we haven’t changed it, and all the beef is locally sourced,” explained Melanie Spanos, who runs the popular Morgan Street and Kooringal shops with her husband John.

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John’s family has been serving up takeaway in Wagga since 1974 and the New Oceanic will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

“We’re still Greek family-owned and operated, so you’re getting Greek-size servings,” said Melanie, flattening three enormous beef patties on the grill and shovelling a load of hand-cut chips into a basket and dropping them into the fryer.

“What you get is exactly what you see, we don’t fake any photos!”


The burger has been a hit on social media with this post shared across local platforms. Photo: Facebook.

Word of the iconic Triple Stack’s return began circulating on social media this week with mouthwatering photos of a decadent tower of glistening beef patties, bacon and onion, dripping with cheese and sauce and served on a perky white bun.

“The Triple Stack is just something that we decided to try a few years ago and it was really popular, so we thought we’d bring it back for a time,” John said with a laugh.

“It was right when COVID hit and we just started experimenting and trying some new things and I think we wanted to get back to what we were originally doing with different takeaways.”

Asked whether the gastronomic anomaly had triggered any actual heart attacks, Melanie looked stricken.

“Oh, I hope not – not that we’ve heard, anyway!” she said.

Grilling meat

That’s a lot of meat for one burger! Photo: Chris Roe.

When it comes to portion size, New Oceanic does not believe in the ”less is more” approach.

“We’ve always been generous with our servings and it’s something that we’re renowned for,” said John.

“I suppose it differentiates us from everyone else, along with the fact that we still use fresh-cut chips rather than buying them frozen, so I think that helps us to afford to give that little bit extra.”

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Before you imagine the team peeling and chopping their way through a mountain of spuds every morning, John assured us that they have a local mechanised option.

“A cousin of mine has a business processing vegetables. He’s got a factory on Copland Street and he puts them through a chipping machine and then they are vacuum-packed and then delivered fresh to the stores every day,” he said.

New Oceanic staff

The team from Wagga’s New Oceanic Take Away. Photo: New Oceanic/Facebook.

Melanie believes the fresh produce is a big part of the New Oceanic’s success.

“The quality of food plays the biggest role,” she said.

“Of course, people like our portion sizes and we try and keep the costs low for families, and more than anything, we treat our customers as family and I think that’s why they keep coming back.”

While the Triple Stack Heart Attack is only available for the week, John said they planned to keep mixing it up.

“I find that now my mind’s ticking over what we’re doing next week and the week after, so watch this space!”

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