The Palace Hotel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
TheBurgerAdventure-PalaceHotel

The Palace Hotel – 505 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$20
Summary

The Palace Hotel has done what most places don’t: down-scaled the fancy. What was once a rather slow paced gastropub that catered to empty nesters with a a disposable income has now become a chilled out, pet friendly local. Proprietors Jess, Pratty and Dan welcome everyone down for a low-key night whenever you’re in the mood for a Draught and can’t be bothered cooking. There mascot and pet, Billy the Staffy can be seen running around getting up to mischief, but he’s only looking for a pat and isn’t one to say no to a dropped chip. Although less fancy than before, their menu still offers some on-trend dishes like pulled pork and buffalo wings but there is still the option of a traditional pie and classic parma. We went for the Beef burger that came on seeded bun with a beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese with a side of pickles and French fries.

Comments
“The venue is barely recognisable from it’s previous existence and I can sense the current owners are trying to turn it back into a classic local pub. To the naked eye there was nothing fancy or experimental about the burger, with everything being your stock standard burger ingredients. That is, until you bit into the extremely thick, spicy, chilli flaked beef patty. It felt out of place and dwarfed all other flavours, and due to the size, had been cooked for a while leaving parts of it really dry. Highlight of the night was getting to meet and pat the local resident dog, Billy.”
“Visually this burger looked to have each of my boxes checked. The bun was fluffy, the melted cheese looked amazing on the pattie and the mustard with the pickle looked to keep everything balanced. Just like my disappointment on Christmas day when my parents decided to buy me encyclopedia Britannica instead of the Lego Police Station I wanted, that same level of disappointment came rushing back when biting into that pattie. Like my parents that year the chef chose to do something different from normal convention. In his case he tried to distinguish the burger by what I call “misusing beef” by making it super dense and sticking a whole heap of unnecessary ingredients like chilli and mustard seeds. And just like I told my parents back then, I repeated the words again to my fellow diners on this occasion, “Can we return it?”. Unfortunately in my case I had pretty much consumed half of the burger and would feel a bit awkward returning it at that point, but the pain and disappointment was there folks. I would like to try this burger again when (or if) the powers at be change their recipe, I think there is huge untapped potential here. Shoestring fries were awesome.”
“Now, at first glance this looked pretty good. It had everything I really like in a burger, down to the side of pickles and French fries. That first spicy bite raised my eyebrows and made me say “Wow”. I was not expecting any spice to it all. The patty was finely minced, it had little bit of fat and plenty of spice. It wasn’t the kind of spice that burnt though – far from it. It was just that it was the dominating flavour in the burger. It took over any, saltiness or beefy goodness that the patty had to offer. And for 20 bucks you’re getting screwed. This burger has so much potential here too. K.I.S.S.”
The Palace Hotel on Urbanspoon


South Melbourne Trader

Monday, March 31, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-SthMelbTrader

South Melbourne Trader – 111 Cecil St,
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15.90
Summary

The South Melbourne Trader is one of those contemporary pub venues that’s built to cater for all sorts of crowds, from the big lunch time work crowds on a Friday, to the modern family who’s not in the particular mood to cook. Located only 2 minutes’ walk from the South Melbourne Markets this place has done well to build a local following in an area with plenty of old time pubs on offer. Former Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Johnon MacDonald has brought his knowledge to SMT and put together a quality Wagyu burger at an affordable price. It arrived on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, house made pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, Jamaican Jerk and hand cut chips.

Comments
“At first bite, several of the distinct flavours made be double guess whether or not I’d actually eaten this burger before. Once I lifted up the top bun and the bright pink pickled onions stared back at me, revealing the uncanny similarities between this and the Wagyu burger at Rockpool. The brioche bun combined with all the pickled vegetables and Jamaican Jerk sauce unfortunately overpowered the beef patty, which was cooked a little longer than ideal. However, when tasted on its own had great flavour.”
“The burger had a very tasty pattie with the right level of moisture in it and at the perfect thickness. The bun did get a bit mushy towards the end, but it made the distance, so no real complaints. There was minimal green stuff on offer, but they were very generous on the mayo. For a lunch time option I think it’s slightly on the heavy side, but that’s what long Friday lunches are for. Chips were average.”
“I’m normally the kind of guy to put more mayo on top of mayo. But this experience was even too creamy for me. The Rockpool on a budget burger still had really good moments. It makes sense for them to copy its greatness as not every one has had the pleasure of visiting Neil Perry’s fine establishment. The beef was by far the standout with a nice beefy charr to it, but it needed to be heroed more. All the sauces and onions stole its limelight. It looked small, but the sleepiness that hung around afterwards was enough to make me think about pulling over on my drive home. Pretty good but I’d go the original (and pay for it) any day of the week.”
The South Melbourne Trader on Urbanspoon


Burger Got Soul

Thursday, March 27, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BurgerGotSoul

Burger Got Soul – 160 Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Burger:
Soul Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t Bother
Price:
$10.50
Summary

If you’re after a cheeky burger in Hobart, most will tell you that Burger Got Soul is the place to be. Even before they opened up their Hobart branch, Tasmanians would’ve told you that the original in Launceston was well worth a visit. Family friendly and catering to everyone’s tastebuds, they offer an extensive burger list that is made up of over 30 burgers options with beef, chicken, lamb and veggie. There’s burger inspired free-hand art on the walls, friendly, enthusiastic staff and an all-round relaxed atmosphere at Burger Got Soul. After trying to work out exactly what I’d order I decided to go for their name sake and tried the Soul Burger that comes on your choice of bun (I went Traditional) with 100% lean beef, lettuce, tomato, relish, soul mayo and tasty cheese.

Comments
“As soon as I stepped foot inside this place it felt like a modern franchise. It was a Friday night and full of young families. Which surprised me because I can see these meals getting a little bit expensive. Especially when you ask for ketchup and it’s an extra $1: real greedy if you ask me. The burger was rather uninspiring. It tasted like something you’d get after a game at your local footy club, where Norm has popped down to the local supermarket, left the patties in the back of the Commodore for half the day and has decided that the darker the better. There was very little flavour to the patties but lucky for me there was tonnes of sauce and lettuce! I have no idea why this is popular. There are other places on my radar for next time. I’ll be heading there instead.”
Burger Got Soul on Urbanspoon


Bruny Island Winebar and Grill

Thursday, March 20, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BrunyIsland-Tasmania

Bruny Island Winebar and Grill – 4391 Main Rd, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia
Burger:
Bruny Island Premium Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

About an hour south of Hobart (add in a 20 minute ferry ride) and you’ll be driving across Bruny Island. Surprisingly large in land mass, generally compared with Singapore’s, Bruny Island is home to about 650 people (Singapore has over 5 million) so it makes a perfect escape from the daily grind. Covered in beautiful vegetation, mountains and surrounded by unruly oceans there’s not much to do but to take in the sights and then enjoy the local produce. The Bruny Island Winery is Australia’s southernmost vineyard and is owned by Richard and Bernice Woolley who bought the Wayaree Estate property in 1997. Their Winebar and Grill lets you match some of their award winning wines along with sampling plenty of regional produce. I sat down with my babein’ accomplice, grabbed a Pinot Noir and ordered the Premium Beef Burger that came on crusty roll with a beef pattie from Hat’s Farm next door, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, chilli jam and tomato sauce.

Comments
“It sounded pretty decent when I read the list of ingredients; all super enticing and I knew they’d be local. Upon arrival I couldn’t but blurt out a profanity. To say I was shocked was an understatement. “What was goig on with that bread?”, I thought to myself. The cerated knife stabbed through the middle would come in handy, because I knew that it wasn’t going to be pretty if I’d tackled this as a whole. When I cut it in half, squished it down and finally bit I was actually happy. All the elements were tasty and co-operated in their pursuit of pleasing my taste-buds. The chilli jam was the highlight followed by the sweet, fat coated beef. This could’ve been next level if they went for a more traditional bun. The ciabatta-style bread was enjoyable, but I’d rather leave it to dips and antipasto plates as opposed to the humble hamburger. Overall, not a bad, unorthodox burger that’s worth popping in for.”
Bruny Island Winebar and Grill on Urbanspoon


The Botanical

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Botanical

The Botanical – 169 Domain Rd, South Yarra,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger & French Fries
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13
Summary

The Botanical, or simply ‘The Bot’ as it’s commonly referred to by the locals, is a Melbourne institution located opposite the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical truly is a multi-faceted venue offering a formal dining room, informal wine store and cafe, a less formal bar and lounge, a courtyard and options for private events. The rear bar has its own menu available 7 nights a week, ideally suited to match your drink of choice, with live music on Wednesday and Sunday nights. Being an almost perfect balmy summer night, we grabbed a seat in the olive-tree lined courtyard, grabbed a beer and ordered the Cheeseburger & French Fries with lettuce, tomato, pickle and tomato chutney.

Comments
“This is my absolute favourite quiet pocket of Melbourne. I was glad to visit here in normal clothes as opposed to walking past huffing, puffing and sweating after running the Tan. Anyway, the burger came out fairly quickly, neatly presented with a heavy mug of fries, and as you’d expect with the price, wasn’t very big, but everything was in proportion. The chutney on both sides of the bun added a sweetness to each bite, which blended well with the juicy patty and salty pickles. This burger is ideal to accompany an afternoon of drinking, and will just hit the spot without leaving you bloated.”
“The stand-out for me was the great value you get for $13, which is a perfect lunch option for those carnivores that don’t want to settle for a salad. This burger is compact with a fresh crusty bun that’s very easy to palm and holds a nice thick juicy pattie surrounded by melted cheese and a double layer of home made sauce. For those sweet and tangy flavours the tomato and pickle have done their job and the cos lettuce keeps everything fresh and honest. Overall it’s a very simple burger at minimum cost that includes a bowl of awesome shoestring fries.”
“I was a little underwhelmed when the burger arrived. It was on the small side and came out just a little too quickly. I didn’t think there’d be much to it. However, it was decent. The meat was juicy and sweet, but I wanted it to be meatier/beefier. Maybe it was just the fact that the lightly spiced tomato ketchup took over most of the flavours. The bun was actually my favourite thing about the burger: a crusty Kaiser almost. I liked this burger but I wasn’t in love. These guys could charge close to $20 for this and people would pay it. Props for not being greedy.”
The Botanical on Urbanspoon


Royale Brothers

Thursday, February 27, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-RoyaleBrothers

Royale Brothers – Rear 1 Church Street, Brighton,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Royale with Cheese
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

When you read this next bit, try and say it in a posh accent – “Brighton darling”. Now you’re ready to mix it with the snooty Range Rover driving bayside dweller. But as of the start of 2014, there’s a chance the accent might get a tweak. With Royale Brothers setting up shop in the neighbourhood there’ll be more than one Average Joe popping by to get their meat fix. Brought to you by the folks that introduced Melbourne to the Portsea Polo and Sydney to Hugos, Royale Brothers is surely going to have the masses knocking on their door in no time. We placed our order from the tiny counter and waited for our flashing buzzer device to ring. Sitting on some limited seating outside, our burger of choice was their Royale with Cheese that came with a Milk Bun, Beef, cheese, onion, lettuce, pickles, mustard, mayo & Royale sauce.

Comments
“Simple things amuse simple minds, so the excitement and anticipation of the buzzer buzzing all over the table had me reminiscent of a young child awaiting Christmas morning. Once finally buzzed, it’s as if I had won a prize. Like all good presents, this one had grease leaking all over the wax paper, making it transparent and revealing a glorious mess of a burger. You couldn’t pull this thing apart if you tried. Everything was melted and bound together with each bite encompassing every vital flavour. From the salty, crumbly and charred patty, the gooey yellow cheese, combo of sauces and a slight and subtle crunch from the lettuce, pickle and onion. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t think of anyway of improving it.”
“You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France? …Royale with Cheese”. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system I can give you my impression of the burger. Royale Brother’s burger is by no means a Quarter Pounder. In fact if they ever faced off the big corporate Quarter Pounder, it would get it’s ass handed to it by this very simple, fresh and affordable burger. The fresh bun held the delicious moist pattie well with no soggy structural issues to worry about. The mayo and cheese combined well and the pickle added some great tang, but not as crunchy as I would have liked. The chips were a bit average, however the burger is that good that it kind of makes up for it. Definitely going back!”
“This impressed me right away. The cheese took me back to my days of opening up happy meals after a victorious soccer game; stuck to the sides of the wax paper all gooey and awesome. The first bite was soft, sweet at times, but most importantly, creamy and beefy. The balance was pretty damn good here; across all flavours. They left things just greasy enough as to nod to tradition but then the fluffiness of the bun talked to my über fancy botox side. Anything I would do different next time? I’d probably add some bacon, or for the fun of it, add another pattie. This is one of Bayside’s best.”
The Royale Brothers on Urbanspoon


The Sporting Globe

Thursday, February 20, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Sporting_Globe

The Sporting Globe – 690 – 694 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
Burger:
Royale Cheese
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$14.90
Summary

As with most trends in Australia, whether they are in culinary, fashion or entertainment fields, you’re safe to presume it’s been done for years in the US before reaching our shores. So it’s with no surprise the ever popular, be it kitsch man-caves known as ‘Sports Bars’ were going to start gaining popularity here. The Sporting Globe is exactly as you would expect, with dozens of flat screen plasmas showing every possible live sporting event going on from around the world (including personal ones in the dining booths), you can order a myriad of dude food including buffalo wings, pizza, wraps, chicken parma, steaks and burgers. We went with the ‘Royale Cheese’ burger that comes with Prime Australian aged beef, Monterey jack cheese, sliced pickles, Spanish onion, herb mayo, tomato sauce served with chunky steak fries.

Comments
“When you really simplify a burger, it usually consists of 3 main ingredients; a beef patty, cheese and bun. Unfortunately when the bun is the only positive to come out of the meal it usually results in a fairly forgettable experience. The beef was clearly a processed frozen patty, and even a healthy dollop of herb mayo on top could not hide the blandness. To add insult to injury, 2 slices of cold cheese added at the end had no chance to even begin melting. Credit must be given to the waitresses who appeared understaffed and really tried their best to accommodate everyone while running around in the 40 degree heat.”
“The pattie was really well cooked and had a real grill/smoky flavour which was nicely complimented by the subtle onion and pickle. The bun seemed to be too doughy, but compressed well when you palm it. Sauce-wise, I thought the mayo, relish and cheese combined well. Herb chips were ok. Overall the whole experience was satisfactory, but a very easily forgettable meal.”
“I do love a good adventure. Espescially when you’re so far off the scent you’ve never evern heard of the place you’re walking into. I went in hungry and hoping I’d get something decent. But, unlucky for me this train was an express to Crapsville. The kaiser style bun was huge and took up too much space. The pattie was atrocious: so overly spiced even that it was coloured red. I didn’t finish this burger. There was no need, or want for that matter.”
The Sporting Globe on Urbanspoon