Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Newmarket Hotel – 34 Inkerman St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger
Would we recommend:
The guys that brought you venues like the Royal Saxon and The Middle Park Hotel are at it again. In a collaborative effort with architects Six Degrees and consulting chef Paul Wilson, the New Market Hotel’s famous Shnitz & Tits has been replaced with an elegance and charm only found across the Baja California. As you step past the original red brick facade, the borders between inside and outside turn to shadows and tall Oscar Niemeyer-like arches will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of StKilda and into a contemporary artwork. Alot of time and money have gone into this project, and it didn’t just stop at the renovations. The menu is rich with SoCal-Hispanic influences. Dishes like Bone Marrow Tacos and Pork Carnitas with Pineapple Salsa are perfect for diners that think they’ve had it all. After a little bit of guacomale to start off with we delved straight into the Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, sides of pickled cucumber, corn, capsicum, and a bowl spicy of patatas bravas.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Houston’s – 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Century City, California, USA
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Houston’s originally opened it’s Los Angeles doors in 1977; their name paying homage to founder, owner and current CEO George Biel’s home state of Texas. But by the time you read this, they may have already converted. In the recent years Houston’s has been taken over by the Hillstone Restaurant Group where it sits alongside about 45 other restaurants and 11 different brands. Slowly but surely the Hillstone name is taking over, but according to them, for the better. For as long as some local Californians can remember Houston’s has been delivering some of the best burgers going around. Hillstone is doing its bit to try and keep it that way, really driving home that they’re still a family owned business, seemingly worried about causing cracks in their foundations.
The decor is classy but without being pretentious. You’ll notice dimmed lighting and dark woods whilst traditional American booths line the back wall of the restaurant; perfect for dates, business dinners or just a casual burger review. I grabbed myself the Cheeseburger that came with fresh-ground chuck, cheddar, tomato, lettuce and onion on a house-made bun. On the side you’ll get an enormous portion of thinly cut fries with a choice of three dipping sauces: mayo, mustard or ketchup.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Jones The Grocer – 1341 DANDENONG RD, CHADSTONE
(CHADSTONE SHOPPING CENTRE), VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
Jones Wagyu Burger
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
In 1996, in the prominent Syndey suburb of Woollahra, Jones the Grocer opened their flagship store. Recognising a new growth in café culture they sought out to offer their customers fantastic service and produce (like a great café), but then also sold all their produce for use in everyday living (like deli). So when Chadstone Shopping Centre went through an epic makeover in 2009 they looked to Jones The Grocer for something new and different that many shoppers hadn’t yet experienced. The big glass structure that is Jones the Grocer Chadstone is hard to miss when trying to find a park. Feel free to browse their produce like fresh bread, cured meats, international jams and most notoriously, the cheeses in the their walk in cheese room. But, if you can’t wait to get home to try your purchases you can always dine in. Jones’ menu caters for both the early risers and the afternoon shoppers offering everything from traditional breakfasts, all the way to freshly prepared baguettes, pasta, risottos and salads for lunch. Most importantly of course is the Jones Wagyu burger. It comes with a Wagyu beef pattie, bacon, lettuce, gruyere, Jones bois boudran sauce and olive oil chips. Now all thats left to do is decide whether you prefer this or Capital Kitchen’s Cheeseburger just around the corner.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Most days of the week its just a bit of parkland – not much happens there. People ride their bikes whilst others walk dogs. But if you’re walking your dog there on a Friday night be prepared for some traffic. At the corner of Park and Rathdowne Streets, North Carlton, you’ll find Raph and his Beatbox Kitchen. When you finally make you’re way to the front of the long line you’ve got a few simple questions to ask yourself: Raph Burger or Mushroom Burger? Chips? Drink? ..and did I just order food out of a huge stereo?
This retro boombox on wheels has been serving up “awesomness in a bun” since late 2009, kicking off its maiden tour at the Meredith Music Festival. But long before their first burgers were being served to their adoring public, Raph was voyaging back and forth to the USA researching different meat blends, finding the right cheeses, produce and ratios. Pretty much, he was learning from the original and the best. After some time, he had perfected his recipe and it was time to share it with the people.
How did we come to this decision you may ask? Well, if you’ve tried the Raph Burger you won’t need any explanation. However, when we decided that someone had to be crowned for their efforts in 2010 we each voted. From the soft bun, salty pattie and creamy gouda, his burger is absolutley World Class. For our review in full click here.
So a BIG congratulations to Raph and his team; a well-deserved triumph. With a busy year ahead grilling at festivals, the Rooftop Shack and an all new Mexican inspired project, the “Taco Truck”, we asked Raph if he could offer one last piece of advice to those Melbourne burger joints that’ll be striving for the 2011 prize. Quite simply and honestly put, he said, “Less is more”… and we couldn’t agree more.