Salute Bistro at Bentleigh R.S.L

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Salute Bistro at Bentleigh R.S.L – 540 Centre Rd, Bentleigh,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Salute Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

The Returned and Services League of Australia (R.S.L) was established in 1916 to support the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the Australian Defence Force. Out of respect for our current and fallen soldiers we thought it would be fitting to visit an R.S.L and eat a burger for Anzac Day. With roughly 1,500 R.S.L’s throughout Australia we didn’t have to look too far, and after a couple of whispers about an amazing burger at the Bentleigh R.S.L we marched on in and ordered their “Salute Burger.” It features a Wagyu beef pattie with cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, cos lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, all served with a mountain of fries.

Comments
“I was very glad to see that an establishment dedicated to the men and women that protected and served our country can deliver a good meal. The local R.S.L, which was always the place to get a quick and fast pub-style meal, has come along way. This burger really surprised me with how fresh and juicy it was. The beef pattie was well cooked and seasoned with a good portion of salty bacon atop. I actually really enjoyed the bun; it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with butter both top and bottom. The only thing that I would’ve liked to have seen changed is the bottom bun to be a little thicker. Lest We Forget.”
“I was so happily surprised at the site and taste of this burger. Having eaten at possibly every R.S.L between Melbourne and Noosa throughout my childhood, I know they can be hit and miss when it comes to food outside the typical “Meat and 3 Veg”. A proper sized slab of beef packed with juice and flavour mingled with the crisp, salty bacon and sharp cheddar making it a simply impeccable burger.”
“Our first R.S.L burger! I was always looking forward to the day we would review something as Australian and individual as this. I wasn’t expecting much from this burger, to be honest I was more looking forward to the cheap beer on tap which always hits the spot on a Sunday night. The beef was good and the bun was a little dry and just average. Basically this burger had no hidden surprises. It was a filling burger, but at the same time it was forgettable, all I really remember is that I liked it without really knowing why. Ohhh… and the chips were ok.”
“At first glance, I felt a little underwhelmed. Once I bit in I changed my tune. Boy was this tasty! The beef had a crunch to its outer crust but then was soft as butter as you bit through. The onions were super sweet and confirmed that caramelisation is indeed their best friend. The only thing I’d nitpick over is the bun. It tasted fine but they need to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to stop the bottom section from soaking in all the juices and falling apart.. because it got pretty damn messy. For some this could prove annoying, but for others its a blessing in disguise. My next move involved slamming my hands into the fries and using them like salad forks, dressing them with the awesomeness of meat syrup.. A more devine condiment there could not be.”
Salute at Bentleigh RSL on Urbanspoon


Red Ox Steakhouse

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Red Ox Steakhouse – 502 Hampton St, Hampton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Beef Burger 220g
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$21.50
Summary

Located in bayside Hampton, Red Ox offers prime cuts of superior quality beef as well as seafood, chicken, duck and kangaroo. This small, suburban steakhouse prides itself on serving exceptional quality produce day in day out – the kind of meal you’d usually have to travel into town for. Perfect for those ever approaching chilly nights, you are greeted with a toasty warm, cosy interior, as well as very friendly and helpful staff making for a very comfortable dining experience. We opted to warm up with their Wagyu Burger that comprises of a 220 gram Wagyu beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, a tomato ring plus golden fries and onion rings on the side.

Comments
“There isn’t really anything great to say about this burger. It wasn’t so much to do with the beef pattie (which was more than passable). It had to do with the whole experience from start to finish. I know the other guys will say the same, but having to check to see if there’s enough patties and taking close to 1 hour to come out (cold mind you) is not on. It also seemed like they ducked around the corner to the supermarket to pickup some buns (am actually 99% sure they did!!). The whole thing really just tasted like something you’d make at a lazy Sunday BBQ.”
“I got a little concerned when we ordered 6 burgers (we had company) and the waiter had to check with the kitchen if they had enough. If you call yourself a “steakhouse” you wouldn’t think there would be any problem. Once that was okayed, it then took over half an hour for them to arrive. With only 2 other tables occupied in the dining room already with food, we were a little puzzled. This is a burger I could have made at home: the bun was just simple supermarket roll cut in half (not toasted), no butter, no sauce, the tomato was just a raw slice of tomato and two slices of cheese placed on top that wasn’t melted over the beef. The beef, although cooked through, was cold. So I’m guessing they got the timing all wrong on this one.”
“I’m not too sure what to make of this burger. It was simple, it didn’t try to be anything else, but it was lacking something. After considering it for a day or two I decided that it was average and if you are going for a simple burger approach, please use the best meat at your disposal. In this case I don’t feel the pattie was of the best grade and it was certainly overcooked. The melted cheese on my pattie was an added bonus (see photo above), considering my other partners in crime had unmelted cheese sitting on top of theirs. Chips were ok.”
“This one is really a case for the X-Files. Something happened in that kitchen that night, but no one will ever know. FBI cover up?… I doubt it. The guys have already stated the facts: it was a home-style (not rustic or like “mama-used-to-make”.. more like all the ingredients had come from a supermarket and were put together by your kid brother) burger that came out coldish/lukewarm with freshly cooked, hot-as chips. As for theories: Maybe the chefs are part-time firemen and they had to suddenly rush off to go rescue a kitty, leaving the rest of the staff to hold the fort? ..I have no idea. In saying all this I actually did enjoy the beef pattie, so I’d like to think they do have decent steak here and perform better in situations where there’s less prep work involved. But who the hell knows?”
Red Ox Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


Mail Exchange Hotel

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Mail Exchange Hotel – 688 Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
M.E.H’s Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
4 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t Bother
Price:
$18.50
Summary

The ominous looking building that is the Mail Exchange Hotel is rich with history. Prior to being constructed, it was the home of Robert Hoddle who famously designed the layout for Melbourne’s inner city streets. After the land’s acquisition in 1913 by the Post Master General’s Department, construction began for a new building that would ease the congestion of another Melbourne landmark, The GPO. So, after almost 100 years and a few tenants later, nothing would be more Australian than to turn the old gal into a pub. The ground floor on the building has been been completely restored and features a 200 seat bistro, central bar, atrium with internal courtyard and informal lounge areas (the Pokies). With a pub-style menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner we went for the Mail Exchange Hotel Beef Burger that comes with 200 grams of chargrilled beef, lettuce, tomato, fried egg, bacon, mustard and mayo. This is all accompanied with a side of beer-battered chips and coleslaw.

Comments
“I don’t know why people bother putting something on the menu just for the sake of having it on there. If your not going to put any effort at all into something, don’t ruin it for everyone that is looking to enjoy a decent meal. Everything about the burger was wrong and uncared for. I really felt like my palette and stomach had been abused. Who the hell gave the green light for this to be on the menu?”
“I can’t really find anything positive to say about this burger, so I’ll just list the negatives: the bun was too big, stale and fell apart. The beef had very little flavour. They used the spine of the lettuce and the ends of the tomato. The “coleslaw” was wet cabbage with no mayo. So yeah, I think this place makes its money off the Pokies and the food is just an inconvenience for them.”
“Like a 5 year old that doesn’t want to eat his vegetables, you would have seen me react the same way with this burger. I hated burgers in general when I was eating it. I’m not even going to analyse it any further. It should just be removed from the menu and forgotten about. Readers – this was the first time I didn’t finish my burger – EVER. Damn you Mail Exchange Hotel, damn you..”
“As far as burgers go, this was shit. My bun fell apart almost instantly. The meat resembled a fast food chain just with some gourmet additions: chopped onion. You might be satisfied with this meal if you’d just gotten off a 24 hour plane ride and you were stuck in transit in Whothehellknowsville and this was the only thing to eat FOREVER. Come to think of it, the place kind of looked like a tacky airport lounge. It was a really nice, sunny day when we went though. I ate a Paddle-pop. I think it was banana.”
Mail Exchange Hotel on Urbanspoon


Kelly’s Bar & Kitchen

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Kelly’s Bar & Kitchen – 1510 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Kelly’s Burger
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Kelly’s is both a great local and an exciting new discovery for visitors to Mt Dandenong. As soon as you walk in you are welcomed by the cheerful, smiling staff and a comfortable timber lodge-like interior. Upon receiving the menu you can’t help but read the history of the place – built in 1891 as a logcutters cabin, it has withstood the test of time to be one of the oldest licensed venues in Victoria. But we digress, after reading the spiel in the menu you will notice a solid two pages of enticing choices. Whether you’re at Kelly’s for a light dinner or a good old fashion pig out, it’s all there. Of course we went for Kelly’s Burger that had a homemade 200gm beef pattie, lettuce, tomato, relish, bacon, egg, cheese and serve of chips.

Comments
“A real rustic style burger created in really rustic restaurant. With what I’d expect to be some very locally sourced ingredients, this burger ticked all the boxes of being a fresh country burger. The bun held in all the juiciness from the meat and the amazing golden yolk perfectly. The crispy bacon really added a nice salty flavour to the thick and juicy pattie. There was also a great aioli there that had a chipotle smokiness about it. I would really recommend heading out of town to get this burger, even if its just for a nice weekend drive. Oh, and things do get a little messy with this one.”
“Probably not worth reading my review. I was sick as a dog. I couldn’t smell or taste anything and I had no appetite. I got through about half of it very slowly and can’t remember a thing. I think the egg was good though? Shall endeavor to try it again.”
“I would drive an hour to eat that burger again, and if I didn’t have petrol in my car I would solve the mystery in teleportation and not commercialise it, but keep it as my greedy secret for one reason.. to eat this burger whenever I felt like it. This thick pattie was juicy and tasty with visible onion chunks (just like mama used to make). The cheese was noticeably melted on the pattie, the bacon was crisp, salty and AWESOME. The relish was good and the chips were good too. I recommend trying this burger with one of their choice of ciders.”
“Even a Polak like me likes a good ol’ fashioned Kaiser. This one was especially good, so with a bakery across the road it makes me think they’ve got to be fresh. From top to bottom this burger was tasty: I’ve mentioned the bun already, the bacon was excellent, the egg permeated awesomeness and the aioli had a smokey flavour that almost resembled chipotle. The only concerning thing I would say about this whole experience is a touch of inconsistency. When checking the menu online it will tell you that you’ll be receiving a regular homemade beef pattie. Once we arrived the menu stated that the beef pattie is Wagyu. Its easy to say that their site hasn’t been updated, but for me, it really didnt taste like Wagyu beef. So if you try it do let us know which one you think is right. In saying that the pattie was still really good – more like a rissole with chopped onions throughout – but still an enjoyable pattie. That was my only qualm. Everything else about the experience was cool though, kind of like the Mt Dandenong air, so bring a jacket. Unlike D who had to borrow G’s spare, and then got egg/sauce/burger all over it. Lesson learnt G.”
Kelly's Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon