Kua’aina Burger

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Kua’Aina Burger – Maison du Yuu Bldg. 1F, 1-10-4 Shibuya,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (東京都渋谷区渋谷1丁目10−4)
Burger:
Avocado Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
¥1080/$13.60 AUD/$14.06 USD
Summary

Say it like this: “Koo-a eye-na”. It basically means redneck/hick/bogan, depending on where you come from, but for native Hawaiians it refers more to those who actively live Hawaiian culture and keep the spirit of the land alive. So by now you would’ve guess that this burger joint is in fact originally Hawaiian. With 2 locations in Obama’s home-town, 1 in London and a whopping 15 across Japan, it’s safe to say the Hawaiian-Japanese relationship has moved on since Pearl Harbour. As you walk in you can’t help but notice the “Hawaii-ness” (it’s a word, look it up) of the place. Lining the walls are surfboards, photos and memorabilia from it’s 35 year history including shots of the original owners and even some of the main man himself, President Barack Obama- we hear he’s a big fan! So if it’s good enough for him you’re darn right it’s good enough for us. Along with their burger selections you’ll find a tonne of different sandwiches ranging from East Coast favourites like Pastrami and Roast Beef, to the more tropical Mahi Mahi and Teri Chicken. We asked our friendly Hawaiian shirt wearing cook what burger Obama enjoys most and so we went for their famous Avocado Burger. It came on a Kaiser Roll with a char-grilled 1/3 pound U.S beef pattie, butter lettuce, avocado, mayo, herb butter and a grilled onion.

Comments
“When you first think of having a burger in Japan the last thing you think of is a Hawaiian burger chain. But I thought, “Hey… nothing in Japan had managed to disappoint me yet”. What they offer is a really simple burger, add avocado and turn it into a suprisingly awesome creation. My charcoaled beef pattie was well cooked, but I thought a tiny bit dry. With only mayo in the burger the grilled onion added the sweetness you need and the avocado gives the burger a creaminess like you can’t even begin to imagine.”
“I absolutely loved this burger! So much so i had it twice. Was I even hungry the second time around?- No. Was it my 16th burger for the trip?- Yes. Do i want one now?- Yes! I’m honestly disappointed in myself that I have never had avocado in a burger before this, but it’s subtle flavour and texture just compliment the beef so well. They also used one of the best burger buns I’ve had: it was soft and fluffy but still strong enough to keep everything in tact.”
“When I heard we were going to a Hawaiian burger joint, my first reaction was pineapples on burgers and Ukulele themed music in store. I know I was pigeon holing the whole experience, but I’m a “glass half-empty” type of guy. Oh boy was I wrong about this place. The Hawaiian theming that went on in there wasn’t too intense; they just kept true to its Hawaiian roots in a tasteful manner, even playing Hawaiian online radio. More importantly, the burger was great. My pattie was on the dry side but made up for it with seasoning that was spot on and a nice char-grill flavour. The generous amount of avocado mixed nicely with the mayo to add a nice creaminess to each bite. The char-grilled onion slice did add a nice sweetness and crunch to each bite. I do recommend having it with the Ginger Ale and ordering the chips which, are semi-skinned, double-fried and F’n amazing.”
“Holy Ben Affleck I loved this. The meat was flame-grilled, filling it with that supreme charcoal goodness. It was pinky in the centre and cooked the best way possible. The tomato was brilliant as was the Kaiser bun. The perfectly ripe, seasoned avocado ended up acting like a creamy butter throughout the whole experience, making me think you probably wouldn’t even need to add cheese to this bad boy. Never having added avocado in a burger before made this the ultimate in cherry popping – I even cried like a true first timer. Seriously good burger.”


Brasserie Les Halles

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brasserie Les Halles – 411 Park Ave South, Murray Hill,
New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Hamburger Rossini
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t bother
Price:
$20 USD
Summary

When mentioning Les Halles to most New York foodie folk, the first remark is usually “Isn’t that Bourdain’s restaurant?” Well, sort of. Previously the executive chef, Les Halles now call him their “Chef at Large” as he travels the world writing and filming his hit show “No Reservations”. Its story runs a little deeper than celebrity chefs though; the Brasserie pays homage to its roots in French cuisine, named after “Les Halles” the historic central wholesale marketplace in Paris. As well as providing Manhattanites with “American Beef, French Style” they serve simple and classic French dishes such as escargot, foie gras, steak tartare (prepared to order at table side) and their renowned pommes frites. The Park Avenue location even features a butcher shop that specialises in French cuts of meat. Hoping that with all this hype and “French Style” beef talk they’d have an awesome burger I ordered the Hamburger Rossini that came with char-grilled ground beef (made to order), a slice of house made fois gras terrine melted on top, dip of black truffle and red wine sauce, plus a side of pomme frites.

Comments
“I felt this thing was beef overkill. There were so many strong, gamey flavours going on that they all clashed making each bite so so heavy and filling. The large chunk of beef was cooked well, however I felt it was a little bit too big for the burger. The fois gras and truffle oil were just so unnecessary; it was like they wanted to sound French and extra fancy in an attempt to try and impress the local Americans who were looking for a bit of culture. Having said all this, the chips (pommes frites) were absolutely amazing! Had this burger been in any other city, I’m sure it would of rated higher. But when you’re in a place like New York City and you’re exposed to a myriad of awesome burger options, some even at a quarter of the price, I’d say you’re better off skipping it.” ”
Les Halles Park Avenue on Urbanspoon


Beer DeLuxe Hamburger Bar

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beer DeLuxe Hamburger Bar – Fed Square, Cnr Swanston & Flinders St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Burger DeLuxe
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$9.50 (Thursdays After 6pm Only)
Summary

Just outside the historic icon that is Flinders St Station sits Melbourne’s favourite eyesore: Federation Square. But with a quick push and shove past all of the 12 year olds, the tourists and day trippers, and you’ll stumble upon Beer DeLuxe and it’s Hamburger Bar. First and foremost, these guys are all about the Amber Liquid. They pride themselves on having a forever evolving Beer Bible that showcases beers from all over Australia and the world. So what do we all know that goes splendidly with beer? Burgers! With their very own dedicated Hamburger Bar that on a Thursday night offers a Burger, Chips and Beer for $9.50, I just couldn’t turn it down. I ordered the Burger DeLuxe that came on a toasted hamburger bun with 2 handmade beef patties, lettuce, bacon, onion, cheese and a touch of American mustard. Plus a side of chips and beer of course.

Comments
“Having received a number of emails and Facebook comments about this place, I decided to grab my camera, some local cool-cats and head down to Beer DeLuxe for a Thursday evening burger session. Talk about value right? For that $9.50 price tag it pretty much turns the rest of the game on its head. Once ordered, it practically flew out of the kitchen – I’m saying 2 minutes tops!? The burger itself was crazy simple. Highlights included the sheer size of this sucker, delicious fried onions and one of the most perfect amounts of lettuce I’ve seen in a burger: bare minimum. Although hand made, the patties didn’t taste of the highest quality, needing more fat through the mince to give them that melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness. To add to that, the burger was way too dry. Whether this be to encourage patrons to drink more beer, I don’t know? But c’mon guys, sauce these bad boys up. No brownie points either for unmelted cheese (that should’ve been double if you’re using 2 patties anyway). If I were to go back I’d spend the coin and throw in the extras adding more cheese, tomato, mayonnaise and egg to the mix. Without these additions it regrettably gets into the Don’t Expect Much category. But if you’re passing through one Thursday night I suggest you spend the extra $3 and give it a crack. There’s honestly some potential here.”
Beer DeLuxe on Urbanspoon


Lotus*

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lotus – 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
The Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$16
Summary

Just past all of the aristocratic elegance of Kings Cross, Sydney, you’ll find the Merivale Group owned Lotus. With a Midas-like touch, they’re responsible for some of Sydney’s most renowned nightclubs, restaurants and hotels. So why should Lotus be any different? Like most of their premium venues, there’s the beautiful decor, low lighting and quite the mean cocktail bar. However, there’s one big difference: the exceptional talents of a chef by the name of Dan Hong. After a few years working the scene in Australia he tore away to the USA, only to return to Lotus in 2008 with some “most-triumphant” tricks up his sleeve. Their Cheeeseburger, as Chef Dan Hong describes, is “bun, meat, onions, sauce, cheese, mayo and pickles – it is a proper burger – no fancy shit”. Dinner/Burger Time starts at 6pm at Lotus; so we arrived at 5:45pm, cooled off with some alcoholic beverages and waited for Awesome to happen.

Comments
“This is like Walter White’s Blue Meth in a bun… sent from the gods! This burger prevails where so many others fail. Although we know how much research went into the meat alone (a mix of chuck, brisket and dry-aged beef fat), simplicity was the key ingredient here. There really is not one thing I’d take out, add or change about this burger. One of the many sexual thoughts I had going through my head after devouring this delight was, “Could I? Could I actually move to Sydney to be closer to my new found love?”
“What I’m about to say really won’t do this burger any justice. So for your sake stop reading this and GO NOW! If you have decided to read on I’ll try and make this quick (because some things in life really don’t need too much explanation). The burger was soft and delicate. The bacon was cooked to perfection, not crisp, but tastefully tender. The pattie was juicy and was filled with sumptuous salty flavours that will blow your mind. The steamed bun was by far the one of the softest buns I have ever had on God’s green earth – I loved it! Our side order of chips + mayo were also great. It’s just such an amazing burger, there’s no chance you’ll be able to stop at one.”
I quit.

Lotus on Urbanspoon

*Like a bazooka in the face, it pains us to say this Lotus is closed for good. FML.


Yo Mama’s Bar and Grill

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Yo Mama’s Bar and Grill – 727 St Peter St, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Burger:
Peanut Butter Bacon
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$10.50 USD
Summary

In a city famous for it’s Cajun and Creole cuisine, it’s kind of a big deal when a burger joint captures people’s attention. Yo Mama’s Bar & Grill is a small and unassuming French Quarter establishment, mere steps from the constant party of Bourbon St. A dark interior invites you to seek refuge from the hectic atmosphere outside, with seating available both in booths or up at the bar. Tattooed punk-rock waitresses, New Orleans Saints fans, weathered locals and fellow tourists alike can be found here. They offer a large selection of burger styles, including some stranger combinations such as “caviar and sour cream”. All burgers feature a half-pound patty and like another famous NOLA burger joint, come with either a salad or a baked potato. Though fries are not an option, you do have the option of order gumbo or crawfish/alligator sausage as a side – it is New Orleans, after all. However, there was only one burger on my mind: the Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. It came with a half-pound seasoned meat pattie, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and last but not least the peanut butter and bacon.

Comments
“The selection of burgers from the dozen or so available was a no brainer. Peanut Butter was an original topping I’d never seen offered on a burger before and I had been curious to try it since I’d heard about it months earlier. Suffice to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Served open face, this is the first burger I’ve actually chosen to leave the top bun off, and eat with a knife and fork. The cascading torrents of warm peanut butter off the sides of the patty suggested cutlery would be a wise choice. The bacon was crispy, salty and perfectly prepared. The intensity and texture of the peanut butter means that although you do get the meaty taste of the patty in every bite, its impossible to tell if the patty is well cooked or seasoned, but it clearly doesn’t matter. I was “supposed” to share this burger with others at the table, and ended up eating the whole thing myself, and wishing I still had more left.”

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Yo Mama's Bar & Grill‎ on Urbanspoon


The Bottom End

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Bottom End – 579 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bottom End Cheesey Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
33 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

The Bottom End is a new kind of hybrid venue: a pub-disco-diner. The love-child of a fair-dinkum pub and a hedonistic party palace with an all-night pseudo-US diner thrown in for good measure. All this over indulgent extrava-Dance is brought to you by none other than Mr.Michael Delany-Korabelnikova; the man behind iconic Melbourne nightclubs Honkytonks, Third Class and Sorry Grandma! Food is the key ingredient in the success of any traditional pub and The Bottom End is no different. The food menu takes cues from all night US diners and the recent “dude food” phenomenon where Philly Cheese Steak, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls, NYC Buffalo Wings, Prawn and Chorizo Po Boys sit on a menu few could call healthy, but just as few could resist. After recovering from the launch party we went back to try the Cheesey Bacon Burger. Inside was the beef pattie, bacon, gruyere cheese, smoked dutch, lettuce, onion, tomato, onion, pickle, their special sauce between a brioche bun and a side of crinkle cut chips.

Comments
“If you didn’t know the history you never would’ve guessed that this unique and quirky hybrid venue used to be the old crazy rave destination known as Bubble. Created by one of Australia’s most iconic bar consultant/owners they serve up a heluva good old American diner-style burger that cuts no corners. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything healthy and this is the way it should be!! The creamy gruyere made for a great addition to the thick juicy pattie and other fresh ingredients. With their special sauce also between the brioche bun I have to say this is one I’d definitely make a trip back for, whether it was late afternoon or the early hours of the morning.”
“This was a seriously creamy and filling burger. So much so that I have to admit I left a few chips on the plate; a rare occurrence. The creaminess came down to the amazing melted gruyere and the secret sauce that closely resembled a 1,000 Island dressing. It worked well with the crispy, thick cut bacon and the tightly packed beef pattie. If this venue was in a different location I would frequent it more often. However, I consider this part of the city the arsehole of Melbourne and I’m embarassed that it even exists. I hope that along with the new Vue De Monde it can start the much needed rejuvenation.”
“Imagine Buckingham Palace, then fill it with pictures and statues that you would find in some eccentric dandy’s art collection. But they’re all stored in his basement because even he said, “No, even these are too tacky for me”. Then throw in a bar and a kitchen. That is The Bottom End and I LOVED IT. It just takes the piss out of everything and it’s the kind of place you would never expect to find any conservative accountant/lawyer/dental hygienist on a Friday night drinking beer and smashing a burger. So it already qualifies as my favourite place on earth at this point. The burger: the pattie was of average thickness but was juicy. The pickle did taste a bit old and smelt weird. The brioche bun was huge – lots and lots of brioche to fill up on. Greens were nicely prepared and the chips were good. But what really stole the show was the complimentary Mac n’ Cheese balls that came with the burger. That alone is worth a revisit.”
“We rocked up on a Sunday to find out that Mac n’ Cheese balls came complimentary with your meal. Bit of a bonus? No burger-fans, its a frkn HUGE Bonus! Cheese, Bacon and Macaroni have never reminded me more of crack cocaine. Soon after snorting the entrée our burgers were set before us. They were stacked high and were dripping wet with sauce and juices. At my first bite my brain and tastebuds were quick to acknowledge the bacon; there was lots of it and it was outstanding. The beef was pink, soft and held together well. It didn’t need to have too much seasoning on it as all of the other party guests between the buns had enough presence to make up for it. I hardly noticed the cheese, tomato or lettuce. But I couldn’t help but notice the pickles that once tasted on their own, tasted as if they’d been pickled inside a sardine can. There was something fishy going on there (drum roll + cymbal). Crazy food coma after this one so prepare yourselves. Overall, this place is mental and serves awesomeness on “blue or white plates with napkins”.”
The Bottom End on Urbanspoon