The Ludlow Formation

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Ludlow Formation – Building 3, 6 Riverside Quay,
Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Wagyu Burger
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
4 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t Bother

Looking out at Melbourne’s skyline at the foot of the Yarra River you have The Ludlow Formation. Nestled amidst several other restaurants, bistros and buskers, its a classy looking establishment with stone, raw steel, recycled timber and other designy jazz as far the eye can see. Their Head Chef Marc Brown has quite the rep behind him. Before arriving in Australia in 2001 from the UK, he trained at some of London’s top restaurants, including several Michelin-starred establishments, and worked with some of the world’s foremost chefs including Albert Roux, Anton Adelman, and Michel Lorain. But whilst at Ludlow he’s crafted the menu to take on a more Southern European feel with everything from Slow Braised Rabbit to Coconut Parfait – quite the extensive menu. We’d heard a thing or two about their burger so, sitting outside with live music at our backs we ordered their Wagyu Burger that comes on a brioche bun with Mahon Cheese, thick-cut Istra Bacon, spanish mojo (code for secret relish), lettuce, mayo and a side of fries.

“I really hope these guys were having an off day, because this burger had so much potential, however, it was absolutely horrendous. The two most important elements of a burger are the beef and bun. In this case both were terrible, both of them burnt to an absolute crisp. I’m not exaggerating when I say the beef could survive a full 60 minutes as a puck in an ice hockey game. If you combine this food with the bogan tourist clientel that filled the remainder of the restaurant, your not going to find many repeat, local customers, myself included.”
“Ok before I get stuck into it, from the top, there is a lot of potential here. But with a burnt beef pattie on the outside and an almost rare/ pinkish inside I really didn’t get the opportunity to taste much. The bun was a waste, such a beautiful bun burnt to s^@t. I was devastated to see the way this promising, beautiful bun was treated on the grill – for shame! The “Mojo sauce” that comes in the burger really missed the mark and delivers a healthy punch of garlic that will leave you reaching for after dinner mints. What added more insult to injury was the cover band! There is something about Southbank that always brings out the worst in a Melbourne dining experience: from the table service to the meal and the over priced restaurants full of cashed-up bogans, it will take me a while to to get past this anger for Southbank. Chips were ok, tasty and crispy.”
“This is a chefs worst nightmare. You take a day off to feed baby ducks by the pond and the kitchen turns into a black hole. On paper, and on previous tips, this burger sounded the business. Sure it was unforgettable, but for the wrong reasons. I won’t spout them all again, but when you burn 3 potentially delicious patties and buns something has got to be done. The most enjoyable part of the meal was when I tore out the bacon and ate it solo; quite decent in-fact. There’s a lesson to be taken away in all of this and it’s all about being consistent. Whether you’re cooking for the King of England or John Smith from next door, always deliver your best. We never announce ourselves or tell the wait-staff who we are. We’re just a couple of dudes ready to smash some sweet-ass burgers and we expect our burger to be just as good as anyone else’s on any given night. Noone’s a winner here. A really sad day for everyone involved.”
The Ludlow Formation on Urbanspoon


Alas, that even *looks* like a pale shadow of the quality (and consistency, weirdly) that I am used to. Sounds like someone really screwed up that night.

To be fair, I have only been there at lunch time, and I don’t think it’s a case of our tastes simply being different – I tend to agree with many of your ratings and judge on similar criteria.

Hope you’re not too gunshy to go back and try again some time. Maybe in the lunch rush they have to turn plates so quick they don’t have time to overcook them? Who knows.

Reuben ( November 10, 2011 at 16:11 )

Sounds like The Ludlow Formation is still the pinnacle of mediocrity. Sadly I gave them the benefit of the doubt twice and was let down on my subsequent trips as much as my first.

JP ( January 13, 2012 at 23:06 )

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