Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bess – 105 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Bess Burger
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
10 minutes
Would we recommend:

Stepping through Bess’ front doors is like being teleported straight into the heart of Paris. With a classic black and white chequerboard floor, cane seats and, mood lighting that’d make Julia Gillard look like Miranda Kerr, it’ll take a friendly “Hello” to bring you back to Melbourne. Owners Katie Krauss-Mitchell and Brendon Mitchell (formerly of Prahran Gastropub Hotel Max), have breathed new life into this Victorian without killing any of its century old romance. Their French/Belgian/European inspired menu draws from the pages of their own experience living and traveling abroad, offering dishes such as duck breast, spaghetti marinara, suckling pig and jamon croquettes. We of course ordered the Bess burger that came included a brioche bun, a 100% Cape Grim beef pattie, cheese, gherkin, iceberg lettuce, bacon & a side of fries.

“I like this place, I like this burger – I honestly can’t fault it one bit. The burger came out perfectly presented with the fries served in an unpretentious brown paper bag. There was a nice chunky piece of beef, cooked perfectly containing a tonne of juice and flavour. It had a really sharp slice of cheese over the top (which overpowered the ham but who cares), and a nice slice of pickle underneath it resulting in plenty of taste until the last bite. Bess is a really nice restaurant with really nice, well informed wait staff and, has a delightful ambience. This is why I was surprised at how quiet it was – but it is footy season and I guess there was a game on down the road at the MCG. If I ever asked out a girl from north of the river (and she agreed to be seen in public with me), I would definitely take her here.”
“The Cape Grim beef pattie stole the show in my book. It was beautifully cooked, with a very delicate texture and a nice hint of smokiness. The menu states the burger comes with bacon, but for some reason we received our burgers with thin ham slices. The ham was OK, but I really would like to have experienced the saltiness of the bacon in the burger. I think it would have worked, but to be honest I really didn’t miss it. The gherkins delivered that fresh crunchiness to the burger that I so love. And, I don’t often say this, but I really liked the prep the kitchen did with the Iceberg Lettuce – taking something that is bland and cutting it delicately and mixing it in with the mayo, proving that Iceberg lettuce can be good in a burger (especially when fresh). Fries were good, loved the extra touch they add in serving it in a branded paper bag.”
“This burger came out looking sexy. So sexy in fact that I had it unhooked, unzipped and with its skirt on the floor. By “skirt” I mean the cute paper bag that the chips came housed in. Nice effect, but those babies needed to be free to absorb all of my (burger’s) juices. Now when I say that this thick Tasmanian pattie was cooked to perfection, I really want to stress that word: perfection. Two of my favourite things in the world are pink: one is the centre of a gloriously cooked pattie, the other is my favourite kind of midnight snack. The bun was sweet, tended to tear apart a bit, but still did a good job of keeping everything together. Something else that made me smile was the integration of the shredded lettuce and shredded gherkin. You didn’t know where one began and the other ended, forming like Voltron to become one ingredient. My only “wtf” was the use of a basic ham instead of the anticipated bacon. Did they run out of bacon? Do they not serve bacon on Sundays? Who knows? All I know is that if the Bess Burger was this enjoyable without it, then with it… Wow!”
Bess Richmond on Urbanspoon


At $22 it had better be!

ozsaffa ( May 3, 2012 at 10:52 )

it’s a bloody good Burger. It’s my local Burger joint & has (blessedly) none of that hipster wankery you get at Huxtaburger.

Cassie ( May 3, 2012 at 11:20 )

Booooo hipsters ! Why don’t they take their tight jeans and gorgeous haircuts and move to Williamsburg already!

Anonymous ( May 6, 2012 at 19:22 )

Hi, thank you for the great comments and we are glad that you like our burger. I just want to let you know about the bacon, it’s a cold double smoked loin bacon (not streaky) fom the “porterhouse” of the pig. We slice it finely ourselves and bake it on the pattie to order, this keeps a balance of flavor and doesn’t detract from the meat (I have always found that streaky bacon grilled or fried over powers everything else).
Because all that would take up too much space on the menu, we just kept it simple and said bacon.

Brendon ( May 11, 2012 at 10:45 )

This one didn’t work out for me. Total bun fail, it fell apart under the weight of the massive patty. Am a big cape grim fan so my expectations were high, wasn’t as tasty as I expected it to be. I did like the restaurant though!

Anonymous ( June 21, 2012 at 01:37 )

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