Chapel Bar & Bistro

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chapel Bar & Bistro – 147 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Chapel Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$19.50 NZD / $15.45 AUD
Summary

Known as “the Local” along Auckland’s trendy Ponsonby Rd, the Chapel is everything you want it to be, when you want it to be. With dim-mood lighting and a roaring fireplace, its the perfect destination to take that special lady friend or, grab some mates and order some of their famous pizzas, have a drink or two and flirt with the waitresses. Their staff in fact are one of the key factors in Chapel’s success. They say that they’re “carefully selected for their knowledge, personality and willingness to go the extra mile.” We in-fact experienced this first hand when we ran into some of the staff that night on a drunken Auckland dance floor. On a rainy NZ day we took our seat outside under the cover of their terrace and ordered the Chapel Burger which came on a soft NZ style bun (becoming a trend now) with caramelised onion, grilled bacon, cheddar cheese, house smoked tomato relish, pickles on the side & hand cut chips.

Comments
“There was a reason no one else was sitting outside; it was about 6 degrees out there and inside it was warm and cosy with music playing. But majority rules and I lost so we sat outside. Research has proven one of the cures to freezing your tits off is a nice burger so luckily this burger eased some of the pain. The beef was packed full of herbs and was highly processed. It reminded me of the kind of beef pattie you get from the supermarket in a BBQ pack actually. Although not the best quality, for some reason if you burn the crap out of it and leave some char, it really tastes ok. The char mixed with the caremalised onions gave a really great combo of sweetness and pepper notes, whilst the thick bacon against the soft bun softened the overall texture. Finally common sense prevailed and we moved inside to start drinking.”
“The burger was cooked evenly and the right amount of seasoning and herbs. The chutney was awesome, but did make the burger very peppery and as a result made every bite taste pretty similar. The onions were sweet and caramelized to perfection. I enjoyed the bacon in the burger but the rocket leaves weren’t doing it any real favours. The hand cut chips really pissed me off and made me hate myself for ordering them because they were too thick and too painful to eat. After the meal I realised that thin fries were an option and I would definitely recommend adding that in your meal combo.”
“This being my 2nd NZ burger, it was interesting to see that they both used pretty much the same sort of buns (claiming these as NZ Burger Buns from now on). As the last place, it was soft as burger buns get. Once you bite into the pattie you definietly notice a bit of spice. Then looking at your burger you saw the multicoloured levels of herbs that are used throughout the mince. My burger wasn’t evenly cooked which was dissapointing: the edges were much more pink than the centre. But I did really enjoy the bacon mixed with smokey chutney. Yes I’ll complain about the chips as well, purely for the fact that “if something ain’t broke don’t fix it” – french fries would’ve done nicely. Overall the burger was good, but I felt like the pattie got a bit lazy and left all of the other ingredients do most of the leg work.”


Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew – Side of 413 Brunswick St,
Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Lot
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$17
Summary

A diner like feel blended with the low lit cool-school-NYC restaurant/bar makes the Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew one of the smartest new joints going around. Not even a month old and already getting a reputation around Melbourne, we had to hit it and see what it was all about. Greeting you upon entry is what feels like a never ending bar/communal table that invites you to sit and partake in a meal with the locals. Mostly, it’s a cool place to sit back, have a bite and a drink, and who knows you might even catch the gaze of the the chef and sweet-talk the man helping you create your own monster burger (we do not actually recommended this as most chefs will stab you for bastardising their pride and joys). So, with a good combination of burgers and other delectable bar foods you will definitely find something to satisfy that salt-tooth of yours. After some deliberation we went for The Lot that came on a sesame seed bun with a beef pattie, bacon, cheese, pineapple, lettuce, pickles, onion, mayo and “sauce”.

Comments
“The first emotion I felt was confusion, as when we arrived the front of the place was actually closed. Then I felt joy and recalled fond memories as I saw a neon sign that looked very similar to a very famous burger sign in New York City. Finally I felt visually impaired, as it was so dark in there I couldnt see shit. I’ve tried very hard to try and like pineapple in a burger as it pops up on a lot of menus around Australia. But still no luck, as I just dont like it. Its just too sweet and too overpowering flavour wise. After a few bites i tossed it and focused on the proper ingredients. The bun was super soft and tasted great however, did nothing to keep everything together and made a huge mess. The beef was a good thickness and was cooked well. There was perfectly melted cheese and the crispy bacon tasted great but only after the pineapple was removed.”
“For me the place didn’t really scream “we do burgers” (apart from the neon sign). It was more like a “bring your girlfriend and spend some cash” kind of place. Sure, there was still the diner feel to it, but it really did look quite sophisticated. I was never convinced we were going to get burgers from this kitchen and expected to be served a duck l’orange worth $45. Though when you open the menu you instantly notice that its all about burgers and a good blend of Australian bar food. The Lot does come with pineapple, which I’m not a huge fan of, but it is needed as I found the burger did lack some flavour, which pineapple help compensate for. I found the pattie a bit bland and the bun and fries were OK. The small plates the burgers are served on really annoyed me. Personal peev I know, but the plates are too small and you need a little bit more dish diameter to cover off spillage from the burger. On a side note I did find the Ginger Ale a bit weak and watered down, but hey it happens.”
“It’s not often you eat a burger and the pineapple is the highlight. But that’s only because the rest of this burger was kind of boring; disappointing when you’re forking out $17. I’ll give the meat credit for being supremely beefy but it needed to be salted and spiced a bit more. I enjoyed the pickle which was was nicely spiced and I wanted a whole lote more from the egg – more creaminess and more ooze. This thing didn’t commit a lot of serious crimes against the burger community, but most of the ingredients just didn’t turn up to the party like the pineapple did. Saying all that I’d still probably give that spicy burger on their menu a go.”
Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew on Urbanspoon


Velvet Burger

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Velvet Burger – 18 Fort Street, Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Hottie
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.90 NZD / $7.70 AUD
Summary

Velvet Burger first opened its doors in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island back in 2006. Since then they’ve gone onto open another location in Auckland followed by yet another second offering in Dunedin. Being very proud of their New Zealand heritage, they have signed their own treaty that promises to provide the best gourmet burger experience, which involves beer, being open really late and then providing comfort from your hangover (pretty much suits us perfectly). They also offer a menu that includes nearly every animal option to sit on a burger like beef, lamb, venison, fish or chicken. With D & Z super keen to begin their NZ Burger Adventure, they got on some extra early flights and headed straight for Velvet Burger. Looking at the menu for approximately 23 seconds it was pretty obvious that they’d opt for the Hottie. It came out on a soft burger bun with beef, grilled mango, chilli mayonnaise, Velvet relish, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and red onion.

Comments
“I have to admit that when it first came out it didn’t look that appealing; a fairly non-descript bun blocking much of the view of the ingredients. It was only when I picked it up did I realise how soft and perfect this bun was for the sweet, spicy and creamy goodness that lay inside. The beef was cooked delightfully but the real star of the show was the combination of the sweetness of the juicy mango matched in contrast to the spicyness of the chilli mayo. Of course I had trepidation about a burger that had fruit in it as it could’ve gone horribly wrong… however these guys got it very right. This, plus surroundings of exposed brick, a large timber bar, South American uni students and plasmas with the sport channel playing made for quite the enjoyable experience.”
“My first burger in New Zealand and I was eager to see what our southern neighbours could come up with. Alas, it came out pretty flat and I already started to feel a smidge disappointed. But then as D removed the top bun to inspect his burger, a rush of wonder began to take over my tastebuds. Because that’s when I saw all that juicy, colourful mango begging to be consumed. “What the hell is this going to taste like!”, I thought. Then as I took my first bite it struck me; I knew exactly why they call this place Velvet Burger. It was so soft you could skydive into the burger and probably survive*. With every bite I’d taste the lingering sweetness of the mango, the soft bun and the decent chilli kick. Then the beef came in every now and then to remind you why you’re not a vegetarian. The other thing I loved about the mango was that it acted as three ingredients in one. The creaminess that it created meant you didn’t need to add cheese, egg or mayo! This was also one of the first times I’d eaten cucumbers in a store-bought-burger; and I welcome them. They’re a fresh take on a pickle that work especially well with the summer theme of the Hottie. A really interesting take on a burger that I by all means would order again.”