Little Hunter*

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Little Hunter

Little Hunter – 195 Lt. Collins Street (down the stairs), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Speakeasy Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

One moment you’re standing around looking for some signage, double checking your Google maps, the next you’re three flights of stairs underground and standing in a dim lit, classy looking restaurant. Unless they had X-Ray vision, the average Joe Citizen wouldn’t really know that below 195 Little Collins St lies a produce driven, innovative grill house. The culinary cool cats behind Little Hunter are also responsible for the the likes of Señoritas and The Meatball & Wine Bar. But, the real draw card here is that they’ve brought in US native, Gavin Baker. Not only has he won several “Best Restaurant” awards, Baker’s held the coveted job of Sous Chef at The Fat Duck, in London. Little Hunter’s menu speaks for itself – its grill house classics but with a little bit extra attention to detail and, a little bit of cool thrown in on the side.
So cool in fact, you won’t even find the burger on the menu! Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, we go ahead and order the secret “Speakeasy Burger” that was delivered to us on a soft bun with a beef pattie, tomato, lettuce, onion and pickles.

Comments
“I love the concept of having a simple burger available only to those in-the-know. For a burger that only had beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle there was so much flavour! The classics work. If I had to recommend any tweaks to the burger I would maybe cut down a little bit on the lettuce as I did think they were a little too generous with it. I would also recommend some ketchup that might be able to compliment the char flavour of the pattie. I found my pattie a little dry so it could’ve helped with that too. The chips were great and I loved fry sauce on the side.”
“This has to be one of my most memorable Burger Adventures. It’s not often you get to go to a hidden restaurant and order a secret burger. You could look at it as a gimmick but, I like it. It’s going to work and it’ll have people coming in for the same reason people go to to hidden bars and why people get put onto guest lists – check out my cool, ipso facto, facebook check in. Anyhow, it got us there and chances are you’ll be there soon too. Why? Well, my burger was oh so simple (and surprisingly cheap). It’s all about the meat here! The beef was top notch – everything from its char flavour, size and texture. Even amid some ridiculously fresh tomato, lettuce and onion (that seemed like they’d been picked from the farm that morning), the pattie still stole the show. An all around great experience here. Well done to Little Hunter for adding a little extra chic to the art of beef and bun.”
Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

*Sorry to see Little Hunter close down. It was quite the gem.


The Beer & Burger Lounge

Friday, March 15, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_BeerBurgerLounge

The Beer and Burger Lounge – 112 Swan St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$10
Summary

The Beer and Burger Lounge occupies a large, bright and brand spanking new fit out with contrasting white tiles on the business side and exposed brick on the patrons side. As the name suggests, they offer a large range of beers and wide variety of burgers including beef, chicken, veggie, game, lamb, pork and salmon options. We grabbed a bar stool each and surrounded a table within viewing distance of the open plan kitchen and proceeded to watch the chef cook our burger with cheese, tomato jam, mustard and gherkin.

Comments
“When I heard the name ‘The Beer and Burger Lounge’ I had an image in my head of a laid-back, cool and cosy spot with a cracking range of beers, and couches as far as the eye could see. When I arrived I will admit I was a little disappointed. It just really felt cold and boring with a generic range of uninspiring beers. When the burger first turned up to the table though I began to smile. This was a traditional looking cheeseburger with a fluffy, soft seeded bun that held a thin and nicely cooked beef pattie. All the other basics of tomato jam, crunchy and tangy pickles and mustard were all good quality. I also loved the golden crispy onion ring sitting atop. All in all, a really good example of a classic cheeseburger. I just wish I felt as comfortable as I should have in a lounge.”
“Just a simple, sweet and soft burger experience. There was some serious glare coming from the gloss of the bun that was just the ideal size to keep everything together. Each ingredient worked well together but was also strong enough to stand out in each bite: the spice of the mustard, the sweetness of the tomato jam, the creaminess of the cheese and the crisp coolness of the gherkin. Again, and much to my delight (I can sense a bit of a trend at the moment), there was a delightful onion ring on top!”
“A simple and easy burger to eat. Nothing complicated here, just good old fashioned burgering (yeah that’s a word). The beef pattie was perfect! It had a nice pinkish hue in the middle. The mustard and tomato jam combined so well together, there wasn’t even any need to add any more sauce as the balance of sweet and tang was faultless. The bun was soft and perfectly sized for a single hand, and for that reason, I’m calling it a great lunch time burger. It still allows you to pick up your bosses phone call while you’re at lunch. Or not. For $10 I’m definitely going back again.”
“When I’m given the option of cheese or no cheese, I’m always going to pick cheese. There are so many more instances where you think, “This thing could do with some cheese”, rather than the contrary. So it was an easy call for me to get the Cheeseburger. All the ingredients in there were individually pretty darn good. Except when all together, they didn’t play nice. Colonel Mustard and I are good mates and have shared some memorable meals. But here, the bold condiment and its pickle counterpart really took over any creaminess the cheese was trying to deliver. The pattie was of a very high standard and had been cooked with so much tender love. There was salt, juice and the right amount of Moo in each bite. I’d definitely be back, but to try this burger again sans-mustard.”
The Beer and Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon


La Luna Bistro

Friday, March 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaLuna-Bistro

La Luna Bistro – 320 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
La Luna Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$23.50
Summary

Located in a sleepy pocket of North Carlton, La Luna is a cosy, rustic restaurant that serves up what they call, “Contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean twist”. Chef and owner Adrian Richardson has one philosophy when it comes to all his ingredients: “got to be FRESH, and if it ain’t fresh it’s aged” (like his aged Beef On The Bone). And, you can’t really fault that philosophy. Their menu offers diners everything from house-made pasta to soufflé to crisp duck legs; all brought to you by friendly staff in a relaxing atmosphere. Amidst a sea of dates, we went for the La Luna prime beef burger that came with bacon, pickles, cheese and a side of fries.

Comments
“The presentation here is fantastic. Clearly a lot of thought and time has gone into this burger. However, I feel it’s almost trying too hard with too many clashes. The beef was mixed in-house and tasted great on its own. It had just the right amount of char and added texture whilst still remaining juicy. The pattie was meaty enough that it probably didnt even need the bacon, but these great flavours ended up lost amongst the sweetness coming from the onion jam and the density of the bun. I’d love to try a more simple version of this that has a few less ingredients, potentially making it more of a balanced burger.”
“I wasn’t really a massive fan of the bun – the texture reminded me of focaccia bread. The tasty pattie was dripped its juicy essence down my wrist and onto the pile of shoe string fries – lovely! There was a sweet onion jam that when combined with the mayo made for one unique and tasty condiment. The lettuce and tomato were well-prepped and added a layer of crispness to it all too. The chips were good and were well-presented in a box made out of the menu.”
“This burger arrived in impressive fashion. There were so many colors beaming from the plate. As soon as I bit in a waterfall of juice poured out. The flavours that really stood out to me were the sweetness from the onion jam and the saltiness from the cheese. At time it almost tasted like a Parmesan crisp – the sort of thing you usually find in an Umami style burger. When it came to the beef pattie, you could tell it was quality. It had herbs splashed throughout but it wasn’t over the top, leaving quite a tasty pattie. I would’ve loved to have seen this burger done in a more classic fashion. But I understand that this is place is meant to have a Mediterranean twist so it might be out of place like that. A nice and tasty meal that’s more of a first date burger rather than a hangover cure.”
La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon


Tree of Us

Friday, March 1, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TreeOfUs

71 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tree Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14
Summary

When you consider its location, you could almost say Tree of Us is in the middle of nowhere. Standing as a solo cafe/restaurant away from the busier end of Church St is a bold move. But thats the style of the three Primary School pals who opened up this ecclectic, high-quality produce driven eatery. Part owner and former Chef at Rockpool, Shane Scource, has created a menu that’ll cater to pretty much anyone with a jaw and a decent set of tastebuds. Breakfast offers the likes of eggs cooked your way to slow cooked organic beans to a breaky burger. And that’s where it gets interesting – the burgers. With a whole page dedicated to the Meal of Kings you’ll find a number of different takes on the traditional hamburger. They’ve even got a burger challenge going that might get you a burger named in your honour. When it came for us to try one of their acclaimed creations, we took a seat in some ex-church pews and ordered the tantalising Tree Cheese Burger. In between a Brioche bun came a Bertie’s Butchers Wuk Wuk beef chuck pattie covered with melted Swiss, mozzarella and goats cheese, red onion, roquette, house tomato relish and dijon.

Comments
“A seriously fresh and light burger that was really easy to consume, in what felt like about 3 bites. The soft and fluffy bun completely enveloped the ingredients and helped keep everything from falling out. Although, I did remove the roquette myself as im just not a fan of its texture in a burger. The house made tomato relish was the real dominant flavour, giving off hints of a traditional tomato pasta sauce that unfortunately drowned out the course, beefy pattie and trio of cheeses. I’ve got to say I’m a BIG fan of the fact they donate a percentage of their profits to planting trees.”
“This is how I imagine the Tree Cheese Burger was created… Owners to Chef: “You can’t really be thinking of melting 3 different kinds cheeses onto that burger can you?” Chef to Owners: “YOLO mothereffers!” and walks out the room with his hands in the air. Well, I hope it went down that way because it sure got my taste buds excited at the thought of all those cheeses. Arriving at our table the oozing was just as I had expected. Biting in I noticed that because of all the home made relish – choc full of cumin and paprika – the pattie remained cleverly unseasoned. Smart move as to not drown my palette but I wished the Wuk Wuk beef the star of the show. But unfortunately its condiment counterparts and creamy cheeses hogged more of the stage than desired. All in all, I left Tree of Us with my mind made up that this is the sort of burger that I’d have to be in a particular mood to eat. Its not a 3am dirty burger, its something I’d push towards the gourmet side of the scale. Which you’ve got to respect. Next time I’d give it a crack but ask for my relish on the side.
The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon