The Burger of the Year 2010

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Most days of the week its just a bit of parkland – not much happens there. People ride their bikes whilst others walk dogs. But if you’re walking your dog there on a Friday night be prepared for some traffic. At the corner of Park and Rathdowne Streets, North Carlton, you’ll find Raph and his Beatbox Kitchen. When you finally make you’re way to the front of the long line you’ve got a few simple questions to ask yourself: Raph Burger or Mushroom Burger? Chips? Drink? ..and did I just order food out of a huge stereo?

This retro boombox on wheels has been serving up “awesomness in a bun” since late 2009, kicking off its maiden tour at the Meredith Music Festival. But long before their first burgers were being served to their adoring public, Raph was voyaging back and forth to the USA researching different meat blends, finding the right cheeses, produce and ratios. Pretty much, he was learning from the original and the best. After some time, he had perfected his recipe and it was time to share it with the people.
The Winner

How did we come to this decision you may ask? Well, if you’ve tried the Raph Burger you won’t need any explanation. However, when we decided that someone had to be crowned for their efforts in 2010 we each voted. From the soft bun, salty pattie and creamy gouda, his burger is absolutley World Class. For our review in full click here.

So a BIG congratulations to Raph and his team; a well-deserved triumph. With a busy year ahead grilling at festivals, the Rooftop Shack and an all new Mexican inspired project, the “Taco Truck”, we asked Raph if he could offer one last piece of advice to those Melbourne burger joints that’ll be striving for the 2011 prize. Quite simply and honestly put, he said, “Less is more”… and we couldn’t agree more.


Melbourne’s Top 10 – 2010

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top 10 – 2010
“This is what Melbourne has been waiting for all year long.
Herein lies a list of our best hometown burgers from 2010.”

ANDREWS HAMBURGERS – 144 BRIDPORT ST, ALBERT PARK
“A classic Melbourne icon. No Top 10 list would be complete without it.
Good double cheese. Good beef. Good burger.”

THE MILLSWYN – 131-133 DOMAIN RD, SOUTH YARRA
“You know a burger is good when it doesn’t even need cheese. The beef was
simply perfect and cooked with the right shade of pink.”

CAFE VUE – 401 ST KILDA RD, MELBOURNE
“Contrast to most other burgers, it is placid and relaxed. All of its flavours
melt in your mouth creating an all around excellent experience.”

ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
“This burger is all about the Wagyu beef pattie. Amazing Zuni pickles and peppery sautéed onions make for a really classy hamburger.”

THE LOCAL TAPHOUSE – 184 CARLISLE STREET, ST KILDA EAST
“This was honestly pretty special. All of the ingredients were of the finest quality. Such an elegantly creamy burger.”

BARNEY ALLEN’S – 14 FITZROY ST, ST KILDA
“This burger had one of the thickest patties we have ever seen. Even so, it was absolutely cooked to perfection.”

DANNY’S BURGERS – 360 ST GEORGES RD, FITZROY NORTH
“It starts off with a foursome of Butter, Egg, Mayo and Cheese, and continues to get even better and messier. Your ultimate 3am burger-fix.”

THE AMBEROOM AT ROYCE HOTEL – 379 ST KILDA RD, MELBOURNE
“Perfect ratios of quality beef, tomato sauce, mayo and an outstanding bun, teamed up to create a simple and unashamedly awesome burger.”

COLLINS KITCHEN AT GRAND HYATT – 123 COLLINS ST, MELBOURNE
“All the produce used is of an ultra high-quality, creating what can only be described as royalty amongst burgers.”

BEATBOX KITCHEN – LEVEL 7, 252 SWANSTON ST, MELBOURNE
“The time, research, energy and enthusiasm in all aspects of this burger have definitely paid off. All that’s left to say is… GOD DAAAMN!”


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Melbourne’s Top 10 – 2014

Sunday, February 1, 2015
Top10-2014

Top 10 – 2014
“2014 saw an influx of new burger joints. Bad luck for us as it made this years list our absolute toughest. There are some familiar names in this years Top 10, but there are also a few little surprises. Congratulations to all those who made the cut!”
10

THE SPOTTED MALLARD – 314 SYDNEY RD, BRUNSWICK
“There’s a bit of spice and everything nice to our number 10. Lots of bacon and a fatty patty are sure to warm you on a cold Melbourne night.”
9

THE MERRYWELL – CR CLARENDON STREET & CROWN RIVERSIDE, SOUTHBANK
“Our hero from years passed. This burger hits you with plenty of meat but then holds you close with a soft bun.”
8

ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
“Consistently delicious. You pay more for this but you’re getting a quality burger with a lot of sweet, acidic flavours that contrast a fatty Wagyu patty.”
7

NSHRY – 129A BEACONSFIELD PDE, ALBERT PARK
“We’ve had San Francisco’s famous Umami burger, but NSHRY’s creation blows them out of the water. A unique burger that is always at home in our Top 10.”
6

ROYALE BROTHERS – REAR 1 CHURCH STREET, BRIGHTON
“Greasy enough to impress old school burger fans, but soft and fluffy enough to appease the Brighton locals. This cheesy mess is sure to hit the spot.”
5

FAT BOB’S BAR & GRILL – 80 COCHRANES RD, MOORABBIN
“These guys have one of the best balanced burgers going around. It’s creamy, sweet, soft, salty and all wrapped up like Christmas.”
4

ROCKWELL & SONS – 288 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
“We’re impressed more and more every time we eat here. This Kraft Single filled badboy can’t be faulted. Probably Melbourne’s most consistent burger.”
3

LE BON TON – 51 GIPPS ST, COLLINGWOOD
“It’s soft and smokey, and, puts the patty on a pedestal. A new edition to our Top 10 has made quite the mark on these burger fans. Welcome Le Bon Ton!”
2

8BIT – 8 DROOP ST, FOOTSCRAY
“It’s the kind of burger that leaves you regretting ordering a fries and shake and makes you order another one. Soft, beefy and cheesy – 8bit has got serious game.”
1

LAURIE DEE’S – PACIFIC EPPING, EPPING
“When you bite in and all you can hear over the cheese and beef in your mouth is muffled expletives, then you’re on a winner. From the gooey cheese to perfectly seasoned patty it’s an honour to have Laurie Dee’s as Melbourne’s new number 1!”


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Umami Burger

Friday, November 14, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-UmamiBurger

Umami Burger – 2184 Union Street, San Francisco, California, USA
Burger:
The Original
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12 USD
Summary

The idea behind Umami Burger was conceived in another, be it, the most sought out burger on the West Coast: In-n-out. It was 2005 and Adam Fleischman was digging into one of his favourite indulgences – a double cheeseburger – and he started to wonder why America was so fascinated with burger and pizza culture. He then thought back to his favourite cooking shows and remembered the word Umami. The gourmet burger scene was about to be born. Fleischman started experimenting with all sorts of ingredients to obtain the “5th taste”, throwing everything from seaweed, miso soup and fish sauce in between some buns. In 2009 he was ready, opening the first Umami Burger in Los Angeles in a failed Korean Taco shop. From then on it boomed with many more locations opening up and was even named 2010’s Burger of the Year by GQ. Each location usually has a signature burger on their menu, something that Fleischman hopes to move Umami Burger away from the chain burger store stereotype and towards more of a classier restaurant group. For example, the San Francisco location uses its surrounding for inspiration and offers a Bacon Wrapped Scallop Burger (which we here hold in contempt). I was there for the original though and proceeded to order, wait for it, The Original. It came with a Wagyu Beef blend patty seasoned in Umami sauce (soy) and dust (porcini mushrooms and dried fish heads), a parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, Umami house ketchup all on a Portuguese-style bun, made exclusively for Umami Burger.

Comments
“It’s been many years since I first heard about this famous burger joint, but when I arrived at their San Fran store, it wasn’t what I expected. I thought it’d be all open kitchens and burgers flying around the place, but it was more like a Yankee Japanese restaurant. I get that’s where the flavour inspiration comes from but it was trying to be a little too cool. When the the burger came out it looked delicious – noticeably smaller than the Umami burgers I’ve eaten in Melbourne. The first bite was soft, salty and the patty was cooked nice and pink. The salty and sweet from roast tomatoes and shiitake did their part in upholding the Umami buzz, but I wanted more from the parmesan. At the end of the day, I’d say to Melbournians go visit Nshry because they’ve nailed the whole notion of Umami. If you’re by a Umami Burger in the States, I’d say try one of their other burgers that adds bacon or an extra patty. They might be the Original, but the Original has been trumped by Melbourne’s very own Nshry.


Melbourne’s Top 10 – 2013

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Intro-top10-2013

Top 10 – 2013
“Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the finest burgers Melbourne has on offer. Now hit NEXT and let the mouthwatering begin.”
10

TUCK SHOP TAKE AWAY – 273 HAWTHORN RD, CAULFIELD NORTH
“One of the best first bites we’ve ever had in a burger. Everything is in perfect proportion, resulting in a delicious bite each and every time.”
9

GLORIA SWANSTON’S KITCHEN – 243 SWANSTON ST, MELBOURNE
“With double cheese and bacon, this salty burger is fast-food done slow, done awesome.”
8

ROCKWELL & SONS – 288 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
“Every bite into this burger is another step in to burger heaven. It’s hard to fault this burger at all. So soft, balanced and delicious.”
7

BEATBOX KITCHEN – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
“The Raph burger has hall of fame status in our eyes. Consistently in our Top 10, its signature creaminess makes for an unforgettable burger.”
6

ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
“When you’re in the mood for a little extra class to your burger, you can’t go past Neil Perry’s meticulous creation. Worth every penny!”
5

NSHRY – 129A BEACONSFIELD PDE, ALBERT PARK
“Umami-mia! This flavour packed Wagyu & Angus burger is one of the most unique in Melbourne. Such beefiness!”
4

LAURIE DEE’S – PACIFIC EPPING, EPPING
“This crumbly, double-smash pattie burger is the kind of thing that legends are made of. This has to be one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets.”
3

THE SPOTTED MALLARD – 314 SYDNEY RD, BRUNSWICK
“The burger’s individual elements were all great but when together they were a work of art. The burger was peppery, hearty, creamy and all together special.”
2

FAT BOB’S BAR & GRILL – 80 COCHRANES RD, MOORABBIN
“From its creaminess to its amazing pattie, this is a bang-on awesome burger with just enough of everything there to make you think about ordering another one.”
1

THE MERRYWELL – CR CLARENDON STREET & CROWN RIVERSIDE, SOUTHBANK
“2013 threw a world of terrific burgers at us. None better than this beauty. Congratulations to the guys at Merrywell for taking it out again! The Merrywell burger has everything a burger should – truly outstanding.”


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Father’s Office

Thursday, May 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_FathersOffice

Father’s Office – 249 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Man Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$22
Summary

If you’re reading this thinking California’s famous Father’s Office has opened up a faction in Australia, think again. Call it clever marketing or flattering imitation, it got us curious enough to check it out. Up some dark stairs along Little Lonsdale St and you’ll find yourself in a large bar draped head-to-toe in wood and 1920’s inspired paraphernalia. Serial entrepreneurs Stewart Koziora and Anna Carosa took over for Match Bar in 2012 and went on to create a space that caters to all walks of life. Whether it’s after work drinks, weekend comfort food or functions they’ve got it covered. On a weekend a decent drinks menu will keep you liquored up until 3am or if you’re more the civilised type and food is your vice then there’s plenty to choose from. An extensive Americana inspired menu will have you “Ooing and Ahhing” over Kansas City Baby Back Ribs, Philly Steak Sandwiches and Warm Apple, Pear & Blueberry Pie. We couldn’t look past the Man Burger though. It came with a brioche bun smothered in Dijon mustard, topped with a 200gm grass fed Queensland yearling MSA certified black angus pattie, 2 pieces of Swiss cheese, a layer of beer battered fries, 2 more pieces of Swiss cheese, a fried egg, a full rasher of bacon and chipotle mayo.

Comments
“It would’nt suprise me if whoever thought up of this burger was drunk, or if a large percentage of customers who consume this burger are also drunk. I’m sure it felt like a good idea at the time but its complete overkill and unnecessary. It’s a shame as each individual flavour was nice, but you don’t need 4 slices of cheese, aswell as a creamy gooey egg, aswell as mayo and mustard, aswell as a layer of chips to overpower and kill any flavour from the beef or bacon. So unless you have masculinity issues, are extremeley drunk or like feeling sick after a meal, I’d go ahead and order something else from the menu.”
“I’d read about this burger and had been a little bit impressed. I mean 4 slices of Swiss Cheese! That’s a party. I was pretty blown away when it came out. It was oozing with cheese as expected and I started to dread the extra KMs I’d have to run to burn this sucker off. Biting in was a bit of a challenge, purely because it was so dense. But immediatley all that mustard hit me. It was good! But that was only my first bite. After a while the burger became a bit of a chore and a boring one at that. I’ll give it points for consistency but all the flavours stayed on the same side of the spectrum. What this burger was missing was sweetness to cut through the heaviness. I’d replace the chips with either onion rings or caramelised onions. Screw it, just ketchup would have done fine. The menu says the beef is decent quality, but it didn’t hit me with too much flavour. On that day I didn’t have the stomach to finish this thing. But I still stick by Yokohama accomplishment if you want to challenge my eating prowess.”
Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon


The Post Office Hotel

Friday, May 3, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PostOfficeHotel

The Post Office Hotel – 231 Sydney Rd, Coburg, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$17
Summary

After more than a few licks of paint in 2010, The Post Office Hotel opened its doors again to a more than happy Coburg neighbourhood. At its core it’s a Gastropub – but with probably a little more emphasis on the “pub”. The reason for this emphasis is purely because its such a homely and warm environment. It’s inviting and caters for everybody of all tastes, which really makes you question whether or not any of the locals would actually refer to it anything other than “the pub”. Although quite large with many different areas for drinking, dining or even maybe a little boot-scoot, their menu acts as if you’ve entered a high-end English cottage turned restaurant. Toulouse Sausages, Spaghettini with truffle oil and Spatchcock are offered from either their elegant Cafe229 & Dining Hall or Pub menus. On a cool Sunday evening we stepped up to the bar and ordered the Post Office Hotel’s Wagyu Burger that came with a 200g Wagyu pattie, lettuce, tomato, caramelised onions, gruyere, beetroot and a side of french fries. Be mindful, they don’t have ketchup, but the offer of chutney and aioli is plentiful.

Comments
“This burger was on the very verge of greatness for me, with the large, perfectly cooked wagyu beef pattie being the absolute highlight. Unfortunately the other ingredients were a little too strong and instead of enhancing the beef flavour, slowly overpowered it. From the buttery, flaky texture of the croissant-like bun and the sweetness of the beetroot relish and caramelised onions. I’d like to try a simpler version with just the pattie and the creamy gruyere cheese. I really enjoy a good stalk of a venue’s kitchen and peering in I saw some seriously good looking dishes being produced that I’d love to try next time I’m in the area.”
“This burger really ticked a lot of boxes for me. The brioche bun and beautifully charred pattie were the two great stand outs for me. I really would have been happy with the bun and pattie and done away with everything else, not because they were subpar, but because I loved the complex flavour of the pattie. The beetroot relish was great and together with the brioche really made the burger quite sweet. The melted cheese perfectly covered the pattie and combined really well with the caramelised onions. Chips were good.”
“Appearance-wise it looked a million bucks. However, my first bite in and there was drama. It was all very soft, but Wow was the pattie piping hot. Especially when compared to the rest of my room-temperature burger. I gave it a second as my tastebuds regained consciousness and continued. When you use beetroot, you run the risk of upsetting some people and pleasing others. This has to please all those who bite in. I think we’ve found the perfect amount of beetroot to use in a burger. Call me crazy, or maybe I just enjoyed the beetroot’s cooling properties. Extra highlights to add to it’s CV were the deliciously salty, melted gruyere all over the high quality pattie and, my favourite of all, the caramelised onions that popped up every now and then to give the burger a little bit of bbq fundraiser charm.”
The Post Office Hotel on Urbanspoon


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