The Fish Shop

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-FishShop

The Fish Shop – 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Dan’s Famous Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$18
Summary

In 2011 this Merivale Group venue hosted a few burger lovers to one of their most memorable burger experiences to date. Back then it was called Lotus and sadly it ended up closing down. But not for long. Inspired by the Fishing Clubs of Nantucket, The Hamptons and Cape Cod, The Fish Shop opened up to Sydney-siders hungry for a different take on Fish n Chips. There’s fish everything here: fish tacos, fish fingers, fish schnitzel and fish burgers. But when designing the menu for The Fish Shop, the Merivale Group owners knew they couldn’t just let the legend of the Lotus Cheeseburger die. Amongst all the sea shanty, maritime paraphernalia sits a proud statement of burger genius – Dan’s Famous Cheeseburger. Former Chef of Lotus, Dan Hong once described his creation as “bun, meat, onions, sauce, cheese, mayo and pickles – it is a proper burger – no fancy shit”. So it’s a good thing that Chef Jeremy Strode has tried to mess with it too much. I sat down on a sunny Saturday and eagerly ordered the burger that almost lead me to quit this wicked adventure of ours.

Comments
“My word! It’s been 4 years.This burger was so good the restaurant changed names/concepts/menus/everything and it’s still here. And good reason for it. It’s amazing! I might have to say it a my favourite burger in Australia. I feel like if the king or queen of a nation asked for a burger this is what they should get. Nothing but the finest ingredients done so simply. The cheese, the bun, the pickels – all Devine. Then take the patty. So damn good. I’d even skip the chips and just order another one (even though the chips were great). I’m so impressed. So salty. So soft and so beefy. Well f**king done.”
The Fish Shop on Urbanspoon


Burger Project

Monday, March 30, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-BurgerProject

Burger Project – 644 George St, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Cheese
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
4 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$9.90
Summary

The geniuses behind Rockpool are now taking every juicy bit of knowledge they’ve acquired over the last 30 years and turning it into fast-food. That doesn’t mean the stuff you might be used to at your local drive-thru. All that dedication to quality and fine ingredients have been converted into a machine that can churn out burgers all day long. Neil Perry’s new burger shop opened in October 2014 and has built quite a following, even if it’s tucked away from the main street. This could be for many reasons. Either it’s the spitting resemblance to worldwide burger Gods, Shake Shack or that Neil Perry knows exactly what’s up when it comes to cooking a hamburger. To make their burgers they use 36 month aged Cape Grim beef; a mix of chuck and brisket, and it’s all ground on site. They offer a bunch of options that vary in different ways. Say the “American Cheese” versus the “Cheese” option. As far as one burger buff can tell the American uses a Rose mayonnaise and omits the tomato. Then of course, they aim to please all diets by offering your burger in a bowl or a chicken or mushroom option. I tried to opt for the most classic burger I could get (avoiding the Classic option) and ordered a Cheeseburger that came with a beef patty, soft bun, cheese, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato and special sauce. Again, just like at Shake Shack, I took a seat and waited for my plastic disc to start buzzing – Oh the anticipation!

Comments
“Every photo I’d seen online was just made me think Neil had ripped off Shake Shack. It all looked so similar. The kitchen looked the same. The method of ordering was the same. Could my prayers be answered? Shake Shack at home? I went and picked up my order and was surprised it wasn’t closer to the real deal. The bun had been cut all the way through and the chips weren’t crinkle cut. The first bite in and the softness was there. But there so much sauce! As I delved further in I got to taste more of the beef and cheese. These together were fantastic. All the rest just got in the way and turned it into a sloppy meal. I resorted to just patty and cheese and loved it! That’s the only way I’d recommend ordering this burger. Time will tell, but it looks like the Burger Project is the kind of thing that you’ll start to see popping up in a city near you. Not the Meccas I was hoping for but still good if you were to simplify. Unlike Shake Shack, next time, I’d go a double patty, double cheese.”
Burger Project on Urbanspoon


The day we visited McDonalds

Friday, October 17, 2014
Gourmet-Flyer-Maccas

We’ve always said that McDonald’s isn’t an Adventure. But, when they got in touch with us a couple of weeks ago, they promised a Maccas experience like never before. We receive emails all the time to come in for a burger “on the house”, but always decline in favour of coming unannounced where we’re sure we’ll receive the same burger as the guy walking in behind us. In this instance, we had the chance to be one of the first people to check out a new concept that’s somewhat of a big deal to a company who’s served billions of burgers world wide. So, before we knew it myself (Z) and D were on a plane up to Sydney to build our own custom McDonald’s Gourmet Burger.
NewMaccasKioskBurger

After a few handshakes with the McDonald’s folk we were standing in front of some touch screens punching in a variety of different options we’d like in our burger. You get an interesting amount of choice that we really didn’t expect to find in an Australian McDonald’s. Options like a Brioche bun, Tortilla chips and Applewood Smoked Bacon were all a surprise. We decided that we were going to make two different kinds of burgers: something that the average punter would try and make (basically throw anything and everything in a burger) and then something that would make Ron Swanson proud (meat x meat x meat).
D threw in mushrooms, caramelised onions, fresh onions and jalapenos amongst the traditional McDonald’s burger fair and I went straight into double beef, Jack cheese, 4 x bacon and jalapenos. Once we’d finalised our order a receipt was spat out, we found a table outside and observed. Within about 5 minutes our burgers were brought over by an enthusiastic Maccas team member posing as a waiter (table service is all part of it) and hoed in.
It’s probably the first thing I thought of (and the last): it doesn’t taste like McDonald’s – not the McDonald’s I’m used to anyway. Granted, D’s burger was an utter mess and no doubt there’ll be plenty of people getting a product that they think might taste great when ordering, but really shouldn’t even exist. If I were in charge I’d actually have the people who select certain combinations like no bun ( yes you can do that ) escorted quietly out of the store. There is a reason why Big Macs have stood the test of time. First off, McDonald’s are a squillionaire corporation so everything they do will be thought out and researched. And, secondly, because everyone knows what you’re going to get with a Big Mac; familiarity. So, when people start creating God Knows What, we’d probably advise them to get a side of Cheeseburger to carry them through the rest of their day.
Z-MaccasBurger

The Double Meat Quad Bacon creation on the other hand was seriously a pleasure. You probably wouldn’t want to run a marathon afterward but it’s more in line with the McDonald’s most of us know. The patties tasted like an upgrade from the normal menu and with that amount of bacon plus some Jack cheese you shouldn’t be able to mess it up.The things that let D and I down though were the details. When opting for a more meaty burger other things need to be upped to balance it out. The same amount of sauce and jalapenos were used that a single patty might’ve just covered, so the zing of spice didn’t really come through. I guess thats something that a production line might miss when you compare it to a local burger joint.
So, we had some ups and downs, but generally we had a decent feed. Some chains like Grill’d might feel a pinch in the big cities, but where this is really going to take off is in more rural areas where they don’t have more Gourmet Burger options. It’s hard to predict how Australia will feel about paying over $16 for a meal at Maccas though.
The enormity of the task at hand for McDonalds is rather scary: within the next 6-9 months they plan on rolling this out to every store in the country. So, start thinking about what you might want to cram into a burger now, because you might not have to wait too long (unless there’s a line of course, then you’ll probably wait a while). We have no idea how they’re going to pull it off but if anyone can do it it’s probably these guys.

P.S They flew us to Sydney, paid for our transfers and our meals, then left us to it.



Chur Burger

Monday, July 28, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-ChurrBurger

Chur Burger – 48 Albion Street,
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10
Summary

If you’re unfamiliar with native New-Zealand-ish then “Chur” is just another made up word that you and your friends will argue about, end up on Google, then call your favourite NZ buddy to confirm. You see, Warren Turnbull, former fine dining chef, is a NZer and the only way he wanted to describe the mouth-watering burgers he was creating was “Chur!”. What us Aussie’smight call “Ripper”. After a fire in the original hole in the wall burger joint that was Chur Burger, he set up shop in Surry Hills in a larger space offering a larger selection of burgers, chips and “drank”. He has seen so much success for his burgers that there are now four Sydney locations and another opening up pretty soon in Brisbane. Collaborating with fellow countryman and designer, Scrap Wall, their Surry Hills location seats plenty, has a bit of a found/industrial art vibe to and is the kind of place you can spill a drink and noone will bat an eye. They do milkshakes, fries and a bunch of different burgers that cater for all walks of life. Cooked medium-rare, I went for the classic Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with a beef patty, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle – simple.

Comments
“I’ll admit it. I’m one of those contrarians that hates hype. And, from the countless emails we’ve received, there was plenty of hype about Chur. I was in Sydney on a tight schedule and I knew I had to make my way round to see what all the fuss was about. Their brioche bun wasn’t overly sweet (which is a nice change) but I would’ve preferred something a little softer. As I bit in to the patty I noticed it was nice and fatty, but with bits of gristle in it I started to fall less in love with it. Having read that they served medium rare as a standard I was let down by the grey pattie that had been left on the grill a little too long. Halfway down something happened. The burger changed. This was the delicious pink I was looking for. It stepped up so quickly. Why was it so uneven though? If you’re a regular here you’ll know that I’m keen as mustard for mayonnaise in a burger, but this was overkill. I feel like Chur Burger started out as this delicious burger joint where tender love and care were put into making every single burger a work of art. Now with the popularity and expansion I imagine it’s harder to control the quality (as we’ve seen in other Melbourne burger joints). The framework of an stand-out burger is still there. It was just missing the key ingredient: love (single tear).”
Chur Burger on Urbanspoon


Jazz City Diner

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Jazz City Diner – 238 Crown St, Surry Hills,
New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$15
Summary

Jazz City Diner is conveniently located on a hill (so you can walk off everything you consume) and is the perfect getaway from the nearby madness that is Oxford St. The small 24 seat diner draws inspiration from the typical 1930’s American diner, with everything from neon signage, art deco influences and some all-star, friendly service. Chef/Owner Dan McGuirt has put together a menu that is destined for success; inciting your tastebuds to riot with the very mention of dishes like Chicken & Waffles, Kansas City Style BBQ Pork Ribs, Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzle and of course, there are the 9 burger options to choose from. We felt it was most appropriate to keep it nice and simple, ordering the Cheeseburger that comes with a traditional sesame seed burger bun, a square beef pattie, onion, tomato, mayo, pickle relish and lettuce. This accompanied by a stack of sweet potato Fries (inc. in the cost) and a peanut butter milkshake, and you’re in business.

Comments
“A very humble cheeseburger with old fashioned roots. We got a chance to ask Dan why the burgers had square patties and he told us he grew up eating Wendy’s and White Castle burgers and he wanted to bring that nostalgia from back home to Sydney for all of his customers to experience. Mission achieved Dan – and, with a far better quality than you would ever get from Wendy’s or White Castle. Sitting under Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other Jazz posters that hang on the walls, you can’t help but feel at one with that certain romance the diner delivers through its service and meals. The pattie was a nice, flat, square ol’ style pattie with all the flavour you would expect from a diner burger (in other words no fancy-shmancy exotic spices or herbs). The mayo, red onion, pickle and cheese were all good. The sweet potato fries – although not my thing – were good and I do recommend them.”
“I’m sceptical of almost everything “Aussie-Americana” these days, so Jazz City Diner was no different. This was probably due to all the average meals we’ve had at a few other so-called American Diners claiming to be the bees knees. But, I’d heard decent stuff so I really had to make up my own mind. Hearing a friendly American accent from the kitchen was a pretty good sign of authenticity. But then, I bit in to my Cheeseburger and duuuuude this was the real deal. The flavours were so humble and subtle. Dan’s square signature pattie had just the right amount of fat in it leaving an awesome amount of greasiness to echo around my mouth with every bite. This was a real heartwarming experience with nice personal touches here and there, like the simple addition of pepper on the tomatoes – gorgeous. Well done Dan and crew, Jazz City Diner has it going on.”
Jazz City Diner on Urbanspoon


Charlie & Co.

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Charlie & Co. – Lvl 5, Westfield Sydney, Cnr Market & Castlereagh St, Sydney, Australia
Burger:
The Wagyu & Co. Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18 Eat in
Summary

Two things we’ve learnt about chefs over the last couple of years: 1, they’re insane and 2, it seems like every one of them wants their own tiny takeaway joint. Totally understandable of course. Chances are most of us will remember being a kid and delving into a box of fastfood quicker than you can say “Copernicus”. Everyone one from Bobby Flay to Neil Perry, even Marky Mark, is putting their passion for burgers into practice. Justin North is no exception. Coming up through the Sydney scene in the early Naughties with restaurants like Bécasse, then later on with Etch, La Grand Cafe and Quarter 21, Justin’s infamy didn’t catch our attention until we dropped past Plan B back in early 2010. His wagyu burger there was a lunchtime hit, but since shutting up shop after big brother restaurant Bécasse moved to the new 1.2 Billion dollar Westfield Shopping Centre, he needed a new outlet for his burger love. To North, it was evident that good burgers were in demand and so in late 2010, paying homage to supposedly the first bloke in America to start making hamburgers, Charlie & Co was born. Looking around at the sleek, elegant and chic eatery, everything that you wouldn’t expect from a burger joint in a shopping centre food court, we were delivered two of their well-known Wagyu & Co. Burgers. In between a Bécasse Bakery sesame seed bun lay a Wagyu pattie with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin, lettuce, aged cheddar and aioli.

Comments
“I have long been an advocate of getting rid of food court shops because it’s always shit and come 2am the next day when you are hugging the toilet bowl, you really hate yourself. Like the other shopping centre eateries we’ve chosen to review, Charlie and Co. is anything but average. Its Wagyu Burger is a very neat little burger with each bite being well-balanced and delivering a different punch of flavour each time. It did need some sauce though, just for that additional saltiness that I like in my burgers. The pattie wasn’t overly thick but was still juicy – not so juicy as to stain your G-STAR jeans you would have bought from a department store 5 minutes before, but still decent drip. The bun was a nice little gem too, not too doughy, but nice and soft. Chips were good – slightly on the cold side though.”
“I went into this adventure with some big expectations. We’d had a whole lot of emails about this burger and so when it was time to take the jet up to Sydney, I knew we had to check it out. Accompanied with a big smile and some great service, this thing came out looking like a superstar. What impressed me most was the pure and simple thought process behind it. As opposed to what a proctologist might tell you, pickles, beetroot, mayo, beef and buns are a great idea! The burger’s biggest downfall though was the lack of salt. Because you’re dealing with Wagyu its beefiness doesn’t come through like with Angus, so to compensate I had to add a squirt of ketchup for the extra flavour kick. Overall for me, it was OK; but maybe a little too much hype and coin surrounding this one. If I was in the area on our next Sydney trip, I guess I’d go back to see how their Angus burgers measure up. Plus also, it’s not everyday I get to ride an escalator.”
Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon


Glass Brasserie

Monday, December 12, 2011

Glass Brasserie – 488 George St, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20 @ Lunch with a drink
Summary

Whether you’re a tourist, a hungry CBD 9-5er or a champion burger aficionado, one of your top-of-mind lunch time destinations in Sydney is going to be the renowned Glass Brasserie. We’re familiar with Chef Luke Mangan’s work at South Melbourne’s Palace and when planning a visit to Glass Brasserie, Z was expecting nothing but greatness. Before we go on, we must mention that the burger is available only at the Glass Wine Bar menu, which is still just as fancy and will have you looking around in awe. The team have spared no expense, inviting New York designer Tony Chi to work his magic; using ultra high ceilings, earthy tones and with glass and mirrors all around you, you’ll feel like you’re dining in some sort of Swiss aristocrat’s holiday house in the Alps (true story). Luke Mangan’s right hand man, Executive Chef and burger lover is Joe Pavlovich: in a recent interview he commented, “When you eat a good burger, news travels fast. We’ve never really had a good burger culture in Australia and now we’re starting to.” With that said we had to send Z up there to see whether Glass Brasserie and Joe Pavlovich could truly walk the walk. Z sat down at the Glass Wine Bar and ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger Lunch Special that included a 50/50 brioche and burger bun filled with ox-heart tomatoes, house-made barbecue sauce and mayo, Raclette cheese, onions cooked in beer and Rangers Valley beef mixed with dry-aged beef fat, a pickle and fries on the side, plus a cool beer to wash it all down.

Comments
“As soon as I saw this thing waltzing it’s way over to my table I thought, “touché Mr Pavlovich, touché.” Wow did this burger look impressive. A waterfall of cheese like this arouses me in so many ways its almost unfathomable. After my Penthouse shoot was over I sunk my teeth in and was greeted with warm, soft and delicious beef. The Raclette cheese took me back to my time in France where the locals practically brush their teeth with the stuff – devine. Displaying poise and grace, the bun never took over and let the beef and cheese do all the talking. Every now and then however, the BBQ sauce would stand up and interrupt this tasty dance with obnoxious line dancing that didn’t belong in such a burger. Whether I was delirious from all the cheese I don’t know, but I could swear there were hints of apple coming from the bacon, which wasn’t bad, but did enough to distract me. Now, because every Sydney burger for me has become a “Could this be better than Lotus” burger (one can only dream), I couldn’t help but pick at the back chat that I was being given by the good but not great bbq sauce and bacon. All together this burger was still pretty damn wicked and deserves a whole lot of respect and admiration. To serve this kind of calibre burger + chips + beer, for $20, is incredible! Every pub/restaurant/bar should definitely take note. As of this moment, if you’re hunting down burgers in Sydney check out Glass Brasserie for lunch and then hit up Dan Hong at Lotus for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.”
Glass Brasserie on Urbanspoon


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