The Railway Club Hotel

Thursday, June 20, 2013
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The Railway Club Hotel – 107 Raglan Street,
Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Railway Club Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$22
Summary

Tucked away in Port Melbourne, away from any sort of hustle and bustle, you’ll find The Railway Club Hotel. You’d be forgiven for not ever visiting because quite frankly, this place isn’t built on hype. Premium meats, quality produce and a relaxed atmosphere are what they’re all about. With big archways, a fireplace, exposed brick and sports memorabilia floor to ceiling, the décor might remind you of you’re uncles pool room circa 1991. What you probably wouldn’t have seen at your uncle’s though is the large glass case where you can pick out your perfect steak and see it cooked in their open kitchen. Obviously Beef is their pride and joy, with most of it coming from Cape Grim, Tasmania. But if you’re feeling a little beefed out then best try their famous Flounder or dive straight into a Sticky Date Pudding. We ordered the Railway Club Beef Burger that came on a seeded brioche bun with a grilled 200grm Angus ground beef pattie, Swiss cheese, beetroot, pickles, tomato, mustard and mayo with sumac fat chips and aioli.

Comments
“It was like taking a step back in time into a good old traditional Aussie pub. With a mouthwatering display of beautifully cut meats it something a little hard to overlook. The pattie was one of the best I’ve had; perfectly cooked with a nice char on the outside and juicy and pink on the inside. It was a great brioche bun that held everything together. I really enjoyed the melted Swiss cheese, fresh tomato, beetroot and lettuce. In fact, everything just worked. Lastly I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of fat chips, but these were pretty amazing.”
“The burger was presented all high and mighty with plenty of colour bursting out however, it all took a back step to the incredible beef. It must of only hit the hot plate for a moment to leave a perfect crisp char on the outside while sealing in the juice, flavour and remaining pink on the inside. I’m slowly starting to appreciate beetroot in a burger, as the thin layer added just the right amount of sweetness. It also added a crunch to balance out the rich, creamy cheese and mayo. With all these ingredients combined though, it meant the bun had completely dissolved by the end. The venue feels like visiting a distant relative in a country town and being treated to a home cooked meal. Pretty much an ideal setting for a winter meal.”
“This was a classic, timeless burger with some of the best quality meat I’ve had in a while. The beetroot and the mayo blended in exceptionally well and really gave the burger some sweet and creamy characteristics contrasting where the pattie added those salty and char grill tones. Even though it was served in a pub, it really didn’t feel like a pub burger, it was special. The big thick chips were OK.”
“Walking into a venue and seeing a window of raw cuts of meat is a sight for sore eyes. You know they’ve got some serious pride in their product with stuff like that. My burger arrived and was stacked high. It actually looked nothing like I expected. The second thing I noticed was the large bit lettuce that made my burger a foot taller than anyone elses. I squashed the lot down, bit in and floated into beef heaven. With one of the tastiest beef patties I’ve had in a while it was ground coarse and packed with bold, unashamed beefiness. As tasty as the pattie was I felt like there was too much going on here. This could’ve been because the burger fell apart on me and made me do more work than anyone should on a Sunday. But beetroot did feel at home in this burger. As did the pickles with their sweet crunch. There’s a lot to love about the Railway Club Hotel. The only thing I’m annoyed about is how lucky the locals are for having it.”
The Railway Club Hotel Port Melbourne on Urbanspoon


Tyranny of Distance

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Tyranny of Distance – 147 Union St, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tyranny Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$15.50
Summary

Opposite the iconic Melbourne Bowls Club, Tyranny of Distance has slotted in perfectly and looks as if it’s slowly evolved over time from a humble shed with louvre windows. The eclectic interior was created and directed by local jewellery designer and goldsmith Marcos Davidson, with a giant gas bottle lamp being commissioned and featuring prominantly in the centre of the indoor/outdoor dining area (where you can smoke to your heart’s content). Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day with a generous happy hour each afternoon, Tyranny really caters to everyone from post exercise breakfasts to pre drinks at night with an emphasis on tapas style dishes. The Tyranny Burger is made with a house made beef pattie, bacon, smoked cheese, lettuce, mayo and served with crispy potatoes and smoked paprika aoili.

Comments
“This place has really grown on me. After frequenting several times and falling in love with the paella, I had some trepidation on how much attention they would give to a burger. However, I’ve come to realise they’ve given serious thought to each dish which combined with fresh ingredients, makes for really good food. The first thing I noticed was the super crispy rashes of bacon hanging out that added a great salty crunch when paired with the large, juicy beef pattie. The smoked cheese along with the paprika aoili added depth and enhanced the beef and bacon flavours while the crusty roll did its job and held everything together.”
“The Tyranny burger had a lovely tasting pattie with a pretty good bun. My contribution to take this burger up a notch was adding the provided side of chutney and mayo – the combo really worked out for my taste buds. The bacon was beautifully cooked to a crisp and tasted mighty fine. What really enticed me to smash into the burger though was the melted cheese that sat on top of the pattie. Overall a great and easy dining experience that I would definitely want to re-live some time soon.”
“It was a relief not to be served a brioche bun for a change. Week in week out it’s been the same of late. A trend that McDonalds will surely be next to jump onto. So I was chilling out max, relaxing all cool… when all of a sudden I saw the burger come out of the kitchen. It was oh so seductive. In other words, it was yelling “Eat Me!” as loud as it could. Whenever there’s a pool of cheese I’m ready for a dip. Biting in and my first thought was that the bacon reminded me of breakfast, which is not necessarily a bad thing as it’s one of my favourite meals of the day. I liked the pattie too – it was simple, beefy and to me, high quality. All in all, these guys make a decent burger that’s easily shared with your French friends who like to have a cigarette with their meal.”
Tyranny of Distance on Urbanspoon


Fergburger

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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Fergburger – 42 Shotover St, Queenstown, New Zealand
Burger:
Fergburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$11 NZD / $9.20 AUD
Summary

It’s safe to say that Fergburger is the most famous burger in New Zealand. Starting out as a random hole in the wall burger joint where inebriated locals could get there late night hunger fix, they’ve now moved into one of the main streets of Queenstown. Open 21 hours and pretty much always busy means that you should be prepared to eat your burger standing, or leaning against a pole if its 3 in the A.M. Offering a variety of different burger options ranging from classics to more contemporaries like A Chief Wiggum that has pork belly and apricot seeded mustard there’s enough there to let you try a new burger every day of your stay (if you stayed for 3 weeks). As if they weren’t happy enough with being the most sought after burger in town, the Ferg crew opened their very own bakery next door where they source all their buns from. Having snacked on one of Fergbaker’s pies as an entrée we hastily ordered ourselves their famous Fergburger that came with Prime New Zealand beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish.

Comments
“It’s nearly impossible to mention the words “Queenstown” and “burger” without someone interrupting and screaming at you “You have to try fergburger!”. Even if said person has never even been to Queenstown let alone been to Fergburger. Dont get me wrong, this is a good burger: a large crusty (but soft on the inside bun) thats baked in-house tries its best to contain the great peppery piece of beef cooked medium. Unfortunately the really sweet chutney overpowered the cheese and the thick cut tomatos and, the fresh red onion pretty much all fell out the bottom. I understand the hype because they are meeting the needs of an easily impressed crowd – you’ve either spent the whole day skiing and are completly knackered and starving or, you are blind drunk at 3am, completely knackered and starving, add on top of that there’s up to a 45 minute wait and anything will taste better than it actually is in reality.”
“This place came highly recommended to us and now that I’ve been I can see why. It’s open till late, so it’s always a good place to visit while having a night on the town. It’s also great for a feed to quench that hunger that you get from hitting the snow fields (in my case, falling on the snowfields – A lot!) and the service was friendly and efficient in taking and processing the orders. Where I tend to disagree with the recommendations is that this burger really didn’t blow me away. Sure it’s a filling burger and tastes ok, especially for those people that have polluted their taste buds with alcohol and are scoffing down a burger at 2am. But for me, I have to say it left me unfulfilled. The pattie was ok, but really didn’t possess anything special that stuck out. Add the bun that was soft and airy, but unfortunately I didn’t think it was a burger bun, It’s more of a breakfast bun you can split and eat worm with some jam in the mornings. One positive for me was the tomato relish, I found that it really brought some signature character to the burger”
“Overall this was pretty good. With their own bakery next door I wasn’t suprised to find a super fresh bun. The New Zealand pattie was large, peppery and hit the spot. The lettuce, onions and cheese were all good but I wanted more from the cheddar – it got lost. Probably because of all the chutney that was a bit overpowering. Some bites reminded me a bit of Raph’s Beat Box burger but in this case, the meat wasn’t the hero – it seemed the chutney was. It was crazy sweet like a Sweet Chilli Sauce on ‘roids, but I guess you could almost call it their signature. Ok, so this burger was real good, but didn’t live up to the amazing hype.”


Grand Hotel

Friday, May 31, 2013
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Grand Hotel – 333 Burnley St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Grand Wagyu Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Is it a pub or is it a restaurant? Well, it’s both. One part of the Grand boasts a dining room that offers a fine dining Italian menu, whilst the other is a loungey bar area. Here the story changes to good honest pub grub and whole lot of beer and wine to share with your gang. The big difference between this venue and other typical Richmond divey pub is that your meal will be prepared by a “chef” not a cook. Overall the atmosphere was very much relaxed, with some great comfortable booths and dim lighting to hide all the sauce on your face. As always we went for the burger that came with a Wagyu pattie, cheese, brioche bun and served with fries and chilli mayo.

Comments
“As simple as a burger can be, just beef, cheese and bun, but done really really right. Everything was in perfect proportion, with enough of the sweet bun in each bite that also soaked up and retained all the juice from the beef without dissolving or falling to the plate. Something that is unintentional and would be hard to perfect, is a thin crust of burnt cheese that has formed from briefly hitting the hot plate, it’s so simple but so delicious and wish it could happen on every burger. Venue was warm, dark, cozy and ideal for a cold winters night.”
“This burger really didn’t resemble the typical pub burger we’ve come to expect. It felt more gourmet, where all the ingredients were refined – it was a case of fewer ingredients really going a long way. The soft pattie just crumbled in my mouth. It tasted great, simple, elegant and just a pleasure to eat. Aside from the pattie the bun was soft and sweet in typical brioche fashion. It was a great experience and a simple burger I would go back for. Chips were great.”
“Many will tell you, simplicity is key when making a decent burger. Awesome for us, it looks like someone told these guys. It was basically beef, cheese and bun. No matter which angle you looked at it from there was cheese oozage. It was safe to say that whilst taking photos my eyes had talked this thing up to my tastebuds. Unfortunatly they were a little let down. In the end the bun became too much hard work and the cheese didnt really bring much to the table. The soft fatty pattie was the highlight by far, with parsley strewn throughout. Sure I’d go back, but to probably try some of their Italian signature dishes.”
Grand Hotel Dining Room on Urbanspoon


Father’s Office

Thursday, May 23, 2013
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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


New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo

Monday, May 13, 2013
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New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo – 3-7-1 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan (東京オペラシティビル東京オペラシティタワー‎)
Burger:
New York Cheese and Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
8
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
¥4700/$46.20 AUD/$46.20 USD
Summary

Located on the 52nd floor with 360 degree views over Tokyo, the New York Grill has been the place to dine and drink since it opened in 1995. It has also grown in popularity ever since being centre stage for Sofia Coppola’s Oscar nominated film, Lost in Translation. The moment you step out of the elevator you are warmly greeted by the professional hosts and immediatly get the impression you have arrived somewhere special. A dimly lit interior of dark wood, ebony chairs, walnut flooring and four huge paintings of New York scenes by Italian artist Valerio Adami work perfectly to not interrupt the view through the floor to ceiling windows. All suited up and looking dapper as hell, we ordered our most expensive burger yet – the New York Cheese and Bacon Burger. It came with a wagyu beef pattie, bacon, onion strings, gruyere, tomato, paprika mayo and a side of duck fat chips

Comments
“Without a doubt the highlight of this burger for me was the bacon and cheese. This did suprise me a little as I expected the beef to be the standout. Don’t get me wrong, the beef was amazing and cooked perfectly. The cheese was just so creamy and smooth and the bacon was the thickest piece I’ve ever had in a burger but also the softest. It sounds cliche but it literally did melt in your mouth. With expert waiters who laughed their ass off at my lame jokes (lame, but still hilarious) and killer views capped of a pretty good saturday arvo.”
“It was good… very good. . The wagyu pattie was soft, juicy and tasty, the dried onions were perfect and the gruyere cheese added a nice creaminess to it. The tomato sauce was fantastic, even though my burger didn’t need any more, I just had to add more. The Paprika mayo was good and also add a nice tang. Overall all the produce was top notch but I don’t think it was worth the money. The chips were good.”
“This burger was awesome! I don’t think I could’ve faulted it. The beef was seasoned with oregano and a bit of onion, melting in your mouth with every bite. Yes, the gruyere was tremendous, but this bacon was worthy of an award – cut nice and thick, when combined with the beef just glistened in fatty awesomeness. If you’re any sort of a burger (or Bill Murray) fan, this Tokyo adventure is the one for you.”


The Post Office Hotel

Friday, May 3, 2013
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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