Friday, October 17, 2014
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Ripponlea Food and Wine – 5 Glen Eira Road,
Ripponlea, Victoria, Australia
Wagyu beef burger
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Located opposite Ripponlea train station this little restaurant will charm the pants off you with its friendly staff, open kitchen and a comforting food menu, making you feel like you’re at your Mama’s house for dinner. There is something quite soothing about the how the heat from the kitchen enters the dining area with its white tiled walls and dark timber seating giving you a warm sense of familiarity. We went for the Wagyu beef burger that came with mustard, crispy bacon, tomato, cornichons, smoked cheddar with a side of fries and habanero mayo.
Monday, January 27, 2014
For us here at The Burger Adventure, the year 2013 was filled to the brim with a tonne of tantalising new burger joints. So before we could dive into sorting out our top 10 for the year, we needed to revisit the 2012’s most awesome burgers for a little quality control. While there were some surprises, both good and bad, for the greater good and for the burger loving public, it had to be done.
10. HUXTABURGER – 106 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
“It felt like we copped a burger from the end of the production line as it was more like ‘sauce with a side of burger': absolutely drowning in sauce and soggy.”
9. PARLOUR DINER – 64 CHAPEL STREET, WINDSOR
“This time round the burger was presented a tad taller with a little less greenery.”
8. MR BURGER – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
“From food truck to multiple locations around Melbourne, we knew these guys would go a long way. Very similar burger as before with the exception of a whole lot more mayo being added to the mix. ”
7. BELLE’S DINER – 150 GERTRUDE STREET, FITZROY
“A new bun, a pickled onion on top and fries come separately now. Plus, they spell their ‘Diner Burger’ with only one R now.”
6. TRUNK DINER – 275 EXHIBITION STREET, MELBOURNE
“Stacked a little higher these days with a sweeter brioche bun (that completely dissolved by the end). Still real good value though.”
5. ROCKWELL & SONS – 288 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
“This burger hasn’t changed one bit, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
4. ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
“It’s got the exact same ingredients and flavours, however the burger has increased in size and is actually a challenge to finish.”
3. NSHRY – 129A BEACONSFIELD PDE, ALBERT PARK
“This would have to be one of the most difficult burgers to get right every time, yet they always manage to. There’s also now chips instead of onion rings as the side.”
2. BEATBOX KITCHEN – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
“Even as the years roll by the Raph Burger is still consistently awesome. It’s got that signature creamy flavour that keeps Melbourne coming back for more.”
1. THE MERRYWELL – CR CLARENDON STREET & CROWN RIVERSIDE, SOUTHBANK
“As big, as ugly, as messy and as delicious as we remember: exactly as it should be.”