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


Little Rose

Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Little Rose – 10 Heath St, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Southside Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$11
Summary

Once you look past all the footballers’ wives and the Gold Coast-like shine of Bay St, you might notice some worthwhile spots to kick back with a bite and brews. The former Rose Hotel is no stranger to a make over, but this one looks like it might stay around a while. Mates, Steed Sherriff (ex The Royal Saxon) and Ashley Cranston (ex Little Creatures Dining Hall), have fitted this Port Melbourne establishment with an outfit for almost any occasion. Rose Diner out front (entrance off Bay St) takes a few diner dishes and adds a more modern twist. What took our fancy though was the offerings that Little Rose lists on their menu. Open for breakfast and lunch Little Rose dishes out a selection of hit-the-spot dishes like Jaffles, waffles and milkshakes. Casually sitting down in the Sunday sun we ordered the Southside Burger that came with a Black Angus pattie, smoked bacon, cheddar, tomato, and an onion ring all on a toasted brioche bun.

Comments
“After entering Rose Diner and asking about Little Rose, we were graciously escorted through the back door and past a row of kegs to find ourselves in Little Rose. Although I think we entered the wrong way, it really added to the mystique. Arriving in one of the red little baskets that automaticly make you think, “these guys aren’t f***ing around” I bit into a really great, sweet buttery bun holding a charred beef pattie – soft, pink and juicy on the inside. The fresh tomato and crunchy pickles work really well with single onion ring and smoked bacon. I have to say I am fairly impressed with this unassuming place.”
“First fun fact: food that is served in a red plastic basket tastes better. Second fun fact: food that features an onion ring tastes better. Therefore the combo of these two factors made for a really enjoyable burger experience. There was a nice bit of crunch coming from the perfectly charred beef as well as the fresh tomato and pickle slices. Although stacked high with a really soft and fluffy bun, everything ended up squishing down into an easily managable and tasty bite.”
“What really stands out for me besides the great tasting burger is the environment in which it was served. It really made me feel like I was at my local café (where everyone one knows the way you like your coffee) looking at the world go by. The burger itself was great, with a great buttery bun, juicy pattie and some great tasting supportive condiments. The pickle was crisp, fresh and tasted tremendous when combined with the mayo dressing. Big props for the crispy onion ring and chips that had been beautifully cooked.”
“I’ve got a confession to make. What really drove me to take B,D and G to Little Rose was the waffles. If you’re opening up an eatery and want to get my attention, add burgers + waffles to your menu. The burger was unveiled in magnificent fashion, gliding out in a red basket – pretty as a picture. It was salty and sweet; mainly from a nice balance between the tomato and single onion ring. A really nice move on not going overkill by not adding too many. The beef had a slight charr to it but was soft as marshmallows on the inside. My only suggestion might have been the addition of little spice? Whether in the burger or some jalapeno poppers on the side – but thats just me being picky. I really, really rate this burger. And for 11 bucks this thing is incredible.”
Little Rose Cafe on Urbanspoon


Captain Melville

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Captain-Melville

Captain Melville – 34 Franklin St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Captain’s Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$21
Summary

When the owners of Miss Libertine realised they were growing up and the hangovers and drunken nightclub patrons were getting a bit tiresome, they decided to completely renovate the heritage listed, 1853 bluestone building and convert it into a gastro pub. Appointing Shayne McCallum as head chef to oversee the menu, they’ve created traditional Australian pub classics as well as some more adventurous dishes like rabbit pie and tuna tartare. We of course went for the burger with Sher Wagyu beef, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, a soft brioche-like bun and hand cut chips.

Comments
“I was really surprised with this place. After being informed by the waitress that this is “the best burger your going to try”, I have to say I was a little sceptical. When it arrived at the table gleaming with its sweet soft glazed bun, I knew they had put something special together! Two perfectly cooked and seasoned patties separated by some great bacon. Juicy and full of flavour, the crunchy tangy pickles added a nice bite. The oozing egg and melted cheese also gave the burger a nice creamy texture. I’m usually not a massive fan of handcut cuts but these were pretty good.”
“Everyone loves a good surprise, especially when you’re least expecting it. So the moment I saw that it had double patties (not mentioned on the menu), I was extremely elated. The bun was super soft with a nice shiny glaze (best compared to the sweet Chinese Bread Top rolls) and it really helped enhance the perfectly seasoned, juicy beef and creaminess of the cheese and egg. This burger is great, but it’s the extra details like the crispy slices of tangy pickle and the spice from some ground pepper that really made this burger stand out.”
“These double Wagyu patties were delicious! The cheese oozing out of the burger, combined with the fresh egg really got my juices going. The bacon in between the two patties was a good move as it broke-up each bite with its salty goodness. I really liked the super soft bun with its sweet glaze. The hand cut chips were great! Fluffy on the inside and nicely cooked on the out!”
“Walking up to the old Miss Libertine, I really wasnt expecting a whole lot. Walking in however, changed that for me. I suddenly forgot about all the late night discos I’d attended. I was standing in a place that looks like it had a bunch of money poured into it. Fancy as hell, almost like a Newmarket or Halfmoon kind of joint. However, I am suspicious of most burgers that use Wagyu beef these days. Purely because some places claim they use the expensive stuff just so they can lighten your wallet. But as soon as it landed in front of me I forgot all about my suspicions and went straight into Playboy photographer mode. This burger made good use of the “Three S’s”: soft, salty and sexy. The double patties with bacon sandwiched in between were genius! Every other bite I received an express delivery of beautiful charr. The egg was good but I really dont think it needed it. With the double cheese it was more than enough creaminess. I mean, it did end up falling apart. But I didnt care. I just wanted this burger to keep going and going. Stellar start to 2013!”
Captain Melville on Urbanspoon


The Bottle of Milk

Thursday, December 13, 2012
The-Burger-Adventure_BottleOfMilk

The Bottle of Milk – 52 Mountjoy Pde, Lorne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Nelly
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$11.50
Summary

Lorne is an idyllic seaside town approximately 2 hours west of Melbourne and is a popular tourist destination along the world famous Great Ocean Rd. Throughout summer it plays host to the nearby Falls Music Festival and the Pier to Pub ocean swimming race. In 2008, Brett Graham and Robert Lowther, previously owners of Pizza Pizza, opened The Bottle of Milk to offer their take on the classic beachside burger and chips. The burgers are made from 100% premium quality beef and served within an organic La Madre bun baked fresh daily from nearby Geelong. The condiments are made either in-house or sourced locally from Martians Cafe. We grabbed a picnic table outside and ordered ourselves the Nelly that came with prime beef, tasty cheese, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, house mayo and relish.

Comments
“I have to say when this burger first came out I thought I was in for another lazy seaside attempt at trying to make something impressive. The bun somewhat surprised me – what at first I thought was going to be a turkish bread-esk bun turned out to be a great, soft and fresh sourdough. The pattie was juicy and well cooked, but I thought could do with a little more seasoning. A generous amount of bacon added some needed saltiness, all accompanied by tasty cheese and fresh tomato, lettuce and onion. But what stood out was the fresh, perfectly ripe avocado that gave this burger a fantastic creaminess which helped take it to the next level. ”
“I knew after about 3 minutes into this burger we were onto something pretty special, because not one of us had said a single word to anyone. This coming from a group that take talking shit to a whole new level, myself included, this was something new. The first thing I noticed was how fresh all the ingredients were; the bun was super soft but robust enough to keep it all together, the big pile of bacon atop the beef added a great level of saltiness that worked really well with the subtle, creamy, and I think most underated addition to any burger, the humble avocado. With not too many other options available in the area, being extremely fresh and great value for money I can understand why people kept recommending this burger – I couldnt think of anything better after a day of surfing.”
“With a great tasting pattie on a sourdough bun this burger delivered a real homemade rustic feel. The bacon wasn’t anything special, but did its job. Like with every burger we have, it’s the small things in a burger that can really make it pop and the avocado really took it to a different place. The tasty cheese was your run-of-the-mill stuff and the relish was a nice alternative to ketchup. Chips were good and crunchy and had a sprinkling of dried herbs that I could have done without, but overall still good.”
“Utter shock overwhelmed me as I bit in. Every single item here was fresh and my god did they make for a great burger. The beef was bold and in your face making me imagine how good the double burger option could’ve been. The bun suited the burger quite well, but it did totally disintegrate by the end of it. Probably due to the intense creamy love created by the avocado, mayo and cheese – a combo that made my day. I walked away from Bottle of Milk thinking that with the amount of tourists they get through Lorne, this place doesn’t need to be this good. It doesn’t even need to be this cheap. But that’s what makes this place so god-damn special.”
The Bottle Of Milk on Urbanspoon


Coco Cubano

Friday, November 30, 2012

Coco Cubano – 157 Greville St, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14.90
Summary

Located on a prime corner position on the ever evolving and eclectic enclave that is Greville St, Prahran, Coco Cubano is a living tribute to all things Cuban. Stereotypical Cuban photographs adorn the walls including cigars, vintage cars, Che Guevara, coffee beans and family portraits of moustached men. With the Coco Cubano philosophy being ‘Viva la revolucion! Be the revolucion’, they encourage you to get amongst it with a wide selection of coffee, chocolates, cocktails and tapas menu. Despite their political differences and embargo the Cubans were not denied the humble American burger. Accompanied by a $15 jug of Sangria (Sunday arvo’s only) we ordered the Wagyu burger that came on wholemeal bun with a 100% Wagyu beef mince with onion, bacon, cheese, capsicum, garlic aioli and some thick cut chips.

Comments
“With the sun still shining and the temperature sitting in the high 20’s in the early evening, we could of almost convinced ourselves we were in Cuba. Then we realised we live in Victoria, the nanny state, therefor there wasn’t any aroma of a Cuban cigar in the air. This burger had some serious ingredients in it; all packing some great flavours, really fresh and high quality. This left me thinking how they made any money off the burger at the price it was at. This was the first time I had experienced capsicum in a burger and thought it suited it. It added a bit of spice to an otherwise extremely creamy burger. The wholemeal bun ultimately fell apart due to the serious juice oozing from the wagyu beef.”
“Blending an almost Caribbean vibe with Greville St culture is an interesting and a brave take. As you walk off the street you suddenly feel the urge to drink from a cocktail glass with an umbrella in it. I really enjoyed the theme and casualness of the place, add the fact that the open kitchen had a fiery grill roaring at the time we walked in and the smell had me hooked. The pattie was a meaty, thick Wagyu chunk that tasted great. Your initial reaction is to add sauce, but after a few bites you don’t need it. The roasted peppers with aioli really worked well in this burger, as did the wholemeal bun. The thick chips were really good, crusty on the outside and with great amount of seasoning.”
“As stated, we paid $14.50 a pop for this burger. So when it came out looking like a million bucks with all the fancy bells and whistles, boy was I impressed. As soon as I bit in I experienced a wave of creaminess seeping out of its every nook and cranny. Time passed and I started to consider the potential logic behind the wholemeal bun. Never would I even think of using such a thing but then I realised it was just there for support. The wholemeal made for neutral, non-intrusive scaffolding. So, apart from eventually falling apart, it wasn’t so bad. Overall the burger was quite simple, creamy and meaty, but I felt it lacked a bit of acidity. It needed an extra something to cut through the decadent aioli and cheese. Maybe some red onion, pickles or even sweet tomato ketchup would’ve helped that out. I honestly really liked this burger; especially for the price.”
Coco Cubano on Urbanspoon


Gramercy Bistro

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gramercy Bistro – 162 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gramercy Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$20.50
Summary

It’s fair to say that when a place takes on a name like “Gramercy Bistro” you’re more than likely to think of all that is cool about Manhattan. Go on and add one of Melbourne’s trendiest hotels in the Cullen (a part of the Art Series Hotels) and big expectations loom. Paying homage to some of NYC’s greatest hotels, owner Adam Faigan and Head Chef Rodd Blutman and his team have put together a menu that injects a little bit of Melbourne into many go-to New York dishes like Reuben sandwiches, Steak frites, Buttermilk Pancakes of course, the humble hamburger. Catering for every kind of diner also extends to the layout: a casual deli/cafe approach towards the front, cocktails and cigars in the inside-outside area, or the relaxed, but a touch more formal, dining space near the back of the restaurant. On a sun filled Sunday we sat smack-bang in the middle and ordered their signature Gramercy Burger that comes with a Brioche bun, Wagyu beef pattie, bacon, onions, pickles, melted cheddar, tomato, relish, mustard and a side of shoestring fries.

Comments
“Some really nice presentation here with crispy salty fries served in an unpretentious cardboard box and the burger topped with a pickle. The highlight for me was the perfectly melted, super smooth, creamy and gooey cheddar cheese that ultimately enveloped the beef and married the bacon. The bun was super soft and sweet, which worked really well with the creaminess of the cheese and the contrasting tang of the mustard. The beef pattie was the right size and cooked just right, however it lacked a whole lot of flavour. I would of loved the bacon to be a bit crispier to add a bit of crunch to a burger that overall lacked a variety of texture.”
“We’re not off to a good start when I say the standouts in this burger were the bun, bacon and cheese. The pattie was a bit bland but, supported by all these awesome tasting side ingredients, as well as the tangyness of the mustard, really made up for it. Due to the pattie tasting a bit processed and run of the mill, more sauce had to be added. The fries weren’t great and to add insult to injury my Coke was a bit flat. However bonus points for the lime wedge.”
“Mouth agape I thought, “Wow, what a work of art – a sexy, classy work of art.” But then I caught eye of the weird multicoloured beef. I thought the worst, expecting a multitude of unnecessary herbs and spices to choke the beef’s potential. To my surprise, when I bit in a wave of enjoyment ran up and down my tastebud valleys. The highlight ingredients for me were the cheese, the bacon and maybe even the pattie. The not too overpowering mustard was masterfully added but the relish was a smidge too jammy and sugary. It was actually good! But then like most relationships, it kind of got boring. Not to say that this is a bad burger at all. But it didnt leave me wanting more, not out of hunger, but pure allure.”
Gramercy Bistro on Urbanspoon


Chapel Bar & Bistro

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chapel Bar & Bistro – 147 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Chapel Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$19.50 NZD / $15.45 AUD
Summary

Known as “the Local” along Auckland’s trendy Ponsonby Rd, the Chapel is everything you want it to be, when you want it to be. With dim-mood lighting and a roaring fireplace, its the perfect destination to take that special lady friend or, grab some mates and order some of their famous pizzas, have a drink or two and flirt with the waitresses. Their staff in fact are one of the key factors in Chapel’s success. They say that they’re “carefully selected for their knowledge, personality and willingness to go the extra mile.” We in-fact experienced this first hand when we ran into some of the staff that night on a drunken Auckland dance floor. On a rainy NZ day we took our seat outside under the cover of their terrace and ordered the Chapel Burger which came on a soft NZ style bun (becoming a trend now) with caramelised onion, grilled bacon, cheddar cheese, house smoked tomato relish, pickles on the side & hand cut chips.

Comments
“There was a reason no one else was sitting outside; it was about 6 degrees out there and inside it was warm and cosy with music playing. But majority rules and I lost so we sat outside. Research has proven one of the cures to freezing your tits off is a nice burger so luckily this burger eased some of the pain. The beef was packed full of herbs and was highly processed. It reminded me of the kind of beef pattie you get from the supermarket in a BBQ pack actually. Although not the best quality, for some reason if you burn the crap out of it and leave some char, it really tastes ok. The char mixed with the caremalised onions gave a really great combo of sweetness and pepper notes, whilst the thick bacon against the soft bun softened the overall texture. Finally common sense prevailed and we moved inside to start drinking.”
“The burger was cooked evenly and the right amount of seasoning and herbs. The chutney was awesome, but did make the burger very peppery and as a result made every bite taste pretty similar. The onions were sweet and caramelized to perfection. I enjoyed the bacon in the burger but the rocket leaves weren’t doing it any real favours. The hand cut chips really pissed me off and made me hate myself for ordering them because they were too thick and too painful to eat. After the meal I realised that thin fries were an option and I would definitely recommend adding that in your meal combo.”
“This being my 2nd NZ burger, it was interesting to see that they both used pretty much the same sort of buns (claiming these as NZ Burger Buns from now on). As the last place, it was soft as burger buns get. Once you bite into the pattie you definietly notice a bit of spice. Then looking at your burger you saw the multicoloured levels of herbs that are used throughout the mince. My burger wasn’t evenly cooked which was dissapointing: the edges were much more pink than the centre. But I did really enjoy the bacon mixed with smokey chutney. Yes I’ll complain about the chips as well, purely for the fact that “if something ain’t broke don’t fix it” – french fries would’ve done nicely. Overall the burger was good, but I felt like the pattie got a bit lazy and left all of the other ingredients do most of the leg work.”