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.”


Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew – Side of 413 Brunswick St,
Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Lot
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$17
Summary

A diner like feel blended with the low lit cool-school-NYC restaurant/bar makes the Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew one of the smartest new joints going around. Not even a month old and already getting a reputation around Melbourne, we had to hit it and see what it was all about. Greeting you upon entry is what feels like a never ending bar/communal table that invites you to sit and partake in a meal with the locals. Mostly, it’s a cool place to sit back, have a bite and a drink, and who knows you might even catch the gaze of the the chef and sweet-talk the man helping you create your own monster burger (we do not actually recommended this as most chefs will stab you for bastardising their pride and joys). So, with a good combination of burgers and other delectable bar foods you will definitely find something to satisfy that salt-tooth of yours. After some deliberation we went for The Lot that came on a sesame seed bun with a beef pattie, bacon, cheese, pineapple, lettuce, pickles, onion, mayo and “sauce”.

Comments
“The first emotion I felt was confusion, as when we arrived the front of the place was actually closed. Then I felt joy and recalled fond memories as I saw a neon sign that looked very similar to a very famous burger sign in New York City. Finally I felt visually impaired, as it was so dark in there I couldnt see shit. I’ve tried very hard to try and like pineapple in a burger as it pops up on a lot of menus around Australia. But still no luck, as I just dont like it. Its just too sweet and too overpowering flavour wise. After a few bites i tossed it and focused on the proper ingredients. The bun was super soft and tasted great however, did nothing to keep everything together and made a huge mess. The beef was a good thickness and was cooked well. There was perfectly melted cheese and the crispy bacon tasted great but only after the pineapple was removed.”
“For me the place didn’t really scream “we do burgers” (apart from the neon sign). It was more like a “bring your girlfriend and spend some cash” kind of place. Sure, there was still the diner feel to it, but it really did look quite sophisticated. I was never convinced we were going to get burgers from this kitchen and expected to be served a duck l’orange worth $45. Though when you open the menu you instantly notice that its all about burgers and a good blend of Australian bar food. The Lot does come with pineapple, which I’m not a huge fan of, but it is needed as I found the burger did lack some flavour, which pineapple help compensate for. I found the pattie a bit bland and the bun and fries were OK. The small plates the burgers are served on really annoyed me. Personal peev I know, but the plates are too small and you need a little bit more dish diameter to cover off spillage from the burger. On a side note I did find the Ginger Ale a bit weak and watered down, but hey it happens.”
“It’s not often you eat a burger and the pineapple is the highlight. But that’s only because the rest of this burger was kind of boring; disappointing when you’re forking out $17. I’ll give the meat credit for being supremely beefy but it needed to be salted and spiced a bit more. I enjoyed the pickle which was was nicely spiced and I wanted a whole lote more from the egg – more creaminess and more ooze. This thing didn’t commit a lot of serious crimes against the burger community, but most of the ingredients just didn’t turn up to the party like the pineapple did. Saying all that I’d still probably give that spicy burger on their menu a go.”
Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew on Urbanspoon


Burger Joint @ Drugstore Espresso

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Burger Joint @ Drugstore Espresso – 194 Toorak Road,
South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Classic Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$14
Summary

Drugstore Espresso originally started out catering to Melbourne’s first love/obsession/addiction, coffee. Full of confidence, Shaun Nielsen (formerly of Steer Bar & Grill) closed its doors and began a full renovation. Chipping away at the mould of a traditional cafe, he gave birth to a monster establishment; proud coffee kings with Drugstore Espresso by day, but then it’s burgers and beers with Burger Joint by night. Obviously not one to play by the rules, he offers various burgers with options including Rangers Valley Angus beef, Jerk chicken, John Dory fish and 12 hour cooked lamb shoulder. One look at the drinks menu and you would be convinced you’re in an American Diner with a range of classic American beers like Budweiser, Brooklyn Lager and Samuel Adams aswell as 6 alcoholic milkshake flavours. We grabbed a seat upstairs at the large communal table and ordered the Classic that comes with a Moondarra Tajima Wagyu Beef pattie that’s minced in-house and served pink. Then there’s the thick bacon, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg, ranch dressing and a side of hand-cut chips and pickles.

Comments
“So once again I didn’t read the warning signs and completely destroyed this burger before even taking a bite. If there’s a skewer in the burger, do not take it out. Hopefully one day I will learn my lesson, but I highly doubt it. After several attempts reconstructing my mess I sort of managed to eat it like a civilised human being. The beef was extremely crumbly and completely broke apart into several pieces, which was a shame, because it had a great taste to it. In stark contrast – texture wise – it was the thickest, smokiest, chewiest piece of bacon I’ve ever eaten. I would have loved it if it was a bit thinner and possible to actually bite through. The egg and ranch sauce added enough creaminess to justify not having any cheese. The chips were crispy, salty and amazing.”
“Drugstore Espresso seem to have established a really relaxed and friendly feel. The beers, shakes and food options dabble to a degree of a US diner experience. This place did set a new record for me though: the pattie falling apart even before I took a bite. Burgers are not meant to be a tidy and a clean affair and this week’s burger adventure certainly wasn’t classified as a formal occasion. But, having your pattie split into 3 pieces whilst going for a bite can certainly skew your opinion on the food. But for me I can’t say I minded it that much as the end product was still good. The ranch dressing with the burger was a good mix and did add some high notes to each bite. The chips were ok, but what made it for me was the milkshakes – go on, give them a go!”
“Ok, You can tell there was good intention here. It’s pretty obvious when you start to catch the enthusiasm from the staff. But, unless blowjobs and Rolexs are involved the staff can hardly save a burger if it’s below par. What I had delivered to me was an almost Frankenstein of burgers. It was as if someone said, “Hey, burgers are popular. Brioche is trending. Oh, so is Wagyu Beef. Fat Cut chips? I hear they’re the shiznit”… and then just went for it. Ok, maybe not, but that’s how it came across as I ate. Watching in horror as the other dudes burgers disintegrated in their hands like sandcastles in a tsunami left me was hoping the same fate wasn’t waiting for me. My burger wasnt as bad but still fell apart pretty quick. Saying all this, all of the elements on their own were quite fresh and tasty, but together it made for an all-around awkward experience. Although I was quite relaxed after a few alcohilc milkshakes.”
Drugstore Espresso on Urbanspoon