Yellow Bird

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yellow Bird – 122 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Yellow Bird Chilli Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

Yellow Bird is an eclectic restaurant/cafe/bar that attracts all walks of life. From the fixie riding hipsters, struggling writers, artists and musicians, people with beards, people with pug dogs, fashionistas and everyone in between. Wherever you decide to sit; inside with the bird cages, vintage furniture and band posters (that are for sale) or outside, you will be in one of Melbourne’s greatest people-watching spots. Especially catering for those cats that wear sunglasses at night, the bar is open until 1am and the kitchen until 10pm. Locals wont shutup about their breakfast burritos and modern-australian take on mexican food. But as usual we had to look past them all and go for the Yellow Bird Chilli Burger that came with a spicy ground beef patty, jalapenos, tasty cheese, red onion, tomato, bacon, rocket, chutney and a side of fries.

Comments
“When I first walked in and sat down I started to think, “What sort of ill thought-out and slapped together meal am I going to get by a place exclusively staffed by groovy Chapel St hipsters!!” I was quick to find out that it was actually a pretty damn good one. It turned out to be one of probably the best versions of a chilli burger I’ve had, without trying too hard to be different. The subtle balance of the jalapeno chillies and the raisin filled chutney really work well with the thick beef pattie. The really great thing about this burger is that it packs enough of a punch to let you know your eating chilli, but not too much to let you forget you actually ordered a burger.”
“The appearance of this burger is very deceptive. As it arrived at our table it just looked like your stock standard take on the traditional burger, with a sesame seed bun, pattie, lettuce, bacon and cheese all visible to the eye. It’s only when you bite into the burger that it really comes to life; hiding under the sumptuous piece of beef are some fiery jalepenos that give a great kick once bitten but don’t linger around too much longer. Then to keep the surprises coming you are hit by the very sweet chutney with raisins that’s spread on top of the pattie. I probably would have preferred this burger just as a pure spicy burger rather than adding the contrasting sweetness of the relish. A simple dollop of ketchup would’ve done me just fine.”
“What impressed me most about this burger was the casualness of it. No it didn’t dress in baggy jeans and call me “dude”, it was just the manner in which it was presented and served on a plate – zero pretentiousness. And, for a burger served on Chapel St (aka wank central) that is saying a lot. It was a good thick pattie, the jalapeno chillies in the burger were great and the chutney worked well in balancing out the flavours. I’m normally not that crazy about raisins in my food, but they did work well in the chutney. Nice thinly cut red onion with well-prepared bacon was another plus with just the right amount of rocket leaves. I personally did have to add some ketchup to it all and yes, the fries were good.”
“I was about to pull out the iPhone and take a hipstamatic shot of the burger, until D slapped me in the face, reminded me that I use a Blackberry and we were here for business. This burger was, in one word, “good”. The chefs have kept everything relatively simple. I always enjoy a good ol’ kaiser bun and the addition of jalapenos are always welcome. The lightly seasoned ground beef patty was on the money; even with it’s coarse texture it was still very light, almost on the delicate side. Where it lost out with me was the raisin filled chutney. It was almost like too many pussies complained that it was too spicy for them and they needed to add something extra to calm down their oh-so-mortified tastebuds. Or who knows, maybe its just more added wank factor that we see more often than not. Don’t get me wrong, the chutney (as a chutney on its own) was fine. But next thing you know they’ll be adding quince paste to burgers.”
Yellow Bird Cafe on Urbanspoon


Station Hotel

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Station Hotel – 59 Napier St, Footscray, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Station Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Dating back to 1864, this typical Aussie pub is breathing new life thanks to experienced head chef and owner Sean Donovan. With an impressive CV that includes the likes of three Michelin star restaurants like La Tante Claire (London) and Georges Blanc (France), and more recently South Yarra’s famous Botanical, it was safe to say we went into this Adventure with some high expectations. You step into what appears to be a pretty normal looking pub, until you walk into the dining area where you’ll find the heartbeat of the venue. Its the the open kitchen where a team of chefs serve up everything from Onion Soup Gratinee to grass and grain fed Aussie beef, seafood and of course, there are the more traditional pub dishes. We ordered the Station Burger that came out partially deconstructed – a beef pattie, bacon and gruyere cheese all on a brioche bun, then the lettuce, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato chutney were all “add as you please”, placed neatly on the side.

Comments
“I really like it when the “local pub” puts such an emphasis on the quality of dining and it’s menu. This well thought out burger came out of the kitchen looking great. A well presented burger that had a thick, juicy and near perfectly cooked pattie, just a little pink on the inside. However, I think the bun could do with improvement, as I’m not sure whether it was just too dense and heavy or it was just not as fresh as it could have been. The sun-dried tomatoes were a point of difference; still not sure if a good one though. The side of chutney had a nice sweet tang, but not really sure if it was necessary. The other sides of pickles and lettuce were also quite fresh. All in all, this was a good burger, but it just needed a better bun (and maybe kept a little more simple) to take it up a notch.”
“Compliments to the waitress who let us know that the beef was going to be a little pink on the inside (which was ideal for us). To me this burger came out exactly as it should of: a large slab of expertly cooked, pink and juicy beef, a couple of thick pieces of bacon and a small amount of gruyere cheese, all on a dense bun worthy of containing the juicyness. Really, this in itself was enough. I’m not sure why they bothered putting a really strong tomato chutney, sun-dried tomatoes, lettuce and pickles on the side as they could only take away from and spoil the most important flavours. Overall I thought it was a fantastic burger but don’t bother with the other condiments, just give me fries instead. Ps. I did add the pickle.”
“I love a good modern day take on the traditional Pub Burger. The pattie was tasty; big and juicy. The bun was filling and the herb butter on the bottom bun and on the pattie were a nice touch. The pickles and lettuce on the side were fresh and well prepared. I ended up adding the sun-dried tomatoes to the burger – sure, it was a different take, but I’m not convinced that it worked.”
“This one had such potential. It really looked the business. You could even see the juices slowly oozing out of it! I was a little unsure how to approach it though. I totally understand the theory behind building your own burger and making it the way you want to make it but, I feel like Chef Donovan is in a position to flex his muscles a little and really show his guests the best way to enjoy his creation. I mean, if it tasted better with sundried tomatoes, I wouldn’t even have known it, because for me they’re just added wank. In saying that, the meat really did shine. It was simple, flavourful and awesome. But everything else was just OK. The bun for me was way too sweet. It didn’t taste all that fresh and was alot more doughy than what is necessary when it comes to brioche. If I was ever on that side of town again though, I’d be back for sure, purely for the amazing pattie.”
Station Hotel on Urbanspoon


The Espy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Espy – 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Espy Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16.50
Summary

From Reggae to Dance, Hip-Hop to Rock & Roll, The Esplanade Hotel (or more affectionately known as “The Espy”) has been catering to Melbourne’s eclectic musical tastes for over 100 years. Whether it be a local band or an epic international, it is the place n St Kilda to check out some new tunes, have a drink and enjoy a feast. So when you’ve got all these big musical acts coming to and fro, you’d better be able to offer them some decent grub, right? This is where The Espy Kitchen comes in; preparing everything from classic Pub favourites to delicious pastas, desserts and killer breakfasts (perfect rejuvenation for even the biggest hangovers). We visited one rainy Melbourne Sunday evening and went for the only burger on the menu. Their signature “Espy Burger” comes with a beef pattie, bacon, tasty cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion and The Espy’s secret sauce all on a sesame seed bun. There’s also a decent portion of fries with house-made ranch dipping sauce.

Comments
“With the rep that this place generally has (not that its a a bad one but more that its quite laidback) I really wasn’t expecting much. However, when it came to the kitchen it couldn’t be further from the case! Everything that I saw come out of there looked as if it had been prepared by someone with love and passion for food. The burger offered a hearty traditional beef pattie topped with tasty cheese and a good amount of salty bacon. Pickles are always a wlecome addition and all the other ingredients were pretty fresh (although there was a little too much lettuce). The traditional seeded bun did a good job of holding it all together. Nothing too fancy just a job well done. Good work guys.”
“I have to admit this is the first time I’ve been to The Espy. It always looks gross and full of people who catch public transport. So I was pleasantly surprised to find a clean, warm and friendly restaurant tucked away at the side of the live music venue with families casually sitting down to dinner. Inside the stock-standard-sesame-seed-bun was a hearty piece of beef with a great juicyness to it; as well as being accompanied by a few rashes of crispy bacon. As I expected they didn’t try anything fancy and just did the basics quite well.”
“Practically living at the Espy in the old University days it really felt like traveling back home and having your mum cook you her ol’ fashioned “Mama’s Style” hamburgers. All the love and home rusticness is there. The medium-sized pattie was very juicy and tasty. The melted cheese was great and the pickles added that tang that I so love in a burger. The secret sauce added a subtle creaminess to each bite. The down sides were that it did need a little bit of ketchup and there was too much green in there. Chips were good.”
“Sooo surprising. G accidentally gave away the venue beforehand and I hate to say it but I thought, “Damn it’ll be all turkish buns and no love” – how wrong I was. The bun was a seeded traditional roll that did a half-decent job of soaking in the juices. The pattie was really enjoyable; it was lightly seasoned and allowed the beef to do a lot of the talking. The cheese they used was also remarkable. The bacon might’ve been just a little too crispy for me but that’s nothing to cry about. The pickles were OK but I reckon it couldve done with a few less of them… same goes for lettuce. My recommendation is, save the dill mayo-style dipping sauce for the burger. It doesn’t work well as a side with chips and would add a creaminess to the burger that’d cut through the acidity of the pickles. I know I’ll be back soon. Seriously impressive.”
The Esplanade Hotel (Espy Kitchen) on Urbanspoon


Burger Edge

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Burger Edge – Shop 13, The Chevron 519-539 St Kilda Road,
Melbourne, Australia
Burger:
The Meat Lover
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$10.50
Summary

Well, we had to do it. Finally we did another burger franchise. With a lot of our readers telling us to get down there and give Burger Edge a go, we knew we had to do it and see first hand how they pump out their burgers. The St Kilda Rd Burger Edge is tucked away in a little nook in The Chevron apartments. It was cosy, smelt of decent burgers (always a positive) and had friendly staff. After much dispute on which burger we should eat, we decided that the dude at the counter should settle it. He recommended we go for the Meat Lover Burger that had Prime beef, short rindless bacon salami, ham, tasty cheese, salad, and BBQ sauce. We also grabbed some chips with “Mexican” seasoning salt.

Comments
“You know what, this one actually surprised me a little as I wasn’t expecting much from this place. I thought this would be just another burger franchise thats popped up over night with not much to offer. I tasted the beef pattie on its own and it was a little under seasoned, but you probably wouldn’t notice because of the spicy salami overpowering most of the burger. Overall it actually wasn’t so bad and all the ingredients came together pretty well.”
“I found this burger to be very neat and tidy. All the ingredients were in proportion to each other resulting in a decent bite, each and every bite. We did order the meat lovers so I can’t complain that there was too much meat, but jeez there is a lot of meat in this burger! The bbq sauce complimented and added an extra smokiness, which I dont usually like, but in this case worked a treat. It was only my first burger here and I believe it’s better than Grill’d.”
“This burger did nothing for me. The Salami was the most dominant flavour and probably, in a way, the highlight on what was an average burger. The pattie was dry and a little bland. We chose the white sourdough bread, which we thought was a good choice, but it turned out to be a little dry. The red onion was tasteless but the lettuce was nicely prepared and presentable. Highly recommend trying the chips with Mexican seasoning. Would I have it again?…No.”
“We didn’t have to wait too long for this one. The burgers were ready to rock’n’roll after a couple minutes – which is something I’m always suss on. Anyhow, at that moment my hunger was telling my tastebuds to shutup and just go with it. As soon as I bit in I was hit with an abundant amount of meatiness. But really the main flavour was coming from the spicy salami. The beef pattie should’ve been the hero, but it didn’t stand a chance as it was dry and bland. The positives included the cheese, salami and lettuce, but thats like telling a girl she has nice elbows. For me this place has no real concept, like its not being run by real burger lovers. It feels more like someone with a load of cash tried to jump in on a trend just to make a few bucks. Contrary to D, for me Grill’d still rules the roost amongst the franchises. Well, at least for now…”
Burger Edge on Urbanspoon


Salute Bistro at Bentleigh R.S.L

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Salute Bistro at Bentleigh R.S.L – 540 Centre Rd, Bentleigh,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Salute Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

The Returned and Services League of Australia (R.S.L) was established in 1916 to support the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the Australian Defence Force. Out of respect for our current and fallen soldiers we thought it would be fitting to visit an R.S.L and eat a burger for Anzac Day. With roughly 1,500 R.S.L’s throughout Australia we didn’t have to look too far, and after a couple of whispers about an amazing burger at the Bentleigh R.S.L we marched on in and ordered their “Salute Burger.” It features a Wagyu beef pattie with cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, cos lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, all served with a mountain of fries.

Comments
“I was very glad to see that an establishment dedicated to the men and women that protected and served our country can deliver a good meal. The local R.S.L, which was always the place to get a quick and fast pub-style meal, has come along way. This burger really surprised me with how fresh and juicy it was. The beef pattie was well cooked and seasoned with a good portion of salty bacon atop. I actually really enjoyed the bun; it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with butter both top and bottom. The only thing that I would’ve liked to have seen changed is the bottom bun to be a little thicker. Lest We Forget.”
“I was so happily surprised at the site and taste of this burger. Having eaten at possibly every R.S.L between Melbourne and Noosa throughout my childhood, I know they can be hit and miss when it comes to food outside the typical “Meat and 3 Veg”. A proper sized slab of beef packed with juice and flavour mingled with the crisp, salty bacon and sharp cheddar making it a simply impeccable burger.”
“Our first R.S.L burger! I was always looking forward to the day we would review something as Australian and individual as this. I wasn’t expecting much from this burger, to be honest I was more looking forward to the cheap beer on tap which always hits the spot on a Sunday night. The beef was good and the bun was a little dry and just average. Basically this burger had no hidden surprises. It was a filling burger, but at the same time it was forgettable, all I really remember is that I liked it without really knowing why. Ohhh… and the chips were ok.”
“At first glance, I felt a little underwhelmed. Once I bit in I changed my tune. Boy was this tasty! The beef had a crunch to its outer crust but then was soft as butter as you bit through. The onions were super sweet and confirmed that caramelisation is indeed their best friend. The only thing I’d nitpick over is the bun. It tasted fine but they need to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to stop the bottom section from soaking in all the juices and falling apart.. because it got pretty damn messy. For some this could prove annoying, but for others its a blessing in disguise. My next move involved slamming my hands into the fries and using them like salad forks, dressing them with the awesomeness of meat syrup.. A more devine condiment there could not be.”
Salute at Bentleigh RSL on Urbanspoon


Kelly’s Bar & Kitchen

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Kelly’s Bar & Kitchen – 1510 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Kelly’s Burger
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Kelly’s is both a great local and an exciting new discovery for visitors to Mt Dandenong. As soon as you walk in you are welcomed by the cheerful, smiling staff and a comfortable timber lodge-like interior. Upon receiving the menu you can’t help but read the history of the place – built in 1891 as a logcutters cabin, it has withstood the test of time to be one of the oldest licensed venues in Victoria. But we digress, after reading the spiel in the menu you will notice a solid two pages of enticing choices. Whether you’re at Kelly’s for a light dinner or a good old fashion pig out, it’s all there. Of course we went for Kelly’s Burger that had a homemade 200gm beef pattie, lettuce, tomato, relish, bacon, egg, cheese and serve of chips.

Comments
“A real rustic style burger created in really rustic restaurant. With what I’d expect to be some very locally sourced ingredients, this burger ticked all the boxes of being a fresh country burger. The bun held in all the juiciness from the meat and the amazing golden yolk perfectly. The crispy bacon really added a nice salty flavour to the thick and juicy pattie. There was also a great aioli there that had a chipotle smokiness about it. I would really recommend heading out of town to get this burger, even if its just for a nice weekend drive. Oh, and things do get a little messy with this one.”
“Probably not worth reading my review. I was sick as a dog. I couldn’t smell or taste anything and I had no appetite. I got through about half of it very slowly and can’t remember a thing. I think the egg was good though? Shall endeavor to try it again.”
“I would drive an hour to eat that burger again, and if I didn’t have petrol in my car I would solve the mystery in teleportation and not commercialise it, but keep it as my greedy secret for one reason.. to eat this burger whenever I felt like it. This thick pattie was juicy and tasty with visible onion chunks (just like mama used to make). The cheese was noticeably melted on the pattie, the bacon was crisp, salty and AWESOME. The relish was good and the chips were good too. I recommend trying this burger with one of their choice of ciders.”
“Even a Polak like me likes a good ol’ fashioned Kaiser. This one was especially good, so with a bakery across the road it makes me think they’ve got to be fresh. From top to bottom this burger was tasty: I’ve mentioned the bun already, the bacon was excellent, the egg permeated awesomeness and the aioli had a smokey flavour that almost resembled chipotle. The only concerning thing I would say about this whole experience is a touch of inconsistency. When checking the menu online it will tell you that you’ll be receiving a regular homemade beef pattie. Once we arrived the menu stated that the beef pattie is Wagyu. Its easy to say that their site hasn’t been updated, but for me, it really didnt taste like Wagyu beef. So if you try it do let us know which one you think is right. In saying that the pattie was still really good – more like a rissole with chopped onions throughout – but still an enjoyable pattie. That was my only qualm. Everything else about the experience was cool though, kind of like the Mt Dandenong air, so bring a jacket. Unlike D who had to borrow G’s spare, and then got egg/sauce/burger all over it. Lesson learnt G.”
Kelly's Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon


The Standard Hotel

Thursday, March 17, 2011
The Standard Hotel – 293 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Standard Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19
Summary

The Standard Hotel is, in all its glory, a good ol’ fashioned pub. With many other institutions pouring in the big bucks into new-age renovations and refurbs, the Standard Hotel stands tall and proud, appearing completely untouched for decades. This isn’t to say that the place is falling apart, it has just been maintained with a nostalgic grace that’ll take you back to more simple times. The crowd has of course evolved since its opening in 1865, with a mix of young and old, to hipsters and the working class. This of course goes hand in hand with contrasting your ol’ fashioned pub meals like Steak Sandwiches and Fish and Chips to some of the more “local friendly” dishes like Goats Cheese Tart and an Eggplant Parma. With a country band twanging away inside we took a seat in their most spacious and adored beer garden and ordered their Standard Burger. It came on a traditional kaiser roll with a thick beef pattie, egg, bacon, tomato, beetroot, onion, lettuce, cheese and a side of chips.

Comments
“Having been disappointed with pub food of late, I was not expecting much from this burger. When everyone else is trying to reinvent the burger (with not much success), these guys have created just what needed to be done. I was actually surprised when it turned up in front of me looking like a traditional no frills pub burger.. Finally! It had a nice, thick and juicy pattie with a succulent pink centre accompanied by one of the best cooked eggs sitting atop it all. With a fresh Kaiser bun (and skewer) holding it all together and all the fresh ingredients, this burger really has something good going for itself.”
“This is a very tall burger! After removing the beetroot I got started on trying to condense the burger to a more manageable size. In doing so I popped the egg yolk and it sent a river of golden goodness everywhere. When a large beef pattie is involved it is easy to overcook it leaving the edges charred, however this had great flavour and juiciness throughout. The bun had a crusty outside shell and the remaining fluffiness soaked up the rest of the burger juices. A great local pub that hasn’t changed in decades and I’m guessing its exactly how the residents would prefer it.”
“I was so relieved that this wasn’t another dolled up pub burger. It didn’t try and show boat with any fancy ingredients. Even as you walk in you totally feel like you’re stepping into a country pub in the middle of nowhere. The pattie was lightly seasoned and resembled a rissole at times but when bitten with the bacon it added an awesome 2-hit meat combo. If you want to avoid looking like a pansy and eating with a knife and fork I suggest leaving the spike through the middle, because either way it does get messy and you’ll be left with egg on your face – literally. As for the veggies, for me the tomato and lettuce were unnecessary and didn’t contribute a whole lot but the beetroot added a pleasant sweetness and the onions were really good, especially when they mixed with what tasted/looked like a smear of whole grain mustard across the top bun. These guys really have created quite the enjoyable meal here and for me, true to their name, they’re setting the standard amongst traditional pub burgers.”
The Standard Hotel on Urbanspoon


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