South Melbourne Trader

Monday, March 31, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-SthMelbTrader

South Melbourne Trader – 111 Cecil St,
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15.90
Summary

The South Melbourne Trader is one of those contemporary pub venues that’s built to cater for all sorts of crowds, from the big lunch time work crowds on a Friday, to the modern family who’s not in the particular mood to cook. Located only 2 minutes’ walk from the South Melbourne Markets this place has done well to build a local following in an area with plenty of old time pubs on offer. Former Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Johnon MacDonald has brought his knowledge to SMT and put together a quality Wagyu burger at an affordable price. It arrived on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, house made pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, Jamaican Jerk and hand cut chips.

Comments
“At first bite, several of the distinct flavours made be double guess whether or not I’d actually eaten this burger before. Once I lifted up the top bun and the bright pink pickled onions stared back at me, revealing the uncanny similarities between this and the Wagyu burger at Rockpool. The brioche bun combined with all the pickled vegetables and Jamaican Jerk sauce unfortunately overpowered the beef patty, which was cooked a little longer than ideal. However, when tasted on its own had great flavour.”
“The burger had a very tasty pattie with the right level of moisture in it and at the perfect thickness. The bun did get a bit mushy towards the end, but it made the distance, so no real complaints. There was minimal green stuff on offer, but they were very generous on the mayo. For a lunch time option I think it’s slightly on the heavy side, but that’s what long Friday lunches are for. Chips were average.”
“I’m normally the kind of guy to put more mayo on top of mayo. But this experience was even too creamy for me. The Rockpool on a budget burger still had really good moments. It makes sense for them to copy its greatness as not every one has had the pleasure of visiting Neil Perry’s fine establishment. The beef was by far the standout with a nice beefy charr to it, but it needed to be heroed more. All the sauces and onions stole its limelight. It looked small, but the sleepiness that hung around afterwards was enough to make me think about pulling over on my drive home. Pretty good but I’d go the original (and pay for it) any day of the week.”
The South Melbourne Trader on Urbanspoon


The Botanical

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Botanical

The Botanical – 169 Domain Rd, South Yarra,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger & French Fries
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13
Summary

The Botanical, or simply ‘The Bot’ as it’s commonly referred to by the locals, is a Melbourne institution located opposite the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical truly is a multi-faceted venue offering a formal dining room, informal wine store and cafe, a less formal bar and lounge, a courtyard and options for private events. The rear bar has its own menu available 7 nights a week, ideally suited to match your drink of choice, with live music on Wednesday and Sunday nights. Being an almost perfect balmy summer night, we grabbed a seat in the olive-tree lined courtyard, grabbed a beer and ordered the Cheeseburger & French Fries with lettuce, tomato, pickle and tomato chutney.

Comments
“This is my absolute favourite quiet pocket of Melbourne. I was glad to visit here in normal clothes as opposed to walking past huffing, puffing and sweating after running the Tan. Anyway, the burger came out fairly quickly, neatly presented with a heavy mug of fries, and as you’d expect with the price, wasn’t very big, but everything was in proportion. The chutney on both sides of the bun added a sweetness to each bite, which blended well with the juicy patty and salty pickles. This burger is ideal to accompany an afternoon of drinking, and will just hit the spot without leaving you bloated.”
“The stand-out for me was the great value you get for $13, which is a perfect lunch option for those carnivores that don’t want to settle for a salad. This burger is compact with a fresh crusty bun that’s very easy to palm and holds a nice thick juicy pattie surrounded by melted cheese and a double layer of home made sauce. For those sweet and tangy flavours the tomato and pickle have done their job and the cos lettuce keeps everything fresh and honest. Overall it’s a very simple burger at minimum cost that includes a bowl of awesome shoestring fries.”
“I was a little underwhelmed when the burger arrived. It was on the small side and came out just a little too quickly. I didn’t think there’d be much to it. However, it was decent. The meat was juicy and sweet, but I wanted it to be meatier/beefier. Maybe it was just the fact that the lightly spiced tomato ketchup took over most of the flavours. The bun was actually my favourite thing about the burger: a crusty Kaiser almost. I liked this burger but I wasn’t in love. These guys could charge close to $20 for this and people would pay it. Props for not being greedy.”
The Botanical on Urbanspoon


MEATliquor

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_MeatLiquor

MEATliquor – 74 Welbeck Street, W1G 0BA, London, UK
Burger:
Green Chili Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
£8/$14.60 AUD
Summary

You can’t accuse the gents behind MEATLiquor of being ambiguous. When you hear about it or see its neon signs there isn’t much left to the imagination right? You might expect MEATliquor to be a little like what everyone else is doing: embracing the classic diner style with a little bit of alcohol to sip on the side. Well, it’s a little bit of the opposite. When you do manage to be let in by the bouncer (after waiting for an hour), that first step inside the dark, loud, graffiti soaked venue resembles more of a nightclub than a restaurant. Don’t be fooled by all of this because MEATliquor is still all about meat and liquor. The people behind it all started it in what’s looking like a trend for most success stories: humble beginnings serving out of a van (MEATwagon), then moving to pop ups (#MEATeasy) and finally to a couple of fixed spots (recently opened in Brighton). The guys are Chef Yiannis Papoutsis and Scott Collins, who met at MEATwagon one night. Collins was so impressed with the product that he arranged for Chef Yiannis to open up at Collin’s pub for a night – then the word spread. With an all-out attitude that dares you to eat and drink ’til you drop, their menu consists of plenty of juicy burgers and drinks to make you stumble home. After a recommendation from one of the waitresses/burgerettes I went for the Chili Cheeseburger that came with a beef pattie, chili butter, cheese, red onions, pickles, lettuce, mustard and ketchup (and a Jameson to boot).

Comments
“The first bite was great: soft and with a hit of spice. But then it got boring. The spice did have some kick, but it wasn’t enough to force my tastebuds into submission. I imagine the cheese, that I completley missed, did its part in calming the chillis fire. The beef was a nice pink on the inside with lots of char on the outside but it had no character. It tasted under-salted and didn’t have any boldness to it. This place has lots of street cred, so if I went back I’d like try their simple meat and bun burger, as I think the chilli (although tasty) didn’t do the beef any favours.”
MEATliquor on Urbanspoon


Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Monday, December 9, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_GloriaSwanstons

Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen – 243 Swanston St, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Kick Ass Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

Up until a few years ago the Lounge was synonymous as one of Melbourne’s main university hangouts. With a 10min walk from RMIT University, pool table, pub grub and a balcony right over Swanston Street it’s easy to understand how the conditions were right for students to graze. Earlier this year Lounge received a much needed refurbishment and established Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen with a menu possessing some of the most mouth watering American style comfort food going around in Melbourne. As part of the relaunch of Gloria Swanston’s kitchen and as an aid to bring in new clientele they now offer one of it’s marquee meals, the Kick Ass burger, every Tuesday for $8 (normally $16). After hiking up the stairs, picking one of the few well lit corners to sit in, we ordered the Kick Ass beef burger that came with 200grams of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, bacon, double cheese served and with crinkle cut fries.

Comments
“One of my favourite parts of travelling is treating myself to a Bacon Deluxe from Hungry Jacks at the airport – regardless of the time. So, when I bit into this burger it brought up wonderful connotations from many previous holidays. Unlike the Bacon Deluxe they use a single, large, course and beefy patty that has a nice layer of char on the outside and a fairly pink and crumbly in the centre. Then there’s plenty of creaminess from the double cheese, saltiness of the bacon, tang from the sauce between the sweet bun, resulting in every bite being packed full of flavour.”
“Thinking back from my days of university when I saw we were going up to the Lounge, I was expecting a hipster hell – instead I found a very casual, relaxed environment with minimal hipsters in sight. The beef pattie had some smoky flavoured undertones that combined well with the creaminess of the the double cheese and mayo. With the great addition of some of the saltiest bacon I have had in a while the burger went up a level in my book. The brioche bun was of decent quality and didn’t disappoint, neither did the crinkle cut fries. I’ll definitely be back.”
“To say I was mildly excited to see all that cheese melting was an understatement. I bit in and immediately had a Samuel L Jackson moment: this was a tasty burger. It was charred on the outside and soft on the in. There was plenty of salt on the pattie but it was balanced out brilliantly by the cheese and creamy sweetness of the ketchup mayo mix. My favourite thing with this burger was that it embraced tradition and didn’t fall into a gourmet trap. This is fast-food done slow, done awesome.”
Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


The Woods Bar & Kitchen*

Friday, November 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheWoods_Windsor

The Woods – 108 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gippsland Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19
Summary

Since 2011 this place has been known as The Woods of Windsor and has had a reputation on Chapel St for its whisky menu and knowledgeable bartending staff. In recent months they’ve tweaked their agenda slightly, untucked their shirts and gone a little more casual. They’re still producing great food to compliment the smoky/woody characteristics of whisky (you can’t argue that meatballs and burgers don’t go with whisky), but they now call themselves The Woods Bar & Kitchen. Co-owned by the same people that brought you Yellowbird just down the road, these whisky and music connoisseurs know when a good thing is working. As if we needed an excuse to go to a bar we sat down and ordered some drinks and the Gippsland Beef Burger that came with a BLT garnish, tomato relish, tasty cheese and hand cut fries.

Comments
“This thing came out all piping hot, fat and juicy and I may have forgotten to breath while inhaling it in record time. The beef was cooked right; enabling just enough time to form a nice char on each side while remaining a perfect colour of pink on the inside and whilst trapping in all the great juice. Atop the crumbly beef was a nicely contrasting salty rasher of bacon hidden under a pile of tasty cheese. The lettuce and tomato gave it a great crunch and the big fluffy bun did its best to keep everything under control. Lovely venue, great atmosphere, ideal for first/tinder dates as there is plenty of drinks to choose from and it’s very dark and everyone looks good under candlelight.”
“With no trace of superficialness that I’m normally accustomed to seeing in most Chapel Street bars/restaurants, I instantly fell in love with this place. It possessed a real sense of casualness with great table service and friendly staff. The burger had one of the most beautifully cooked, smokey patties I’ve had this year, combined with great melted cheese coverage and some tasty creamy mayo. What brought the whole burger together for me though was how simple it tasted, with no particular dominant flavours and how easy it was to bite into. The hand cut fries were good too. Would I go back? Been there twice already.”
“Boy did this have a decent kick of pepper to it. A burger this smokey and peppery would be a beautiful accompaniment to almost any alcoholic drink I could think off. It was a well crafted, beautifully balanced burger. The ingredients all complemented one another perfectly – so I thought I’d dissect them to see if there were any leaks on what appeared to be a pretty tight ship. After biting into a little bit of cheese here, a little bit beef there and picking at some pickle I realised they were all just as great individually as they were when working together. If I had to pick a favourite child here it’d be the cheese, with a beef a close second. The cheddar was salty, full bodied and tasted like gold for some apparent reason – all around awesome.”
The Woods Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

*Why oh why? These guys have changed their name to The Woods, and with it they’ve changed the menu. NO MORE BURGER!!! The horror!


The Wilde

Thursday, July 18, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheWilde

The Wilde – 153 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Wilde Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15
Summary

The Wilde is the perfect habitat for both the native hipster and your everyday punter that enjoys Traditional Golden Ale, some good Rock n’ Roll and British gastro pub food. This cosy eatery is brought to you by the former owners of Rue de Fleurus, that decided over a year ago to shut shop and reposition this little Fitzroy nook to a British gastro pub/bar. After experiencing some decent buzz since the re-launch, we thought we’d join the party to see what the chatter was all about. We ordered The Wilde Burger that came with a beef pattie, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, cornichons, burger sauce and chips.

Comments
“It was a nice, small and compact burger that was more filling than it looked. The beef pattie was cooked through with a nice crust of char – working really well with the thin and salty piece of bacon. The bun was really crunchy and robust, ideally matched with the spicy mayo and the tang from the pickle. I just wish I could of enjoyed this burger in a place that wasn’t so dark and loud and, full of such cool people. However I am aware that this has more to do with me getting old.”
“The dense pattie was cooked well, had a good punch of flavour and had cheese seductively melted all over it. The little slices of pickles together with the crispy, salty bacon had me constantly going to my pint of Golden Ale to wash down the saltiness – great! There wasn’t much green stuff in it besides a piece of lettuce that you can choose to put into your burger if you are that way inclined. I thought overall it was an enjoyable salty experience, but don’t go there hungry – the burger was a tad small. The thick chips were really good and only got better with the thick pasty burger sauce to dip in.”
“Although a little on the small side (give me less chips and more burger next time), it was really enjoyable. I am told there was bacon in the burger, but boy did that go way over my head. I honestly didn’t taste it. The whole thing screamed of salt, a pinch more and it would’ve been overkill. Their choice of bun made it taste like it was a DIY-home-burger that one of your mates is trying to impress you with. I’m thinking that a larger version of this burger would’ve taken it up a notch for me. I was just left a little unsatisfied after the whole meal. It’s a ballsy move putting a burger on the menu, especially with Belle’s Diner over the road… And it’s hard to compete with that.”
The Wilde on Urbanspoon


Little Hunter*

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Little Hunter

Little Hunter – 195 Lt. Collins Street (down the stairs), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Speakeasy Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

One moment you’re standing around looking for some signage, double checking your Google maps, the next you’re three flights of stairs underground and standing in a dim lit, classy looking restaurant. Unless they had X-Ray vision, the average Joe Citizen wouldn’t really know that below 195 Little Collins St lies a produce driven, innovative grill house. The culinary cool cats behind Little Hunter are also responsible for the the likes of Señoritas and The Meatball & Wine Bar. But, the real draw card here is that they’ve brought in US native, Gavin Baker. Not only has he won several “Best Restaurant” awards, Baker’s held the coveted job of Sous Chef at The Fat Duck, in London. Little Hunter’s menu speaks for itself – its grill house classics but with a little bit extra attention to detail and, a little bit of cool thrown in on the side.
So cool in fact, you won’t even find the burger on the menu! Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, we go ahead and order the secret “Speakeasy Burger” that was delivered to us on a soft bun with a beef pattie, tomato, lettuce, onion and pickles.

Comments
“I love the concept of having a simple burger available only to those in-the-know. For a burger that only had beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle there was so much flavour! The classics work. If I had to recommend any tweaks to the burger I would maybe cut down a little bit on the lettuce as I did think they were a little too generous with it. I would also recommend some ketchup that might be able to compliment the char flavour of the pattie. I found my pattie a little dry so it could’ve helped with that too. The chips were great and I loved fry sauce on the side.”
“This has to be one of my most memorable Burger Adventures. It’s not often you get to go to a hidden restaurant and order a secret burger. You could look at it as a gimmick but, I like it. It’s going to work and it’ll have people coming in for the same reason people go to to hidden bars and why people get put onto guest lists – check out my cool, ipso facto, facebook check in. Anyhow, it got us there and chances are you’ll be there soon too. Why? Well, my burger was oh so simple (and surprisingly cheap). It’s all about the meat here! The beef was top notch – everything from its char flavour, size and texture. Even amid some ridiculously fresh tomato, lettuce and onion (that seemed like they’d been picked from the farm that morning), the pattie still stole the show. An all around great experience here. Well done to Little Hunter for adding a little extra chic to the art of beef and bun.”
Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

*Sorry to see Little Hunter close down. It was quite the gem.