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


Hello Sam

Thursday, November 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_HelloSam

Hello Sam – 760 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Too Cheesy
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12
Summary

Go back some 10 years and unless you were buying a Lamborghini or on your way to buy a couch, you’d probably never really have thought to hang out that far down Chapel St. Nowadays, amid a jungle of high rise apartments, you only have to spit and you’d hit a new place to eat. Hello Sam is making the most of the sprawl and basically has any type of burger for any occasion or any body. Their owner Katherine Sampson (bonus points for why it’s called “Hello SAM”) is better known for her Healthy Habits chain but aims to bring the diner tradition out of the dark dingy corners, polish it off and please a whole bunch of Melbournians with some gourmet burgers. Hello Sam’s menu is pretty extensive, so whether you’re in the mood for a fish, lamb, chicken, or beef burger (or maybe even a hotdog) you’ll be covered. We decided to upgrade their namesake Simply Sam burger to the Too Cheesy version. It came on a brioche bun with an Angus pattie, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato relish, 2 mustard mayo and a cheddar ale melt.

Comments
“A slight moment of panic as it looked like they’d forgotten the beef patty. However, after lifting the top bun I saw that hidden underneath a waterfall of cheese was the piece of beef. The pattie had been cooked to within an inch of its life, leaving behind little flavour but, the super creamy cheese somewhat made up for it. The bun was fresh, the salad was fresh, but I would of preferred the chutney to have a little bit more tang and bite to it. I loved the complimentary hand wipes that came with the meal and as tempting as they may smell, don’t eat them.”
“For an additional $1 to upgrade from the Simply Sam to the Too Cheesy I’d really recommend you pay it and get transported to cheese heaven. It was by far one of the cheesiest burgers I’ve had so far this year. The pattie was a bit too small for the bun and was a tad bit over cooked, but was still good. The bun was like a soft kiss from the heavens, promising to take you to a safe place away from all the world’s craziness. If I was working around the corner I’d definitely be there for lunch a couple of days a week; perfect for that quick lunch break.”
“I wasn’t overly impressed to begin with. The pattie was rather charred and looked to be wearing an oversized bun for a hat/helmet. It wasn’t until I bit in that I tasted some of the best cheese I’ve ever encountered in a burger. It had me looking like a crackie: licking the front of my teeth for 15 minutes after I had finished, trying to get at any remanence. The pattie wasn’t bad, but it didn’t get the love and attention it needed on the grill. The bun to pattie ratio was saddest part – being left with an outrageous crescent moon shaped bun after I eaten through the pattie wasn’t ideal. Hello Sam does have a lot of potential, but right now the operation seems rushed, reactive and they’re learning as they go. Saying that, because of that cheddar cheese (and with hopefully this feedback taken on-board), I’ll be poking me head in from time to time as summer rolls in.”
Hello SAM Burger Cafe on Urbanspoon


O’Connell’s

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Oconnells

O’Connell’s – 407 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$22
Summary

Sister venue to the much loved Railway Club Hotel, O’Connell’s of South Melbourne has prided itself on producing award winning food and service in a relaxed and inviting environment since 1990. Their kitchen has seen the likes of Greg Malouf, Cath Kalka and Adrian Richardson who have helped cement O’Connell’s as the go-to South Melbourne Gastropub year after year. Now with two younger chefs, Luke Van de Engel and Xavier Mercader at the helm, their emphasis on quality is as strong as ever. Working closely with suppliers, farmers and producers they aime to source the best and freshest ingredients on offer. The Restaurant Menu features dishes like Red wine braised Beef Short Rib, Squid ink tagliatelle and Cape Grim steaks as well as over 100 wines to choose from around the world. Sitting in the restaurant’s cosy dining area, we ordered the Beef Burger (available on the bar menu too) and it arrived swiftly on a brioche bun packed with bread and butter pickles, cheese, mustard, house made ketchup and French fries.

Comments
“When using such strong flavours as mustard, pickles and caramelised onions, I often prefer a “less is more” approach, and think I would of enjoyed this burger a lot more had both of the buns not been coated in large amounts of fiery mustard. The boldness of these flavours didn’t really pair well with the delicateness of the sweet and soft brioche bun. It ended up overwhelming the beef pattie which, tasted on its own, managed to retain a lot of its juiciness and flavour.”
“The char flavoured pattie was cooked to perfection and had me going back for more. This was beautifully supported by the distinct sharpness and smokiness of the cheddar. Always sure to please my distinct tastes was the double mustard and pickles. And it wouldn’t be a modern day burger if it didn’t have a sweet and soft brioche bun to keep everything nicely together. The chips were good but don’t feel the need to use the chutney – I don’t think you’ll need it.”
“Obviously a popular dish because we saw many coming out of the kitchen. Arriving at our table it looked as pretty as a Parisian morning. You could just imagine the juices that were about to pour out when you bit it. Yet, none of the afore mentioned took place. Yes, it was a tasty burger but my eyes did deceive me. The pattie could’ve been pinker and the cheese could’ve been way creamier. Overall I think I liked it, but I felt like I’d been invited to a girls place late at night, just to discover we’re going to midnight mass.”
O'Connell's Hotel South Melbourne on Urbanspoon


The Duke

Friday, July 5, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Duke_Melbourne

The Duke – 146 Flinders St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Duke Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$19.50
Summary

You wouldn’t pick it by looking at the modern interior however, The Duke is Melbourne’s oldest licensed pub, having first opened its doors in 1853. Having recently re-opened for its latest reincarnation we are guessing it’s seen some big changes occur over the years, especially since its neighbours are The Forum Theatre and Federation Square (well, almost neighbour). The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering contemporary Australian and International dishes, and with the bar boasting 20 beers on tap, The Duke really caters to everyone. We sat down late one evening for the Duke Burger made with a house ground beef pattie, cheddar cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomato, mayo, dill pickles and a side of house cut chips.

Comments
“This burger had all the right ingredients and characteristics of a great burger however, several aspects really let it down. For starters the piece of lettuce had a giant, cold, spine in it. The slice of tomato was too thick and it really took away the attention from the thick, juicy beef pattie covered in large amount of melted cheddar cheese. Unfortunately the bacon was cooked a little too long and turned rubbery and chewy.To top it off the very sweet and flaky brioche bun was quite dry and left a strange texture once chewed through.”
“There were some really good takeaways from this burger. The pattie for instance was average, but when topped off with a bit of melted cheese, it told me someone in the kitchen cares. The dill pickle had some good crunch to it and really gave the burger some attitude. I did find that the brioche bun let it down; it was sweet as you would expect however, very crumbly and by the end of the meal my plate and lap were full of crumbs. The chips were very good and evenly cooked – especially being thick cut where I find a lot of people get it wrong. For the price I think it could of been better.”
“Plenty of ups an downs with this one. But nothing that would make you slap the chef. Maybe a quiet
word would suffice. The pattie was plenty meaty, soft and salty. The strips of bacon that fell out from my meal also salty and made no enemies (how could you hate bacon right?). Where the burger fell apart for me, both literally and metaphorically, was at the bun. For the last two years the use of brioche has been epic. Every corner of the city boasts a burger with brioche. Now we all know brioche is sweet, but this was more like a croissant. Have it with some jam and coffee in the morning and you’ve got a delightful breakfast. A half-decent burger but I wouldn’t run into the city for it.”
The Duke of Wellington on Urbanspoon


The Railway Club Hotel

Thursday, June 20, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_RailwayClubHotel

The Railway Club Hotel – 107 Raglan Street,
Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Railway Club Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$22
Summary

Tucked away in Port Melbourne, away from any sort of hustle and bustle, you’ll find The Railway Club Hotel. You’d be forgiven for not ever visiting because quite frankly, this place isn’t built on hype. Premium meats, quality produce and a relaxed atmosphere are what they’re all about. With big archways, a fireplace, exposed brick and sports memorabilia floor to ceiling, the décor might remind you of you’re uncles pool room circa 1991. What you probably wouldn’t have seen at your uncle’s though is the large glass case where you can pick out your perfect steak and see it cooked in their open kitchen. Obviously Beef is their pride and joy, with most of it coming from Cape Grim, Tasmania. But if you’re feeling a little beefed out then best try their famous Flounder or dive straight into a Sticky Date Pudding. We ordered the Railway Club Beef Burger that came on a seeded brioche bun with a grilled 200grm Angus ground beef pattie, Swiss cheese, beetroot, pickles, tomato, mustard and mayo with sumac fat chips and aioli.

Comments
“It was like taking a step back in time into a good old traditional Aussie pub. With a mouthwatering display of beautifully cut meats it something a little hard to overlook. The pattie was one of the best I’ve had; perfectly cooked with a nice char on the outside and juicy and pink on the inside. It was a great brioche bun that held everything together. I really enjoyed the melted Swiss cheese, fresh tomato, beetroot and lettuce. In fact, everything just worked. Lastly I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of fat chips, but these were pretty amazing.”
“The burger was presented all high and mighty with plenty of colour bursting out however, it all took a back step to the incredible beef. It must of only hit the hot plate for a moment to leave a perfect crisp char on the outside while sealing in the juice, flavour and remaining pink on the inside. I’m slowly starting to appreciate beetroot in a burger, as the thin layer added just the right amount of sweetness. It also added a crunch to balance out the rich, creamy cheese and mayo. With all these ingredients combined though, it meant the bun had completely dissolved by the end. The venue feels like visiting a distant relative in a country town and being treated to a home cooked meal. Pretty much an ideal setting for a winter meal.”
“This was a classic, timeless burger with some of the best quality meat I’ve had in a while. The beetroot and the mayo blended in exceptionally well and really gave the burger some sweet and creamy characteristics contrasting where the pattie added those salty and char grill tones. Even though it was served in a pub, it really didn’t feel like a pub burger, it was special. The big thick chips were OK.”
“Walking into a venue and seeing a window of raw cuts of meat is a sight for sore eyes. You know they’ve got some serious pride in their product with stuff like that. My burger arrived and was stacked high. It actually looked nothing like I expected. The second thing I noticed was the large bit lettuce that made my burger a foot taller than anyone elses. I squashed the lot down, bit in and floated into beef heaven. With one of the tastiest beef patties I’ve had in a while it was ground coarse and packed with bold, unashamed beefiness. As tasty as the pattie was I felt like there was too much going on here. This could’ve been because the burger fell apart on me and made me do more work than anyone should on a Sunday. But beetroot did feel at home in this burger. As did the pickles with their sweet crunch. There’s a lot to love about the Railway Club Hotel. The only thing I’m annoyed about is how lucky the locals are for having it.”
The Railway Club Hotel Port Melbourne on Urbanspoon


Grand Hotel

Friday, May 31, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheGrand

Grand Hotel – 333 Burnley St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Grand Wagyu Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Is it a pub or is it a restaurant? Well, it’s both. One part of the Grand boasts a dining room that offers a fine dining Italian menu, whilst the other is a loungey bar area. Here the story changes to good honest pub grub and whole lot of beer and wine to share with your gang. The big difference between this venue and other typical Richmond divey pub is that your meal will be prepared by a “chef” not a cook. Overall the atmosphere was very much relaxed, with some great comfortable booths and dim lighting to hide all the sauce on your face. As always we went for the burger that came with a Wagyu pattie, cheese, brioche bun and served with fries and chilli mayo.

Comments
“As simple as a burger can be, just beef, cheese and bun, but done really really right. Everything was in perfect proportion, with enough of the sweet bun in each bite that also soaked up and retained all the juice from the beef without dissolving or falling to the plate. Something that is unintentional and would be hard to perfect, is a thin crust of burnt cheese that has formed from briefly hitting the hot plate, it’s so simple but so delicious and wish it could happen on every burger. Venue was warm, dark, cozy and ideal for a cold winters night.”
“This burger really didn’t resemble the typical pub burger we’ve come to expect. It felt more gourmet, where all the ingredients were refined – it was a case of fewer ingredients really going a long way. The soft pattie just crumbled in my mouth. It tasted great, simple, elegant and just a pleasure to eat. Aside from the pattie the bun was soft and sweet in typical brioche fashion. It was a great experience and a simple burger I would go back for. Chips were great.”
“Many will tell you, simplicity is key when making a decent burger. Awesome for us, it looks like someone told these guys. It was basically beef, cheese and bun. No matter which angle you looked at it from there was cheese oozage. It was safe to say that whilst taking photos my eyes had talked this thing up to my tastebuds. Unfortunatly they were a little let down. In the end the bun became too much hard work and the cheese didnt really bring much to the table. The soft fatty pattie was the highlight by far, with parsley strewn throughout. Sure I’d go back, but to probably try some of their Italian signature dishes.”
Grand Hotel Dining Room on Urbanspoon


Little Rose

Thursday, February 14, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Little-Rose

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


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