The Bottom End

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Bottom End – 579 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bottom End Cheesey Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
33 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

The Bottom End is a new kind of hybrid venue: a pub-disco-diner. The love-child of a fair-dinkum pub and a hedonistic party palace with an all-night pseudo-US diner thrown in for good measure. All this over indulgent extrava-Dance is brought to you by none other than Mr.Michael Delany-Korabelnikova; the man behind iconic Melbourne nightclubs Honkytonks, Third Class and Sorry Grandma! Food is the key ingredient in the success of any traditional pub and The Bottom End is no different. The food menu takes cues from all night US diners and the recent “dude food” phenomenon where Philly Cheese Steak, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls, NYC Buffalo Wings, Prawn and Chorizo Po Boys sit on a menu few could call healthy, but just as few could resist. After recovering from the launch party we went back to try the Cheesey Bacon Burger. Inside was the beef pattie, bacon, gruyere cheese, smoked dutch, lettuce, onion, tomato, onion, pickle, their special sauce between a brioche bun and a side of crinkle cut chips.

Comments
“If you didn’t know the history you never would’ve guessed that this unique and quirky hybrid venue used to be the old crazy rave destination known as Bubble. Created by one of Australia’s most iconic bar consultant/owners they serve up a heluva good old American diner-style burger that cuts no corners. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything healthy and this is the way it should be!! The creamy gruyere made for a great addition to the thick juicy pattie and other fresh ingredients. With their special sauce also between the brioche bun I have to say this is one I’d definitely make a trip back for, whether it was late afternoon or the early hours of the morning.”
“This was a seriously creamy and filling burger. So much so that I have to admit I left a few chips on the plate; a rare occurrence. The creaminess came down to the amazing melted gruyere and the secret sauce that closely resembled a 1,000 Island dressing. It worked well with the crispy, thick cut bacon and the tightly packed beef pattie. If this venue was in a different location I would frequent it more often. However, I consider this part of the city the arsehole of Melbourne and I’m embarassed that it even exists. I hope that along with the new Vue De Monde it can start the much needed rejuvenation.”
“Imagine Buckingham Palace, then fill it with pictures and statues that you would find in some eccentric dandy’s art collection. But they’re all stored in his basement because even he said, “No, even these are too tacky for me”. Then throw in a bar and a kitchen. That is The Bottom End and I LOVED IT. It just takes the piss out of everything and it’s the kind of place you would never expect to find any conservative accountant/lawyer/dental hygienist on a Friday night drinking beer and smashing a burger. So it already qualifies as my favourite place on earth at this point. The burger: the pattie was of average thickness but was juicy. The pickle did taste a bit old and smelt weird. The brioche bun was huge – lots and lots of brioche to fill up on. Greens were nicely prepared and the chips were good. But what really stole the show was the complimentary Mac n’ Cheese balls that came with the burger. That alone is worth a revisit.”
“We rocked up on a Sunday to find out that Mac n’ Cheese balls came complimentary with your meal. Bit of a bonus? No burger-fans, its a frkn HUGE Bonus! Cheese, Bacon and Macaroni have never reminded me more of crack cocaine. Soon after snorting the entrée our burgers were set before us. They were stacked high and were dripping wet with sauce and juices. At my first bite my brain and tastebuds were quick to acknowledge the bacon; there was lots of it and it was outstanding. The beef was pink, soft and held together well. It didn’t need to have too much seasoning on it as all of the other party guests between the buns had enough presence to make up for it. I hardly noticed the cheese, tomato or lettuce. But I couldn’t help but notice the pickles that once tasted on their own, tasted as if they’d been pickled inside a sardine can. There was something fishy going on there (drum roll + cymbal). Crazy food coma after this one so prepare yourselves. Overall, this place is mental and serves awesomeness on “blue or white plates with napkins”.”
The Bottom End on Urbanspoon


Kodiak Club

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kodiak Club – 272 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Kodiak Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$17.50
Summary

Down the uber trendy end of Brunswick St, Melbourne – ok who are we kidding the whole street is so frkn hipster it hurts – you’ll find the all American inspired Kodiak Bar. Taking a page out of “Anytown U.S.A” bar culture, Kodiak’s menu dishes out a range of modern, regional American bar food, as well as priding themselves on being Melbourne’s prime destination for American Whisky and Bourbon. Open Wedensday through Sunday ’til the wee hours of the night, its the perfect cosy nook you’re looking for on a chill Melbourne night, especially if its bacon infused bourbon that you’re craving. After getting a little too excited about the rest of their mouthwatering menu we settled on the Kodiak Burger which came with 2 grass fed beef patties, cheese, dill pickles, onions and Woodford Reserve mayo on a sesame seed bun, served with beer-battered onion rings.

Comments
“I really have to to say it was an epic wait for this burger to come out of the kitchen. But was it worth the wait…? Well I could go either way. It was really a very up and down burger. The bun and cheese get my thumbs up, and the onion rings were great. Everything else in the burger was just ok, even though I did like the fact that there were two thinner patties instead of one thick one. The biggest question mark over this burger however was the Woodford mayo. I think there was a little to much bourbon in the mayo making it a bit over powering and less of a complement. Would love to revisit Kodiak in a couple of month to see if things have changed.”
“If in 63 minutes you think you’re going to be hungry, I would recommend ordering now. Otherwise prepare to starve for 63 minutes! Now onto the burger.. the first bite was overpowering due to the really strong mayo and sour pickle. So I tried a different strategy: I scraped off as much of the way too strong and inconvenient mayo and added ketchup. I love the site of two beef patties but I would have preferred the same amount of meat, just in a single, more juicy pattie as opposed to two drier, thinner and charred ones. I love the idea and theme behind the bar but I know that the yanks wouldn’t be happy waiting that long, and probably would have glassed a few hipsters at the bar in frustration.”
“When seeing the waiter bringing you this burger from afar you can tell this burger will not require any dessert after inhaling it. It is a great looking burger with some great features: double beef patties, brioche bun and oozing cheese – loved them all. What I think let it down a little was the mayo, it was good, but you can have too much of a good thing sometimes and in this instance there was way too much of it. In my eyes the Kodiak was operating as a bar first and as a restaurant second. What I mean is, the burger took almost an hour to come out and the music was loud, I mean LOUD. I like the theme music to Top Gun too, but that volume was uncalled for if you are trying have people eat. I would like to go back again though, it is the right environment for a burger and beers. Onion rings were great.”
“Ok, so it was good, but I think they tried too hard. I understand that the mayo made the burger different and unique to their famed Bourbon bar but I would’ve honestly preferred it to have been be a more traditional mayonaisse. If I’d been partying with bourbon all night, the last thing I would want to taste for my hangover cure is more Bourbon. I dont think that the the Woodford Mayo had been reduced enough. I was a big fan of the brioche bun, creamy cheese, and the subtle point of difference using the double patties. I would be adding bacon to this burger next time I go so it packs a little more saltiness though. So no serious crimes committed on this one; the wait time was shit and the mayo wasn’t excellent (points for effort though), but that’d be an easy fix which will have me coming back… maybe for some Bacon Bourbon and Buffalo Wings.”
The Kodiak Club on Urbanspoon


Rockpool Bar & Grill

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Rockpool Bar & Grill – Crown Complex, Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
David Blackmore’s Mishima Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$24
Summary

If someone were to ask you where they should go for a good steak in Melbourne, chances are Neil Perry’s famous Rockpool Bar & Grill will be at the top of that list. Having made it to our very own Top 10 for 2010 with his David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger, we were very eager to sink our teeth into another one their renowned beef burgers. This time opting to use a Mishima beef pattie instead of the much loved David Blackmore Wagyu beef. What’s Mishima beef you may ask? Mishima is a Japanese produced beef that is regarded as rarer and pricier than the well known Kobe beef. Best described by David Blackmore as the “Original Native Japanese Cattle,” Mishima cows are thoroughbred in Japan and aren’t ever crossed with European breeds. The island on which they graze exists in relative isolation, whereas Wagyu beef is the result of crossbreeding these Mishima cattle with European Angus. With the addition of the new beef nothing else has really changed in the burger. It came on a toasted brioche bun with peppery onions, zuni pickles and tomato and lettuce on the side. Now before you go rushing into Rockpool be sure to check their website or our Facebook for updates- the Mishima Burger is incredibly rare and only appears on the bar menu approximately 4 to 5 times a year.

Comments
“You really can’t go wrong when heading to Rockpool for a meal. Although this was basically a simple pattie change on the renowned and delicious David Blackmore Wagyu Burger, this rare and almost unknown Japanese beef gives the burger a completely new life. The Mishima beef pattie was something new and different to anything I have tried before, with a more rustic style coarsely ground beef consistency. Perfectly cooked and juicy, this pattie has a real meaty dominate flavour about it. Although the pattie is the only change from the Blackmore burger they really seem like two completely different burgers. One isn’t better than the other, I guess it comes down to what you prefer. Another win for Mr Perry.”
“Just an outstanding and meticulously orchestrated burger. I opted to leave out the lettuce and tomato in order to concentrate on the distinct flavours that the beef, chutney, pickle and onion all offer. The beef was a large, thick patty that oozed juice and flavour that was in perfect ratio to the acidic pickle and spicy onions. The bottom of the bun had dissolved by the end of it but I couldnt care less; it’s just the price you have to pay for all that juice!”
“I was so happy that we came back again. I was a bit curious to see if they could deliver a better burger than their Wagyu version- keeping in mind this was in my top ten from last year. The burger was fantastic; a thicker pattie meaning more meat, more intense flavours and the pickles and onion, in true Rockpool fashion, were great. I don’t think this burger is better than the David Blackmore’s Wagyu Burger, in retrospect I think they are just two different types of burgers. This one just has more meatiness about it. Its a bigger burger for a bigger appetite and in some ways dominates over the all the other flavours inside, whereas the Wagyu Burger is a bit more delicate and is not as filling. Either way the winner is the Rockpool for creating such a good burger. Loved it.”
“The thing that stood out to me in the burger – as it should have – was the meat. The beef was incredibly flavoursome, juicy and ground quite coarsely without it all falling apart (meaning they’ve cut the mince properly with the grain). The spicy onions were the second thing that stood out, but not in the best way. Normally I would’ve eaten this kind of burger without the side of tomato and lettuce (and I did). But in this case I actually think that they might have helped to balance out all those really intense flavours of onions, pickles and beef. Or… I’d probably chuck the whole lot and just devour the amazing beef and bun on their own. The David Blackmore’s Mishima burger is a truly special experience that every serious burger lover should endeavour to sink their teeth into.”
Rockpool Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


Little Press & Cellar at The Press Club

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Little Press & Cellar at The Press Club – 72 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia
Burger:
Mikro Bifteki
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$7 EA.
Summary

Little Press & Cellar is the baby brother of celebrity chef George Calombaris’ well-known and established, The Press Club. It maybe smaller and more casual, but it is just as enticing and hospitable, offering Mezethakia (tapas to some, or finger food to others) making it great for the walk-in clientele who might be up for a bite or even a cheeky drink – the perfect spot to escape the rain on a miserable Melbourne day. We tried the Mikro Bifteki – a mini Wagyu burger, patzari (beetroot) and Haloumi (Cypriot cheese). As a little something extra that only the sheikest of the sheik are accustomed to doing, we added a side of chips with Taramosalata (traditional greek caviar and egg paste) for $13.50.

Comments
“This entire day was really unplanned. I had some errands to run in the city and Z decided to tag along. Upon driving in to town we were already trying to decide where we could grab some food. When the meet and greets were over we found ourselves on Flinders St saying “Where to for lunch.” Z had heard that The Press Club has a little cellar kitchen that did a wicked little burger. As I walked into The Little Press & Cellar I was instantly greeted and escorted to the table. We ordered the burgers with the side of chips and Taramosalata. We started with dipping the chips in the Taramosalata and I was pleasantly surprised with its creamy texture, subtle saltiness and hints of garlic that mixed so well with the crispiness of the chips. The burger was literally bite sized and I was left salivating for more. The Wagyu pattie was really fluffy, crumbled nicely and seasoned perfectly. With the slither of melted Haloumi on top, it made for really a nice combination. The beetroot added a nice sweet feature to a salty burger, and worked well. The Bun was perfection. After finishing the first burger we had to get another one and when it arrived I had to try it with some Taramosalata. Due to its subtle flavours, compared to the burgers more dominant flavour, I really couldn’t taste it in the burger. I would recommend people try Taramosalata with what its meant for: chips and bread.”
“First off I should mention that this is the kind of burger you’d eat accompanied by a whole lot of other dishes, otherwise you’d probably end up ordering at least 4. But thats saying something, because you actually would.. they are pretty awesome. Everything in this burger was quality and each ingredient played a significant role. The mini brioche bun was sweet, soft and excellent. The Wagyu beef pattie was luxuriously buttery and packed with parsley – which is rare as they hardly put extras in with it – but it was a nice touch. The most prominent flavour was the Haloumi though. It had a rounded sharpness to it, kind of like a butter knife. Although there were some typically contrasting flavours in there it was still a really simple burger. The caviar dip was interesting but surprisingly tasty, and I’m not even really big on seafood. In fact, I usually say, “If it lives in the sea, let it be.” But it was excellently paired with the chips. This is a cool little place thats offers quality service and ingredients but is still nice and casual. If you’re appetite is leading you on your journey though, be prepared to spend a little more than usual. But thats what you get when you order some of the classiest chips in Melbourne.”
Little Press and Cellar on Urbanspoon


The Newmarket Hotel

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Newmarket Hotel – 34 Inkerman St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$25
Summary

The guys that brought you venues like the Royal Saxon and The Middle Park Hotel are at it again. In a collaborative effort with architects Six Degrees and consulting chef Paul Wilson, the New Market Hotel’s famous Shnitz & Tits has been replaced with an elegance and charm only found across the Baja California. As you step past the original red brick facade, the borders between inside and outside turn to shadows and tall Oscar Niemeyer-like arches will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of StKilda and into a contemporary artwork. Alot of time and money have gone into this project, and it didn’t just stop at the renovations. The menu is rich with SoCal-Hispanic influences. Dishes like Bone Marrow Tacos and Pork Carnitas with Pineapple Salsa are perfect for diners that think they’ve had it all. After a little bit of guacomale to start off with we delved straight into the Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, sides of pickled cucumber, corn, capsicum, and a bowl spicy of patatas bravas.

Comments
“This is what I’d say is a true non-traditional burger that actually works.. and works damn well! Everything about this burger was well thought out: from the pickled side of assorted veggies and the rustic potatoes chunks with a chipotle style mayo, everthing really had it’s own distinct flavor. The burger itself has one of the best buns out there, and the pattie, oh that pattie! This is something that your not going to try anywhere else. The pattie is laced with paprika and really tastes like chorizo. I’d say its best enjoyed biting from your burger to your side dish, as each portion complements one another perfectly.”
“A lot of credit should be given to the Chef. He’s confidently taken some huge risks with various flavours and sides which could easily have turned into a disaster. The bun (my favourite style), held it together and trapped in all the juice and spice from the beef. In comparison to the other dishes at the Newmarket that are too small and leave you either hungry or broke, this was a fullfilling meal. At places like this staff can sometimes be a little “too important” and snobby, but we had some really friendly service from a blonde with half of her head shaved.”
“Overall a pleasant experience. Interesting décor, big menu, good service, but most importantly a burger to be proud of. The pattie was by far the star of the show. It was well seasoned with a mixed variety of spices that gave it a good zing. It was thick and cooked well, but 1 more minute on the grill and it would’ve been over done. The bun was perfect and the miscellaneous pickles that accompanied the burger were great; each with its own distinct flavour. The abnormally yellow chips/potato wedges were ok.”
“My first impression was Wow. What the hell is this? This burger was more Mexican than any of the burgers I’d eaten in Mexico. Probably because the Mexicans were trying to emulate the Americans. Saying that I was hoping it would be a touch spicier. Your first bite is filled with juice that can only be recreated by chorizo. The lettuce and tomato were basic but you end up forgetting about them because you’re too focused on this unique flavour to the beef. We were told its seasoned with paprika, garlic, onion powder and cooked with bone marrow.. but I couldn’t get past chorizo; especially with all the red/orange juices dripping out of it. A rare dining experience that every burger (and Mexican) lover should sink their teeth into.”
Newmarket Hotel on Urbanspoon


Capital Kitchen

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Capital Kitchen – 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone
(Chadstone Shopping Centre), Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheesburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

Known for stealing a suburb away from Melbourne and turning it into the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, they prefer to call themselves the Fashion Capital. On your way to Tiffany & Co, Ralph Lauren and other luxury brands you’ll see Capital Kitchen. With a variety of sandwiches, salads, pasta and pastries to choose from, you better choose quick; this place is busy. Not that it takes too long to get your food. Its more the rivalry for a place to sit on a weekend that might leave you eating on-the-go, or sharing a table with other tired and hungry shoppers. We decided to see if the Fashion Capital could also provide Melbourne with a Burger Capital, and so we delved into the grilled Cheeseburger. It came on a seeded brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, fresh tomato, herb mayonnaise, smoky tomato relish and with a side of french fries.

Comments
“To the team at Capital Kitchen I say, ‘A job well-done.’ I really enjoyed the slightly sweet bun, which paired well with all of the fresh ingredients. The perfectly cooked, subtly seasoned pattie was juicy, and tender and the finely sliced tomato and smoky relish were great little additions. A really tasty and well-balanced burger.”
“The ratio between the beef, cheese, salad and sauce was near perfect. However, the sweet brioche bun was too dry and too big for me. This affected the overall texture of the burger. The fries had no salt on them and we had to ask a waiter for it (it should already be on the table along with the pepper). When it did come out it was fancy rock salt, which doesnt stick to the fries and just falls to the bottom of the bowl. Seriosuly, just put normal salt on it.”
“At first I wasn’t sure what this burger would be like. Shopping centre cafes and restaurants don’t exactly have kitchens that possess Michelin stars for their excellence in culinary quality and service –well, not any that I know of. But saying that, when I go, I don’t expect to find any burger mecca, I just look for something that any of us can enjoy, thats affordable and most importantly one can share with friends. I would share this burger with all of my friends! The pattie was damn good; moist and delicious. There wasn’t too much green stuff and the thinly sliced tomato was nice. The cheese, mayo and relish were the icing on the cake. Chips were good. When you do decide to go, please invite me too.”
“As I clicked away with my camera looking for the perfect angle, I started to feel like I was shooting a Penthouse spread (again). This is by far one of the sexiest burgers I’ve had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into. And imagine, all of this at a family-friendly shopping centre. Every bite was amazing. To single-out any individual ingredient would be unjust. A happy marriage of ingredients that tasted more like a honeymoon.”
Capital Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Rockpool Bar & Grill

Monday, June 28, 2010
Rockpool Bar & Grill – Crown Complex, Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$22 (extra $6 surcharge on Sundays)
Summary

Rockpool Bar & Grill has been serving up great food since it first opened in Melbourne in 2006. Lunchtime at the Rockpool is synonymous with business power lunches whilst, amidst candlelight, dinners are known to be frequented by the “first-date” variety. Based on Chef Neil Perry’s food I’m sure the deal always gets sealed. The emphasis (or mantra) at the Rockpool has always been high quality produce and we experienced this first hand with our David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger, comprised of a brioche bun, bacon, onions, gruyere cheese and zuni pickles.

Comments
“A burger that is all about the Wagyu beef pattie. With peppery sauteed onions, lean bacon, cheese and some of the best pickes I’ve had. You also get the option of two well presented pieces of lettuce and tomato on the side. Like all good burger places should, this is the first venue to ask us how we wanted the pattie cooked. Oh and the bun deserves a special mention too!”
“Respect for them asking how we wanted our beef cooked. Medium-rare is their standard and my dining companions got exactly that, however mine was cooked a little longer (I had asked for medium rare) and I had no pool of juice left on the plate. That aside the burger was great. The flavours all worked in perfect harmony. Loved the decor, atmosphere and lighting, which all combined really helped cure my hangover.”
“A really classy burger. It’s probably the only place where people can eat their burgers with a knife and fork and get away with it. Anywhere else and they would look like a wanker. My favourite aspect of the burger was the beef pattie (so far ranking highest for me). The pickle and bun came in second, followed by the bacon and cheese. Hand cut fat chips ($12 extra) were OK.”
“This was a refined and well thought out burger. The beef pattie was outstanding but overall the finely sliced, zesty zuni pickles stole the show for me. An experience not to be forgotten. Go the distance and order a beer and a side of onion rings ($9 per serve).”


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