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


Tyranny of Distance

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TyrannyOfDistance

Tyranny of Distance – 147 Union St, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tyranny Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$15.50
Summary

Opposite the iconic Melbourne Bowls Club, Tyranny of Distance has slotted in perfectly and looks as if it’s slowly evolved over time from a humble shed with louvre windows. The eclectic interior was created and directed by local jewellery designer and goldsmith Marcos Davidson, with a giant gas bottle lamp being commissioned and featuring prominantly in the centre of the indoor/outdoor dining area (where you can smoke to your heart’s content). Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day with a generous happy hour each afternoon, Tyranny really caters to everyone from post exercise breakfasts to pre drinks at night with an emphasis on tapas style dishes. The Tyranny Burger is made with a house made beef pattie, bacon, smoked cheese, lettuce, mayo and served with crispy potatoes and smoked paprika aoili.

Comments
“This place has really grown on me. After frequenting several times and falling in love with the paella, I had some trepidation on how much attention they would give to a burger. However, I’ve come to realise they’ve given serious thought to each dish which combined with fresh ingredients, makes for really good food. The first thing I noticed was the super crispy rashes of bacon hanging out that added a great salty crunch when paired with the large, juicy beef pattie. The smoked cheese along with the paprika aoili added depth and enhanced the beef and bacon flavours while the crusty roll did its job and held everything together.”
“The Tyranny burger had a lovely tasting pattie with a pretty good bun. My contribution to take this burger up a notch was adding the provided side of chutney and mayo – the combo really worked out for my taste buds. The bacon was beautifully cooked to a crisp and tasted mighty fine. What really enticed me to smash into the burger though was the melted cheese that sat on top of the pattie. Overall a great and easy dining experience that I would definitely want to re-live some time soon.”
“It was a relief not to be served a brioche bun for a change. Week in week out it’s been the same of late. A trend that McDonalds will surely be next to jump onto. So I was chilling out max, relaxing all cool… when all of a sudden I saw the burger come out of the kitchen. It was oh so seductive. In other words, it was yelling “Eat Me!” as loud as it could. Whenever there’s a pool of cheese I’m ready for a dip. Biting in and my first thought was that the bacon reminded me of breakfast, which is not necessarily a bad thing as it’s one of my favourite meals of the day. I liked the pattie too – it was simple, beefy and to me, high quality. All in all, these guys make a decent burger that’s easily shared with your French friends who like to have a cigarette with their meal.”
Tyranny of Distance 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


Prince Alfred Hotel

Friday, April 19, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PrinceAlfred

Prince Alfred Hotel – 619 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Prince Alfred Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

A pub with all the right elements: a beer tap, beer garden and a good variety of fancified pub grub (best enjoyed with beer of course). Ask any Richmond native and they will tell you this place is an institution; great for quick drinks after work, long lunches and Sunday dinners. Upon first inspection you might think this place is quiet and cosy – almost grandma cosy. But when you notice all the flatscreens and the sensational beer garden, you can imagine how busy it might get here on a Saturday night before/during/after the footy. As well a handful of imported and local beers on tap their menu offers the usual pub favourites but with a bit of a new age twist. They tried to tempt us with veal and sage sausages, herb and lemon crumbed chicken with radicchio and even spaghettini, but of course we were here for the Prince Alfred Burger. It came with a beef pattie on a brioche bun, relish, cheese, lettuce, onion, aoli, caramelised onions and a side of fries.

Comments
“I knew that the Prince Alfred had renovated and gone for a more refined dining style rather than the traditional pub. But what threw me was this formal dining area paired with flat screen TVs. I guess they thought that no dude should go without footy, even when the Mrs drags him out for a romantic weekend dinner. It was a well presented burger that played it pretty safe. As you would expect from this place all the ingredients they used were really fresh and packed with flavour. A thick juicy pattie was held together by a sweet fresh brioche bun, with a side of really good chips. Like I said… not a burger that’s changing the world, but it is something you could rely on being tasty everytime you go.”
“They’ve taken little risk in terms of ingredients; just your basic beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato between a bun. But my God, when you’re using really good quality and fresh produce that’s full of flavour, why would you mess with a sure thing? Starting off quite tall due to a giant hunk of juicy beef, everything eventually squashed down into a manageable bite. The lettuce and tomato added just the right amount of crunch but didn’t take anything away from the great tasting beef. Although if I had to pick out anything, it would’ve been a tad pinker pattie.”
“For a pub dining area it’s a bit more formal. With elegant chairs and tables, soft amber lights and well dressed staff, I almost felt like I needed to wear a shirt. But what threw me off were the flat screen TVs playing football – they made me feel like I was in a TAB. What frustrates me is not knowing what’s in my burger. Sometimes venues name a burger and don’t provide any details about whats in it (I need details folks). Overall, the burger was tasty, a touch sweet and good quality. Not to mention being accompanied by some great tasting chips.”
“Venue discrepancies aside, this was a lovely bite. Was it memorable though? Not entirely. I guess when you look at it on the grand scheme of things, it actually sits nicely with other tasty burgers. But, without anything to really to call its very own, it was hard to spot an “it” factor that could take the burger from good to great. Aside from that, it was simple, fresh and enjoyable. I really shouldn’t complain though because if I’m after a really fresh take on a classic in Richmond, I’d come here.”
Prince Alfred on Urbanspoon


Prospect Espresso

Friday, February 22, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Prospect-Espresso

Prospect Espresso – 2a Prospect Hill Rd,
Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Prospect Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Co-owners Matt Ward and Mitch Haworth’s first venture is primarily all about great coffee, but they also knew they’d have to build a mouth watering menu to match. Prospect Espresso was a well need addition to the Camberwell cafe scene, boasting a warm and cosy interior filled with natural raw materials. The beautiful custom made communal table commands the room but also offers a generous amount of side dining tables that work perfectly in the smalll and well-thought out used space. Using a range of seasonal ingredients their lunch menu offers a variety of fresh, tasty bites as well as a couple of good ol’ meaty offerings including their Prospects Burger. The house made minced beef is accompanied by bacon, cheese, pickles, and lettuce all in a soft bun. On the side you’ll find some crunchy fat chips with creamy aioli.

Comments
“I can’t believe I left this place without finishing my chips or trying their coffee, but the burger was so rich and full of flavour I couldn’t possibly cram any more into my stomach. Really well presented with a skewer holding everything together, the flavours that stood out for me were the perfectly cooked, thick and salty piece of bacon that contrasted really well with the soft creaminess of the melted cheese and aioli. The beef patty was minced coarsely and kept it really juicy and tasty, and the sweet, seed covered bun kept everything together pretty well.”
“This is a sexy piece of work. The bun shone, the cheese oozed and I swear the bacon winked at me as it lay underneath, inviting me to take my first bite. Before I did though, I unloaded my chips strategically onto the plate to catch all the burger’s juices. First bite in: big success, a lot of juice seasoned chips. The coarsely ground pattie didn’t have a lot of seasoning but this worked in its favour. The semi-sweet bun was tasty but was a bit doughy, leaving me with a bunch of it left on my plate. The bacon and cheese combo were by far my highlight. The bacon was lean as hell and there was a whole lot of it – I didn’t want it to stop. A really well-balanced burger that’s sure to be known as the toast of Camberwell.”
Prospect Espresso on Urbanspoon


Rockwell & Sons

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockwell&Sons

Rockwell & Sons – 288 Smith St, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Double Patty Smash Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$10
Summary

It feels like every other week Melbourne is blessed with another addition to the “We Should Totally Try That Place Out” list. But, sometimes you hear about a place that makes you forget the 23 other joints you wanted to eat at and gets you through the door that night. With skills in the kitchen that have previously seen the likes of Cumulus & Co, Stoke House and NYC’s Spotted Pig it’s safe to say you’ll be getting a decent feed. At the helm are North Carolinan chef Casey Wall and Kiwi Manu Potoi and they’re tantalising menu stems from everything they wanted to eat on their days off – good ol’ fashion high quality comfort food. Their Wednesday night fried-chicken dinners mean for $60 you get a whole organic Glenloth chicken that takes three days to prepare: one day it soaks in salted brine, the next in an aromatic brine, with citrus and herbs. Then it’s covered in a buttermilk batter and fried golden. This very same chicken is used in their Fried Chicken Sandwich (take note: it’s a sandwich, not a burger children). Skim read their menu and you’ll salivate at the thought of a Pressed Rib Sandwich, a Lamb Sausage Dog and, of course, the Double Smash Pattie Burger that comes with twin smashed beef patties, classic Kraft cheese, special sauce all on a seeded bun.

Comments
“I was seriously starving this night and thought to myself, ‘I could easily eat two burgers tonight’. I kept these thoughts to myself as I’m easily persuaded by peer pressure and will rarely back down from a challenge. Luckily I didn’t voice my tummy rumblings as this was an immensely rich burger and, with my side of onion rings I was left completely full. The super soft bun was coated in butter, which is seriously delicious and only enhanced the super creamy, perfectly melted Kraft slices of cheese that melted their way through every grain of the two beef patties. There was a skerrick of greenery that added the slightest crisp crunch to an overall soft and extremely juicy burger experience. An incredible, good value and worthy of taking an American friend to experience.”
“I can’t recall ever smashing a smash burger Down Under. So it was nice to get a taste of that classic the U.S pattie style in our own backyard – and it really worked. The only thing I didn’t like about the burger was the bun – I found it too buttery and sweet for my liking. The texture was very soft throughout, creamy and with the freshness of lingering spring onion?/dill? embedded amongst the Kraft and special sauce it really took the burger to another level. At first glance it may look like a light burger, but by the end of the meal you will be full. Chips were good too.”
“There aren’t many burgers out there that can sweep me off my feet and then ride away into the sunset with me. But holy cow, this was like my honeymoon all over again. This burger has EVERYTHING going for it. I’m talking about flavour, uniqueness and then ofcourse the price. For 10 dollars this is amazing. I want to be on this burger again and again and again. It was beautifully creamy, salty and oh so soft. Every bite was another step in to burger heaven. I can’t fault this burger at all. So balanced and delicious, it’s a breath of fresh air in the burger world. Did I mention I liked this burger?”
Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon


Burger Fuel

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Burger Fuel – 101 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand
Burger:
Third Pounder with Cheese
Serviettes:
0 (thanks to the Doofer)
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$9.60 NZD / $7.55 AUD
Summary

Burger Fuel first opened on Ponsonby Rd in Auckland in 1995. After initially expanding nation-wide they were eventually floated on the NZ stock exchange in 2007 and partnered with a Dubai based investment group. Since opening their first Middle-Eastern store with a 200 seat restaurant in Saudi Arabia, they now boast 37 stores across New Zealand, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. The store is decked out with plenty of stainless steel, fluro lights and an obvious love of hot rods with a really tried and tested kitchen finely tuned to produce a consistent burger using the finest of local ingredients. After much deliberation we opted for the Third Pounder with Cheese that comprises of 1/3 pound of 100% pure NZ grass fed beef, melted cheddar, bread and butter pickles, dijon mustard, relish and the famous fresh natural Burger Fuel aoli.

Comments
“First off, the “Doofer” is the smartest invention ever. As someone with OCD who hates shit on his hands, this is heaven sent. And, this burger definitely needed it because it was extremely saucy. Almost too saucy as the strong flavour of the dijon mustard and sharp pickles pretty much completely overpowered the cheese and only left a little bit of beef flavour. The beef was really evenly cooked; the reason I know this is because I really like checking out kitchens (even though I’ve never actually used mine at home) and found the patties being char grilled on a conveyor belt. On a side note. I’m very impressed, and at the same time perplexed, as to them having a store in Iraq.”
“A couple of days into our camper van trip of NZ and on a route mission to consume as many burger options as possible meant we sometimes would eat burgers a bit earlier than normal. In this case eating a burger at 11am was an eventuality that we often faced. For a morning burger the Third Pounder and Cheese was a winner, but not a filler. I loved the Dijon mayo and the pickles were awesome. The pattie was on the greasy side and did taste OK for franchise beef, but if it was a lunch/dinner meal I could have used some more meat in the mix.”
“One of them “Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords” look-a-likes regularly told me that Burger Fuel is the best burger in NZ and I had to give it a go. Truth be told I didn’t care for these comments. Could a chain hold such an honour? Of course my immediate feelings towards Burger Fuel were tarnished, imagining a Grill’d-like establishment that’d rather ask me about my feelings than how I’d like my burger cooked. Sadly, neither of these things happened. Chowing down into my burger with its soft NZ-style bun gave me an automatic kick of dijon – exactly what I needed at 11am. The bread and butter cucumber were also a treat but where I felt it lacked was in the meat department. Whether it needed to maybe be a 1/2 pounder, or just use fattier beef I’m not sure, but it didn’t really stand out for me. I don’t know if I’d need another one on my next trip to NZ, next time I’m in Iraq though, that I’d give a crack.”


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