The Burger of the Year 2011 – NSHRY

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Melbourne beaches can have their ups and downs. From shameless tourists and gym junkies to the airheads and rollerbladers there are plenty of reasons that an air-conditioned library is sometimes more appealing than the hot sands of the Bayside foreshore. But what happens when a tired old takeaway down by the water gets knocked up and 9 months later is reborn as a serious must-eat-at Melbourne destination? Well, apart from burning your stupid library card I guess the next thing to do is start practicing you’re roundhouse kicks, because this place knows how to draw a crowd.

When owner and Chef, Michael Nham, saw the opportunity to start his own establishment right on the water, he leapt for it. Growing up in a Vietnamese/Taiwanese family, Michael tells us that his adoration for food and cooking all started at quite a young age. He reckons the first time he was introduced to Western food he basically lost his mind. The culprit was lasagna – a whole new world of flavour for him, so he just kept eating it and eating until he eventually just threw up (what a champ). Since those early days his passion for Western and even Fast-food has continued to grow. This is where NSHRY and their Umami Burger fit in. When opening his beach side eatery he knew he had to have a burger on the menu, and after extensive research and time planning what he was going to create, he drew on Umami for inspiration.
The Winner

It’s not every day that you come across a burger that can get juice flowing down to your elbow. Michael Nham has created something here that really is remarkable. When everyone is jamming Wagyu into their burgers as a fancy wallet emptying tactic, he stops and reconsiders, telling us that a “100% Wagyu pattie has no place in a burger. You end up losing a lot of beefy flavours”. By mixing his Wagyu with Angus Beef he is able to achieve the best of both worlds – the fatty softness of the Wagyu whilst delivering the beefy kick of the Angus. He goes on to tell us about how in order to achieve his desired result, the tomato MUST be roasted, the onion jam needs about 8 hours of love and the plump pattie will not only meet the pan at searing heats, but will end up visiting the oven before being placed on its sweet brioche resting place. It’s ridiculous, the man has turned the humble act of placing meat between a bun into an art-form, and for that we commend him. So, to Michael, his sister Jen who runs the floor, and to the rest of the staff at NSHRY, a huge congratulations is in order! When everyone in Melbourne has been zigging, you’ve zagged… and it’s payed off.
For our full review click here.

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