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 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


Father’s Office

Thursday, May 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_FathersOffice

Father’s Office – 249 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Man Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$22
Summary

If you’re reading this thinking California’s famous Father’s Office has opened up a faction in Australia, think again. Call it clever marketing or flattering imitation, it got us curious enough to check it out. Up some dark stairs along Little Lonsdale St and you’ll find yourself in a large bar draped head-to-toe in wood and 1920′s inspired paraphernalia. Serial entrepreneurs Stewart Koziora and Anna Carosa took over for Match Bar in 2012 and went on to create a space that caters to all walks of life. Whether it’s after work drinks, weekend comfort food or functions they’ve got it covered. On a weekend a decent drinks menu will keep you liquored up until 3am or if you’re more the civilised type and food is your vice then there’s plenty to choose from. An extensive Americana inspired menu will have you “Ooing and Ahhing” over Kansas City Baby Back Ribs, Philly Steak Sandwiches and Warm Apple, Pear & Blueberry Pie. We couldn’t look past the Man Burger though. It came with a brioche bun smothered in Dijon mustard, topped with a 200gm grass fed Queensland yearling MSA certified black angus pattie, 2 pieces of Swiss cheese, a layer of beer battered fries, 2 more pieces of Swiss cheese, a fried egg, a full rasher of bacon and chipotle mayo.

Comments
“It would’nt suprise me if whoever thought up of this burger was drunk, or if a large percentage of customers who consume this burger are also drunk. I’m sure it felt like a good idea at the time but its complete overkill and unnecessary. It’s a shame as each individual flavour was nice, but you don’t need 4 slices of cheese, aswell as a creamy gooey egg, aswell as mayo and mustard, aswell as a layer of chips to overpower and kill any flavour from the beef or bacon. So unless you have masculinity issues, are extremeley drunk or like feeling sick after a meal, I’d go ahead and order something else from the menu.”
“I’d read about this burger and had been a little bit impressed. I mean 4 slices of Swiss Cheese! That’s a party. I was pretty blown away when it came out. It was oozing with cheese as expected and I started to dread the extra KMs I’d have to run to burn this sucker off. Biting in was a bit of a challenge, purely because it was so dense. But immediatley all that mustard hit me. It was good! But that was only my first bite. After a while the burger became a bit of a chore and a boring one at that. I’ll give it points for consistency but all the flavours stayed on the same side of the spectrum. What this burger was missing was sweetness to cut through the heaviness. I’d replace the chips with either onion rings or caramelised onions. Screw it, just ketchup would have done fine. The menu says the beef is decent quality, but it didn’t hit me with too much flavour. On that day I didn’t have the stomach to finish this thing. But I still stick by Yokohama accomplishment if you want to challenge my eating prowess.”
Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Captain Melville

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Captain-Melville

Captain Melville – 34 Franklin St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Captain’s Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$21
Summary

When the owners of Miss Libertine realised they were growing up and the hangovers and drunken nightclub patrons were getting a bit tiresome, they decided to completely renovate the heritage listed, 1853 bluestone building and convert it into a gastro pub. Appointing Shayne McCallum as head chef to oversee the menu, they’ve created traditional Australian pub classics as well as some more adventurous dishes like rabbit pie and tuna tartare. We of course went for the burger with Sher Wagyu beef, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, a soft brioche-like bun and hand cut chips.

Comments
“I was really surprised with this place. After being informed by the waitress that this is “the best burger your going to try”, I have to say I was a little sceptical. When it arrived at the table gleaming with its sweet soft glazed bun, I knew they had put something special together! Two perfectly cooked and seasoned patties separated by some great bacon. Juicy and full of flavour, the crunchy tangy pickles added a nice bite. The oozing egg and melted cheese also gave the burger a nice creamy texture. I’m usually not a massive fan of handcut cuts but these were pretty good.”
“Everyone loves a good surprise, especially when you’re least expecting it. So the moment I saw that it had double patties (not mentioned on the menu), I was extremely elated. The bun was super soft with a nice shiny glaze (best compared to the sweet Chinese Bread Top rolls) and it really helped enhance the perfectly seasoned, juicy beef and creaminess of the cheese and egg. This burger is great, but it’s the extra details like the crispy slices of tangy pickle and the spice from some ground pepper that really made this burger stand out.”
“These double Wagyu patties were delicious! The cheese oozing out of the burger, combined with the fresh egg really got my juices going. The bacon in between the two patties was a good move as it broke-up each bite with its salty goodness. I really liked the super soft bun with its sweet glaze. The hand cut chips were great! Fluffy on the inside and nicely cooked on the out!”
“Walking up to the old Miss Libertine, I really wasnt expecting a whole lot. Walking in however, changed that for me. I suddenly forgot about all the late night discos I’d attended. I was standing in a place that looks like it had a bunch of money poured into it. Fancy as hell, almost like a Newmarket or Halfmoon kind of joint. However, I am suspicious of most burgers that use Wagyu beef these days. Purely because some places claim they use the expensive stuff just so they can lighten your wallet. But as soon as it landed in front of me I forgot all about my suspicions and went straight into Playboy photographer mode. This burger made good use of the “Three S’s”: soft, salty and sexy. The double patties with bacon sandwiched in between were genius! Every other bite I received an express delivery of beautiful charr. The egg was good but I really dont think it needed it. With the double cheese it was more than enough creaminess. I mean, it did end up falling apart. But I didnt care. I just wanted this burger to keep going and going. Stellar start to 2013!”
Captain Melville on Urbanspoon


Bar Ampere

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bar Ampere – 16 Russell Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bifteck a L’Hambourgeoise
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

If you’re looking for this joint, some people might say, “Google it”. But if you’re a Melbournian who loves a decent drink, then it’d be easy enough to just mention that it’s next door to Gin Palace. You’ll be even more tempted once we mention that Bar Ampere is brought to you by the same cat that owns Gin Palace, Madame Brussels and Collins Quarter. That cat is Vernon Chalker and with Bar Ampere he pays tribute to the futurism movement which swept through Paris and Italy at the turn of the 20th century. With Béton brut (raw concrete) wall to wall, light globes hanging from an army of mannequins hands and a back bar built from wine bottles, can all make dining at Bar Ampere feel like entering an art exhibit. But when the extremely friendly staff welcome you, you can untuck your shirt, relax a bit and think with your stomach. The menu again takes a little bit of French and adds a lot of modern Melbourne. With only splades to assist you, you might find yourself ordering anything from a ham and cheese toasty to a syringe filled with mash potatoes (yes we’re serious). On a cool Sunday evening we ordered a round of home made Ginger Beer and Bar Ampere’s Beef Burger (Bifteck a L’Hambourgeoise) that boasted two beef patties, a buttermilk bun, Swiss Gruyère, carrot & grain mustard wombok slaw and is finished with a side of cornichons & tomato chutney.

Comments
“It gets me a little bit excited knowing that you can come to a place like this to feast on a great burger up until 3am. Arriving on your table classically wrapped in wax paper lets you know these guys have put in the effort to create something special. The first thing you do when ordering is ask yourself two patties or the one? Of course we opted for two! The patties are beautifully cooked; nice and grilled on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. A heavy seasoning gives the patties a peppery finish that you won’t forget. It also somehow reminded me of meatloaf… and thankfully not the singer. The finely shredded coleslaw adds a cooling tang to the burger. The fluffy buttermilk bun was amazing, although the bottom started to get a bit soggy by the end. I really have to say I missed a good side of chips with this burger and, from how great this burger is, I’m thinking they could have been great too.”
“I’m not sure if it’s been scientifically proven, but there seems to be a direct correlation between a burger wrapped in wax paper and deliciousness. Inside I discovered a perfectly structured double-beef pattie and bun. A new ingredient I don’t think I had experienced in a burger before was the very thinly cut coleslaw that added a real tangy bite to it – similar to what you get from a pickle. It was perfectly balanced out by the spicyness of the mustard and worked really well together. The beef could of been a little bit more pink but still had great flavour and the soft bun soaked up all the juices perfectly without completely dissolving.”
“I loved the pepperiness of the pattie. It was also juicy, meaty and cooked just right. You are given an option of going for a single or a double pattie; Friends go for the double, it is that good, without it being overly filling. The coleslaw was used sparingly in the burger which I think was a good thing as it cools your palette down and neutralises that pepperiness from the pattie, but not too much to bore your tastebuds with a mouthful of coleslaw. The bun was beautiful; so soft and delicate. This burger does not come with chips which, was a bit of a shame, as I reckon they would have been the icing on the cake.”
“The zillion dollar fast-food food industry has been doing it forever, so it’s about time those cool-cat-burger-bars caught on. The difference is, when ordering a McWhopper you know exactly what you’re getting. But in this instance, the burger’s gift wrapping amplified the Adventure ten-fold, unaware of what your mouth is about to experience. Punch me for saying this, but I honestly wasn’t sure the double was the right choice. But once I bit in I cursed myself for ever doubting the decision. The best part was that the burger put the beef on a pedestal and let the other ingredients adore it without causing a frenzy. This is probably due to the fact that the chutney is left on the side so you can add it as you go without totally devastating the bun. Although it did get a little soggy at the bottom, it still held the ingredients together like a vice forged by a medieval blacksmith named Benedict. The only things I would do differently with this burger would be the addition of some mayo to enhance the creaminess and add some fries or onion rings as a side.”
Jus Burgers (South Yarra) on Urbanspoon


The White Lady

Friday, October 5, 2012

The White Lady – Corner Commerce Street & Fort Street,
Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.50 NZD / $7.60 AUD
Summary

In this day and age it’s not often you come across an establishment that’s been dishing out burgers for over 60 years. What’s even more surprising is that the joint is located in little downtown Auckland. This long white bus/trailer, converted diner on-wheels, is in many ways the original food truck (check it out). With the same family at the helm since 1948, the White Lady has become famous for their late night/very early morning hangover preventions/cures. Currently open Monday to Thursday from 730pm to 3am and 24 hours from Friday to Sunday, there’s no wonder so many locals vouch for its greasy healing properties. Weathered and in need of a fresh lick of paint doesn’t deter a soul though. The charm and elegance that the White Lady delivers has taken it to the #1 spot of “What to do in New Zealand” by Lonely Planet. Not being avid readers of the publication, we actually stumbled upon the neon clad bus early one morning and cursed our NZ buddies who forgot to mention this institution to us. We ordered and vowed to come back the next day to experience the burger with clear heads. We took our turn in a busy lunch time line and ordered the Cheeseburger that came on a traditional burger bun with a 100% New Zealand beef pattie, grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, cheese and tomato sauce.

Comments
“I am an absolute sucker for nostalgia and when I found out this place was founded in 1948 and had barely changed since, the thought of having the same burger experience as someone over half a century ago made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As expected there was nothing fancy or pretentious about this burger. However what did surprise me (as I don’t think I’d ever had it before), was that the cheese was melted to the top of the lightly toasted bun instead of over the beef. The beef was perfectly seasoned but it was the grilled onions that added the greatest flavour and texture. Having first tried this burger drunk at 3am it was reassurring that it tasted just as good second time around, sober and during the day.”
“This burger was made for eating whilst standing – nicely wrapped and compact. The cheese was melted onto the bun like butter on hot toast. There’s not not much else that needs to be said about this burger. The pattie was thin and very tasty. The sweet caramelised onions perfectly capped off the burger and made it a complete meal. In my opinion no chips were needed. Next time in NZ I will definitely be going back!”
“When you’re on an epic Burger Adventure like we are and you come across a piece of history like this, it almost brings a tear to your eye. Whether it was 3am or 3pm the service was impeccable and burgers were delivered with a smile. The small-ish burger is easy to manage and does a great job of holding all of the fresh ingredients together. The dominant flavour for me was the sweetness from the onions and, when paired with a creamy cheese and salty meat pattie almost made for a perfect diner style burger. This is the place to come to in New Zealand, whether you’re after a burger or just want to soak up a piece of history.”


The Bottom End

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Bottom End – 579 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Shane Warne’s Personal Best
Serviettes:
9
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
45 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much (unless you’re starving)
Price:
$20
Summary

By now you’ve all heard about “this Bottom End joint”. You might’ve heard that this is where the booze and burgers are abundant, or it’s where the kids do the disco dancing on a Saturday night? What are we talking about? You most likely read all about it here when we visited Delaney, Hockers and Chef Ezra last year. Since then the dudes have been busy and are always trying to out do themselves conquering a different burger theme at a time. So popular have some of these temporary burger experiments been, that they’ve become household names and have cemented themselves on the epic Bottom End burger menu. When we caught up with the guys last they drummed into us their unapologetic attitude dedicated to having a bloody great time, all the time. So with that in mind, and with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, their new burger option soaks up all these ideals and, a little bit extra. Arriving at the bar on a Saturday evening, with beer orders placed there was nothing left to do but to order Shane Warne’s Personal Best. Wedged in between a glazed burger bun we received two beef patties (check the menu now and it says you’ll be getting one), bacon, beetroot, egg, onion, Coon cheese and ketchup. Sitting galantly at it’s side are some tantalising house spiced fries and 3 mac’n'cheese balls.

Comments
“I’m usually extremely embarrassed and rarely admit to people that on the rare occasion I can’t finish a burger. However, this one had me completely stumped and I honestly dont know many who could polish off this entire burger. Obviously the double patties were the first obstacle: both were cooked fairly well done and ended up being quite tough and chewy. To then add insult to injury they throw in the creaminess of egg, cheese and sauce that takes up valuable stomach real estate. My latest and greatest obsession has been the humble onion ring and I’ve come to the conclusion that they only belong next to the burger and not inside where it turns to mush. Would love to try a smaller, less intense version.”
“I really wanted to like this burger. I was conflicted by how much I love all the Bottom End burgers and how they usually bang out these awesome thingw day-in-day-out. But the Warnie really didn’t bowl me over at all. To begin with I don’t think they needed two patties; with all the ingredients this burger has already in it I don’t feel the two patties belonged in there. The patties really weren’t that great anyway. On the plus side the egg was cooked to a runny goodness and the cheese was so beautifully melted that together these two combined into a great ooze.”
“Yep, they warned us. I don’t know if it was because I’d been on the chicken wings and drink for most of the day but, this thing defeated me. It was big bad mother-effer and you need to bring an appetite if you plan on leaving with a clean plate. First off, the Mac’n'Cheese balls – amazing as always. The main thing I got out of this burger was the sweetness that came from the beetroot, bacon and bun. But, overall the burger disappointed me a little. I can see why they named it after the legend that is Warne. It was ridiculous. There was just so much going on. The patties weren’t overly impressive and lacked the quality that I’m used to at Bottom End. This meal feels like its a bit more of a “screw it I’m hungry I’ll eat anything” type of thing, that seriously drunk folk would appreciate. Sadly I wasn’t that drunk. I did end up with quite the full stomach and with sauce all over my face like a champ. But next time I’d be sticking to the Classic Cheesy Bacon burger.”
The Bottom End on Urbanspoon