Alfred’s Kitchen

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Alfreds-Kitchen_Perth

Alfred’s Kitchen – Cnr Meadow & James St, Guildford,
Western Australia, Australia
Burger:
Hamburger with Cheese
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$8
Summary

Back in 1946, before anyone in Australia had even heard of wagyu beef or brioche buns, a man by the name of Alfred Cook opened up a small caravan and began grilling hamburgers for the good people of Guildford. Who knew that’d it’d become the most well-known burger joint in the western state? Along with some seriously mouth watering meals on offer, the fact that Alfred’s is open until the wee hours of the night means that a certain kind of loyalty begins to be established. So when the oldies who used to party, they’d pop in for a late night “sponge-bath” to soak up their alcohol filled stomach. Once that generation’s idea of a big night turns into 2 glasses of wine and a night at the pictures, those fond memories and stories get passed onto their kids.. and so on. Today’s menu consists of some of the more traditional burgers but then ventures into some super sized burgers that put any regular Lot Burger to shame. I tried to go with something they might’ve served back in the 1940’s and ordered a Hamburger with Cheese that came with a traditional burger bun, beef pattie, tomato, lettuce, onion and a bbq sauce.

Comments
“It’s always hard to judge the popularity of a place when most of the clientele is pretty drunk. You’re in Perth so chance is it’ll be warm – that said there is no indoor eating at night. They do have a decent pit of fire to keep the punters warm though. After trying to work out where I best eat a hamburger with one night in Perth, all I kept coming back to was Alfred’s. So, with all the hype surrounding it I thought the 10 minute wait time between ordering and eating was pretty good. Although I’m sure it’s much worse when you’re there after midnight. For the Melbournians who read this: think Danny’s crossed with Andrew’s. The soft and gooey cheese was straight out of Danny’s and then the rest was like a smaller, less full-on Andrews/big bad fish and chip shop burger. The under salted pattie had a crunch to it’s exterior and was soft on the inside. The biggest difference to a traditional Aussie-style hamburger was the salty twang from the BBQ sauce that poked its head up every now and then. There are other, more goliath-type burgers on the menu but they all just seemed overkill. I liked this burger but I wouldn’t rush back. Props to them for keeping this establishment running for over half a century, but next time I’d be keen to try other Perth burgers.”
Alfred's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


The Corner Hotel

Sunday, September 15, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Corner-Hotel

The Corner Hotel – 57 Swan St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Corner Chilli Burger (Double)
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$19
Summary

One of Melbourne’s great homes of music, the iconic Corner Hotel in Richmond is only a skip and a jump away from the city and very accessible from Richmond Train Station. The Corner has been a part of the Melbourne music scene since the 1940’s; fast forward to today where some of the biggest DJ’s and bands in the world still get butts moving on its dance floor. As well as pumping great music, the Corner’s rooftop kitchen is better known for pumping out some decent pub grub to the Richmond local, but also those wanting a bite before a gig. The open rooftop area is substantially covered from the weather elements with more than enough tables and seating to please the crowds. We thought we would try the Corner Chilli Burger (Double) with two Ranger Valley wagyu beef patties, lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, jalapenos, chipotle mayo and a serve of chips on the side.

Comments
“Even though I’ve attended many gigs at the Corner, this was actually the first time I’ve ventured upstairs to the massive rooftop beer garden. Straight away I knew this was going to be a challenge to get through and consume in a dignified manner… and I was right. We did not need to go with the double; the beef was an off grey colour and somehow instead of being juicy, was “wet”. The two patties were both completely enveloped by a huge amount of stringy cheese that by the end felt like biting into rubber. In some cuisines, spices are added to mask poor quality meat, which I presume is the only reason jalapenos and chipotle were used in this burger. I’ll be back, however just for the live music.”
“The pattie was wagyu beef, but I can’t say I thought much of it. It felt and tasted like an everyday beef pattie. Those wagyu qualities just weren’t there for me. For an extra $2 we decided to go for the double pattie, but I think a single would’ve been enough. Some things that impressed me were the minimum amount of green stuff and the seductive amount of melted cheese all over the pattie. Another thing that really impressed me was the creamy characteristics the burger took on from the chipotle mayo – a really nice balance of cream and spice. The chips were OK.”
The Corner Hotel on Urbanspoon


Chompers

Friday, August 30, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Chompers_Donified

Chompers – 1118 Oxley Rd, Oxley, Queensland, Australia
Burger:
Donified Hamburger
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$10.50
Summary

From humble beginnings in 2007, Chompers has quickly become “that burger place” that folks from near and far visit to get their sweet, salty and hunger busting cravings satisfied. Now with three locations around Brisbane, Chompers leapt into the spotlight after creating the Oh My Goodness Burger. After seeing an episode of Man v Food owner Chris Bowe knew that something like this on his menu would get attention. Some media focused on the 6000 kilojoules story, whilst others were simply curious how this burger between two Krispy Kreme buns tasted. Chompers is a laid back kind of place, where the best seat in the house eat is outside on the plastic chairs with mates and a “Leave Your Diets Behind” attitude. As well as their burgers they offer fish & chips, curly fries, potato skins and a selection of deep fried desserts. All of their burgers are available in different sizes and can all be “Donified”. As it was our first experience we thought we’d keep it sensible and grab a Donified Hamburger that came with two Krispy Kreme donuts, handmade Chompers juicy mince patty on a soft burger bun with fresh lettuce, sliced tomato, fried onion and barbeque sauce.

Comments
“By nature I consider myself a semi-traditionalist when it comes to burgers: I mean there must be a reason why a beef pattie is best served with a bread bun. When faced with the Donified Burger the concept really turned me off. After reluctantly having the first bite I really couldn’t put it down; each bite just felt so more’ish. I thought that the donut would leave me full by the end, but this wasn’t the case. If anything it felt like a small entree. The pattie thickness was perfect, tasted great and really worked well in countering the sweetness of the donut. It also worked well with the BBQ sauces’ smoky characteristics.”
“If I could somehow get ahold of the blood of Hunter S. Thompson, Jim Morrison and Keith Richards, bottle it, add Coca-Cola and a funky cactus that you can only find in Mexico, then take a taste… then I’d be close to the trip my tastebuds went on that fateful evening at Chompers. God it was good. The sweetness of the Krispy Kreme donuts mixed so damn well with the salty beef patties and tangy bbq sauce. You end up not even thinking that you’re eating donuts; you’re just smashing a super salty sweet burger that you probably won’t find in many places. I can’t say I noticed the vegetables, but I’m sure they played their part. Chompers I salute you. Next time I’ll definitely be doubling my fun and taking my tastebuds for an even big ride.”
Chompers Oxley on Urbanspoon


New York Minute

Friday, August 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_NewYorkMinute

New York Minute – 491 Mount Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
New York Mac
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$10
Summary

Located on a compact, corner block with a spiffy new modern interior, New York Minute comes from pretty good pedigree as the owner is previously of Danny’s Burgers in Fitzroy and St Kilda. Offering a short but sweet menu these guys are open 7 days a week from breakfast ’til 10pm with nothing over $10. One sleepy Sunday night amongst the aroma of two of our favourite smells (coffee and burgers), we eagerly awaited their New York Mac with 2 Beef patties, special sauce, spinach leaves, Swiss cheese, pickles, onion and one and half buns.

Comments
“It takes some balls and confidence to take on the big guys when it comes to imitating an absolute classic however, I really think they’ve done it justice with their own twist. The 2 thin patties covered in cheese, combined with the 3 soft buns meant a super soft burger experience that contrasted really well with the sharpness of the special sauce and pickle. I was left looking a complete mess but I’d be happy to tackle it all over again.”
“This was what a real Big Mac should taste like! It had a real home made and slightly healthy spin to it with the inclusion of spinach and a higher grade of beef. The pattie tasted great and combined with the cheese and mayo it was like a gift from the take away gods. Delivered with minimal spinach so to avoid that gritty feeling in your teeth, the only real down side was that the bun was a bit too thick – especially the middle bun. The chips were great and were well worth paying an extra $5.50.”
“I ordered the New York Mac and didn’t even know what I was in store for. It arrived before me and all the planets aligned. A little hard to manage at first but when you bite in you those memories of when you graduated from Happy Meals to the big boy meals started to flood back. They’ve made their own special sauce, got the onions right and the pickles were spot on – but multiply any McExperience you’ve had with a wheelbarrow of quality and flavour and, this is where the New York Mac is at. The beef patties had a sweetness to them and the Swiss cheese was a beautiful creamy touch. It really makes you rethink ever eating a Big Mac again.”
New York Minute on Urbanspoon


Exchange Hotel

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ExchangeHotel

Exchange Hotel – 39 Bay St, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Exchange Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$22.90
Summary

With lots of room for activities and beautiful taps pouring lushes golden ale, the locals of Port Melbourne have been visiting The Exchange Hotel since 1916. With a classic formal dining area and a barn-like wooden ceiling that contains that sweet roast smell from the kitchen, this place will surely entice you for a Sunday sesh. As we always do, we went for the burger: the Exchange Beef Burger came with bacon, cheddar, caramelised onions, tomato, iceberg lettuce, pickled beetroot, garlic mayo and triple cooked house cut wedges.

Comments
“When paying more than $20 for a burger, one would expect the little things to be done right. Which is why I was a little shocked when after waiting over 40 minutes (in a half empty dining room) to find that the bacon had barely been cooked, and the cheese was cold, therefore unmelted. This ultimately resulted in the burger tasting more like a parma, minus the chicken of course. It was presented all pretend-fancy with the chopping board, the useless knife in the burger, and 6 measly, cold wedges… even after apparently being ‘triple cooked’.”
“Looking at the calibre of the food that our neighbouring tables were receiving and, smelling the great aroma of a Sunday roast filling the dining room, I was left surprisingly disappointed with the end product. I felt the presentation and texture of the burger let it down. Things like: the meat pattie being really compressed and feeling like I was eating a sausage, the cheese looking a bit stale or the cloud of doubt surrounding what was meant to be triple cooked wedges. The bacon and mayo were OK, but not great. All these negatives really tampered with what could have been a great burger to match the great service.”
“It’s freezing cold on a Sunday night and all you’re hoping for is a warm hearty meal (OK, maybe more). Whilst taking a seat in the church/barn-like dining room, I really believed I’d be getting one. It took a while to come out but I don’t know why because they weren’t busy. The pattie did very little for me and tasted a lot like supermarket sausage. The onions were my highlight; popping up with some sweetness every now and then. The burger was very balanced but it feels like it’s not the pride and joy of their menu.”
Exchange Hotel on Urbanspoon


Empress Hotel

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_EmpressHotel

Empress Hotel – 714 Nicholson St, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expext much
Price:
$13.50
Summary

The Empress Hotel first opened its doors in 1873 and thanks to a love and focus on live music, has not changed drastically over the years and, has earned its iconic status with an eclectic mix of regulars. The formal dining room is exactly that: a formal dining room with original wallpaper and light fixtures, Victorian era furniture, a large open fire place and is notably void of any plasma screens. As with all traditional pubs, The Empress Hotel offers a traditional pub menu with steak, fish & chips, chicken parma, shephards pie and a burger on offer. On a cold, wet, winter’s night, we took a step back in time, grabbed a couch near the fireplace and ordered the beef burger with Gourmet Angus beef, caramelised onion, mixed leaves, beetroot, cheese, tomato, cucumber and tomato relish.

Comments
“There was nothing really binding this burger together – even with the skewer in – many of the ingredients fell out before even taking the first bite. The large chunks of cold, crunchy beetroot, cucumber and tomato (although tasty), really overtook and cooled down the beef pattie and ended up tasting like a salad roll bought from a local bakery.”
“The burger really didn’t look like much and it kind of tasted as if it was its first day on the menu. The Angus pattie tasted pretty average but what really let it down was the the slice of beetroot that felt like it came out of a can and the bun that would have been more suitable as a breakfast roll. Adding more complication to the burger was the cucumber: it really didn’t feel like it belonged in there and the crunch and taste made me feel like I was eating a salad. The chips came out smelling of oregano and tasted good. For $13.50 I do think its passable, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
“If you want be the most comfortable you’ve been in a while then get yourself to the Empress. It won’t solve any of our Burger Adventure problems but you’re in the right environment to ail a cold Melbourne night. Think about this: you go in, sit on a couch with your buds, sit in front of a fire and pay 13 dollars for a pub burger and fries that are there to keep your insides warm. Apart from that the burger just tasted like they went to the supermarket that morning, bought the ingredients and slapped them together. All eatable, but it’s the kind of burger that speaks more to your hunger than your taste buds.”
The Empress Hotel on Urbanspoon


The Bush Inn

Friday, July 26, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Bush-Inn-Toorak

The Bush Inn – 505 Malvern Rd, Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$25
Summary

Standing tall on the corner of William and Malvern roads since 1849, the Bush Inn was once the place to meet your friends and family as you returned from the city on your horse and cart. With a refurbished dining room and a new menu devoted to the art of steak, this old world, family friendly restaurant is busy looking to reaffirm itself as the place to eat in Toorak. Dark wood, leather and maroon carpet give the place a cosy but sophisticated air. Although steaks are their bread and butter, they do offer a variety of other pub favourites like a parma, a chicken pot pie and fish and chips. Delivered to us by some very friendly staff we ordered the Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with a beef pattie, bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a side of chips and onion rings.

Comments
“This burger had everything you would expect from a big gourmet burger with the lot. However, I don’t think much thought and effort went into it. They didn’t even bother listing the ingredients on the menu. The beef was tasty but with everything else so rich, flavoursome and in the wrong proportions, they overpowered the pattie. This accompanied with the sweet brioche bun made it very difficult to even finish. I’m also ashamed to admit that I had to leave some onion rings on the plate.”
“The menu lists the burger as having The Lot included. Sure, its a nice idea but it just didn’t work here. There was so much going on that I really had a tough time enjoying it. It fell apart pretty damn quick, it lacked salt and, any real character for that matter. If you were hooked up with this burger on a blind date you’d be out the bathroom window quicker than you can say “vegetarian option”. It cost a lot of money so you expect quality. It looks like this meal is built to satisfy your hunger more than your taste buds. Sad, but true.”
The Bush Inn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon