Charlie & Co

Monday, July 27, 2015
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Charlie & Co – Melbourne Emporium, Level 3, 287 Lonsdale St,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Double Cheese & Bacon
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$13.90
Summary

Shopping centre food courts aren’t well-known for great quality. You can generally find a burger in amongst them but it’s usually from a wide sweeping chain. Charlie & Co are trying to break that mould. But it’s more of a quality not quantity kind of capacity. Located in high-end shopping destinations across Melbourne and Sydney means that there’s plenty of tourists ready to spend money. That’s why they’re able to charge a more exuberant price than you’re used to when it comes to food courts. Paying homage to Charlie “Hamburger” Nagreen, one of the many that claim they invented the hamburger, they’ve gone straight to the source for their schtick. They offer a range of burgers here but don’t get too crazy with the choices. The worst you could do would be an Aussie style burger that’s topped with pineapple and beetroot. Not for everyone, but some seem to love it. Having eaten here in Sydney I was keen to see if Melbourne could out-do it’s northern counterpart. I went for one of the most classic things on their menu, The Double Cheese and Bacon burger. It came on a seeded bun with smoked middle bacon, double cheese, a wagyu beef patty, pickled gherkins, Charlie’s signature tomato sauce and American mustard.

Comments
“Having eaten this in a Westfield in Sydney years ago, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. I mean Justin North might have been the founder but as before, I was placing my order in another shopping centre surrounded by day trippers and Emos. This burger feeds the hungry. It’s large and comes with a stack of chips if you happen to order a side. But that’s basically all it does. It looked really promising when it arrived but it didn’t deliver. The patty was a little bland. The bacon could’ve been much crispier, and I wish that the bun wasn’t so dense. I feel like for $14 I should be getting something that’s packed with more flavour. The highlights came from the restrained use of mustard, the sweetness from the pickles and the extra large salty chips.”


Big Huey’s Diner

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-HueysDiner

Big Huey’s Diner – 315 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Big Huey
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$14
Summary

Located right next to the iconic South Melbourne Market, Big Huey’s Diner has been pumping out burgers since opening in January 2014. The diner is the name sake of celebrity chef and fellow burger lover Iain Hewitson. Here at Burger Adventure we have been big advocates of Huey’s burgers dating back to his days at Barney Allen’s. The venue has a proper diner feel with booths, record duke box and Americana memorabilia. There’s a clear view of the magic occurring in the kitchen so you’ll be salivating in no time as the smells of beef and caramelised onion waft over to your table. We ordered The Big Huey: it came with two beef patties, Dijon mustard, housemade beetroot relish, crisp lettuce, sautéed red onion, grilled cheese, bacon and Judith’s tomato chutney all on Turkish bread roll.

Comments
“I had been eagerly awaiting visiting here for a couple of reasons, firstly, I’ve always been a big fan of Huey’s burger at Barney Allens and secondly I was expecting his take on the classic American diner. What was ultimately presented to us was about the exact opposite of what I was expecting. After initial disbelief I got around to cutting it in half in order to make it manageable. The Turkish bun was of the softer greasier variety and surprisingly held up fairly well, overall it was a very sweet burger coming from the beetroot, caramelised onions and tomato chutney that ended up superseding any of the traditional burger ingredients. Respect must be given to Huey for working the kitchen the busy Sunday afternoon we attended, and not simply putting his name on the door and resting on his laurels.”
“I believe Huey is out to challenge today’s double pattie burger with his modern day take. Having tried his burger in the Barney Allen days this burger is a departure from traditional. Maybe I’m just not ready to try new interpretations of what I consider as a real burger? I found the Turkish bread spongy and sloppy, the pattie wasn’t as tasty as I hoped it to be and what bunched my shorts the most was stacking the two patties side-by-side like a 6ft sub sandwich and not as God intended. Sorry guys, but it should be called a sandwich.”
“The burger was odd. I cant even be sure that I can call this a burger. More of a sub. I guess thats why this is an Adventure. I cut it in half, as did the others, to get two small sandwiches. Rather than an American diner inspired burger, it was like you were running late for a bbq and the host asked you to do one thing: bring some hamburger buns. Pity the bakeries are all closed and the supermarket has run out. Then the guy stacking the shelf suggests these turkish bread things. You panic because you’re late and just go with them. The desserts all looks pretty good, but because the burger was so sweet, I felt like I’d already had it. However memorable, it was just an OK burger/sub experience for me.”
Big Huey's Diner on Urbanspoon


Little Bacoa

Monday, November 25, 2013
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Little Bacoa – C/ Colomines 2, Born, Barcelona, Spain
Burger:
Bacoa Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
€6.50/$9.60 AUD
Summary

When the burger wave hit Barcelona, it hit pretty hard. In a large way, one Australian is at fault. In 2006, Brad Ainsworth, a Brisbane-born, Rockpool-trained chef opened Wushu: Wok restaurant and Noodle Bar. It was so successful that people couldn’t even get a table. This is normally a good thing for a venue, but in order to appease the crowds Ainsworth decided to move his Thai restaurant to a bigger venue. During the move and whilst trying to sell the former Wushu shop, Ainsworth decided that he didn’t want space to go to waste, so he opened up a temporary burger joint with hope to attract new buyers. Sure enough, in no time at all there were queues forming around the block. The bastard love-child, Bacoa, was such a hit that he closed down the new Wushu and opened up Kiosko, sister venue to Bacoa, where burgers reigned supreme. Little Bacoa as it is now called (to differentiate it from their 2nd venue Bacoa Universitat) is located right next to the Santa Caterina Market, so produce is always super fresh. Their menu consists of different hamburger options from a traditional option to a Japanese burger that uses a teriyaki sauce. I went for their signature Bacoa burger that came with two 150g beef patties, bacon, Manchego cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and special house sauce.

Comments
“Initially I thought of heading to the sister venue Kiosko. But, my homie in Barca steered me away saying, “That’s where the tourists go. Bocoa is for real locals.” In other words, long live the original king. I sat down at the large communal table elbow to elbow with burger loving Catalans and was presented with quite a monster of a burger. It looked super sexy but probably about 5 bites in it all started to fall apart. The all-ingredient packed bites I did manage to get in were highlighted by the tightly packed, fat-coated beef pattie and the salty Manchego. The bacon, caramelised onions, tomato and lettuce all blended with another, which in this case was quite a good thing – they let the heroes lead the way. I got a nice zing from the pickles every now and then but they weren’t overwhelming in the slightest. If you’re going here for lunch I would be wary of the epic sleepiness this brings on… or should I say “siesta-ness”.”


New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo

Monday, May 13, 2013
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New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo – 3-7-1 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan (東京オペラシティビル東京オペラシティタワー‎)
Burger:
New York Cheese and Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
8
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
¥4700/$46.20 AUD/$46.20 USD
Summary

Located on the 52nd floor with 360 degree views over Tokyo, the New York Grill has been the place to dine and drink since it opened in 1995. It has also grown in popularity ever since being centre stage for Sofia Coppola’s Oscar nominated film, Lost in Translation. The moment you step out of the elevator you are warmly greeted by the professional hosts and immediatly get the impression you have arrived somewhere special. A dimly lit interior of dark wood, ebony chairs, walnut flooring and four huge paintings of New York scenes by Italian artist Valerio Adami work perfectly to not interrupt the view through the floor to ceiling windows. All suited up and looking dapper as hell, we ordered our most expensive burger yet – the New York Cheese and Bacon Burger. It came with a wagyu beef pattie, bacon, onion strings, gruyere, tomato, paprika mayo and a side of duck fat chips

Comments
“Without a doubt the highlight of this burger for me was the bacon and cheese. This did suprise me a little as I expected the beef to be the standout. Don’t get me wrong, the beef was amazing and cooked perfectly. The cheese was just so creamy and smooth and the bacon was the thickest piece I’ve ever had in a burger but also the softest. It sounds cliche but it literally did melt in your mouth. With expert waiters who laughed their ass off at my lame jokes (lame, but still hilarious) and killer views capped of a pretty good saturday arvo.”
“It was good… very good. . The wagyu pattie was soft, juicy and tasty, the dried onions were perfect and the gruyere cheese added a nice creaminess to it. The tomato sauce was fantastic, even though my burger didn’t need any more, I just had to add more. The Paprika mayo was good and also add a nice tang. Overall all the produce was top notch but I don’t think it was worth the money. The chips were good.”
“This burger was awesome! I don’t think I could’ve faulted it. The beef was seasoned with oregano and a bit of onion, melting in your mouth with every bite. Yes, the gruyere was tremendous, but this bacon was worthy of an award – cut nice and thick, when combined with the beef just glistened in fatty awesomeness. If you’re any sort of a burger (or Bill Murray) fan, this Tokyo adventure is the one for you.”


Tree of Us

Friday, March 1, 2013
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71 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tree Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14
Summary

When you consider its location, you could almost say Tree of Us is in the middle of nowhere. Standing as a solo cafe/restaurant away from the busier end of Church St is a bold move. But thats the style of the three Primary School pals who opened up this ecclectic, high-quality produce driven eatery. Part owner and former Chef at Rockpool, Shane Scource, has created a menu that’ll cater to pretty much anyone with a jaw and a decent set of tastebuds. Breakfast offers the likes of eggs cooked your way to slow cooked organic beans to a breaky burger. And that’s where it gets interesting – the burgers. With a whole page dedicated to the Meal of Kings you’ll find a number of different takes on the traditional hamburger. They’ve even got a burger challenge going that might get you a burger named in your honour. When it came for us to try one of their acclaimed creations, we took a seat in some ex-church pews and ordered the tantalising Tree Cheese Burger. In between a Brioche bun came a Bertie’s Butchers Wuk Wuk beef chuck pattie covered with melted Swiss, mozzarella and goats cheese, red onion, roquette, house tomato relish and dijon.

Comments
“A seriously fresh and light burger that was really easy to consume, in what felt like about 3 bites. The soft and fluffy bun completely enveloped the ingredients and helped keep everything from falling out. Although, I did remove the roquette myself as im just not a fan of its texture in a burger. The house made tomato relish was the real dominant flavour, giving off hints of a traditional tomato pasta sauce that unfortunately drowned out the course, beefy pattie and trio of cheeses. I’ve got to say I’m a BIG fan of the fact they donate a percentage of their profits to planting trees.”
“This is how I imagine the Tree Cheese Burger was created… Owners to Chef: “You can’t really be thinking of melting 3 different kinds cheeses onto that burger can you?” Chef to Owners: “YOLO mothereffers!” and walks out the room with his hands in the air. Well, I hope it went down that way because it sure got my taste buds excited at the thought of all those cheeses. Arriving at our table the oozing was just as I had expected. Biting in I noticed that because of all the home made relish – choc full of cumin and paprika – the pattie remained cleverly unseasoned. Smart move as to not drown my palette but I wished the Wuk Wuk beef the star of the show. But unfortunately its condiment counterparts and creamy cheeses hogged more of the stage than desired. All in all, I left Tree of Us with my mind made up that this is the sort of burger that I’d have to be in a particular mood to eat. Its not a 3am dirty burger, its something I’d push towards the gourmet side of the scale. Which you’ve got to respect. Next time I’d give it a crack but ask for my relish on the side.
The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon


Stokehouse (Downstairs)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stokehouse (Downstairs) – 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Chargrilled Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$21
Summary

Situated on Melbourne’s famous St Kilda Beach, Stokehouse has been an iconic dining institution in Melbourne for over 20 years. Upstairs you have the ever-booked-out formal dining restaurant with panaromic sea views. Then downstairs is the more relaxed Bar & Grill that’s open every day from midday to midnight. Ideal all year round; an open fire to keep you warm in winter and outdoor seating to watch the colourful world pass you by in the summer. The menu offers plenty of items to share as well as serving pizzas, pastas, steak and of course our order, the Chargrilled Beef Burger. In between a sweet American style bun we discovered a 300 day grain fed beef pattie (minced on site), caramelised onion, melted Hiedi raclette cheese, lettuce, tomato, Paprika aioli & tomato relish. This is all accompanied by a serving of crinkle cut fries.

Comments
“I really have to say this is the closest thing to a “Mexican Burger”. It was just full of flavours that could have just as easily been wrapped in a taco. Not to say this is a bad thing, as the beef pattie was juicy and full of great flavour. The paprika aioli and sweet tomato relish perfectly balanced out the burger and gave it a nice spicy/sweet finish. But if you threw some guacamole in there and grabbed a cerveza, you could be a little bit closer to a Mexican holiday.”
“The first thing that I noticed about this burger was how much it smelt like taco mince. Then to confirm my curiosity it ended up, with certain bites, tasting like taco mince. The sweetness of the relish really balanced out the peppery seasoning of the beautifully cooked beef. The bun started off perfectly and added a whole other level of sweetness to the burger. But after a bit it just disintegrated and the remaining ingredients fell out the bottom. Oh, and I really liked the taps in the bathrooms.”
“What I loved most about this burger was the bun. Yeah sure, I suppose the beef pattie was good too, packed with all sorts of different flavours and spices like cumin and peppery paprika. But what sticks out in my memory is that bun, the sweetness and its almost, “gentleness” was… perfection. I feel like the aioli wasn’t really needed – not that it was too saucy – but I would’ve preferred simple ketchup. The chips were ok.”
“This burger was a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What I mean is, if you’re going to go all bold, meaty and traditional with your burger – sure lets get messy. But when you’re presenting something a little fancy, with more exotic flavours, then lets keep it together. Not saying I want to eat it with a knife and fork or anything, but let me eat every single part of this new experience without losing most of it to “slide”. Flavourwise, the almost Mexicana take on it just threw me off. Not that it wasn’t a tasty burger, but you’d just have to be in a particular mood for it.”


Charlie & Co.

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Charlie & Co. – Lvl 5, Westfield Sydney, Cnr Market & Castlereagh St, Sydney, Australia
Burger:
The Wagyu & Co. Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18 Eat in
Summary

Two things we’ve learnt about chefs over the last couple of years: 1, they’re insane and 2, it seems like every one of them wants their own tiny takeaway joint. Totally understandable of course. Chances are most of us will remember being a kid and delving into a box of fastfood quicker than you can say “Copernicus”. Everyone one from Bobby Flay to Neil Perry, even Marky Mark, is putting their passion for burgers into practice. Justin North is no exception. Coming up through the Sydney scene in the early Naughties with restaurants like Bécasse, then later on with Etch, La Grand Cafe and Quarter 21, Justin’s infamy didn’t catch our attention until we dropped past Plan B back in early 2010. His wagyu burger there was a lunchtime hit, but since shutting up shop after big brother restaurant Bécasse moved to the new 1.2 Billion dollar Westfield Shopping Centre, he needed a new outlet for his burger love. To North, it was evident that good burgers were in demand and so in late 2010, paying homage to supposedly the first bloke in America to start making hamburgers, Charlie & Co was born. Looking around at the sleek, elegant and chic eatery, everything that you wouldn’t expect from a burger joint in a shopping centre food court, we were delivered two of their well-known Wagyu & Co. Burgers. In between a Bécasse Bakery sesame seed bun lay a Wagyu pattie with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin, lettuce, aged cheddar and aioli.

Comments
“I have long been an advocate of getting rid of food court shops because it’s always shit and come 2am the next day when you are hugging the toilet bowl, you really hate yourself. Like the other shopping centre eateries we’ve chosen to review, Charlie and Co. is anything but average. Its Wagyu Burger is a very neat little burger with each bite being well-balanced and delivering a different punch of flavour each time. It did need some sauce though, just for that additional saltiness that I like in my burgers. The pattie wasn’t overly thick but was still juicy – not so juicy as to stain your G-STAR jeans you would have bought from a department store 5 minutes before, but still decent drip. The bun was a nice little gem too, not too doughy, but nice and soft. Chips were good – slightly on the cold side though.”
“I went into this adventure with some big expectations. We’d had a whole lot of emails about this burger and so when it was time to take the jet up to Sydney, I knew we had to check it out. Accompanied with a big smile and some great service, this thing came out looking like a superstar. What impressed me most was the pure and simple thought process behind it. As opposed to what a proctologist might tell you, pickles, beetroot, mayo, beef and buns are a great idea! The burger’s biggest downfall though was the lack of salt. Because you’re dealing with Wagyu its beefiness doesn’t come through like with Angus, so to compensate I had to add a squirt of ketchup for the extra flavour kick. Overall for me, it was OK; but maybe a little too much hype and coin surrounding this one. If I was in the area on our next Sydney trip, I guess I’d go back to see how their Angus burgers measure up. Plus also, it’s not everyday I get to ride an escalator.”
Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon