The Palace Hotel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
TheBurgerAdventure-PalaceHotel

The Palace Hotel – 505 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$20
Summary

The Palace Hotel has done what most places don’t: down-scaled the fancy. What was once a rather slow paced gastropub that catered to empty nesters with a a disposable income has now become a chilled out, pet friendly local. Proprietors Jess, Pratty and Dan welcome everyone down for a low-key night whenever you’re in the mood for a Draught and can’t be bothered cooking. There mascot and pet, Billy the Staffy can be seen running around getting up to mischief, but he’s only looking for a pat and isn’t one to say no to a dropped chip. Although less fancy than before, their menu still offers some on-trend dishes like pulled pork and buffalo wings but there is still the option of a traditional pie and classic parma. We went for the Beef burger that came on seeded bun with a beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese with a side of pickles and French fries.

Comments
“The venue is barely recognisable from it’s previous existence and I can sense the current owners are trying to turn it back into a classic local pub. To the naked eye there was nothing fancy or experimental about the burger, with everything being your stock standard burger ingredients. That is, until you bit into the extremely thick, spicy, chilli flaked beef patty. It felt out of place and dwarfed all other flavours, and due to the size, had been cooked for a while leaving parts of it really dry. Highlight of the night was getting to meet and pat the local resident dog, Billy.”
“Visually this burger looked to have each of my boxes checked. The bun was fluffy, the melted cheese looked amazing on the pattie and the mustard with the pickle looked to keep everything balanced. Just like my disappointment on Christmas day when my parents decided to buy me encyclopedia Britannica instead of the Lego Police Station I wanted, that same level of disappointment came rushing back when biting into that pattie. Like my parents that year the chef chose to do something different from normal convention. In his case he tried to distinguish the burger by what I call “misusing beef” by making it super dense and sticking a whole heap of unnecessary ingredients like chilli and mustard seeds. And just like I told my parents back then, I repeated the words again to my fellow diners on this occasion, “Can we return it?”. Unfortunately in my case I had pretty much consumed half of the burger and would feel a bit awkward returning it at that point, but the pain and disappointment was there folks. I would like to try this burger again when (or if) the powers at be change their recipe, I think there is huge untapped potential here. Shoestring fries were awesome.”
“Now, at first glance this looked pretty good. It had everything I really like in a burger, down to the side of pickles and French fries. That first spicy bite raised my eyebrows and made me say “Wow”. I was not expecting any spice to it all. The patty was finely minced, it had little bit of fat and plenty of spice. It wasn’t the kind of spice that burnt though – far from it. It was just that it was the dominating flavour in the burger. It took over any, saltiness or beefy goodness that the patty had to offer. And for 20 bucks you’re getting screwed. This burger has so much potential here too. K.I.S.S.”
The Palace Hotel on Urbanspoon


South Melbourne Trader

Monday, March 31, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-SthMelbTrader

South Melbourne Trader – 111 Cecil St,
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15.90
Summary

The South Melbourne Trader is one of those contemporary pub venues that’s built to cater for all sorts of crowds, from the big lunch time work crowds on a Friday, to the modern family who’s not in the particular mood to cook. Located only 2 minutes’ walk from the South Melbourne Markets this place has done well to build a local following in an area with plenty of old time pubs on offer. Former Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Johnon MacDonald has brought his knowledge to SMT and put together a quality Wagyu burger at an affordable price. It arrived on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, house made pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, Jamaican Jerk and hand cut chips.

Comments
“At first bite, several of the distinct flavours made be double guess whether or not I’d actually eaten this burger before. Once I lifted up the top bun and the bright pink pickled onions stared back at me, revealing the uncanny similarities between this and the Wagyu burger at Rockpool. The brioche bun combined with all the pickled vegetables and Jamaican Jerk sauce unfortunately overpowered the beef patty, which was cooked a little longer than ideal. However, when tasted on its own had great flavour.”
“The burger had a very tasty pattie with the right level of moisture in it and at the perfect thickness. The bun did get a bit mushy towards the end, but it made the distance, so no real complaints. There was minimal green stuff on offer, but they were very generous on the mayo. For a lunch time option I think it’s slightly on the heavy side, but that’s what long Friday lunches are for. Chips were average.”
“I’m normally the kind of guy to put more mayo on top of mayo. But this experience was even too creamy for me. The Rockpool on a budget burger still had really good moments. It makes sense for them to copy its greatness as not every one has had the pleasure of visiting Neil Perry’s fine establishment. The beef was by far the standout with a nice beefy charr to it, but it needed to be heroed more. All the sauces and onions stole its limelight. It looked small, but the sleepiness that hung around afterwards was enough to make me think about pulling over on my drive home. Pretty good but I’d go the original (and pay for it) any day of the week.”
The South Melbourne Trader on Urbanspoon


Back to the Burger

Monday, January 27, 2014
Back2theBurger4

For us here at The Burger Adventure, the year 2013 was filled to the brim with a tonne of tantalising new burger joints. So before we could dive into sorting out our top 10 for the year, we needed to revisit the 2012’s most awesome burgers for a little quality control. While there were some surprises, both good and bad, for the greater good and for the burger loving public, it had to be done.

10. HUXTABURGER – 106 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
2012
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2013
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“It felt like we copped a burger from the end of the production line as it was more like ‘sauce with a side of burger': absolutely drowning in sauce and soggy.”


9. PARLOUR DINER – 64 CHAPEL STREET, WINDSOR
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Parlour
2013
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“This time round the burger was presented a tad taller with a little less greenery.”


8. MR BURGER – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_MrBurger
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-MrBurger2013

“From food truck to multiple locations around Melbourne, we knew these guys would go a long way. Very similar burger as before with the exception of a whole lot more mayo being added to the mix. ”


7. BELLE’S DINER – 150 GERTRUDE STREET, FITZROY
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_BellesDiner
2013
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“A new bun, a pickled onion on top and fries come separately now. Plus, they spell their ‘Diner Burger’ with only one R now.”


6. TRUNK DINER – 275 EXHIBITION STREET, MELBOURNE
2012
Trunk Diner
2013
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“Stacked a little higher these days with a sweeter brioche bun (that completely dissolved by the end). Still real good value though.”


5. ROCKWELL & SONS – 288 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
2012
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2013
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“This burger hasn’t changed one bit, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”


4. ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockpool-2011
2013
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“It’s got the exact same ingredients and flavours, however the burger has increased in size and is actually a challenge to finish.”


3. NSHRY – 129A BEACONSFIELD PDE, ALBERT PARK
2012
NSHRY
2013
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“This would have to be one of the most difficult burgers to get right every time, yet they always manage to. There’s also now chips instead of onion rings as the side.”


2. BEATBOX KITCHEN – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
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2013
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“Even as the years roll by the Raph Burger is still consistently awesome. It’s got that signature creamy flavour that keeps Melbourne coming back for more.”


1. THE MERRYWELL – CR CLARENDON STREET & CROWN RIVERSIDE, SOUTHBANK
2012
Merrywell
2013
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“As big, as ugly, as messy and as delicious as we remember: exactly as it should be.”



Burger It

Thursday, January 16, 2014
The-Burger-Adventure_BurgerIt

Burger It – 628 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Star Spangled Banner
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$11.50
Summary

Blink and you might miss it. But, what you won’t miss in this small shop is their big range of burgers on offer. With enough bench space for 7-8 people and its very friendly service, they’ll make you want to eat in rather that take away. There’s a big emphasis on sourcing local produce and freshness, every burger is made to order with a real “Ma and Pa” feel; the hardest thing is picking what burger to go for. We went for the “Star Spangled Banner” burger with a 150g char grilled organic beef pattie, double tasty cheese, pickle, lettuce, tomato sauce, American mustard and 1000 island mayo.

Comments
“I’m always a little dubious when a venue claims to be “Australia’s Greatest Burger”. Even moreso when it’s newly opened and there isn’t a single other customer in site. This burger definitely wasn’t breaking any rules, with your stock standard ingredients all in small portions, leaving only subtle hints of flavour that combined to create a very non-memorable burger. The bun was rather doughy and the beef had been cooked right through, the only saving grace was the combination of three sauces.”
“This was a nice and easy to manage burger. The pattie was a perfect thickness with the right amount of juice and beautifully covered by a healthy amount of double cheese. I always like having options of altering my burger, unfortunately it wasn’t on how my meat should be cooked, but what bun I would like to go with: multigrain or a white bun, I went for the white bun. Pickles were good and not too much lettuce. Chips were ok.”
“There were no immediate signs of terrificness when I saw the burger. But the first bite in and a whole lot of charred flavour took over. That’s about where things started and ended. Every bite that followed was rather polite and safe. The most positive thing the burger had going for it was the sauce combo: never had a I thought of mixing mustard, ketchup and thousand island. it took the edge of the mustard and gave a nice sweet zing. I get that the area is filled with international students, and a sign saying “Australia’s greatest hamburger” is probably going to spark their interest. But c’mon guy, give us a break.”
Burger It on Urbanspoon


Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Monday, December 9, 2013
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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


Laurie Dee’s

Friday, December 6, 2013
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Laurie Dee’s – Pacific Epping, Epping, Victoria, Australia, Australia
Burger:
The Double Laurie Dee Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$9.95
Summary

Laurie Dee’s recently reopened within the $30 million ‘Urban Diner’ development at Pacific Epping (previously Epping Plaza) providing a restaurant and entertainment precinct that caters to the demands of all the families moving into the new surrounding estates. As you’d expect, everything is brand spanking new and th evenue resembles a cross between an American diner and a fast food outlet. We ordered at the counter, grabbed a booth and eagerly awaited the Double Laurie Dee Burger with Angus beef that’s minced daily and then smashed, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, special D’Sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles and tomato relish.

Comments
“Oh God this looked the goods and was exactly what I needed as I was completely starving (having taken the long way to get to Epping). With giant, crusty chunks of beef hanging off and ample amounts of cheese, I could not wait for my first bite. The beef was perfectly salted and crumbly with creamy cheese filling in every crevice. The pickle added a nice sour bite, but possibly the only thing I’d change is the tomato relish to a ketchup – apart from that I couldn’t fault it. The smash method of cooking a patty (starting with a fresh ball of mince and then smashing into smithereens with a spatula on the hot plate) has not caught on in Australia but I’m glad these guys have done it, and done it so well.”
“This was a very cheesy and greasy experience. Packed with meat/juice goodness, relish and melted cheese, each bite is consistently the same in taste and texture. The Special “D” sauce combined well with the relish. There wasn’t a lot of green stuff to make it boring, but enough to add some underlying fresh tones to cut through the sauce. The chips come seasoned with herbs and really tasted great – good enough not to share.”
“What really got me excited was when I saw other diners’ burgers. I was filled with massive food envy as I waited for my meal. As it arrived at our table all the signs of a smashburger were apparent: a smashed pattie. It was terribly soft and greasy, and by “terribly” I mean “awesomely”. I was too busy trying to keep a good grip on it all to try ingredients individually but the main flavours were soft, salty beefiness and then the creamy punch of the melted cheese. The only thing I would change would be their special sauce to something more traditional. Save your airfare money, maybe pack an over night bag (we are talking Epping here) and make your way down to Laurie D’s for a little piece of the USA in and around your mouth.”
Laurie Dees on Urbanspoon


Tuck Shop Take Away

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Tuckshop

Tuck Shop Take Away – 273 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield North,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Minor
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.50
Summary

Occupying a small corner shop in a sleepy pocket of Caulfield, Tuck Shop Take Away blends in seamlessly with it’s surroundings and could very easily go unnoticed. However, the line of people out the door is hard to miss. The husband and wife duo, with a resumé between them that includes Fat Duck, Attica and Vue Du Monde, may explain the queues and hype as they offer their version of the local shop of yesteryear. Once inside, everything should look familiar as they’ve decked it out full of retro and nostalgic items and, the familiarity continues on the menu full of burgers, jaffles, shakes and sweets. We waited patiently and ordered a Minor burger that comes with a 100% beef pattie, served pink on the inside, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, onion, pickles and Tuck Shop sauce.

Comments
“All the signs of a good burger were there before even seeing one; a big line of people who aren’t grumpy is always a good indication. The anticipation escalated quickly when I saw the guy moulding the beef patties fresh right before our eyes and the confirmation came the moment I unwrapped my burger and took my first bite. Everything was in perfect proportion, resulting in a delicious bite each and every time. The beef had a great amount of flavour and juice trapped inside, with the saltiness combining well with the cheese and salad. The bun wasn’t as sweet as your typical brioche bun, which I prefer, however still soft but dense enough to remain intact until the end. We ordered way too many chips and ashamed that I hadn’t done any exercise that day, unfortunately left some behind.”
“When I think Tuck Shop I’m always taken back to the days of school where Four’n Twenty pies, chico rolls and sausage rolls dominated kids greasy hands on the playground. The concept of a burger in the school tuckshop was just big filling buns with a flat, under seasoned, over cooked square pattie topped off with Rosella sauce and Kraft cheese squares. This burger is still very humble in its presentation and ingredients with nothing lavish, but made with so much care and precision that every element in there serves a great purpose. I loved pausing between bites, grabbing a hand full of the most saltiest fries and throwing them down my gob. That balance of tang and salt in my mouth was take-away heaven indeed.”
“Over the years I have eaten my fair share of burgers and this first bite has been one of the best. A cheersquad full of softness, juiciness and tangy mustard cartwheeled up to my tastebuds and introduced themselves. As much as I enjoyed those first couple of chews I was hoping that there’d be more boldness to the experience; more lingering flavours rather than fleeting. Being so light and so tasty this makes this a great choice for a lunchtime burger.”
Tuck Shop Take Away on Urbanspoon