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


Prince Alfred Hotel

Friday, April 19, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PrinceAlfred

Prince Alfred Hotel – 619 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Prince Alfred Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

A pub with all the right elements: a beer tap, beer garden and a good variety of fancified pub grub (best enjoyed with beer of course). Ask any Richmond native and they will tell you this place is an institution; great for quick drinks after work, long lunches and Sunday dinners. Upon first inspection you might think this place is quiet and cosy – almost grandma cosy. But when you notice all the flatscreens and the sensational beer garden, you can imagine how busy it might get here on a Saturday night before/during/after the footy. As well a handful of imported and local beers on tap their menu offers the usual pub favourites but with a bit of a new age twist. They tried to tempt us with veal and sage sausages, herb and lemon crumbed chicken with radicchio and even spaghettini, but of course we were here for the Prince Alfred Burger. It came with a beef pattie on a brioche bun, relish, cheese, lettuce, onion, aoli, caramelised onions and a side of fries.

Comments
“I knew that the Prince Alfred had renovated and gone for a more refined dining style rather than the traditional pub. But what threw me was this formal dining area paired with flat screen TVs. I guess they thought that no dude should go without footy, even when the Mrs drags him out for a romantic weekend dinner. It was a well presented burger that played it pretty safe. As you would expect from this place all the ingredients they used were really fresh and packed with flavour. A thick juicy pattie was held together by a sweet fresh brioche bun, with a side of really good chips. Like I said… not a burger that’s changing the world, but it is something you could rely on being tasty everytime you go.”
“They’ve taken little risk in terms of ingredients; just your basic beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato between a bun. But my God, when you’re using really good quality and fresh produce that’s full of flavour, why would you mess with a sure thing? Starting off quite tall due to a giant hunk of juicy beef, everything eventually squashed down into a manageable bite. The lettuce and tomato added just the right amount of crunch but didn’t take anything away from the great tasting beef. Although if I had to pick out anything, it would’ve been a tad pinker pattie.”
“For a pub dining area it’s a bit more formal. With elegant chairs and tables, soft amber lights and well dressed staff, I almost felt like I needed to wear a shirt. But what threw me off were the flat screen TVs playing football – they made me feel like I was in a TAB. What frustrates me is not knowing what’s in my burger. Sometimes venues name a burger and don’t provide any details about whats in it (I need details folks). Overall, the burger was tasty, a touch sweet and good quality. Not to mention being accompanied by some great tasting chips.”
“Venue discrepancies aside, this was a lovely bite. Was it memorable though? Not entirely. I guess when you look at it on the grand scheme of things, it actually sits nicely with other tasty burgers. But, without anything to really to call its very own, it was hard to spot an “it” factor that could take the burger from good to great. Aside from that, it was simple, fresh and enjoyable. I really shouldn’t complain though because if I’m after a really fresh take on a classic in Richmond, I’d come here.”
Prince Alfred on Urbanspoon


Little Rose

Thursday, February 14, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Little-Rose

Little Rose – 10 Heath St, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Southside Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$11
Summary

Once you look past all the footballers’ wives and the Gold Coast-like shine of Bay St, you might notice some worthwhile spots to kick back with a bite and brews. The former Rose Hotel is no stranger to a make over, but this one looks like it might stay around a while. Mates, Steed Sherriff (ex The Royal Saxon) and Ashley Cranston (ex Little Creatures Dining Hall), have fitted this Port Melbourne establishment with an outfit for almost any occasion. Rose Diner out front (entrance off Bay St) takes a few diner dishes and adds a more modern twist. What took our fancy though was the offerings that Little Rose lists on their menu. Open for breakfast and lunch Little Rose dishes out a selection of hit-the-spot dishes like Jaffles, waffles and milkshakes. Casually sitting down in the Sunday sun we ordered the Southside Burger that came with a Black Angus pattie, smoked bacon, cheddar, tomato, and an onion ring all on a toasted brioche bun.

Comments
“After entering Rose Diner and asking about Little Rose, we were graciously escorted through the back door and past a row of kegs to find ourselves in Little Rose. Although I think we entered the wrong way, it really added to the mystique. Arriving in one of the red little baskets that automaticly make you think, “these guys aren’t f***ing around” I bit into a really great, sweet buttery bun holding a charred beef pattie – soft, pink and juicy on the inside. The fresh tomato and crunchy pickles work really well with single onion ring and smoked bacon. I have to say I am fairly impressed with this unassuming place.”
“First fun fact: food that is served in a red plastic basket tastes better. Second fun fact: food that features an onion ring tastes better. Therefore the combo of these two factors made for a really enjoyable burger experience. There was a nice bit of crunch coming from the perfectly charred beef as well as the fresh tomato and pickle slices. Although stacked high with a really soft and fluffy bun, everything ended up squishing down into an easily managable and tasty bite.”
“What really stands out for me besides the great tasting burger is the environment in which it was served. It really made me feel like I was at my local café (where everyone one knows the way you like your coffee) looking at the world go by. The burger itself was great, with a great buttery bun, juicy pattie and some great tasting supportive condiments. The pickle was crisp, fresh and tasted tremendous when combined with the mayo dressing. Big props for the crispy onion ring and chips that had been beautifully cooked.”
“I’ve got a confession to make. What really drove me to take B,D and G to Little Rose was the waffles. If you’re opening up an eatery and want to get my attention, add burgers + waffles to your menu. The burger was unveiled in magnificent fashion, gliding out in a red basket – pretty as a picture. It was salty and sweet; mainly from a nice balance between the tomato and single onion ring. A really nice move on not going overkill by not adding too many. The beef had a slight charr to it but was soft as marshmallows on the inside. My only suggestion might have been the addition of little spice? Whether in the burger or some jalapeno poppers on the side – but thats just me being picky. I really, really rate this burger. And for 11 bucks this thing is incredible.”
Little Rose Cafe on Urbanspoon


Coco Cubano

Friday, November 30, 2012

Coco Cubano – 157 Greville St, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14.90
Summary

Located on a prime corner position on the ever evolving and eclectic enclave that is Greville St, Prahran, Coco Cubano is a living tribute to all things Cuban. Stereotypical Cuban photographs adorn the walls including cigars, vintage cars, Che Guevara, coffee beans and family portraits of moustached men. With the Coco Cubano philosophy being ‘Viva la revolucion! Be the revolucion’, they encourage you to get amongst it with a wide selection of coffee, chocolates, cocktails and tapas menu. Despite their political differences and embargo the Cubans were not denied the humble American burger. Accompanied by a $15 jug of Sangria (Sunday arvo’s only) we ordered the Wagyu burger that came on wholemeal bun with a 100% Wagyu beef mince with onion, bacon, cheese, capsicum, garlic aioli and some thick cut chips.

Comments
“With the sun still shining and the temperature sitting in the high 20’s in the early evening, we could of almost convinced ourselves we were in Cuba. Then we realised we live in Victoria, the nanny state, therefor there wasn’t any aroma of a Cuban cigar in the air. This burger had some serious ingredients in it; all packing some great flavours, really fresh and high quality. This left me thinking how they made any money off the burger at the price it was at. This was the first time I had experienced capsicum in a burger and thought it suited it. It added a bit of spice to an otherwise extremely creamy burger. The wholemeal bun ultimately fell apart due to the serious juice oozing from the wagyu beef.”
“Blending an almost Caribbean vibe with Greville St culture is an interesting and a brave take. As you walk off the street you suddenly feel the urge to drink from a cocktail glass with an umbrella in it. I really enjoyed the theme and casualness of the place, add the fact that the open kitchen had a fiery grill roaring at the time we walked in and the smell had me hooked. The pattie was a meaty, thick Wagyu chunk that tasted great. Your initial reaction is to add sauce, but after a few bites you don’t need it. The roasted peppers with aioli really worked well in this burger, as did the wholemeal bun. The thick chips were really good, crusty on the outside and with great amount of seasoning.”
“As stated, we paid $14.50 a pop for this burger. So when it came out looking like a million bucks with all the fancy bells and whistles, boy was I impressed. As soon as I bit in I experienced a wave of creaminess seeping out of its every nook and cranny. Time passed and I started to consider the potential logic behind the wholemeal bun. Never would I even think of using such a thing but then I realised it was just there for support. The wholemeal made for neutral, non-intrusive scaffolding. So, apart from eventually falling apart, it wasn’t so bad. Overall the burger was quite simple, creamy and meaty, but I felt it lacked a bit of acidity. It needed an extra something to cut through the decadent aioli and cheese. Maybe some red onion, pickles or even sweet tomato ketchup would’ve helped that out. I honestly really liked this burger; especially for the price.”
Coco Cubano on Urbanspoon


Gramercy Bistro

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gramercy Bistro – 162 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gramercy Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$20.50
Summary

It’s fair to say that when a place takes on a name like “Gramercy Bistro” you’re more than likely to think of all that is cool about Manhattan. Go on and add one of Melbourne’s trendiest hotels in the Cullen (a part of the Art Series Hotels) and big expectations loom. Paying homage to some of NYC’s greatest hotels, owner Adam Faigan and Head Chef Rodd Blutman and his team have put together a menu that injects a little bit of Melbourne into many go-to New York dishes like Reuben sandwiches, Steak frites, Buttermilk Pancakes of course, the humble hamburger. Catering for every kind of diner also extends to the layout: a casual deli/cafe approach towards the front, cocktails and cigars in the inside-outside area, or the relaxed, but a touch more formal, dining space near the back of the restaurant. On a sun filled Sunday we sat smack-bang in the middle and ordered their signature Gramercy Burger that comes with a Brioche bun, Wagyu beef pattie, bacon, onions, pickles, melted cheddar, tomato, relish, mustard and a side of shoestring fries.

Comments
“Some really nice presentation here with crispy salty fries served in an unpretentious cardboard box and the burger topped with a pickle. The highlight for me was the perfectly melted, super smooth, creamy and gooey cheddar cheese that ultimately enveloped the beef and married the bacon. The bun was super soft and sweet, which worked really well with the creaminess of the cheese and the contrasting tang of the mustard. The beef pattie was the right size and cooked just right, however it lacked a whole lot of flavour. I would of loved the bacon to be a bit crispier to add a bit of crunch to a burger that overall lacked a variety of texture.”
“We’re not off to a good start when I say the standouts in this burger were the bun, bacon and cheese. The pattie was a bit bland but, supported by all these awesome tasting side ingredients, as well as the tangyness of the mustard, really made up for it. Due to the pattie tasting a bit processed and run of the mill, more sauce had to be added. The fries weren’t great and to add insult to injury my Coke was a bit flat. However bonus points for the lime wedge.”
“Mouth agape I thought, “Wow, what a work of art – a sexy, classy work of art.” But then I caught eye of the weird multicoloured beef. I thought the worst, expecting a multitude of unnecessary herbs and spices to choke the beef’s potential. To my surprise, when I bit in a wave of enjoyment ran up and down my tastebud valleys. The highlight ingredients for me were the cheese, the bacon and maybe even the pattie. The not too overpowering mustard was masterfully added but the relish was a smidge too jammy and sugary. It was actually good! But then like most relationships, it kind of got boring. Not to say that this is a bad burger at all. But it didnt leave me wanting more, not out of hunger, but pure allure.”
Gramercy Bistro on Urbanspoon


Parlour Diner

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Parlour Diner – 64 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Parlour Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

That’s right, Melbourne has another American-style Diner. What separates this place from the other dozen Americana eateries around town is the subtleness of the dining area. Even though it gives nod to some old school American diner properties like the long bar, the stools, the table layout and the open style kitchen. It still has that certain unique Melbourne cafe quality to it, whether it be the Asian style pork sliders that appear in the menu or the fine china used in service, it all represents Melbourne’s multicultural casual quirkiness. This of course is all backed by some great, friendly service and coffee aroma that greets you at the door. We chose to smash the Parlour Burger that came with a 8oz Beef pattie, tomato, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a brioche bun.

Comments
“This burger wasn’t exactly what I expected from these guys given the decor, menu and atmosphere of the diner. And, after a little tweaking I was a very happy camper. At most I enjoy a little bit of lettuce to add a bit of crunch and texture in a burger. I don’t actually want to taste all that greenery, so when presented with this much sharp and bitter flavour I promptly removed it. What lied beneath was a thick, juicy, well seasoned beef pattie covered in perfectly melted cheese on a super soft and glistening sesame bun. Just a word of warning, there is a small and sharp skewer hiding, like a tree trunk holding up all those leaves.”
“What I loved and hated about this burger was the imperfection of it. Like the pattie tasting great, but being over cooked. Great choice of bun, but cut unevenly leaving the base really thin. There was too much green stuff, but I loved the pickles. There is a trend here of good things working for this burger, but maybe lacking that extra bit of care that could really make it pop. Loved the curly fries though, no if’s or but’s about that!”
“This is a fresh, tasty summertime burger. Especially when you couple it with some curly fries, onion rings and maybe even a milkshake. Although the pattie was thick and juicy, all that greenery almost made me think I was eating healthy for once. But it only took more two bites for that bull to poke its horns out of the forest and remind me I was eating a meaty and a lovingly fatty hamburger. Between it and the lettuce, I actually missed all the rest of the other ingredients. Whether this was because the burger was super balanced or they were drowned out by the Amazon amount of lettuce I’m note sure. I’d definitely head back with a crew next time I’m around.”
Parlour Diner  on Urbanspoon


Belle’s Diner

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Belle’s Diner – 150 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Dinerr Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$17.50
Summary

Bright like Broadway, the warm glow of the words “DINER” are a homing beacon for all those looking to get their fix of laid back, NYC inspired dining; the classic sort of course. With Head Chef Catriona Freeman fresh from a stint at Heath Ledger’s Five Leaves, it makes plenty of sense to bring back some of the tastes of Brooklyn to Fitzroy. Situate yourself at either the sleek stainless-steel counter or at one of the vintage timber booths, you’ll always have something to entertain you. From peering into the kitchen for some behind the scenes drama, trying to decipher the cool-cats tatoos sitting opposite you, or just watching as the day rolls past through their huge glass windows, you’ll hardly notice time tick past on their übercool clock/wall/wall-clock. Without much hesitation we ordered their Dinerr Burger (not a typo) that came with a Wagyu beef pattie, brioche bun, caramelised onion, Tasty Cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mayo and a side of seasoned fries.

Comments
“First off, this is a seriously cool venue with really friendly staff and, if I lived locally, would love to call it my local. Everything in this burger was in perfect proportion with a really thick and juicy beef pattie. The condiments can often get lost in a burger, however the large cut tomato and pickles added a really good crunch. The cheese and sauce together created a creamy flavour that worked well with the sweet and sugary bun. Not the biggest burger, but with an ample amount of fries it wont leave you hungry.”
“A slick diner feel with just the right amount of mood lighting 4 guys can handle on a burger escapade. The burger was on the small side, but still filling nevertheless. The brioche bun was typically sweet, so memorably soft and delicate, worked really well with the delicious, juicy pattie. The humble pickle is always a welcome addition on my plate so, along with a small amount of lettuce and tomato they worked a treat. The mayo in the burger was good and the seasoning on the chips was great!”
“As usual, when taking photos I’ll steal a chip to shut my hunger up for even a few seconds. But I couldn’t stop at just one. It was like someone took a steak and somehow grated it over the chips. So eventually I bit in and the cheese was first of many burger tastes to flirt with my taste buds. It wore a tuxedo and introduced itself with a suaveness normally reserved for secret agents. The pattie crumbled with each bite, had onions throughout and was peppery and beefy. It maybe could’ve been a little more pink, but that’s me being a schtickler. Their pickles were also a highlight. They played their supportive role well, distinct but not too “acidy”. Balance played a big role in this entire meal for me: from all of the burgers ingredients, to the accompanying fries, to the retro decor and charming staff. Everything was superb.”
Belle's Diner on Urbanspoon


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