Shake Shack, Dubai

Monday, December 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ShakeShackDubai

Shake Shack – West Food Court, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burger:
Shack Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
25AED/$7.60 AUD
Summary

When you happen to visit one the most arid, terribly hot places in the world, the best place to hang is a mall where you can enjoy luxury shopping, skiing and one of the world’s most famous burgers. Opening in 2011, Shake Shack Dubai was the first of many of its international locations (now in Turkey, UK and Russia) and ever since day one they’ve always had queues. If you aren’t aware of Shake Shack’s infamy, you can read more from D’s NYC review here, but they’ve come a long way since starting out as a humble hot dog stand in NYC. I took my place in line, watched the workhorse that is the Shake Shack kitchen do their thing and eventually got to order the Shack Burger that came with a 100% Angus beef pattie (cooked medium), cheese, lettuce tomato and Shack Sauce all on a soft burger bun.

Comments
“Not having eaten Shake Shack in NYC, I was glad I was at least going to have a crack at its first international location. But, when hype is involved, I’m usually the first to get a little suspicious. I mean how good could this be? That first, soft and meaty bite was enough to tell me everything I needed to know. The pattie was oh so right: a little bit charred on the outside and so soft on the in. It’s got a certain beefy saltiness with a smidge of pepper that I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted before. Whether it’s their cows or meat blends I don’t know, but this and their Shack Sauce is (just one) reason why people love it. The next thing I noticed is that these guys don’t cut their bun all the way through. How damn smart! A cure for the inevitable burger slide. The lettuce and tomato balanced out the heavier beef quite nicely… And the bun reminded of something White Castle does with their sliders: super soft. Originally these guys started out by slinging dogs and you can see the influence in their burgers. For me the bun is basically a hot dog bun but in burger format. Give it time and I have a feeling these guys are going to take over McDonalds as the most recognised burger chain in the world. Tremendous.”


Patty & Bun

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Patty&Bun-London

Patty & Bun – 54 James St, W1U 1HE London, UK
Burger:
ARI GOLD Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
£7.50/$13.50 AUD
Summary

When you’ve got an idea and the passion to drive said idea, chances are you’ll do alright. Patty & Bun is the story of Joe Grossman: a young Englishman who’s great at what he loves doing. After a trip to the States and experiencing the awesomeness that Shake Shack delivered, he saw potential back home amid the street/dude-food boom and began on his own adventure to out-do the yanks at their own game. Much research and many recipe experiments later, Grossman began to pop-up with his burgers at different bars and locales around London. His followers started to grow and grow and so when it came to open his first permanent establishment there’s no surprise that there are queues out the door. I patiently waited my name to be called, took a seat and then ordered what many call London’s best burger: the ARI GOLD Cheeseburger. It came with a grass fed 35 day aged Aberdeen Angus beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, pickled onions, ketchup, smoked P&B mustard mayo in between a glazed brioche bun.

Comments
“It was 20 minute wait. But, it was also a hot London day, so sitting on the bench outside (purpose built for waiting) I soaked the weather up. The burger came fully clothed in wax paper and as my boy D always boasts, “Good things come in wax packages”. I unwrapped the little guy with some eagerness and to be truthful I wasn’t ready for what I was about to see. It’s like I was 13 and my Christmas gift had been mistakenly swapped for a stack of Playboys. I wanted to take this burger upstairs to my room and make it mine. It was so darn sexy and so darn cheesey. The smokiness, saltiness and softness of the patty and bun combo made me glad I was sitting down as my legs would’ve probably given way. I didn’t taste too much of the pickles but the red onions were sweet enough for me not too notice. It’s hard to imagine but my Ari Gold experience left me cursing more than the character it’s named after – so f****en good.”
Patty & Bun on Urbanspoon


Laurie Dee’s

Friday, December 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaurieDees

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


Paris-New York

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ParisNewYorkBurger

Paris-NewYork – 50 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10e, Paris, France
Burger:
Vintage Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
€11.40/$16.15 AUD
Summary

Ever since December 2012, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis has seemed a little bit brighter. Next door to a fishmonger with a cluster of Broadway bulbs shines Paris-New York, a.k.a, PNY. In what may seem like an obviously awesome mix of cultures, PNY have embraced the best of both Paris and NYC, and turned it into their own swanky, hell-bent on quality hamburger joint. With the help of CUT Architects, this two story venue’s monochrome design takes cues from both iconic cities, even managing to subtly reference icons like Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower into their interior steel structure. Where it gets exciting is at the menu: they work closely with artisinal producers and get their hands on nothing but top-notch produce. This was made no more apparent than when I ordered the Vintage Cheeseburger. Its beef pattie is aged, chopped in house and comes from French Piebald cattle and the cheese is Somerset Cheddar, aged 18 months. These were served on a toasted brioche bun with pickles, Classic America sauce and a generous serving of fries.

Comments
“At first I sort of grumbled to myself about le service being slow. But when le burger came out I had forgotten all about it because this thing was swimming in glorious cheese. My first bite was incredible. Le cheese was quite bold and tended to linger with every mouthful. Le beef was just as tasty: it was fatty, salty and chopped nice and coarse. I’m normally am not a fan of mustard my burgers (must be part of what they call Classic America sauce) but this was really great – it didn’t over power anything. It was predictably French, cooly whispering that it was there and didn’t yell at me like most obnoxious American mustards do. I also couldn’t find a bad fry among the lot of them: so crispy on the outside and soft on the in that I wanted to eat them by the fistful. This was truly an outstanding Burger Adventure that I hope le other dudes get to tick off their list one day. Merci Paris-New York.”


Fat Bob’s Bar & Grill

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Fat-Bobs

Fat Bob’s Bar & Grill – 80 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Jackie O
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$15
Summary

After being inspired by a recent trip to the U.S where Fat Bob found himself surrounded by many of the loves of his life – more specifically burgers, beer and vintage signs – Fat Bob returned to Melbourne and set about creating his own man cave. Along with the help of his friend Michael, Fat Bob’s Bar & Grill was born. Located down a lane-way, squeezed between 2 warehouses in Moorabbin’s industrial area, you are instantly teleported to another era and continent, with a seriously impressive collection of vintage signs of all shapes and sizes gracing the walls. You’d be convinced you’re in the States hanging at a local Hot Rod restoration garage that conveniently sells burgers and over 20 different beers. We grabbed a booth and eagerly awaited the Jackie O that came with a 180g of grass fed beef pattie cooked to medium, tomato, Spanish onion, Fontina cheese, cos lettuce, mustard, tomato sauce and Fat Bob’s special sauce.

Comments
“Loved the presentation in the al-foil wrapping that serves so many purposes: retaining heat, trapping in ingredients and juices and keeping my hands clean. The first thing that really stood out for me was the perfectly melted cheese slowly cascading over the beef pattie… and then I took my first bite. The creaminess of the cheese interacting with one of the most perfectly seasoned beef patties I’ve had in a while is about as good as it gets. The next standout in this burger, which only became apparent towards the end, was the sweet bun that remained completely intact while up against some serious juiciness. Im really glad someone has taken on the daunting challenge of bringing great food and service to the industrial, suburban parts of Melbourne that are so often neglected, and judging by how busy it was it’s been well received.”
“Initially when walking into Fat Bob’s I thought this place might be trying too hard to be an American diner with all the American paraphernalia and neon lights – this could’ve been a case of “all swing, no ding”. I wasn’t a big fan of lining-up to order– for me there is something about being served that makes me feel I’m being properly catered to and if you are going to have an American diner I’d assume you would go in that direction. When you finally place your order at the counter and sit down you really start to take the place in and notice things. For example the great calibre of American signage on the wall and even some local Melbourne stuff (I’ll leave it to you to list). The staff are really friendly, pretty quick to service and always seem to have a smile on their dial– something that people forget to do these days. I say ‘always’ because I’ve been there three times already and three times my mind was blown. The bun and the pattie were amazing with the right amount of condiments, sauces and flavour. The chips were good (maybe not worth $3), but good either way.”
“This is really up there with the best of them. Not because of any one thing in particular, but more for that warm feeling of awesomeness and sparks that fly that got us into this little thing we call an Adventure. Its a relatively simple burger, but you can tell that there’s been thought put into it. Most important of all was the pattie which was delightfully meaty, well-rounded and salty without making you reach for your 7-Up. This is a bang-on awesome burger with just enough of everything there to make you think about ordering another one, or when to schedule your next visit.”
Fat Bob's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon


The Spotted Mallard

Friday, June 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_SpottedMallard

The Spotted Mallard – 314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Spotted Mallard Wagyu Beef & Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$19
Summary

With no street frontage but a large old glass door opening to a retro lobby and staircase, it’s fair to say we had no idea what to expect at The Spotted Mallard. Upon entering we were greeted by a large and lively room. There was a folk band entertaining a crowd that looked to be having a rip roaring time on the dance floor as well as what appeared to be 3 generations of the one family catching up over some dinner and wine. The owners; Sam, Samanda, Pete and Max undertook the conversion of a reception centre in 2012 that involved installing a stage and an overhaul of the kitchen that is now largely occupied by staff formerly of Mamasita. The menu features plently of comfort food like a Beef Cheek Rueben, a Wild Mushroom Pot Pie, Slow Braised Lamb and of course the Wagyu Beef and Bacon Burger that comes with a 200gm pattie (cooked pink), streaky bacon, molten gruyere cheese, caramelized onion and pickles on a chipotle mayo doused brioche.

Comments
“My theory that burgers served in waxed paper taste better has been proven right once again. Partly I believe it’s because it traps in all of the ingredients and flavour and partly because I’m slightly OCD and I like my hands being clean. Personal weirdness aside, this is an amazing burger; the beef was cooked medium and was really soft, juicy and maintained its flavour while up against some strong competition that would usually overpower the patty. The cheese was perfectly melted and tasted great against the salty, crispy bacon. The spiciness from the chipotle mayo made me instantly regret leaving my chapstick in the car. These ingredients alone would of made a great burger however, the sweetness from the caramelised onions and sour from the pickle took it to the next level, without overpowering the burger and all working in harmony.”
“I love the idea of grabbing a show, maybe even having a dance and enjoying a bite under one roof. The pub menu on offer was basic, but looked to be executed quite well. The steak and the burger would have been my top two picks if I was going in off the clock. Now to the fantastic burger: the pattie was simply amazing. It was perfectly charred coupled with a great punch of herbs and spices, topped off with the perfect melted hit of cheese and crunch of pickle. The bun was delicate and soft, slightly spongy towards the end, but did it’s job. Chips were thick and fluffy.”
“The venue made feel like I’d been transported to Hungary c.1970. I loved it. The burger’s individual elements were all great but when together they were a work of art. The burger was peppery, hearty, creamy and all together special. It’s not like they did anything that was crazy-out-of-this-world but, it just stood out from the pack. This burger made me feel good. It was the warm hug that you look for after a full day of skiing. It’s the glass of whisky after a long day at work. Truly magnificent.”
The Spotted Mallard on Urbanspoon


Rockwell & Sons

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockwell&Sons

Rockwell & Sons – 288 Smith St, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Double Patty Smash Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$10
Summary

It feels like every other week Melbourne is blessed with another addition to the “We Should Totally Try That Place Out” list. But, sometimes you hear about a place that makes you forget the 23 other joints you wanted to eat at and gets you through the door that night. With skills in the kitchen that have previously seen the likes of Cumulus & Co, Stoke House and NYC’s Spotted Pig it’s safe to say you’ll be getting a decent feed. At the helm are North Carolinan chef Casey Wall and Kiwi Manu Potoi and they’re tantalising menu stems from everything they wanted to eat on their days off – good ol’ fashion high quality comfort food. Their Wednesday night fried-chicken dinners mean for $60 you get a whole organic Glenloth chicken that takes three days to prepare: one day it soaks in salted brine, the next in an aromatic brine, with citrus and herbs. Then it’s covered in a buttermilk batter and fried golden. This very same chicken is used in their Fried Chicken Sandwich (take note: it’s a sandwich, not a burger children). Skim read their menu and you’ll salivate at the thought of a Pressed Rib Sandwich, a Lamb Sausage Dog and, of course, the Double Smash Pattie Burger that comes with twin smashed beef patties, classic Kraft cheese, special sauce all on a seeded bun.

Comments
“I was seriously starving this night and thought to myself, ‘I could easily eat two burgers tonight’. I kept these thoughts to myself as I’m easily persuaded by peer pressure and will rarely back down from a challenge. Luckily I didn’t voice my tummy rumblings as this was an immensely rich burger and, with my side of onion rings I was left completely full. The super soft bun was coated in butter, which is seriously delicious and only enhanced the super creamy, perfectly melted Kraft slices of cheese that melted their way through every grain of the two beef patties. There was a skerrick of greenery that added the slightest crisp crunch to an overall soft and extremely juicy burger experience. An incredible, good value and worthy of taking an American friend to experience.”
“I can’t recall ever smashing a smash burger Down Under. So it was nice to get a taste of that classic the U.S pattie style in our own backyard – and it really worked. The only thing I didn’t like about the burger was the bun – I found it too buttery and sweet for my liking. The texture was very soft throughout, creamy and with the freshness of lingering spring onion?/dill? embedded amongst the Kraft and special sauce it really took the burger to another level. At first glance it may look like a light burger, but by the end of the meal you will be full. Chips were good too.”
“There aren’t many burgers out there that can sweep me off my feet and then ride away into the sunset with me. But holy cow, this was like my honeymoon all over again. This burger has EVERYTHING going for it. I’m talking about flavour, uniqueness and then ofcourse the price. For 10 dollars this is amazing. I want to be on this burger again and again and again. It was beautifully creamy, salty and oh so soft. Every bite was another step in to burger heaven. I can’t fault this burger at all. So balanced and delicious, it’s a breath of fresh air in the burger world. Did I mention I liked this burger?”
Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon