Big Mouth

Sunday, August 24, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BigMouth

Big Mouth – 168 Acland St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Big Mouth Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in area
Price:
$21
Summary

They probably read about it in Lonely Planet, but there’s good reason tourists flock to St Kilda all year round. They might deter some of the more “refined” Melbournians, but chances are most of us, at one point or another have taken a stroll down Acland St for a drink or bite to eat. Sitting at the top of the busy street is an Big Mouth. The Art Deco building has played very different roles since its opening in 1938: a second hand furniture store, a cabaret, a band room, reception centre, Russian ball room and a wax museum. But now, as it stands the bar/restaurant/nightclub caters for all kinds of folk, whether its for a big night or a big steak. We sat in one of their dining rooms and ordered the Big Mouth Burger that came with an Angus pattie, Monterey Jack, sweet pickles, pickled onion, chipotle aioli & fries.

Comments
“I really didn’t enjoy this burger experience, it was hard work with some overbearing flavours and texture. First of all it’s an extremely dark restaurant, which isn’t helped when the burger is served on a long skinny plank of wood added to the challenge. The bun was a very crusty, dry kaiser roll, with very little give in it, creating a giant crumbly mess, which didn’t pair very well with the domineering sweet pickles and pickled onions. The beef patty, when eaten on its own was delicious and juicy, however with nothing to absorb and trap the flavour in, just ended up adding to the mess.”
“The patty was cooked OK however it did taste a bit garlicky for my liking, but with the ever so creamy combination of Jack cheese and mayo it quickly regained points in my book. Looking at all the other burgers my burger comrades ordered it seemed that the kitchen was having an inconsistent night. As much as I liked the bun I really could have done with less bread in my diet that day. Rather than including the greens in my burger and just saved them later for a fresher-upped for the palette.”
“On paper this was right up my alley. It came out deconstructed and I wasn’t sure what for: pure laziness or they wanted to add as much greenery as you like. I went for none of that. There were great hints of creaminess and plenty of crunch from the crusty kaiser. It was hard to tell where it was actually coming from but garlic was apparent all around this burger. It was great. Not over powering or anything, it just lingered around. The patty was soft and salty and the chipotle aoili rounded out each bite with some spice. The pickled onions also provided a nice tang and I’m glad weren’t of the Zuni variety for a change. I think I really liked this burger. I reckon 21 bucks was a smidge steep though (mainly because of lack of chips).”
Big Mouth 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


Bruny Island Winebar and Grill

Thursday, March 20, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BrunyIsland-Tasmania

Bruny Island Winebar and Grill – 4391 Main Rd, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia
Burger:
Bruny Island Premium Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

About an hour south of Hobart (add in a 20 minute ferry ride) and you’ll be driving across Bruny Island. Surprisingly large in land mass, generally compared with Singapore’s, Bruny Island is home to about 650 people (Singapore has over 5 million) so it makes a perfect escape from the daily grind. Covered in beautiful vegetation, mountains and surrounded by unruly oceans there’s not much to do but to take in the sights and then enjoy the local produce. The Bruny Island Winery is Australia’s southernmost vineyard and is owned by Richard and Bernice Woolley who bought the Wayaree Estate property in 1997. Their Winebar and Grill lets you match some of their award winning wines along with sampling plenty of regional produce. I sat down with my babein’ accomplice, grabbed a Pinot Noir and ordered the Premium Beef Burger that came on crusty roll with a beef pattie from Hat’s Farm next door, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, chilli jam and tomato sauce.

Comments
“It sounded pretty decent when I read the list of ingredients; all super enticing and I knew they’d be local. Upon arrival I couldn’t but blurt out a profanity. To say I was shocked was an understatement. “What was goig on with that bread?”, I thought to myself. The cerated knife stabbed through the middle would come in handy, because I knew that it wasn’t going to be pretty if I’d tackled this as a whole. When I cut it in half, squished it down and finally bit I was actually happy. All the elements were tasty and co-operated in their pursuit of pleasing my taste-buds. The chilli jam was the highlight followed by the sweet, fat coated beef. This could’ve been next level if they went for a more traditional bun. The ciabatta-style bread was enjoyable, but I’d rather leave it to dips and antipasto plates as opposed to the humble hamburger. Overall, not a bad, unorthodox burger that’s worth popping in for.”
Bruny Island Winebar and Grill on Urbanspoon


Back to the Burger

Monday, January 27, 2014
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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
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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
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“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
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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
TheBurgerAdventure-NSHRY2013

“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.”



Dude Food Man

Thursday, December 19, 2013
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Dude Food Man – Various Locations, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Dude Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$14
Summary

You can hardly say you’ve done it all in Melbourne until you’ve eaten from one our many food trucks. As much as some councils have tried to put the kibosh on where and when they can operate, the community has welcomed them with open arms. Relative newcomer to the scene is the Dude Food Man, who not only serves burgers but delves into other comfort foods between buns like a pulled pork slider and a Korean BBQ Beef sub. To say owner Johnny has his work cut out for him when it comes to competing for attention next to the acclaimed Mr Burger and Beatbox Kitchen is an understatement. But, with over 10 years training at places like Café Di Stasio and The Point Albert Park, sourcing only the best local ingredients, it’s no surprise The Dude Food Man has so many sell outs. On a sunny Sunday afternoon we found a spare patch of dirt at Ruckers Hill (check here for up to date locations) and ordered their signature Dude Burger that came on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, caramelised onions, pickles and aioli.

Comments
“Breaking down the cardboard box around this burger revealed an almost ideal 1:1 ratio between the size of the patty and bun. The patty was cooked perfectly, with a lovely coarse mix remaining pink on the inside, yet with the help of the crust and gooey yellow cheese completely hugging it, it managed to retain all the juice and flavour without dissolving the bun or dripping down your arm. Funnily enough, the stand out ingredient for me was the not too sour pickles that added just enough bite that enhanced the overall experience.”
“As far as food trucks go, this burger does not disappoint. The pattie was juicy, on the right side of pink, covered in cheese and had a healthy serve of mustard and pickle. The bun was great, but a bit susceptible to breaking-up while still eating. The triple cooked hand cut chips were good and super moist in the middle. The only problem I see with Dude Food is not with the burger, but with being memorable. Melbournians are spoilt for choice and the food truck business has become a very competitive category, therefore the only solution to this would be to create a more signature product on offer.”
“I eat a lot of burgers, but there’s this weird feeling that you get every now and then, when something is so damn good that you can’t help but thank a higher power. Another indication that I liked it was that it was almost all gone in under a minute. There was a lot of sweetness and saltiness in every bite, most likely from the mustard, pickle and aioli combo, but the cheese I didn’t really notice. Overall for me though, the pattie was the star, just the way it should be.”
Dude Food Man on Urbanspoon


Third Wave Café

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Third Wave Café – 189 Rouse St, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gourmet Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18.90
Summary

Down away from Port Melbourne’s main drag lies a café that you’re either going to say is breaking down barriers or just a little bit indecisive. Like many of the other internet dudes that take photos of their meals with oversized cameras, we were sent a few emails inviting us to come down and check out the menu. After gracefully declining (as we always do) we popped in on our own accord, primarily out of curiosity as to how a Russian/American menu, cooked by a Japanese Chef would work out. Even though you’ll find Blinztes to BBQ ribs on the menu, the desire to serve nothing but premium quality food is at the forefront of owner Greg and Inga’s minds. After being greeted by some super friendly staff we ordered the Gourmet Burger that came with porterhouse mince, spice, fetta and sun-dried tomato pattie on a bed of basil mayo in a brioche bun plus lettuce and tomato.

Comments
“I thought I would tackle this behemoth by cutting it in half; a decision I immediately regretted as the whole thing ended up looking like I’d just punched it, with ingredients splattered everywhere. I’m never a fan of any beef patty that’s been prepared earlier and seasoned with anything more than salt and pepper, and similarly, this thing just crumbled to pieces, with only small amounts sticking together by being burnt. The bun was burnt, which added another strong over-powering flavour and texture to compete with all the other big, bold flavours. Had everything been toned down a little bit it could be quiet enjoyable.”
“A nice smokey burger with some intense salty flavours like fetta and sundried tomato. The pattie and bun were huge and the burger was hard to control with all that slipperiness caused by a healthy serve of mayo and lettuce (a lot of lettuce!). The potatoes were perfectly cooked and well seasoned. I don’t mind the owners of Third Wave doing a burger a bit differently, but having seen how their BBQ dishes were coming out I would encourage them to give a classic a go.”
“Interestingly enough, for $19, this burger came with no chips. There weren’t even chips on the menu. I thought that this was going to upset me. However, the burger alone was plenty to get you full. Just like a lot of my basketball idols (Thunder Up!), it was tall and rich. Then and there I couldn’t work out if I liked it or not. There were moments filled with sweet creamy goodness from the lashings of Russian basil mayo. But because of this, it created a burger you just couldn’t keep your hands on; seeing D trying to deal with his was hilarious. The spices, fetta and sundried tomatoes added to the pattie didn’t help it’s structural integrity but did make for a soft, tasty pattie. If you’re looking for a less traditional style of hamburger – and want to splash some cash – then you could give this a try. Just maybe avoid wearing a white shirt.”
Third Wave Cafe on Urbanspoon


Hello Sam

Thursday, November 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_HelloSam

Hello Sam – 760 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Too Cheesy
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12
Summary

Go back some 10 years and unless you were buying a Lamborghini or on your way to buy a couch, you’d probably never really have thought to hang out that far down Chapel St. Nowadays, amid a jungle of high rise apartments, you only have to spit and you’d hit a new place to eat. Hello Sam is making the most of the sprawl and basically has any type of burger for any occasion or any body. Their owner Katherine Sampson (bonus points for why it’s called “Hello SAM”) is better known for her Healthy Habits chain but aims to bring the diner tradition out of the dark dingy corners, polish it off and please a whole bunch of Melbournians with some gourmet burgers. Hello Sam’s menu is pretty extensive, so whether you’re in the mood for a fish, lamb, chicken, or beef burger (or maybe even a hotdog) you’ll be covered. We decided to upgrade their namesake Simply Sam burger to the Too Cheesy version. It came on a brioche bun with an Angus pattie, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato relish, 2 mustard mayo and a cheddar ale melt.

Comments
“A slight moment of panic as it looked like they’d forgotten the beef patty. However, after lifting the top bun I saw that hidden underneath a waterfall of cheese was the piece of beef. The pattie had been cooked to within an inch of its life, leaving behind little flavour but, the super creamy cheese somewhat made up for it. The bun was fresh, the salad was fresh, but I would of preferred the chutney to have a little bit more tang and bite to it. I loved the complimentary hand wipes that came with the meal and as tempting as they may smell, don’t eat them.”
“For an additional $1 to upgrade from the Simply Sam to the Too Cheesy I’d really recommend you pay it and get transported to cheese heaven. It was by far one of the cheesiest burgers I’ve had so far this year. The pattie was a bit too small for the bun and was a tad bit over cooked, but was still good. The bun was like a soft kiss from the heavens, promising to take you to a safe place away from all the world’s craziness. If I was working around the corner I’d definitely be there for lunch a couple of days a week; perfect for that quick lunch break.”
“I wasn’t overly impressed to begin with. The pattie was rather charred and looked to be wearing an oversized bun for a hat/helmet. It wasn’t until I bit in that I tasted some of the best cheese I’ve ever encountered in a burger. It had me looking like a crackie: licking the front of my teeth for 15 minutes after I had finished, trying to get at any remanence. The pattie wasn’t bad, but it didn’t get the love and attention it needed on the grill. The bun to pattie ratio was saddest part – being left with an outrageous crescent moon shaped bun after I eaten through the pattie wasn’t ideal. Hello Sam does have a lot of potential, but right now the operation seems rushed, reactive and they’re learning as they go. Saying that, because of that cheddar cheese (and with hopefully this feedback taken on-board), I’ll be poking me head in from time to time as summer rolls in.”
Hello SAM Burger Cafe on Urbanspoon