O’Connell’s

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Oconnells

O’Connell’s – 407 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$22
Summary

Sister venue to the much loved Railway Club Hotel, O’Connell’s of South Melbourne has prided itself on producing award winning food and service in a relaxed and inviting environment since 1990. Their kitchen has seen the likes of Greg Malouf, Cath Kalka and Adrian Richardson who have helped cement O’Connell’s as the go-to South Melbourne Gastropub year after year. Now with two younger chefs, Luke Van de Engel and Xavier Mercader at the helm, their emphasis on quality is as strong as ever. Working closely with suppliers, farmers and producers they aime to source the best and freshest ingredients on offer. The Restaurant Menu features dishes like Red wine braised Beef Short Rib, Squid ink tagliatelle and Cape Grim steaks as well as over 100 wines to choose from around the world. Sitting in the restaurant’s cosy dining area, we ordered the Beef Burger (available on the bar menu too) and it arrived swiftly on a brioche bun packed with bread and butter pickles, cheese, mustard, house made ketchup and French fries.

Comments
“When using such strong flavours as mustard, pickles and caramelised onions, I often prefer a “less is more” approach, and think I would of enjoyed this burger a lot more had both of the buns not been coated in large amounts of fiery mustard. The boldness of these flavours didn’t really pair well with the delicateness of the sweet and soft brioche bun. It ended up overwhelming the beef pattie which, tasted on its own, managed to retain a lot of its juiciness and flavour.”
“The char flavoured pattie was cooked to perfection and had me going back for more. This was beautifully supported by the distinct sharpness and smokiness of the cheddar. Always sure to please my distinct tastes was the double mustard and pickles. And it wouldn’t be a modern day burger if it didn’t have a sweet and soft brioche bun to keep everything nicely together. The chips were good but don’t feel the need to use the chutney – I don’t think you’ll need it.”
“Obviously a popular dish because we saw many coming out of the kitchen. Arriving at our table it looked as pretty as a Parisian morning. You could just imagine the juices that were about to pour out when you bit it. Yet, none of the afore mentioned took place. Yes, it was a tasty burger but my eyes did deceive me. The pattie could’ve been pinker and the cheese could’ve been way creamier. Overall I think I liked it, but I felt like I’d been invited to a girls place late at night, just to discover we’re going to midnight mass.”
O'Connell's Hotel South Melbourne on Urbanspoon


The Railway Club Hotel

Thursday, June 20, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_RailwayClubHotel

The Railway Club Hotel – 107 Raglan Street,
Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Railway Club Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$22
Summary

Tucked away in Port Melbourne, away from any sort of hustle and bustle, you’ll find The Railway Club Hotel. You’d be forgiven for not ever visiting because quite frankly, this place isn’t built on hype. Premium meats, quality produce and a relaxed atmosphere are what they’re all about. With big archways, a fireplace, exposed brick and sports memorabilia floor to ceiling, the décor might remind you of you’re uncles pool room circa 1991. What you probably wouldn’t have seen at your uncle’s though is the large glass case where you can pick out your perfect steak and see it cooked in their open kitchen. Obviously Beef is their pride and joy, with most of it coming from Cape Grim, Tasmania. But if you’re feeling a little beefed out then best try their famous Flounder or dive straight into a Sticky Date Pudding. We ordered the Railway Club Beef Burger that came on a seeded brioche bun with a grilled 200grm Angus ground beef pattie, Swiss cheese, beetroot, pickles, tomato, mustard and mayo with sumac fat chips and aioli.

Comments
“It was like taking a step back in time into a good old traditional Aussie pub. With a mouthwatering display of beautifully cut meats it something a little hard to overlook. The pattie was one of the best I’ve had; perfectly cooked with a nice char on the outside and juicy and pink on the inside. It was a great brioche bun that held everything together. I really enjoyed the melted Swiss cheese, fresh tomato, beetroot and lettuce. In fact, everything just worked. Lastly I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of fat chips, but these were pretty amazing.”
“The burger was presented all high and mighty with plenty of colour bursting out however, it all took a back step to the incredible beef. It must of only hit the hot plate for a moment to leave a perfect crisp char on the outside while sealing in the juice, flavour and remaining pink on the inside. I’m slowly starting to appreciate beetroot in a burger, as the thin layer added just the right amount of sweetness. It also added a crunch to balance out the rich, creamy cheese and mayo. With all these ingredients combined though, it meant the bun had completely dissolved by the end. The venue feels like visiting a distant relative in a country town and being treated to a home cooked meal. Pretty much an ideal setting for a winter meal.”
“This was a classic, timeless burger with some of the best quality meat I’ve had in a while. The beetroot and the mayo blended in exceptionally well and really gave the burger some sweet and creamy characteristics contrasting where the pattie added those salty and char grill tones. Even though it was served in a pub, it really didn’t feel like a pub burger, it was special. The big thick chips were OK.”
“Walking into a venue and seeing a window of raw cuts of meat is a sight for sore eyes. You know they’ve got some serious pride in their product with stuff like that. My burger arrived and was stacked high. It actually looked nothing like I expected. The second thing I noticed was the large bit lettuce that made my burger a foot taller than anyone elses. I squashed the lot down, bit in and floated into beef heaven. With one of the tastiest beef patties I’ve had in a while it was ground coarse and packed with bold, unashamed beefiness. As tasty as the pattie was I felt like there was too much going on here. This could’ve been because the burger fell apart on me and made me do more work than anyone should on a Sunday. But beetroot did feel at home in this burger. As did the pickles with their sweet crunch. There’s a lot to love about the Railway Club Hotel. The only thing I’m annoyed about is how lucky the locals are for having it.”
The Railway Club Hotel Port Melbourne on Urbanspoon


Grand Hotel

Friday, May 31, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheGrand

Grand Hotel – 333 Burnley St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Grand Wagyu Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Is it a pub or is it a restaurant? Well, it’s both. One part of the Grand boasts a dining room that offers a fine dining Italian menu, whilst the other is a loungey bar area. Here the story changes to good honest pub grub and whole lot of beer and wine to share with your gang. The big difference between this venue and other typical Richmond divey pub is that your meal will be prepared by a “chef” not a cook. Overall the atmosphere was very much relaxed, with some great comfortable booths and dim lighting to hide all the sauce on your face. As always we went for the burger that came with a Wagyu pattie, cheese, brioche bun and served with fries and chilli mayo.

Comments
“As simple as a burger can be, just beef, cheese and bun, but done really really right. Everything was in perfect proportion, with enough of the sweet bun in each bite that also soaked up and retained all the juice from the beef without dissolving or falling to the plate. Something that is unintentional and would be hard to perfect, is a thin crust of burnt cheese that has formed from briefly hitting the hot plate, it’s so simple but so delicious and wish it could happen on every burger. Venue was warm, dark, cozy and ideal for a cold winters night.”
“This burger really didn’t resemble the typical pub burger we’ve come to expect. It felt more gourmet, where all the ingredients were refined – it was a case of fewer ingredients really going a long way. The soft pattie just crumbled in my mouth. It tasted great, simple, elegant and just a pleasure to eat. Aside from the pattie the bun was soft and sweet in typical brioche fashion. It was a great experience and a simple burger I would go back for. Chips were great.”
“Many will tell you, simplicity is key when making a decent burger. Awesome for us, it looks like someone told these guys. It was basically beef, cheese and bun. No matter which angle you looked at it from there was cheese oozage. It was safe to say that whilst taking photos my eyes had talked this thing up to my tastebuds. Unfortunatly they were a little let down. In the end the bun became too much hard work and the cheese didnt really bring much to the table. The soft fatty pattie was the highlight by far, with parsley strewn throughout. Sure I’d go back, but to probably try some of their Italian signature dishes.”
Grand Hotel Dining Room on Urbanspoon


New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo

Monday, May 13, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ParkHyatt

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.”


Little Hunter*

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Little Hunter

Little Hunter – 195 Lt. Collins Street (down the stairs), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Speakeasy Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

One moment you’re standing around looking for some signage, double checking your Google maps, the next you’re three flights of stairs underground and standing in a dim lit, classy looking restaurant. Unless they had X-Ray vision, the average Joe Citizen wouldn’t really know that below 195 Little Collins St lies a produce driven, innovative grill house. The culinary cool cats behind Little Hunter are also responsible for the the likes of Señoritas and The Meatball & Wine Bar. But, the real draw card here is that they’ve brought in US native, Gavin Baker. Not only has he won several “Best Restaurant” awards, Baker’s held the coveted job of Sous Chef at The Fat Duck, in London. Little Hunter’s menu speaks for itself – its grill house classics but with a little bit extra attention to detail and, a little bit of cool thrown in on the side.
So cool in fact, you won’t even find the burger on the menu! Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, we go ahead and order the secret “Speakeasy Burger” that was delivered to us on a soft bun with a beef pattie, tomato, lettuce, onion and pickles.

Comments
“I love the concept of having a simple burger available only to those in-the-know. For a burger that only had beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle there was so much flavour! The classics work. If I had to recommend any tweaks to the burger I would maybe cut down a little bit on the lettuce as I did think they were a little too generous with it. I would also recommend some ketchup that might be able to compliment the char flavour of the pattie. I found my pattie a little dry so it could’ve helped with that too. The chips were great and I loved fry sauce on the side.”
“This has to be one of my most memorable Burger Adventures. It’s not often you get to go to a hidden restaurant and order a secret burger. You could look at it as a gimmick but, I like it. It’s going to work and it’ll have people coming in for the same reason people go to to hidden bars and why people get put onto guest lists – check out my cool, ipso facto, facebook check in. Anyhow, it got us there and chances are you’ll be there soon too. Why? Well, my burger was oh so simple (and surprisingly cheap). It’s all about the meat here! The beef was top notch – everything from its char flavour, size and texture. Even amid some ridiculously fresh tomato, lettuce and onion (that seemed like they’d been picked from the farm that morning), the pattie still stole the show. An all around great experience here. Well done to Little Hunter for adding a little extra chic to the art of beef and bun.”
Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

*Sorry to see Little Hunter close down. It was quite the gem.


La Luna Bistro

Friday, March 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaLuna-Bistro

La Luna Bistro – 320 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
La Luna Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$23.50
Summary

Located in a sleepy pocket of North Carlton, La Luna is a cosy, rustic restaurant that serves up what they call, “Contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean twist”. Chef and owner Adrian Richardson has one philosophy when it comes to all his ingredients: “got to be FRESH, and if it ain’t fresh it’s aged” (like his aged Beef On The Bone). And, you can’t really fault that philosophy. Their menu offers diners everything from house-made pasta to soufflé to crisp duck legs; all brought to you by friendly staff in a relaxing atmosphere. Amidst a sea of dates, we went for the La Luna prime beef burger that came with bacon, pickles, cheese and a side of fries.

Comments
“The presentation here is fantastic. Clearly a lot of thought and time has gone into this burger. However, I feel it’s almost trying too hard with too many clashes. The beef was mixed in-house and tasted great on its own. It had just the right amount of char and added texture whilst still remaining juicy. The pattie was meaty enough that it probably didnt even need the bacon, but these great flavours ended up lost amongst the sweetness coming from the onion jam and the density of the bun. I’d love to try a more simple version of this that has a few less ingredients, potentially making it more of a balanced burger.”
“I wasn’t really a massive fan of the bun – the texture reminded me of focaccia bread. The tasty pattie was dripped its juicy essence down my wrist and onto the pile of shoe string fries – lovely! There was a sweet onion jam that when combined with the mayo made for one unique and tasty condiment. The lettuce and tomato were well-prepped and added a layer of crispness to it all too. The chips were good and were well-presented in a box made out of the menu.”
“This burger arrived in impressive fashion. There were so many colors beaming from the plate. As soon as I bit in a waterfall of juice poured out. The flavours that really stood out to me were the sweetness from the onion jam and the saltiness from the cheese. At time it almost tasted like a Parmesan crisp – the sort of thing you usually find in an Umami style burger. When it came to the beef pattie, you could tell it was quality. It had herbs splashed throughout but it wasn’t over the top, leaving quite a tasty pattie. I would’ve loved to have seen this burger done in a more classic fashion. But I understand that this is place is meant to have a Mediterranean twist so it might be out of place like that. A nice and tasty meal that’s more of a first date burger rather than a hangover cure.”
La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon


Captain Melville

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Captain-Melville

Captain Melville – 34 Franklin St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Captain’s Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$21
Summary

When the owners of Miss Libertine realised they were growing up and the hangovers and drunken nightclub patrons were getting a bit tiresome, they decided to completely renovate the heritage listed, 1853 bluestone building and convert it into a gastro pub. Appointing Shayne McCallum as head chef to oversee the menu, they’ve created traditional Australian pub classics as well as some more adventurous dishes like rabbit pie and tuna tartare. We of course went for the burger with Sher Wagyu beef, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, a soft brioche-like bun and hand cut chips.

Comments
“I was really surprised with this place. After being informed by the waitress that this is “the best burger your going to try”, I have to say I was a little sceptical. When it arrived at the table gleaming with its sweet soft glazed bun, I knew they had put something special together! Two perfectly cooked and seasoned patties separated by some great bacon. Juicy and full of flavour, the crunchy tangy pickles added a nice bite. The oozing egg and melted cheese also gave the burger a nice creamy texture. I’m usually not a massive fan of handcut cuts but these were pretty good.”
“Everyone loves a good surprise, especially when you’re least expecting it. So the moment I saw that it had double patties (not mentioned on the menu), I was extremely elated. The bun was super soft with a nice shiny glaze (best compared to the sweet Chinese Bread Top rolls) and it really helped enhance the perfectly seasoned, juicy beef and creaminess of the cheese and egg. This burger is great, but it’s the extra details like the crispy slices of tangy pickle and the spice from some ground pepper that really made this burger stand out.”
“These double Wagyu patties were delicious! The cheese oozing out of the burger, combined with the fresh egg really got my juices going. The bacon in between the two patties was a good move as it broke-up each bite with its salty goodness. I really liked the super soft bun with its sweet glaze. The hand cut chips were great! Fluffy on the inside and nicely cooked on the out!”
“Walking up to the old Miss Libertine, I really wasnt expecting a whole lot. Walking in however, changed that for me. I suddenly forgot about all the late night discos I’d attended. I was standing in a place that looks like it had a bunch of money poured into it. Fancy as hell, almost like a Newmarket or Halfmoon kind of joint. However, I am suspicious of most burgers that use Wagyu beef these days. Purely because some places claim they use the expensive stuff just so they can lighten your wallet. But as soon as it landed in front of me I forgot all about my suspicions and went straight into Playboy photographer mode. This burger made good use of the “Three S’s”: soft, salty and sexy. The double patties with bacon sandwiched in between were genius! Every other bite I received an express delivery of beautiful charr. The egg was good but I really dont think it needed it. With the double cheese it was more than enough creaminess. I mean, it did end up falling apart. But I didnt care. I just wanted this burger to keep going and going. Stellar start to 2013!”
Captain Melville on Urbanspoon


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