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


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


Bar Ampere

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bar Ampere – 16 Russell Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bifteck a L’Hambourgeoise
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

If you’re looking for this joint, some people might say, “Google it”. But if you’re a Melbournian who loves a decent drink, then it’d be easy enough to just mention that it’s next door to Gin Palace. You’ll be even more tempted once we mention that Bar Ampere is brought to you by the same cat that owns Gin Palace, Madame Brussels and Collins Quarter. That cat is Vernon Chalker and with Bar Ampere he pays tribute to the futurism movement which swept through Paris and Italy at the turn of the 20th century. With Béton brut (raw concrete) wall to wall, light globes hanging from an army of mannequins hands and a back bar built from wine bottles, can all make dining at Bar Ampere feel like entering an art exhibit. But when the extremely friendly staff welcome you, you can untuck your shirt, relax a bit and think with your stomach. The menu again takes a little bit of French and adds a lot of modern Melbourne. With only splades to assist you, you might find yourself ordering anything from a ham and cheese toasty to a syringe filled with mash potatoes (yes we’re serious). On a cool Sunday evening we ordered a round of home made Ginger Beer and Bar Ampere’s Beef Burger (Bifteck a L’Hambourgeoise) that boasted two beef patties, a buttermilk bun, Swiss Gruyère, carrot & grain mustard wombok slaw and is finished with a side of cornichons & tomato chutney.

Comments
“It gets me a little bit excited knowing that you can come to a place like this to feast on a great burger up until 3am. Arriving on your table classically wrapped in wax paper lets you know these guys have put in the effort to create something special. The first thing you do when ordering is ask yourself two patties or the one? Of course we opted for two! The patties are beautifully cooked; nice and grilled on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. A heavy seasoning gives the patties a peppery finish that you won’t forget. It also somehow reminded me of meatloaf… and thankfully not the singer. The finely shredded coleslaw adds a cooling tang to the burger. The fluffy buttermilk bun was amazing, although the bottom started to get a bit soggy by the end. I really have to say I missed a good side of chips with this burger and, from how great this burger is, I’m thinking they could have been great too.”
“I’m not sure if it’s been scientifically proven, but there seems to be a direct correlation between a burger wrapped in wax paper and deliciousness. Inside I discovered a perfectly structured double-beef pattie and bun. A new ingredient I don’t think I had experienced in a burger before was the very thinly cut coleslaw that added a real tangy bite to it – similar to what you get from a pickle. It was perfectly balanced out by the spicyness of the mustard and worked really well together. The beef could of been a little bit more pink but still had great flavour and the soft bun soaked up all the juices perfectly without completely dissolving.”
“I loved the pepperiness of the pattie. It was also juicy, meaty and cooked just right. You are given an option of going for a single or a double pattie; Friends go for the double, it is that good, without it being overly filling. The coleslaw was used sparingly in the burger which I think was a good thing as it cools your palette down and neutralises that pepperiness from the pattie, but not too much to bore your tastebuds with a mouthful of coleslaw. The bun was beautiful; so soft and delicate. This burger does not come with chips which, was a bit of a shame, as I reckon they would have been the icing on the cake.”
“The zillion dollar fast-food food industry has been doing it forever, so it’s about time those cool-cat-burger-bars caught on. The difference is, when ordering a McWhopper you know exactly what you’re getting. But in this instance, the burger’s gift wrapping amplified the Adventure ten-fold, unaware of what your mouth is about to experience. Punch me for saying this, but I honestly wasn’t sure the double was the right choice. But once I bit in I cursed myself for ever doubting the decision. The best part was that the burger put the beef on a pedestal and let the other ingredients adore it without causing a frenzy. This is probably due to the fact that the chutney is left on the side so you can add it as you go without totally devastating the bun. Although it did get a little soggy at the bottom, it still held the ingredients together like a vice forged by a medieval blacksmith named Benedict. The only things I would do differently with this burger would be the addition of some mayo to enhance the creaminess and add some fries or onion rings as a side.”
Jus Burgers (South Yarra) 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


Velvet Burger

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Velvet Burger – 18 Fort Street, Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Hottie
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.90 NZD / $7.70 AUD
Summary

Velvet Burger first opened its doors in Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island back in 2006. Since then they’ve gone onto open another location in Auckland followed by yet another second offering in Dunedin. Being very proud of their New Zealand heritage, they have signed their own treaty that promises to provide the best gourmet burger experience, which involves beer, being open really late and then providing comfort from your hangover (pretty much suits us perfectly). They also offer a menu that includes nearly every animal option to sit on a burger like beef, lamb, venison, fish or chicken. With D & Z super keen to begin their NZ Burger Adventure, they got on some extra early flights and headed straight for Velvet Burger. Looking at the menu for approximately 23 seconds it was pretty obvious that they’d opt for the Hottie. It came out on a soft burger bun with beef, grilled mango, chilli mayonnaise, Velvet relish, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and red onion.

Comments
“I have to admit that when it first came out it didn’t look that appealing; a fairly non-descript bun blocking much of the view of the ingredients. It was only when I picked it up did I realise how soft and perfect this bun was for the sweet, spicy and creamy goodness that lay inside. The beef was cooked delightfully but the real star of the show was the combination of the sweetness of the juicy mango matched in contrast to the spicyness of the chilli mayo. Of course I had trepidation about a burger that had fruit in it as it could’ve gone horribly wrong… however these guys got it very right. This, plus surroundings of exposed brick, a large timber bar, South American uni students and plasmas with the sport channel playing made for quite the enjoyable experience.”
“My first burger in New Zealand and I was eager to see what our southern neighbours could come up with. Alas, it came out pretty flat and I already started to feel a smidge disappointed. But then as D removed the top bun to inspect his burger, a rush of wonder began to take over my tastebuds. Because that’s when I saw all that juicy, colourful mango begging to be consumed. “What the hell is this going to taste like!”, I thought. Then as I took my first bite it struck me; I knew exactly why they call this place Velvet Burger. It was so soft you could skydive into the burger and probably survive*. With every bite I’d taste the lingering sweetness of the mango, the soft bun and the decent chilli kick. Then the beef came in every now and then to remind you why you’re not a vegetarian. The other thing I loved about the mango was that it acted as three ingredients in one. The creaminess that it created meant you didn’t need to add cheese, egg or mayo! This was also one of the first times I’d eaten cucumbers in a store-bought-burger; and I welcome them. They’re a fresh take on a pickle that work especially well with the summer theme of the Hottie. A really interesting take on a burger that I by all means would order again.”


Hoboken*

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hoboken – 3 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Hoboken Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$13.50
Summary

Tucked away in arguably Melbourne’s most famous lane way, Hoboken keeps some good company. Not only with all the tourists, artists and vagrants that frequent Hosier Lane, it gets to rub shoulders with (“Oh My GoD! Lets Blog about”) MoVida. Owner Hugh Thorn, of Von Haus fame, has now teamed up with baker Dan Younger, relentlessly working together to create a burger that is produced with products sourced as locally and organically as possible. Grinding the locally sourced meat in house, the team dishes out a limited amount of burgers each day – so be sure to get in and get your share. We managed to slip in one Sunday arvo and order the last burgers of the day. Before us arrived a glazed brioche bun with a thick freshly ground organic Cherry Tree Farm beef pattie, organic cheddar, Momo Fuku pickles, organic condiments, finely diced red onion and lettuce.

Comments
“This was an extremely fresh and flavourful burger. The first thing I noticed was the shiny gloss of the bun and the really chunky piece of beef. Although the beef was quite grey in colour with barely any char on the outside, it was still really tasty and had plenty of juice. Underneath the beef it initially looked like coleslaw however it turned out to be shredded lettuce covered in mayo which, ultimately contributed to the bottom bun almost completely dissolving. The venue is quintessential Melbourne: down a laneway, dudes with beards, water served in jars, eclectic music and to my surprise, really friendly service.”
“These guys – quite unapologetically – have produced a really simple burger. Perfect for a daytime meal with no huge sleepy side effects. For me the whole story is in the beef. Sure there might be other ingredients in it, but every bite into this juicy, delicious beef makes you forget about everything else in your world, like those University loans that never seem to be paid off and for some reason just grow. The bun was as delicate as you would imagine Charlize Theron’s skin would be if she was smothered in butter in the warm Mediterranean Sun. I just wish I had had some fries to boot.”
“The first thing I remember about Hoboken was the glorious smell. Man did the room reek of grilled awesomeness! After my super sexy photo shoot I bit in – the pattie dripped with excellence and the organic cheddar added a lovely creaminess. The bun was cute and sweet like my high school prom date, and did a good job of holding the meat. My only qualm would be the pickles that interrupted the meal every now and then with their acidity. As good as the burger was, it was a shame that the Hoboken cats ran out of fries by the time we got there (2pmish); they would’ve been the perfect sidekick to this smallish dish. But, if you do miss out on fries, don’t stress. A full stomach is only another burger away.”
Hoboken Cafe on Urbanspoon

*Unfortunately all reports are true and Hoboken has closed down. Shame to see a decent burger go to the grave.


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