Stokehouse (Downstairs)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stokehouse (Downstairs) – 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Chargrilled Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$21
Summary

Situated on Melbourne’s famous St Kilda Beach, Stokehouse has been an iconic dining institution in Melbourne for over 20 years. Upstairs you have the ever-booked-out formal dining restaurant with panaromic sea views. Then downstairs is the more relaxed Bar & Grill that’s open every day from midday to midnight. Ideal all year round; an open fire to keep you warm in winter and outdoor seating to watch the colourful world pass you by in the summer. The menu offers plenty of items to share as well as serving pizzas, pastas, steak and of course our order, the Chargrilled Beef Burger. In between a sweet American style bun we discovered a 300 day grain fed beef pattie (minced on site), caramelised onion, melted Hiedi raclette cheese, lettuce, tomato, Paprika aioli & tomato relish. This is all accompanied by a serving of crinkle cut fries.

Comments
“I really have to say this is the closest thing to a “Mexican Burger”. It was just full of flavours that could have just as easily been wrapped in a taco. Not to say this is a bad thing, as the beef pattie was juicy and full of great flavour. The paprika aioli and sweet tomato relish perfectly balanced out the burger and gave it a nice spicy/sweet finish. But if you threw some guacamole in there and grabbed a cerveza, you could be a little bit closer to a Mexican holiday.”
“The first thing that I noticed about this burger was how much it smelt like taco mince. Then to confirm my curiosity it ended up, with certain bites, tasting like taco mince. The sweetness of the relish really balanced out the peppery seasoning of the beautifully cooked beef. The bun started off perfectly and added a whole other level of sweetness to the burger. But after a bit it just disintegrated and the remaining ingredients fell out the bottom. Oh, and I really liked the taps in the bathrooms.”
“What I loved most about this burger was the bun. Yeah sure, I suppose the beef pattie was good too, packed with all sorts of different flavours and spices like cumin and peppery paprika. But what sticks out in my memory is that bun, the sweetness and its almost, “gentleness” was… perfection. I feel like the aioli wasn’t really needed – not that it was too saucy – but I would’ve preferred simple ketchup. The chips were ok.”
“This burger was a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What I mean is, if you’re going to go all bold, meaty and traditional with your burger – sure lets get messy. But when you’re presenting something a little fancy, with more exotic flavours, then lets keep it together. Not saying I want to eat it with a knife and fork or anything, but let me eat every single part of this new experience without losing most of it to “slide”. Flavourwise, the almost Mexicana take on it just threw me off. Not that it wasn’t a tasty burger, but you’d just have to be in a particular mood for it.”


Tramway Hotel

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tramway Hotel – 165 Rae Street, North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tramway Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

The Tramway Hotel has been on our radar for some time now – even before The Age named it as one of their favourite burgers Victoria has to offer for 2012. But as some of you may know, we don’t always see eye to eye on what The Age considers almighty hamburger greatness. So off to a cosy corner of North Fitzroy we went. The Tramway offers pretty much everything you’d want from your local pub: friendly staff, comfy interior, good choice of beers and an eclectic (but not over the top) dining menu. Perusing the menu you’ll notice a decent portion is taken up by their “Fresh Burger Bar” consisting of 6 different “burger” options catering to both vegetarians and humans. We decided upon their signature Tramway Burger that sits on a Le Madre Bakery Ciabatta burger bun with a Char-grilled ground beef pattie topped with bacon, Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, tomato relish, aioli, Spanish onion, tomato, and cos lettuce. Our burger also came with chunky hand cut chips with rosemary and bay salt, cooked in cholesterol free cottonseed oil.

Comments
“I’m not really sure how to describe the difference between a juicy burger and a wet burger. But, all I know is this burger was wet. The beef pattie confused the hell out of me – it was seasoned well with herbs, was well cooked through but had no char on it at all and for some reason the cheese didn’t stick to the pattie, instead latching on to the piece of bacon. The bun was great and did its job of containing all the moisture of the burger right through to the end. The home style chips were really good and the venue has a pretty chilled atmosphere.”
“This has been a long time coming for me. There has been a lot of buzz about this burger amongst friends, family and of course, our audience. Now it was my turn to finally decide. It had a generous, thick, great single herb tasting beef pattie, and the Swiss cheese melted nicely combining well with the aioli. Even though I’m not an avid fan of aioli in burgers, I do have to say this aioli was light, non-greasy and had a delicateness about it. Although the bun was tasty, I didn’t think it suited a burger… more of a breakfast roll. The chips were beautifully fluffy on the inside and had a rustic crunch on the out.”
“At first I thought, “Oh here we go, its the fancy bun hour”. Usually when I get into that frame of mind it’s when people try a little too hard with their hamburger and stray from the fact that the meat should be the hero. Saying that though, even with so many ingredients in there, this burger still remained ridiculously balanced. With every mouthful it was hard to determine where the bun started and pattie ended. But maybe a little too balanced – like I said, the meat should still be the standout hero. For 16 bucks with gourmet chips, it wasn’t bad. I think this rather herbie burger is way over hyped though, but I can see how it floats some people’s boats. What I mean is, imagine if Grill’d opened a pub: this would be their signature burger.”
Tramway Hotel on Urbanspoon


Bess

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bess – 105 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bess Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$22
Summary

Stepping through Bess’ front doors is like being teleported straight into the heart of Paris. With a classic black and white chequerboard floor, cane seats and, mood lighting that’d make Julia Gillard look like Miranda Kerr, it’ll take a friendly “Hello” to bring you back to Melbourne. Owners Katie Krauss-Mitchell and Brendon Mitchell (formerly of Prahran Gastropub Hotel Max), have breathed new life into this Victorian without killing any of its century old romance. Their French/Belgian/European inspired menu draws from the pages of their own experience living and traveling abroad, offering dishes such as duck breast, spaghetti marinara, suckling pig and jamon croquettes. We of course ordered the Bess burger that came included a brioche bun, a 100% Cape Grim beef pattie, cheese, gherkin, iceberg lettuce, bacon & a side of fries.

Comments
“I like this place, I like this burger – I honestly can’t fault it one bit. The burger came out perfectly presented with the fries served in an unpretentious brown paper bag. There was a nice chunky piece of beef, cooked perfectly containing a tonne of juice and flavour. It had a really sharp slice of cheese over the top (which overpowered the ham but who cares), and a nice slice of pickle underneath it resulting in plenty of taste until the last bite. Bess is a really nice restaurant with really nice, well informed wait staff and, has a delightful ambience. This is why I was surprised at how quiet it was – but it is footy season and I guess there was a game on down the road at the MCG. If I ever asked out a girl from north of the river (and she agreed to be seen in public with me), I would definitely take her here.”
“The Cape Grim beef pattie stole the show in my book. It was beautifully cooked, with a very delicate texture and a nice hint of smokiness. The menu states the burger comes with bacon, but for some reason we received our burgers with thin ham slices. The ham was OK, but I really would like to have experienced the saltiness of the bacon in the burger. I think it would have worked, but to be honest I really didn’t miss it. The gherkins delivered that fresh crunchiness to the burger that I so love. And, I don’t often say this, but I really liked the prep the kitchen did with the Iceberg Lettuce – taking something that is bland and cutting it delicately and mixing it in with the mayo, proving that Iceberg lettuce can be good in a burger (especially when fresh). Fries were good, loved the extra touch they add in serving it in a branded paper bag.”
“This burger came out looking sexy. So sexy in fact that I had it unhooked, unzipped and with its skirt on the floor. By “skirt” I mean the cute paper bag that the chips came housed in. Nice effect, but those babies needed to be free to absorb all of my (burger’s) juices. Now when I say that this thick Tasmanian pattie was cooked to perfection, I really want to stress that word: perfection. Two of my favourite things in the world are pink: one is the centre of a gloriously cooked pattie, the other is my favourite kind of midnight snack. The bun was sweet, tended to tear apart a bit, but still did a good job of keeping everything together. Something else that made me smile was the integration of the shredded lettuce and shredded gherkin. You didn’t know where one began and the other ended, forming like Voltron to become one ingredient. My only “wtf” was the use of a basic ham instead of the anticipated bacon. Did they run out of bacon? Do they not serve bacon on Sundays? Who knows? All I know is that if the Bess Burger was this enjoyable without it, then with it… Wow!”
Bess Richmond on Urbanspoon


Wayside Inn

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wayside Inn – 446 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$18
Summary

If you ever find yourself meandering around the industrial back streets of Port/South Melbourne thinking to yourself “I would love a casual, yet refined dining experience with the option of a bar menu, restaurant and sunny courtyard”… then the Wayside Inn is for you. From the creators of The Station Hotel in Footscray, owner Sean Donovan and Head Chef Matt Merrick offer a new pub dining experience based on the simple concept of well-prepared food using quality ingredients, one of the highlights being the different daily offering of rotisserie available like Venison with figs, Boer Goat and Duck. To wash down your meal there are over 20 beers to choose from and a carefully selected wine list to best match your chosen dish. However, we decided to go for the Cheese burger (available on the all day bar menu). It comes with a thick beef pattie, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, all on a brioche bun. On the side you get big hand cut chips that are triple cooked: first boiled, slowly fried and then finally deep fried.

Comments
“I have to say I was really left in two minds about this burger! With the old saying in mind that you “eat with your eyes”, this burger would be at the top of that list. An amazingly thick and juice pattie that was cooked to perfection. Some really great smokey bacon added to this meaty affair. I have to say I do enjoy a good beetroot relish, especially on such a meaty burger – it added the perfect amount of sweetness. Now the few things that kind of let me down! The great bun was definitely cut unevenly; with the base being too thin and I found the cheese a bit too sharp and overpowering. Now for the chips. THEY ARE NOT CHIPS!! It was seriously like eating half a potato with every bite!”
“A very visablly appealing burger; stacked high with a big chunk of beef in full view with cheese running down the sides. The large piece of beef had been minced perfectly leaving plenty of fat and juice in the pattie. The cheese was very strong on its own however, with so much beef it added just the right amount of kick – any other cheese would have been lost. Although not usually a fan of beetroot, the relish under the beef added just enough sweetness necessary. The bacon was cut very thick and tasted great. All-in-all a really good and well thought out burger. In terms of thick cut chips, they’re probably the best I’ve had, but they still don’t compare to a good French Fry.”
“A great juicy, thick (and I mean thick) pattie. The bun was good, but if cut a little bit more evenly in the middle it would have had a better bread distribution and wouldn’t leave the bottom bun a thin, soggy mess. The bacon was nicely smoked and full of that sweet hickory taste, combined with a really sharp cheese to round out each bite full of goodness. I thought I could taste mustard so that warmed my heart and then the relish added another sweet angle to the burger. Chips were a bit too thick for my liking, but cooked well none the less. This burger will definitely be seeing me again.”
“The waterfall of cheese gushing down the side of my pattie struck my taste buds like cupids arrow – it was instant love. The sharp aged cheddar did however, turn out to be a team player. Alone it was strong and let you know who’s boss, but when mixed together with the awesome beef pattie and delicious smokey bacon, it was supportive and nurturing like a MILF. Next time, honestly this is the way I would tackle it though: just beef, bacon and cheese. For such an enjoyable burger its a shame the chips weren’t the moreish salty side snack that I’d hoped for. But thats not enough to stop me from heading back for a lunchtime burger and brew. Big up Sean D and the team for polishing the hell out of this hidden gem.”
Wayside Inn on Urbanspoon


Speakeasy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Speakeasy – 359 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Speakeasy Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

With a narrow entrance on Chapel St, it is easy to miss the Speakeasy, but if you know where to look, the white welcoming décor and the front wooden communal table make it easy to pin point. With more room in the back, there is good potential to cater for larger crowds and the outside terrace also makes it easier to enjoy the upcoming summer rays and down a few bevvies with mates. The menu is quite simple, catering to all tastes and cravings, from pork to duck, to vege and fish – they’ve got breakfast, lunch and dinner covered. Having been open for a few months, and creating a bit of buzz around Melbourne, Speakeasy is on its way to contradicting its namesake. We sat down for lunch one lazy Sunday afternoon and ordered the Speakeasy Beef Burger which came on a glazed brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise and fat cut chips.

Comments
“It all started with a great brioche bun, a delicious classic ketchup and mayo combo, and then a well cooked pattie that tasted a little bit like a rissole, even sausage mince at times. The cheese was tasty, but why wasn’t ours melted? As far as Chapel St burgers go, this place has the potential to own them all.”
“First off, they unfortunately broke one of the cardinal sins in making a burger, not melting the cheese on the pattie. Then to rub salt into the wounds, I saw another patrons burger come out 15 minutes later with the cheese perfectly melted and oozing onto the plate. That aside the beef was cooked really well, with the right amount of juice that (combined with the mayo) created a delicious compliment. It was a shame about the cheese as this burger has the potential to be the best on or around Chapel St. I never have been nor will I ever be, a fan of fancy big cuts of chips, they’re just not fluffy on the inside when they are that big!”
“This burger had no real standouts, however still delivered a good feed. The bun was fluffy, sweet and soft, but did brake one of the most epic burger rules – “thou shall not use bun with larger radius than pattie”. That aside the pattie was seasoned well and cooked to a good standard. The mayo and cheese worked well, with the cheese adding a nice saltiness helping it to stand out. For once there wasn’t a whole lot of greenery, which is good. The fat chips were cooked alright, but I’m still not convinced I like them. Helpful tip I picked up from D – cut fat chips longways, that way it cools quicker and are easier to eat.”
“Such a real shame that this thing came out with un-melted cheese. Not only would’ve that help melt my heart, but there would have been some “tight pants” in the house. My bun was spot on; it was glazed well and even though there was a little too much of it, I wasn’t left with a whole lot of it on my plate once I’d gotten through the pattie. Speaking of which, was nicely pink in the centre, quite tasty and had a significant amount of “rissole-ness” to it. The cheese tasted a lot like an aged cheddar and really was excellent. It had a sharp, distinct flavour that isn’t the norm for a burger in these parts of Chapel St. I did enjoy this but screw you guys for giving us some serious food envy with everyone else’s burger looking a billion times more awesome.”
Speakeasy Kitchen Bar on Urbanspoon


Caboose Canteen

Friday, December 16, 2011

Caboose Canteen – 4 City Square, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Caboose Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$26
Summary

Smack bang in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD with the erratic foot traffic of Swanston St at its door, you’ll find Caboose Canteen. Living next door (for added protection one thinks) to its sister eateries Three Below and La Vita Buono, it differentiates and prides itself on being a place for local CBD workers to enjoy a hearty meal during/after their daily grind. After a few tweets and photos sent our way we thought we ought to get the inside scoop on the Caboose Burger before their no.1 fans, the Occupy Melbourne protesters, took it mainstream. Before us sat a familiar looking Caboose Burger that came on a toasted sesame brioche bun with chopped wagyu steak, tomato relish, barbecue sauce, lettuce and a side of fries.

Comments
“I’ll get it out of the way, but damn it was cold inside this place. It wasn’t even that cold an evening. Anyhow, the meat pattie seemed to be cooked really well and tended to remind me more of a classic meatball than anything else. There was a nice bit of spice throughout the meat that I’d have to put down to paprika or diced chilli. Seeing more and more of this style of brioche bun popping up in restaurants lately means that it must be a hit. For me it worked a treat – it was tasty and most important of all held everything together for some nice consistent bites. ”
“An immediate but really nice kick of spice to this burger, with a chilli paste on the top bun and then with some mixed through the beef. But to me this is where the creativity and uniqueness ends: it had the same brioche bun that many kitchens are using at the moment, it had good size beef pattie but it was cooked a little too long and the lettuce and tomato eventually turned to mush resulting in a loss of flavour drowning out the spiciness. Being served in a saucepan (not a warm one or anything) instead of a plate is a bit of a wank to me, and I dont think it justifies the price tag as it doest compete with similar priced burgers in the immediate vicinity.”
“A simple burger that in my opinion works well as an inner-city lunch time burger. It had a well flavoured wagyu pattie made up of a good blend of high-quality meat and spices. The brioche bun delivered that beloved sweetness that I love. The relish was well balanced with sweet and spice combined with the barbeque sauce to add some smokiness to each bite. Not too much green worked for me; just a simple leaf and a thin slice of tomato that didn’t effect my meal at all. Chips were good, but did need some salt.”
“At first I thought it was a crazy case of deja vu. “Didn’t we already eat this at Newmarket Hotel?”, I kept thinking as I was shooting the familiar looking burger. Putting that aside I delved in and discovered that this leans to the class of a “Burger Remix” – a modern take on a classic burger. And it wasn’t an abrupt remix that created substantial waves in its burger soul. The chopped wagyu pattie was peppery, hinted at chorizo and was pretty darn good. My bun did a “C+” job of keeping things together though, because by the end of the meal I was left with a bunch of it sitting on my plate. Overall it was good, but I’ve got this incredible gripe with the guys for not going out on a limb and creating a burger thats more unique to Caboose Canteen. Newmarket virtually already do the same burger and honestly, on the occasions we’ve visited, its been a juicier, more tender and more fitting burger. They are, for one, a So-Cal Mexican restaurant, so it makes perfect sense for them to serve such a burger. Don’t get me wrong, the burger was good, but for Caboose to use it perplexed me a bit. I’d say go back to the drawing board, look at what your brand represents and create something for yourselves. Chances are it could be awesome.”
Caboose on Urbanspoon


Glass Brasserie

Monday, December 12, 2011

Glass Brasserie – 488 George St, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20 @ Lunch with a drink
Summary

Whether you’re a tourist, a hungry CBD 9-5er or a champion burger aficionado, one of your top-of-mind lunch time destinations in Sydney is going to be the renowned Glass Brasserie. We’re familiar with Chef Luke Mangan’s work at South Melbourne’s Palace and when planning a visit to Glass Brasserie, Z was expecting nothing but greatness. Before we go on, we must mention that the burger is available only at the Glass Wine Bar menu, which is still just as fancy and will have you looking around in awe. The team have spared no expense, inviting New York designer Tony Chi to work his magic; using ultra high ceilings, earthy tones and with glass and mirrors all around you, you’ll feel like you’re dining in some sort of Swiss aristocrat’s holiday house in the Alps (true story). Luke Mangan’s right hand man, Executive Chef and burger lover is Joe Pavlovich: in a recent interview he commented, “When you eat a good burger, news travels fast. We’ve never really had a good burger culture in Australia and now we’re starting to.” With that said we had to send Z up there to see whether Glass Brasserie and Joe Pavlovich could truly walk the walk. Z sat down at the Glass Wine Bar and ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger Lunch Special that included a 50/50 brioche and burger bun filled with ox-heart tomatoes, house-made barbecue sauce and mayo, Raclette cheese, onions cooked in beer and Rangers Valley beef mixed with dry-aged beef fat, a pickle and fries on the side, plus a cool beer to wash it all down.

Comments
“As soon as I saw this thing waltzing it’s way over to my table I thought, “touché Mr Pavlovich, touché.” Wow did this burger look impressive. A waterfall of cheese like this arouses me in so many ways its almost unfathomable. After my Penthouse shoot was over I sunk my teeth in and was greeted with warm, soft and delicious beef. The Raclette cheese took me back to my time in France where the locals practically brush their teeth with the stuff – devine. Displaying poise and grace, the bun never took over and let the beef and cheese do all the talking. Every now and then however, the BBQ sauce would stand up and interrupt this tasty dance with obnoxious line dancing that didn’t belong in such a burger. Whether I was delirious from all the cheese I don’t know, but I could swear there were hints of apple coming from the bacon, which wasn’t bad, but did enough to distract me. Now, because every Sydney burger for me has become a “Could this be better than Lotus” burger (one can only dream), I couldn’t help but pick at the back chat that I was being given by the good but not great bbq sauce and bacon. All together this burger was still pretty damn wicked and deserves a whole lot of respect and admiration. To serve this kind of calibre burger + chips + beer, for $20, is incredible! Every pub/restaurant/bar should definitely take note. As of this moment, if you’re hunting down burgers in Sydney check out Glass Brasserie for lunch and then hit up Dan Hong at Lotus for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.”
Glass Brasserie on Urbanspoon


Like Us!
Stay Connected
Legend
Burger:
From the menu, which one we ordered.
Serviettes:
How sloppy and juicy the burger is.
Dress Code:
What's the venue like?
Sleepiness:
For how long were we drowsy after the burger.
Would We Recommend:
Price:
$$$$
Friends
ADVENTURE ARCHIVE