Lotus*

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lotus – 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
The Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$16
Summary

Just past all of the aristocratic elegance of Kings Cross, Sydney, you’ll find the Merivale Group owned Lotus. With a Midas-like touch, they’re responsible for some of Sydney’s most renowned nightclubs, restaurants and hotels. So why should Lotus be any different? Like most of their premium venues, there’s the beautiful decor, low lighting and quite the mean cocktail bar. However, there’s one big difference: the exceptional talents of a chef by the name of Dan Hong. After a few years working the scene in Australia he tore away to the USA, only to return to Lotus in 2008 with some “most-triumphant” tricks up his sleeve. Their Cheeeseburger, as Chef Dan Hong describes, is “bun, meat, onions, sauce, cheese, mayo and pickles – it is a proper burger – no fancy shit”. Dinner/Burger Time starts at 6pm at Lotus; so we arrived at 5:45pm, cooled off with some alcoholic beverages and waited for Awesome to happen.

Comments
“This is like Walter White’s Blue Meth in a bun… sent from the gods! This burger prevails where so many others fail. Although we know how much research went into the meat alone (a mix of chuck, brisket and dry-aged beef fat), simplicity was the key ingredient here. There really is not one thing I’d take out, add or change about this burger. One of the many sexual thoughts I had going through my head after devouring this delight was, “Could I? Could I actually move to Sydney to be closer to my new found love?”
“What I’m about to say really won’t do this burger any justice. So for your sake stop reading this and GO NOW! If you have decided to read on I’ll try and make this quick (because some things in life really don’t need too much explanation). The burger was soft and delicate. The bacon was cooked to perfection, not crisp, but tastefully tender. The pattie was juicy and was filled with sumptuous salty flavours that will blow your mind. The steamed bun was by far the one of the softest buns I have ever had on God’s green earth – I loved it! Our side order of chips + mayo were also great. It’s just such an amazing burger, there’s no chance you’ll be able to stop at one.”
I quit.

Lotus on Urbanspoon

*Like a bazooka in the face, it pains us to say this Lotus is closed for good. FML.


Kodiak Club

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kodiak Club – 272 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Kodiak Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$17.50
Summary

Down the uber trendy end of Brunswick St, Melbourne – ok who are we kidding the whole street is so frkn hipster it hurts – you’ll find the all American inspired Kodiak Bar. Taking a page out of “Anytown U.S.A” bar culture, Kodiak’s menu dishes out a range of modern, regional American bar food, as well as priding themselves on being Melbourne’s prime destination for American Whisky and Bourbon. Open Wedensday through Sunday ’til the wee hours of the night, its the perfect cosy nook you’re looking for on a chill Melbourne night, especially if its bacon infused bourbon that you’re craving. After getting a little too excited about the rest of their mouthwatering menu we settled on the Kodiak Burger which came with 2 grass fed beef patties, cheese, dill pickles, onions and Woodford Reserve mayo on a sesame seed bun, served with beer-battered onion rings.

Comments
“I really have to to say it was an epic wait for this burger to come out of the kitchen. But was it worth the wait…? Well I could go either way. It was really a very up and down burger. The bun and cheese get my thumbs up, and the onion rings were great. Everything else in the burger was just ok, even though I did like the fact that there were two thinner patties instead of one thick one. The biggest question mark over this burger however was the Woodford mayo. I think there was a little to much bourbon in the mayo making it a bit over powering and less of a complement. Would love to revisit Kodiak in a couple of month to see if things have changed.”
“If in 63 minutes you think you’re going to be hungry, I would recommend ordering now. Otherwise prepare to starve for 63 minutes! Now onto the burger.. the first bite was overpowering due to the really strong mayo and sour pickle. So I tried a different strategy: I scraped off as much of the way too strong and inconvenient mayo and added ketchup. I love the site of two beef patties but I would have preferred the same amount of meat, just in a single, more juicy pattie as opposed to two drier, thinner and charred ones. I love the idea and theme behind the bar but I know that the yanks wouldn’t be happy waiting that long, and probably would have glassed a few hipsters at the bar in frustration.”
“When seeing the waiter bringing you this burger from afar you can tell this burger will not require any dessert after inhaling it. It is a great looking burger with some great features: double beef patties, brioche bun and oozing cheese – loved them all. What I think let it down a little was the mayo, it was good, but you can have too much of a good thing sometimes and in this instance there was way too much of it. In my eyes the Kodiak was operating as a bar first and as a restaurant second. What I mean is, the burger took almost an hour to come out and the music was loud, I mean LOUD. I like the theme music to Top Gun too, but that volume was uncalled for if you are trying have people eat. I would like to go back again though, it is the right environment for a burger and beers. Onion rings were great.”
“Ok, so it was good, but I think they tried too hard. I understand that the mayo made the burger different and unique to their famed Bourbon bar but I would’ve honestly preferred it to have been be a more traditional mayonaisse. If I’d been partying with bourbon all night, the last thing I would want to taste for my hangover cure is more Bourbon. I dont think that the the Woodford Mayo had been reduced enough. I was a big fan of the brioche bun, creamy cheese, and the subtle point of difference using the double patties. I would be adding bacon to this burger next time I go so it packs a little more saltiness though. So no serious crimes committed on this one; the wait time was shit and the mayo wasn’t excellent (points for effort though), but that’d be an easy fix which will have me coming back… maybe for some Bacon Bourbon and Buffalo Wings.”
The Kodiak Club on Urbanspoon


NSHRY

Monday, August 22, 2011

NSHRY – 129A Beaconsfield Pde, Albert Park, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Umami Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$22
Summary

Pronounced “Noshery”, this funky little beachside cafe/restaurant produces some enticing breakfast and lunch dishes, not to mention coffee that will convert even the most dedicated de-cafe drinkers. With exceptional service and an in depth knowledge about all of their selections, the staff are hard to fault. Inside the décor is comfortable and warm, perfect for a winters breakfast/lunch with a great big window view of the beach. However, when the sun is shining you’ll be fighting for a place outside. We grabbed our first ever Umami Burger – 200g Wagyu and Angus beef, Umami rub, brown mushroom sauce, gruyere, caramelised onions, oven roasted tomato and a parmesan crisp between a sweet brioche bun with a side of onion rings, slaw, cornichons, spicy chip dip and wasabi kewpie. And a heads up if you’re planning on a late night burger fix… its currently only available on the lunchtime menu – unless bribery is your thing of course.

Comments
“One of the thickest and juiciest patties I’ve had the pleasure of wrapping my hands around. It was so awesomely juicy that I was actually able to literally suck the salty, flavour packed juice from the pattie. Everything else about this burger was well planned and thought out. The crispy parmesan was something I haven’t seen before and worked perfectly. The individual ingredients in this burger may seem overwhelming, but together make it something special. You also can’t go past the selection of 3 amazing side sauces to add a unique taste. Some really great touches here that make this burger stand out from most others. This is one you really have to try!”
“I was instantly impressed when I walked in and noticed the portions and presentation of the fellow diners meals. The room was full, but being such a tough brave man I was happy to venture outside and face the elements of a Melbourne winter – the view is pretty spectacular aswell. As I was still drunk after only getting home a few hours earlier I eagerly awaited the burger… and once it arrived, I thought had a real challenge on my hands. The crispy cheese and grilled tomatoes all looked a bit complicated for me to navigate. However, much to my surprise when I squished everything together it created an awesome “mush” of gooey goodness that blended perfectly. The beef was a great size and the other ingredients didn’t take away from the main flavours. The service was very friendly and cute, and little extras like 3 sauces to choose from gave it that edge that turned a good experience great.”
“All I can remember is the juice of the pattie going down my hands and dripping onto the plate. This burger is so juicy! The pattie’s flavour was well-balanced (no dominating flavours, besides meat) and cooked evenly on both sides, with the perfect shade of pink in the middle. Be warned this pattie is not only juicy, but thick too. The bun was the second standout – sweet and soft. The caramelised onion jam was really nicely prepared and the double cheese of parmesan and gruyere was perfection. The 3 dips that came with the burger gave me a great choice of what flavour combos to add to each bite – loved it. No chips on this one, but the onion rings were great. I would recommend ending this meal with a Cold Drip Coffee, you’ll need it after this meal.”
“A burger with a concept… finally! Inspired by Umami (The”5th Taste”), this burger is quite unique to Melbourne. The gents have raved on enough about it all but I must emphasise how juicy and tasty this is. It only makes me regret not visiting Umami Burger whilst on my travels around the USA. What really made this for me though was the three dipping sauces: a kind of wasabi mayo, then a paprika-style mayo and a spicy tomato sauce. Each one worked deliciously with the burger (and onion rings), meaning they’ll have you coming back over and over again just try all of the possible combinations. Some serious awesomeness right here. Get on it. ”
Nshry on Urbanspoon


Rockpool Bar & Grill

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Rockpool Bar & Grill – Crown Complex, Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
David Blackmore’s Mishima Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$24
Summary

If someone were to ask you where they should go for a good steak in Melbourne, chances are Neil Perry’s famous Rockpool Bar & Grill will be at the top of that list. Having made it to our very own Top 10 for 2010 with his David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger, we were very eager to sink our teeth into another one their renowned beef burgers. This time opting to use a Mishima beef pattie instead of the much loved David Blackmore Wagyu beef. What’s Mishima beef you may ask? Mishima is a Japanese produced beef that is regarded as rarer and pricier than the well known Kobe beef. Best described by David Blackmore as the “Original Native Japanese Cattle,” Mishima cows are thoroughbred in Japan and aren’t ever crossed with European breeds. The island on which they graze exists in relative isolation, whereas Wagyu beef is the result of crossbreeding these Mishima cattle with European Angus. With the addition of the new beef nothing else has really changed in the burger. It came on a toasted brioche bun with peppery onions, zuni pickles and tomato and lettuce on the side. Now before you go rushing into Rockpool be sure to check their website or our Facebook for updates- the Mishima Burger is incredibly rare and only appears on the bar menu approximately 4 to 5 times a year.

Comments
“You really can’t go wrong when heading to Rockpool for a meal. Although this was basically a simple pattie change on the renowned and delicious David Blackmore Wagyu Burger, this rare and almost unknown Japanese beef gives the burger a completely new life. The Mishima beef pattie was something new and different to anything I have tried before, with a more rustic style coarsely ground beef consistency. Perfectly cooked and juicy, this pattie has a real meaty dominate flavour about it. Although the pattie is the only change from the Blackmore burger they really seem like two completely different burgers. One isn’t better than the other, I guess it comes down to what you prefer. Another win for Mr Perry.”
“Just an outstanding and meticulously orchestrated burger. I opted to leave out the lettuce and tomato in order to concentrate on the distinct flavours that the beef, chutney, pickle and onion all offer. The beef was a large, thick patty that oozed juice and flavour that was in perfect ratio to the acidic pickle and spicy onions. The bottom of the bun had dissolved by the end of it but I couldnt care less; it’s just the price you have to pay for all that juice!”
“I was so happy that we came back again. I was a bit curious to see if they could deliver a better burger than their Wagyu version- keeping in mind this was in my top ten from last year. The burger was fantastic; a thicker pattie meaning more meat, more intense flavours and the pickles and onion, in true Rockpool fashion, were great. I don’t think this burger is better than the David Blackmore’s Wagyu Burger, in retrospect I think they are just two different types of burgers. This one just has more meatiness about it. Its a bigger burger for a bigger appetite and in some ways dominates over the all the other flavours inside, whereas the Wagyu Burger is a bit more delicate and is not as filling. Either way the winner is the Rockpool for creating such a good burger. Loved it.”
“The thing that stood out to me in the burger – as it should have – was the meat. The beef was incredibly flavoursome, juicy and ground quite coarsely without it all falling apart (meaning they’ve cut the mince properly with the grain). The spicy onions were the second thing that stood out, but not in the best way. Normally I would’ve eaten this kind of burger without the side of tomato and lettuce (and I did). But in this case I actually think that they might have helped to balance out all those really intense flavours of onions, pickles and beef. Or… I’d probably chuck the whole lot and just devour the amazing beef and bun on their own. The David Blackmore’s Mishima burger is a truly special experience that every serious burger lover should endeavour to sink their teeth into.”
Rockpool Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


Little Press & Cellar at The Press Club

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Little Press & Cellar at The Press Club – 72 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia
Burger:
Mikro Bifteki
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$7 EA.
Summary

Little Press & Cellar is the baby brother of celebrity chef George Calombaris’ well-known and established, The Press Club. It maybe smaller and more casual, but it is just as enticing and hospitable, offering Mezethakia (tapas to some, or finger food to others) making it great for the walk-in clientele who might be up for a bite or even a cheeky drink – the perfect spot to escape the rain on a miserable Melbourne day. We tried the Mikro Bifteki – a mini Wagyu burger, patzari (beetroot) and Haloumi (Cypriot cheese). As a little something extra that only the sheikest of the sheik are accustomed to doing, we added a side of chips with Taramosalata (traditional greek caviar and egg paste) for $13.50.

Comments
“This entire day was really unplanned. I had some errands to run in the city and Z decided to tag along. Upon driving in to town we were already trying to decide where we could grab some food. When the meet and greets were over we found ourselves on Flinders St saying “Where to for lunch.” Z had heard that The Press Club has a little cellar kitchen that did a wicked little burger. As I walked into The Little Press & Cellar I was instantly greeted and escorted to the table. We ordered the burgers with the side of chips and Taramosalata. We started with dipping the chips in the Taramosalata and I was pleasantly surprised with its creamy texture, subtle saltiness and hints of garlic that mixed so well with the crispiness of the chips. The burger was literally bite sized and I was left salivating for more. The Wagyu pattie was really fluffy, crumbled nicely and seasoned perfectly. With the slither of melted Haloumi on top, it made for really a nice combination. The beetroot added a nice sweet feature to a salty burger, and worked well. The Bun was perfection. After finishing the first burger we had to get another one and when it arrived I had to try it with some Taramosalata. Due to its subtle flavours, compared to the burgers more dominant flavour, I really couldn’t taste it in the burger. I would recommend people try Taramosalata with what its meant for: chips and bread.”
“First off I should mention that this is the kind of burger you’d eat accompanied by a whole lot of other dishes, otherwise you’d probably end up ordering at least 4. But thats saying something, because you actually would.. they are pretty awesome. Everything in this burger was quality and each ingredient played a significant role. The mini brioche bun was sweet, soft and excellent. The Wagyu beef pattie was luxuriously buttery and packed with parsley – which is rare as they hardly put extras in with it – but it was a nice touch. The most prominent flavour was the Haloumi though. It had a rounded sharpness to it, kind of like a butter knife. Although there were some typically contrasting flavours in there it was still a really simple burger. The caviar dip was interesting but surprisingly tasty, and I’m not even really big on seafood. In fact, I usually say, “If it lives in the sea, let it be.” But it was excellently paired with the chips. This is a cool little place thats offers quality service and ingredients but is still nice and casual. If you’re appetite is leading you on your journey though, be prepared to spend a little more than usual. But thats what you get when you order some of the classiest chips in Melbourne.”
Little Press and Cellar on Urbanspoon


The Newmarket Hotel

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Newmarket Hotel – 34 Inkerman St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$25
Summary

The guys that brought you venues like the Royal Saxon and The Middle Park Hotel are at it again. In a collaborative effort with architects Six Degrees and consulting chef Paul Wilson, the New Market Hotel’s famous Shnitz & Tits has been replaced with an elegance and charm only found across the Baja California. As you step past the original red brick facade, the borders between inside and outside turn to shadows and tall Oscar Niemeyer-like arches will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of StKilda and into a contemporary artwork. Alot of time and money have gone into this project, and it didn’t just stop at the renovations. The menu is rich with SoCal-Hispanic influences. Dishes like Bone Marrow Tacos and Pork Carnitas with Pineapple Salsa are perfect for diners that think they’ve had it all. After a little bit of guacomale to start off with we delved straight into the Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, sides of pickled cucumber, corn, capsicum, and a bowl spicy of patatas bravas.

Comments
“This is what I’d say is a true non-traditional burger that actually works.. and works damn well! Everything about this burger was well thought out: from the pickled side of assorted veggies and the rustic potatoes chunks with a chipotle style mayo, everthing really had it’s own distinct flavor. The burger itself has one of the best buns out there, and the pattie, oh that pattie! This is something that your not going to try anywhere else. The pattie is laced with paprika and really tastes like chorizo. I’d say its best enjoyed biting from your burger to your side dish, as each portion complements one another perfectly.”
“A lot of credit should be given to the Chef. He’s confidently taken some huge risks with various flavours and sides which could easily have turned into a disaster. The bun (my favourite style), held it together and trapped in all the juice and spice from the beef. In comparison to the other dishes at the Newmarket that are too small and leave you either hungry or broke, this was a fullfilling meal. At places like this staff can sometimes be a little “too important” and snobby, but we had some really friendly service from a blonde with half of her head shaved.”
“Overall a pleasant experience. Interesting décor, big menu, good service, but most importantly a burger to be proud of. The pattie was by far the star of the show. It was well seasoned with a mixed variety of spices that gave it a good zing. It was thick and cooked well, but 1 more minute on the grill and it would’ve been over done. The bun was perfect and the miscellaneous pickles that accompanied the burger were great; each with its own distinct flavour. The abnormally yellow chips/potato wedges were ok.”
“My first impression was Wow. What the hell is this? This burger was more Mexican than any of the burgers I’d eaten in Mexico. Probably because the Mexicans were trying to emulate the Americans. Saying that I was hoping it would be a touch spicier. Your first bite is filled with juice that can only be recreated by chorizo. The lettuce and tomato were basic but you end up forgetting about them because you’re too focused on this unique flavour to the beef. We were told its seasoned with paprika, garlic, onion powder and cooked with bone marrow.. but I couldn’t get past chorizo; especially with all the red/orange juices dripping out of it. A rare dining experience that every burger (and Mexican) lover should sink their teeth into.”
Newmarket Hotel on Urbanspoon


The Millswyn

Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Millswyn – 131-133 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Millswyn Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Just opposite Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens along Domain Rd, you can’t miss a refined and sexy looking locale by the name of The Millswyn. You’re welcome to grab a spot at the bar or in the dining room, but with warm nights fast approaching, the terrace is the perfect spot for a bite and a beer. With a menu that ranges from a selection of Charcuterie, seafood and “Midnight Sweets”, you might find yourself tempted by the Millswyn Burger (available on the bar menu all week), which comes with a thick beef pattie, a toasted sesame seed bun, BLT garnish, avocado, relish and fries. Now all that’s left to do is decide on a drink.

Comments
“I really believe that when a meal comes out with great presentation, it will nearly always taste a little bit better. They have gone to a great effort to create a visually pleasing burger. Luckily it didn’t end there! A tender and juicy pattie sits on a slightly sweet bun with all your extras accompanied on the side. It was a nice change to go without cheese – it would’ve actually taken away from the burgers true flavours. I loved the side of relish, but I’m not sure how much the avocado really added.”
“You know a burger is good when it doesn’t need cheese. The beef was simply perfect and cooked with the right shade of pink. There was also the just right amount of fat to hold it all together and keep it juicy. The intertwined BLT combo with avacodo was very fresh and it didnt take away from the flavour of the beef, also giving it a really nice texture. Great atmostphere, decor, music and good-looking people everywhere.”
“A really enjoyable burger. The preparation that went into it was obvious, and the quality of the produce was of the highest standard. The beef was thick, juicy and fantastic. The blanched tomato slice was tasty and the avocado with bacon always mix well. There was no cheese, but it didn’t need it. What I really enjoyed was the relish (please try it when you go) that was a perfect dipping sauce for their very well-executed fries. And incase you have a spare $25 in your pocket, try washing it down with the Estrella Damm Inedit Beer – damn good.”
“As soon as it came out I was reminded of the USA, where building your own burger is a regular occurrence and makes the pickiest of eaters happy campers. I threw the lot in between the soft sesame seed bun and went to town. Definitely some of the nicest beef I’ve had; simple, soft, tender and tasty as hell. It was hard to tell if the avocado was needed; whatever it added it was subtle. The bacon was awesome, lean and a bit crunchy, with a hints of Kielbasa that you might pick up from an Eastern European deli. Salutations to the chef and the team for creating such a unique and luxurious dining experience.”


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