The Spotted Mallard

Friday, June 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_SpottedMallard

The Spotted Mallard – 314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Spotted Mallard Wagyu Beef & Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$19
Summary

With no street frontage but a large old glass door opening to a retro lobby and staircase, it’s fair to say we had no idea what to expect at The Spotted Mallard. Upon entering we were greeted by a large and lively room. There was a folk band entertaining a crowd that looked to be having a rip roaring time on the dance floor as well as what appeared to be 3 generations of the one family catching up over some dinner and wine. The owners; Sam, Samanda, Pete and Max undertook the conversion of a reception centre in 2012 that involved installing a stage and an overhaul of the kitchen that is now largely occupied by staff formerly of Mamasita. The menu features plently of comfort food like a Beef Cheek Rueben, a Wild Mushroom Pot Pie, Slow Braised Lamb and of course the Wagyu Beef and Bacon Burger that comes with a 200gm pattie (cooked pink), streaky bacon, molten gruyere cheese, caramelized onion and pickles on a chipotle mayo doused brioche.

Comments
“My theory that burgers served in waxed paper taste better has been proven right once again. Partly I believe it’s because it traps in all of the ingredients and flavour and partly because I’m slightly OCD and I like my hands being clean. Personal weirdness aside, this is an amazing burger; the beef was cooked medium and was really soft, juicy and maintained its flavour while up against some strong competition that would usually overpower the patty. The cheese was perfectly melted and tasted great against the salty, crispy bacon. The spiciness from the chipotle mayo made me instantly regret leaving my chapstick in the car. These ingredients alone would of made a great burger however, the sweetness from the caramelised onions and sour from the pickle took it to the next level, without overpowering the burger and all working in harmony.”
“I love the idea of grabbing a show, maybe even having a dance and enjoying a bite under one roof. The pub menu on offer was basic, but looked to be executed quite well. The steak and the burger would have been my top two picks if I was going in off the clock. Now to the fantastic burger: the pattie was simply amazing. It was perfectly charred coupled with a great punch of herbs and spices, topped off with the perfect melted hit of cheese and crunch of pickle. The bun was delicate and soft, slightly spongy towards the end, but did it’s job. Chips were thick and fluffy.”
“The venue made feel like I’d been transported to Hungary c.1970. I loved it. The burger’s individual elements were all great but when together they were a work of art. The burger was peppery, hearty, creamy and all together special. It’s not like they did anything that was crazy-out-of-this-world but, it just stood out from the pack. This burger made me feel good. It was the warm hug that you look for after a full day of skiing. It’s the glass of whisky after a long day at work. Truly magnificent.”
The Spotted Mallard 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.”


The Post Office Hotel

Friday, May 3, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PostOfficeHotel

The Post Office Hotel – 231 Sydney Rd, Coburg, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$17
Summary

After more than a few licks of paint in 2010, The Post Office Hotel opened its doors again to a more than happy Coburg neighbourhood. At its core it’s a Gastropub – but with probably a little more emphasis on the “pub”. The reason for this emphasis is purely because its such a homely and warm environment. It’s inviting and caters for everybody of all tastes, which really makes you question whether or not any of the locals would actually refer to it anything other than “the pub”. Although quite large with many different areas for drinking, dining or even maybe a little boot-scoot, their menu acts as if you’ve entered a high-end English cottage turned restaurant. Toulouse Sausages, Spaghettini with truffle oil and Spatchcock are offered from either their elegant Cafe229 & Dining Hall or Pub menus. On a cool Sunday evening we stepped up to the bar and ordered the Post Office Hotel’s Wagyu Burger that came with a 200g Wagyu pattie, lettuce, tomato, caramelised onions, gruyere, beetroot and a side of french fries. Be mindful, they don’t have ketchup, but the offer of chutney and aioli is plentiful.

Comments
“This burger was on the very verge of greatness for me, with the large, perfectly cooked wagyu beef pattie being the absolute highlight. Unfortunately the other ingredients were a little too strong and instead of enhancing the beef flavour, slowly overpowered it. From the buttery, flaky texture of the croissant-like bun and the sweetness of the beetroot relish and caramelised onions. I’d like to try a simpler version with just the pattie and the creamy gruyere cheese. I really enjoy a good stalk of a venue’s kitchen and peering in I saw some seriously good looking dishes being produced that I’d love to try next time I’m in the area.”
“This burger really ticked a lot of boxes for me. The brioche bun and beautifully charred pattie were the two great stand outs for me. I really would have been happy with the bun and pattie and done away with everything else, not because they were subpar, but because I loved the complex flavour of the pattie. The beetroot relish was great and together with the brioche really made the burger quite sweet. The melted cheese perfectly covered the pattie and combined really well with the caramelised onions. Chips were good.”
“Appearance-wise it looked a million bucks. However, my first bite in and there was drama. It was all very soft, but Wow was the pattie piping hot. Especially when compared to the rest of my room-temperature burger. I gave it a second as my tastebuds regained consciousness and continued. When you use beetroot, you run the risk of upsetting some people and pleasing others. This has to please all those who bite in. I think we’ve found the perfect amount of beetroot to use in a burger. Call me crazy, or maybe I just enjoyed the beetroot’s cooling properties. Extra highlights to add to it’s CV were the deliciously salty, melted gruyere all over the high quality pattie and, my favourite of all, the caramelised onions that popped up every now and then to give the burger a little bit of bbq fundraiser charm.”
The Post Office Hotel 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


The Bottom End

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Bottom End – 579 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bottom End Cheesey Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
33 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

The Bottom End is a new kind of hybrid venue: a pub-disco-diner. The love-child of a fair-dinkum pub and a hedonistic party palace with an all-night pseudo-US diner thrown in for good measure. All this over indulgent extrava-Dance is brought to you by none other than Mr.Michael Delany-Korabelnikova; the man behind iconic Melbourne nightclubs Honkytonks, Third Class and Sorry Grandma! Food is the key ingredient in the success of any traditional pub and The Bottom End is no different. The food menu takes cues from all night US diners and the recent “dude food” phenomenon where Philly Cheese Steak, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls, NYC Buffalo Wings, Prawn and Chorizo Po Boys sit on a menu few could call healthy, but just as few could resist. After recovering from the launch party we went back to try the Cheesey Bacon Burger. Inside was the beef pattie, bacon, gruyere cheese, smoked dutch, lettuce, onion, tomato, onion, pickle, their special sauce between a brioche bun and a side of crinkle cut chips.

Comments
“If you didn’t know the history you never would’ve guessed that this unique and quirky hybrid venue used to be the old crazy rave destination known as Bubble. Created by one of Australia’s most iconic bar consultant/owners they serve up a heluva good old American diner-style burger that cuts no corners. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything healthy and this is the way it should be!! The creamy gruyere made for a great addition to the thick juicy pattie and other fresh ingredients. With their special sauce also between the brioche bun I have to say this is one I’d definitely make a trip back for, whether it was late afternoon or the early hours of the morning.”
“This was a seriously creamy and filling burger. So much so that I have to admit I left a few chips on the plate; a rare occurrence. The creaminess came down to the amazing melted gruyere and the secret sauce that closely resembled a 1,000 Island dressing. It worked well with the crispy, thick cut bacon and the tightly packed beef pattie. If this venue was in a different location I would frequent it more often. However, I consider this part of the city the arsehole of Melbourne and I’m embarassed that it even exists. I hope that along with the new Vue De Monde it can start the much needed rejuvenation.”
“Imagine Buckingham Palace, then fill it with pictures and statues that you would find in some eccentric dandy’s art collection. But they’re all stored in his basement because even he said, “No, even these are too tacky for me”. Then throw in a bar and a kitchen. That is The Bottom End and I LOVED IT. It just takes the piss out of everything and it’s the kind of place you would never expect to find any conservative accountant/lawyer/dental hygienist on a Friday night drinking beer and smashing a burger. So it already qualifies as my favourite place on earth at this point. The burger: the pattie was of average thickness but was juicy. The pickle did taste a bit old and smelt weird. The brioche bun was huge – lots and lots of brioche to fill up on. Greens were nicely prepared and the chips were good. But what really stole the show was the complimentary Mac n’ Cheese balls that came with the burger. That alone is worth a revisit.”
“We rocked up on a Sunday to find out that Mac n’ Cheese balls came complimentary with your meal. Bit of a bonus? No burger-fans, its a frkn HUGE Bonus! Cheese, Bacon and Macaroni have never reminded me more of crack cocaine. Soon after snorting the entrée our burgers were set before us. They were stacked high and were dripping wet with sauce and juices. At my first bite my brain and tastebuds were quick to acknowledge the bacon; there was lots of it and it was outstanding. The beef was pink, soft and held together well. It didn’t need to have too much seasoning on it as all of the other party guests between the buns had enough presence to make up for it. I hardly noticed the cheese, tomato or lettuce. But I couldn’t help but notice the pickles that once tasted on their own, tasted as if they’d been pickled inside a sardine can. There was something fishy going on there (drum roll + cymbal). Crazy food coma after this one so prepare yourselves. Overall, this place is mental and serves awesomeness on “blue or white plates with napkins”.”
The Bottom End 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


Station Hotel

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Station Hotel – 59 Napier St, Footscray, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Station Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Dating back to 1864, this typical Aussie pub is breathing new life thanks to experienced head chef and owner Sean Donovan. With an impressive CV that includes the likes of three Michelin star restaurants like La Tante Claire (London) and Georges Blanc (France), and more recently South Yarra’s famous Botanical, it was safe to say we went into this Adventure with some high expectations. You step into what appears to be a pretty normal looking pub, until you walk into the dining area where you’ll find the heartbeat of the venue. Its the the open kitchen where a team of chefs serve up everything from Onion Soup Gratinee to grass and grain fed Aussie beef, seafood and of course, there are the more traditional pub dishes. We ordered the Station Burger that came out partially deconstructed – a beef pattie, bacon and gruyere cheese all on a brioche bun, then the lettuce, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato chutney were all “add as you please”, placed neatly on the side.

Comments
“I really like it when the “local pub” puts such an emphasis on the quality of dining and it’s menu. This well thought out burger came out of the kitchen looking great. A well presented burger that had a thick, juicy and near perfectly cooked pattie, just a little pink on the inside. However, I think the bun could do with improvement, as I’m not sure whether it was just too dense and heavy or it was just not as fresh as it could have been. The sun-dried tomatoes were a point of difference; still not sure if a good one though. The side of chutney had a nice sweet tang, but not really sure if it was necessary. The other sides of pickles and lettuce were also quite fresh. All in all, this was a good burger, but it just needed a better bun (and maybe kept a little more simple) to take it up a notch.”
“Compliments to the waitress who let us know that the beef was going to be a little pink on the inside (which was ideal for us). To me this burger came out exactly as it should of: a large slab of expertly cooked, pink and juicy beef, a couple of thick pieces of bacon and a small amount of gruyere cheese, all on a dense bun worthy of containing the juicyness. Really, this in itself was enough. I’m not sure why they bothered putting a really strong tomato chutney, sun-dried tomatoes, lettuce and pickles on the side as they could only take away from and spoil the most important flavours. Overall I thought it was a fantastic burger but don’t bother with the other condiments, just give me fries instead. Ps. I did add the pickle.”
“I love a good modern day take on the traditional Pub Burger. The pattie was tasty; big and juicy. The bun was filling and the herb butter on the bottom bun and on the pattie were a nice touch. The pickles and lettuce on the side were fresh and well prepared. I ended up adding the sun-dried tomatoes to the burger – sure, it was a different take, but I’m not convinced that it worked.”
“This one had such potential. It really looked the business. You could even see the juices slowly oozing out of it! I was a little unsure how to approach it though. I totally understand the theory behind building your own burger and making it the way you want to make it but, I feel like Chef Donovan is in a position to flex his muscles a little and really show his guests the best way to enjoy his creation. I mean, if it tasted better with sundried tomatoes, I wouldn’t even have known it, because for me they’re just added wank. In saying that, the meat really did shine. It was simple, flavourful and awesome. But everything else was just OK. The bun for me was way too sweet. It didn’t taste all that fresh and was alot more doughy than what is necessary when it comes to brioche. If I was ever on that side of town again though, I’d be back for sure, purely for the amazing pattie.”
Station Hotel on Urbanspoon


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