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.”


Jus Burgers

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jus Burgers – 364 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14
Summary

Jus Burgers is a quirky burger bar that does things a little different to its fellow burger chain companions. Already well established in Western Australia – with quite a following – the lads figured it was about time they brought their product to the East Coast. Jus Burgers believe that buying local is best and give a breakdown on their website of where all the ingredients come from in Australia. They praise all their food suppliers, and even big up their architects and designers. Coming over to the dark/cold side is no easy feat, considering how obsessed Melbournians are with their food and drink. But, with W.A recently honouring them with their 3rd Burger of the Year award in a row, surely they’ve got to be doing something right. So after a few grueling minutes deciding on what burger to order, we went for the Wagyu Beef Burger that came with a 100% Victorian Full Blood Wagyu pattie, a Turkish bread roll, wasabi mayo, lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion and relish.

Comments
“After a couple of minutes questioning my sanity and worried that I had finally turned retarded, I realised I wasn’t the only one completely confused by this menu! After asking the pleasant man who looked like he was in charge, he made the decision for us, although we still debated long afterwards on what we should’ve ordered. The burger is really well presented with a knife stabbed into the middle of it. The bun had a crispy outer crust but a soft fluffy inside – more similar to a ciabatta roll than Turkish bread. The beef was nice and crumbly and the wasabi mayo had a nice kick to it, but nothing too overpowering. Altogether a nice burger just not a very memorable one. However, I wouldn’t mind checking out one with The Lot.”
“We got a bit lost in the menu. It felt like it was trying to say too much on one page and it just left us stumped. After a while we just decided to ask the friendly staff for a recommendation. I loved the grilled flavour of the pattie, it didn’t feel like high-end restaurant quality wagyu, but for me it still did the job. The pickle relish was the second hero for me; it just broke up that grill flavour a little bit and reminded me that this is a burger and not just pure meat off the grill with some bread. I do have to note the surgically thin cut tomato slices. They are so much better than a big chunk of tomato that ends up taking as much vertical space in the burger as the pattie. The bun, well I’ll say this, it was better than any other Turkish Buns I have had, but still at the end of the session I was left with 3 bites of it left. The chips were OK. Overall, still better than Grill’d.”
“Choice is nice when you’re at an orgy: not so much at a burger joint. But with staff this friendly the lines are pretty blurry between the two. The Melbournian part of me automatically wanted to dislike this burger. But, honestly it was OK. Not great, but no atrocities committed either, reminding me of a kind of fancy Hungry Jacks. I was hoping for a juicier pattie though, especially when they guarantee Full Blood Wagyu lineage. They won a bunch of points for the wasabi mayo: to me, mayo + a touch of spice in a burger is like crack. I refuse to comment on the Turkish bread saga but will say that I’ve had worse buns. These guys will do alright out of their Melbourne shop, particularly when summer and more Chapel Street tourists roll in. Best Burger in W.A though? I’ll have to take their word for it.”
Jus Burgers (South Yarra) on Urbanspoon


The B.east

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The B.east – 80 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Sexy B.east
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
23 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$15
Summary

Make your way down Lygon St, way past anyone trying to throw spaghetti down your throat (no guarantees though, there are plenty of kooks around this neck of the woods), and you’ll find yourself in an eclectic pocket of Brunswick East. Now, you’d never really consider that end of town to be a culinary paradise, but with all the new-age retro-chic kids running free around these parts, there are more and more worthwhile eateries popping up. B.east is the latest venue to open its doors to “said kids” with open arms, offering a multitude of burgers, beers and bands to leave the locals more than satisfied. Run by the same guys who brought you the Section 8 Container Bar, B.east is aiming to stand out by excelling in the art of burgers. What they want to do says venue manager Guy Daley, is “to make simple, awesome burgers in-house…” and “to do one thing but do it really well”. Thats why you’ll notice that the most part of the menu is taken up by their in-house made burgers (even though the pork shoulder sandwich sounds unbelievable). Whether you order a burger or an icecream sundae, you’ll most likely be hiding from Melbourne’s bitch-ass weather and sitting in a low-lit open space, with street art adorning the walls and plenty of chilli sauces only an arms length away to fry your face off. In keeping with the Burger Adventure spirit we strolled up to the bar and ordered a Sexy B.east Burger that came on brioche bun with 2 beef patties (brisket, rump & chuck mix made on site), oozing double cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato and a jalapeno spiced mayonnaise. We coupled this with a serve of B.east Triple Cooked Chips with chilli sauce and cheese for and added $9.

Comments
“This burger came out looking all neat and pretty, however, the fun really started when I attempted my first bite and it all turned into a giant, juicy and delicious mess. The beef wasn’t seasoned too much but it still had a lot of those beefy flavours working for it. Due to the coarseness of the mince, it all sort of crumbled into bite size chunks adding to the mess. I couldn’t really taste any overpowering spice in the jalapeno mayo, possibly because there was so much cheese to drown it out. There must of been some secret laneway/warehouse/fixie/instagram/sitting in a park/drinking cider party happening that the locals were at that night, because this place was pretty much empty.”
“A great double pattie burger experience! The name “Sexy B.east” really suits this burger down to a T. The burger contained high-quality meat – cooked perfectly and full of awesome beefy juices. I was happy to see that they didn’t hold back on the cheese, because to say there was a generous amount is an understatement. With all the hot sauces around I figured this burger might give a bit of a kick, but the jalapeno mayo is pretty mild, fit enough for the biggest of spice wimps. We combined the burger with chilli chips swimming in cheese – ohhh yeah that was a good choice.”
“There’s been a bit of chit-chat around town lately about a sudden epidemic of burger joints opening up left right and centre. Its pretty easy to say its all a trend and its just the cool thing to do… But if it IS just the cool thing to do, then B.east might as well have the Fonz as their Head Chef. These guys delivered such an unexpectedly awesome burger, it left me a little embarrassed for doubting these rookies in the first place. It’s not often that you can get a regular burger right, let alone a double pattie burger. Usually most of them are overkill on flavour or size, but this was on the money. The patties were left simple and beefy and let the rest of the ingredients bring the salt, creaminess and spice to the table. Ready for some controversy? If you asked me now where I’d go for a burger and beer on that side of town, you’d see me driving right past Hux and straight into the jaws of the B.east. ”
The B.East on Urbanspoon


Jazz City Diner

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Jazz City Diner – 238 Crown St, Surry Hills,
New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$15
Summary

Jazz City Diner is conveniently located on a hill (so you can walk off everything you consume) and is the perfect getaway from the nearby madness that is Oxford St. The small 24 seat diner draws inspiration from the typical 1930′s American diner, with everything from neon signage, art deco influences and some all-star, friendly service. Chef/Owner Dan McGuirt has put together a menu that is destined for success; inciting your tastebuds to riot with the very mention of dishes like Chicken & Waffles, Kansas City Style BBQ Pork Ribs, Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzle and of course, there are the 9 burger options to choose from. We felt it was most appropriate to keep it nice and simple, ordering the Cheeseburger that comes with a traditional sesame seed burger bun, a square beef pattie, onion, tomato, mayo, pickle relish and lettuce. This accompanied by a stack of sweet potato Fries (inc. in the cost) and a peanut butter milkshake, and you’re in business.

Comments
“A very humble cheeseburger with old fashioned roots. We got a chance to ask Dan why the burgers had square patties and he told us he grew up eating Wendy’s and White Castle burgers and he wanted to bring that nostalgia from back home to Sydney for all of his customers to experience. Mission achieved Dan – and, with a far better quality than you would ever get from Wendy’s or White Castle. Sitting under Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other Jazz posters that hang on the walls, you can’t help but feel at one with that certain romance the diner delivers through its service and meals. The pattie was a nice, flat, square ol’ style pattie with all the flavour you would expect from a diner burger (in other words no fancy-shmancy exotic spices or herbs). The mayo, red onion, pickle and cheese were all good. The sweet potato fries – although not my thing – were good and I do recommend them.”
“I’m sceptical of almost everything “Aussie-Americana” these days, so Jazz City Diner was no different. This was probably due to all the average meals we’ve had at a few other so-called American Diners claiming to be the bees knees. But, I’d heard decent stuff so I really had to make up my own mind. Hearing a friendly American accent from the kitchen was a pretty good sign of authenticity. But then, I bit in to my Cheeseburger and duuuuude this was the real deal. The flavours were so humble and subtle. Dan’s square signature pattie had just the right amount of fat in it leaving an awesome amount of greasiness to echo around my mouth with every bite. This was a real heartwarming experience with nice personal touches here and there, like the simple addition of pepper on the tomatoes – gorgeous. Well done Dan and crew, Jazz City Diner has it going on.”
Jazz City Diner 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


Souper Burger

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Souper Burger – 198 Barkly St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Perry
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.50
Summary

If you’ve never seen it before you’d be forgiven. When its not being hidden by the buses that stop right out the front, you might not think much of it if you walked past. From both the exterior and interior it looks as if it has been apart of the scenery for yonks. Truth be told, they’ve only been open for around 5 months and their game, as the name suggests, is soup and burgers. Some years ago, owner and chef Scott had a ripper of a soup recipe going. Thinking, “Why the hell not share it with the world”, he decided to open his first establishment. But, Melbourne being Melbourne, where your day can turn from Merino wool to Budgy Smugglers, he knew a soup kitchen alone wasn’t going to be enough. Harking back to his childhood from a family vacation to Queensland, Scott told us all about one particular burger experience that left him gobsmacked and in love. This passion for burgers sees him at Prahran Market every morning scouting for the freshest, juiciest produce. After many trials it was Gary’s Quality Meats that made the cut. With a bunch of different burgers on the menu (all named after people that helped Scott get Souper Burger up and running) he also offers up a selection of winter warming soups and chilli dogs. Using a mix of Chuck, Short Rib and Brisket, some simple seasoning and a homemade burger press Scott dished us out the Perry (named after the Welder that put the joint together). Along with the beef pattie the burger comes on a toasted buttered bun, with lettuce, caramelised onion, tomato, free range bacon, egg, cheddar cheese plus a choice of sauce (we opted for ketchup and mayo).

Comments
“As the time passed and we waited for a our meals, I had a feeling this one man show would produce the goods and it’d be worth the wait! With the looks of a good old fish’n’chip shop burger, the beef pattie was subtly seasoned and had been cooked nicely. The combo of the egg and the creamy cheese makes for a burger that was really one of the creamiest I can remember having. The caramelised onions were also perfectly cooked and added a nice sweetness. I really have to say this place is going to give a few other joints of similar style a run for their money.”
“Seeing as it was a slow monday night with only other 2 people in the shop who bought soup, I was wondering why it was taking so long. However, then I took my first bite and understood the time and care this guy puts into making his burgers. The beef was slightly thicker than your average fish’n’chip shop pattie, but it was the extras that really stole the show. The creamy melted cheese, the yolky egg, caramelised onions and a bun soaked in butter is what, for me, set this burger above other similar take away burgers. I have a lot of respect for one man shows who are passionate about their food, I just feel sorry for him when he gets busy.”
“For a place that’s only 5 months old this place looks like it has always been part of the neighbourhood. With a St. Kilda like casualness to it and friendly hospitality this place impressed the hell out of me. The nicely seasoned beef pattie was cooked perfectly. The cheddar cheese slice combined with the mayo made each bite a delight. What topped it for me was the caramelised onion – just oozing with sweetness taking the burger up a level. The bun was nicely toasted with no surprises there. The lettuce and tomato were there and did their job, not taking over the burger. Sorry folks, no chips here, but you don’t really need any. If you feel like you need a side I recommend the Chilli Dog for $5.”
“I walked into this not expecting a whole lot. I know, I’m an asshole. But the concept of soup and burgers together took me to a weird place. But once I bit in to the burger, that weird place turned into paradise. It was so creamy! A whole bunch of sweetness ooozed from the caramelised onions, the bacon was delicious, the cheese and egg fantastic, and the small amount of lettuce and tomato stepped back but did their job. Being lightly seasoned, the meat really didn’t have to stand out a whole lot in regards to creating any overpowering flavours. Instead it worked in harmony with its other counterparts to make me smile with every bite. Being one of the most well-balanced, and enjoyable adventures I’ve had in a while, it really shows that the most important ingredient in a burger is love. ***wipes tear***”
Souper Burger on Urbanspoon


Charlie & Co.

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Charlie & Co. – Lvl 5, Westfield Sydney, Cnr Market & Castlereagh St, Sydney, Australia
Burger:
The Wagyu & Co. Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18 Eat in
Summary

Two things we’ve learnt about chefs over the last couple of years: 1, they’re insane and 2, it seems like every one of them wants their own tiny takeaway joint. Totally understandable of course. Chances are most of us will remember being a kid and delving into a box of fastfood quicker than you can say “Copernicus”. Everyone one from Bobby Flay to Neil Perry, even Marky Mark, is putting their passion for burgers into practice. Justin North is no exception. Coming up through the Sydney scene in the early Naughties with restaurants like Bécasse, then later on with Etch, La Grand Cafe and Quarter 21, Justin’s infamy didn’t catch our attention until we dropped past Plan B back in early 2010. His wagyu burger there was a lunchtime hit, but since shutting up shop after big brother restaurant Bécasse moved to the new 1.2 Billion dollar Westfield Shopping Centre, he needed a new outlet for his burger love. To North, it was evident that good burgers were in demand and so in late 2010, paying homage to supposedly the first bloke in America to start making hamburgers, Charlie & Co was born. Looking around at the sleek, elegant and chic eatery, everything that you wouldn’t expect from a burger joint in a shopping centre food court, we were delivered two of their well-known Wagyu & Co. Burgers. In between a Bécasse Bakery sesame seed bun lay a Wagyu pattie with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin, lettuce, aged cheddar and aioli.

Comments
“I have long been an advocate of getting rid of food court shops because it’s always shit and come 2am the next day when you are hugging the toilet bowl, you really hate yourself. Like the other shopping centre eateries we’ve chosen to review, Charlie and Co. is anything but average. Its Wagyu Burger is a very neat little burger with each bite being well-balanced and delivering a different punch of flavour each time. It did need some sauce though, just for that additional saltiness that I like in my burgers. The pattie wasn’t overly thick but was still juicy – not so juicy as to stain your G-STAR jeans you would have bought from a department store 5 minutes before, but still decent drip. The bun was a nice little gem too, not too doughy, but nice and soft. Chips were good – slightly on the cold side though.”
“I went into this adventure with some big expectations. We’d had a whole lot of emails about this burger and so when it was time to take the jet up to Sydney, I knew we had to check it out. Accompanied with a big smile and some great service, this thing came out looking like a superstar. What impressed me most was the pure and simple thought process behind it. As opposed to what a proctologist might tell you, pickles, beetroot, mayo, beef and buns are a great idea! The burger’s biggest downfall though was the lack of salt. Because you’re dealing with Wagyu its beefiness doesn’t come through like with Angus, so to compensate I had to add a squirt of ketchup for the extra flavour kick. Overall for me, it was OK; but maybe a little too much hype and coin surrounding this one. If I was in the area on our next Sydney trip, I guess I’d go back to see how their Angus burgers measure up. Plus also, it’s not everyday I get to ride an escalator.”
Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon