Half Moon

Friday, October 19, 2012

Half Moon – 120 Church Street, Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
35 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$22
Summary

Rejuvenated for the umpteenth time, Half Moon is as synonymous to Brighton as cosmetic surgery, convertibles and inbreeding between the local inhabitants of the Brighton bubble. Calling itself a pub is a slight understatement; this place is big, modern and bares little resemblance to what you would consider a traditional pub. Split over 2 levels and boasting no less than 6 drinking and dining spaces both indoors and outdoors, Half Moon caters to everyone from families with little kids eating dinner, mates catching up and watching the footy to cougars on the hunt for their future ex-husbands. The menu offers a small selection of pub classics as well as a some pastas and meat dishes. We ordered the Beef Burger that had bacon, Swiss cheese, sweet and sour onions, lettuce, tomato and aoili served with chunky steak fries.

Comments
“I was a little disappointed at first when this burger came out as the bun greatly outsized the pattie itself. But once getting hold of the burger I came to the conclusion that anything smaller might’ve have left you cradling a mess. The bun itself was actually pretty good and held a think juicy pattie that was perfectly cooked. I have to say the standout and highlight of this burger though has to be the sweet and sour onions. All the other ingredients were still fresh and flavourful though. With the addition of a lil’ sauce you could have a pretty quality Bayside burger on your hands.”
“This place has ruined many Christmas lunches for me by providing me with many epic hangovers (Half Moon used to throw the best Christmas Eve parties). The carpeted dining room was a far cry from the last time I was there and everyone was a lot better behaved. The bun on this burger was huge and it did take a few bites to reach the beef however, it needed to be, nothing else would of been able to keep this burger together. The thick chunk of beef was cooked to a perfectly pink medium-rare, and was one of the best quality I’ve tasted in a while. With the bun being so large, the sweet and sour onions sort of clumped together in one small spot so were only tasted in a few bites, which was a shame as they were great. Sometimes the pricier burgers can leave you still feeling hungry afterwards, this was definitely not the case in this circumstance.”
“Sometimes you come across little culinary gems in life that at the time really leave an impression on you. I may have found one on this outing folks. This time it wasn’t the pattie, even though it was good and had a lot of those awesome attributes. It was the sweet and sour onions that got my attention – a clear differentiator to other burgers I’ve had recently. I loved the contrast those onions added to the rest of the ingredients in the burger. There were some things I didn’t think that well of: the bun was too big, the chips were a bit average and the burger did need extra some sauce. No matter how good those onions were it still would’ve need more sauce to tak it up a level. Either way a good burger, but heaps of potential.”
“My first bite was nothing but dough. With this much bun I figured this was going to be a filling burger. The beef was pink throughout, very juicy and excellently beefy. There was a quality charr to the outside of the pattie and it had a nice amount of fattiness in it. Swiss cheese is probably one of my favourite cheese for a burger and this really hit the nail on the head. It was beautifully melted but, didn’t melt into the background and stayed bold. I really didn’t mind the bun but it really should’ve been smaller. That, and the lack of aioli/ketchup/mayo (take your pick) both in and outside the burger were the only things I’d hate on in this burger. But if I were around Brighton again getting my Milf on and I got hungry, sure, I’d be back.”
Half Moon on Urbanspoon


The White Lady

Friday, October 5, 2012

The White Lady – Corner Commerce Street & Fort Street,
Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.50 NZD / $7.60 AUD
Summary

In this day and age it’s not often you come across an establishment that’s been dishing out burgers for over 60 years. What’s even more surprising is that the joint is located in little downtown Auckland. This long white bus/trailer, converted diner on-wheels, is in many ways the original food truck (check it out). With the same family at the helm since 1948, the White Lady has become famous for their late night/very early morning hangover preventions/cures. Currently open Monday to Thursday from 730pm to 3am and 24 hours from Friday to Sunday, there’s no wonder so many locals vouch for its greasy healing properties. Weathered and in need of a fresh lick of paint doesn’t deter a soul though. The charm and elegance that the White Lady delivers has taken it to the #1 spot of “What to do in New Zealand” by Lonely Planet. Not being avid readers of the publication, we actually stumbled upon the neon clad bus early one morning and cursed our NZ buddies who forgot to mention this institution to us. We ordered and vowed to come back the next day to experience the burger with clear heads. We took our turn in a busy lunch time line and ordered the Cheeseburger that came on a traditional burger bun with a 100% New Zealand beef pattie, grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, cheese and tomato sauce.

Comments
“I am an absolute sucker for nostalgia and when I found out this place was founded in 1948 and had barely changed since, the thought of having the same burger experience as someone over half a century ago made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As expected there was nothing fancy or pretentious about this burger. However what did surprise me (as I don’t think I’d ever had it before), was that the cheese was melted to the top of the lightly toasted bun instead of over the beef. The beef was perfectly seasoned but it was the grilled onions that added the greatest flavour and texture. Having first tried this burger drunk at 3am it was reassurring that it tasted just as good second time around, sober and during the day.”
“This burger was made for eating whilst standing – nicely wrapped and compact. The cheese was melted onto the bun like butter on hot toast. There’s not not much else that needs to be said about this burger. The pattie was thin and very tasty. The sweet caramelised onions perfectly capped off the burger and made it a complete meal. In my opinion no chips were needed. Next time in NZ I will definitely be going back!”
“When you’re on an epic Burger Adventure like we are and you come across a piece of history like this, it almost brings a tear to your eye. Whether it was 3am or 3pm the service was impeccable and burgers were delivered with a smile. The small-ish burger is easy to manage and does a great job of holding all of the fresh ingredients together. The dominant flavour for me was the sweetness from the onions and, when paired with a creamy cheese and salty meat pattie almost made for a perfect diner style burger. This is the place to come to in New Zealand, whether you’re after a burger or just want to soak up a piece of history.”


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


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


Igloo Road House (Buxton Burger)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Igloo Road House – 2220 Maroondah Hwy, Buxton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Buxton Burger
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
33 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13.80
Summary

About an hour and half north east of Melbourne sits a humble little petrol station where you might pop in for a cheeky snack, a magazine and some Fan Tails for the road. That is, if you’ve never heard of the legend that is the Buxton Burger. The interesting thing is, its home, the Igloo Road House, isn’t really on the way to anything; unless your a sucker for a trout farm. Sure, during the winter there is a tiny bit of skiing that goes on down the road at Lake Mountain, but for a burger to get such critical acclaim from both the general public and Masterchef’s very own big man, Matt Preston, they’ve got to be doing something right. First established in 1946, the Igloo Roadhouse has become a bit of a hang out for car/bike enthusiasts who tackle the infamous stretch of road known as the Black Spur. The speed demons have it all worked out: wind your way to Buxton, smash one of their enormous burgers, then wind your way all the way home letting g-forces aid the digestion. “Tell us more about these goliath burgers”, you say? Well, Igloo Road House does a variety; starting with your typical Burger with The Lot (lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cheese, bacon, onion, egg, ketchup) then, the all famous 13cm tall Buxton Burger (Double The Lot + Pineapple) and then, the 20cm tall Cathedral Burger (Triple The Lot + Pineapple). The crazy part about these burgers is the records that come with them. Last year there were 39,321 people who ate a “normal” burger there. Then there were 4,672 machines who consumed the Buxton Burger, and to finish it off, 527 imbeciles/legends who smashed the Cathedral. The best part is there’s a guy out there who’s demolished a Buxton Burger in about 1 minute 30 seconds – definitely a plaque thats hanging in his den. With an enthralling afternoon of trout fishing ahead of us, we knew we needed to be somewhat limber and not too sleepy. So, we played it safe, ordered 4 of their signature Buxton Burgers and sat in the sun waiting for our demise.

Comments
“I think you first have to ask yourself is it worth the drive! The answer is hell YES. Is it because the burger is that great? I would have to say no. Not that the burger is bad, I just think for me the whole experience of it was enjoying a great drive and amazing scenery, finished up by an iconic burger. Big in size and taste, this doesn’t disappoint if your after a classic takeaway shop burger. A well cooked pattie that was juicy and seasoned just enough. I personally would have liked the egg yolk to be a little runnier for a bit more creaminess. When it first came out I thought the bun was grossly over sized for the burger, but once I dove in I saw the reason behind it. It all really came together well for such a massive burger, which is a good achievement where many fail.”
“So it wasn’t the biggest burger we have eaten, but it was clearly the largest bun we have ever witnessed. I ripped off half the bun before starting, as I didn’t want my first 12 bites to be stomach-filling bread getting in the way of the beef. The beef was ground up and packed tight. It didn’t have much flavour and was of a grey colour, but being completely covered in cheese, egg and bacon, it made up for the lack of flavour. If this was a smaller standard size it would still be a pretty good fish’n’chip style burger. It also presents great value for money considering a number of burgers in the city cost more and, are half the size and of similar flavour.”
“Retrospect is a beautiful thing. It generally gives us a chance to analyse something that occurred in the day, whether we were the cause of it or not and form an opinion on it. When the chance came along to drive 1.5 hours and try the infamous Buxton Burger we pounced. When we finally arrived at the Igloo Roadhouse in Buxton (famous for the Buxton and Cathedral Burger) it felt like a big tick would finally go on my list of burger joints, and this had been haunting me for over 2 years. It almost felt like a right of burger passage to me. Waiting 30 minutes for the Buxton Burger really didn’t bother me as I was fancying the chances of my appetite increasing while we wait. And then, finally the great towering burger arrived. If you don’t know what to expect when you order the Buxton, it’s basically the Lot, just doubled for our greedy pleasure. This Burger was hard to handle, but this beast can be tamed. The pattie was tasty and juicy, the sliced beetroot had it’s place and was ok, the cheese was good, eggs were perfectly cooked with a little bit of run and the Pineapple lasted 3 bites and then had to be taken out. So going back to what I was saying about retrospect. Was it worth the 1.5hr drive, 1 toilet pit stop, 1 petrol refuelling, 1 nature viewing stop and $13.80? Well, it was a burger I really wanted to conquer, and I did. Would I recommend it? Probably not – only unless your a burger fanatic in love with the utterly ridiculous. This burger, sorry to say, felt like any other burger I would get from a burger shop. Chips were good, standard chips, but when combined with chicken salt they become a must.”
“Seriously folks, this is big! That is a full-size dinner plate in the picture and its sitting on it like Hulk Hogan on a tricycle. My first bite was nothing but bread; I ate it, but knew that some different tactics were going to have to be employed in order to smash the whole thing. I wrapped my hands underneath the behemoth – as if I were holding a rocket launcher – and went to town. I left the pineapple in for probably 2 or 3 bites but then realised, why punish myself with such an abominable ingredient, so I tossed it. There was plenty of bacon in this thing, but it was fatty as hell and made for some picking and prodding. The beef patties were sausage-like, fatty and were packed tight. They weren’t bad but nothing great. This is most definitely a once in a life time kind of burger; meaning you probably only ever need to eat one in your life. But saying that, the drive up itself is an incredible experience, so why not pop in for a snack.”


Kua’aina Burger

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Kua’Aina Burger – Maison du Yuu Bldg. 1F, 1-10-4 Shibuya,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (東京都渋谷区渋谷1丁目10−4)
Burger:
Avocado Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
¥1080/$13.60 AUD/$14.06 USD
Summary

Say it like this: “Koo-a eye-na”. It basically means redneck/hick/bogan, depending on where you come from, but for native Hawaiians it refers more to those who actively live Hawaiian culture and keep the spirit of the land alive. So by now you would’ve guess that this burger joint is in fact originally Hawaiian. With 2 locations in Obama’s home-town, 1 in London and a whopping 15 across Japan, it’s safe to say the Hawaiian-Japanese relationship has moved on since Pearl Harbour. As you walk in you can’t help but notice the “Hawaii-ness” (it’s a word, look it up) of the place. Lining the walls are surfboards, photos and memorabilia from it’s 35 year history including shots of the original owners and even some of the main man himself, President Barack Obama- we hear he’s a big fan! So if it’s good enough for him you’re darn right it’s good enough for us. Along with their burger selections you’ll find a tonne of different sandwiches ranging from East Coast favourites like Pastrami and Roast Beef, to the more tropical Mahi Mahi and Teri Chicken. We asked our friendly Hawaiian shirt wearing cook what burger Obama enjoys most and so we went for their famous Avocado Burger. It came on a Kaiser Roll with a char-grilled 1/3 pound U.S beef pattie, butter lettuce, avocado, mayo, herb butter and a grilled onion.

Comments
“When you first think of having a burger in Japan the last thing you think of is a Hawaiian burger chain. But I thought, “Hey… nothing in Japan had managed to disappoint me yet”. What they offer is a really simple burger, add avocado and turn it into a suprisingly awesome creation. My charcoaled beef pattie was well cooked, but I thought a tiny bit dry. With only mayo in the burger the grilled onion added the sweetness you need and the avocado gives the burger a creaminess like you can’t even begin to imagine.”
“I absolutely loved this burger! So much so i had it twice. Was I even hungry the second time around?- No. Was it my 16th burger for the trip?- Yes. Do i want one now?- Yes! I’m honestly disappointed in myself that I have never had avocado in a burger before this, but it’s subtle flavour and texture just compliment the beef so well. They also used one of the best burger buns I’ve had: it was soft and fluffy but still strong enough to keep everything in tact.”
“When I heard we were going to a Hawaiian burger joint, my first reaction was pineapples on burgers and Ukulele themed music in store. I know I was pigeon holing the whole experience, but I’m a “glass half-empty” type of guy. Oh boy was I wrong about this place. The Hawaiian theming that went on in there wasn’t too intense; they just kept true to its Hawaiian roots in a tasteful manner, even playing Hawaiian online radio. More importantly, the burger was great. My pattie was on the dry side but made up for it with seasoning that was spot on and a nice char-grill flavour. The generous amount of avocado mixed nicely with the mayo to add a nice creaminess to each bite. The char-grilled onion slice did add a nice sweetness and crunch to each bite. I do recommend having it with the Ginger Ale and ordering the chips which, are semi-skinned, double-fried and F’n amazing.”
“Holy Ben Affleck I loved this. The meat was flame-grilled, filling it with that supreme charcoal goodness. It was pinky in the centre and cooked the best way possible. The tomato was brilliant as was the Kaiser bun. The perfectly ripe, seasoned avocado ended up acting like a creamy butter throughout the whole experience, making me think you probably wouldn’t even need to add cheese to this bad boy. Never having added avocado in a burger before made this the ultimate in cherry popping – I even cried like a true first timer. Seriously good burger.”


Beer DeLuxe Hamburger Bar

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beer DeLuxe Hamburger Bar – Fed Square, Cnr Swanston & Flinders St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Burger DeLuxe
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$9.50 (Thursdays After 6pm Only)
Summary

Just outside the historic icon that is Flinders St Station sits Melbourne’s favourite eyesore: Federation Square. But with a quick push and shove past all of the 12 year olds, the tourists and day trippers, and you’ll stumble upon Beer DeLuxe and it’s Hamburger Bar. First and foremost, these guys are all about the Amber Liquid. They pride themselves on having a forever evolving Beer Bible that showcases beers from all over Australia and the world. So what do we all know that goes splendidly with beer? Burgers! With their very own dedicated Hamburger Bar that on a Thursday night offers a Burger, Chips and Beer for $9.50, I just couldn’t turn it down. I ordered the Burger DeLuxe that came on a toasted hamburger bun with 2 handmade beef patties, lettuce, bacon, onion, cheese and a touch of American mustard. Plus a side of chips and beer of course.

Comments
“Having received a number of emails and Facebook comments about this place, I decided to grab my camera, some local cool-cats and head down to Beer DeLuxe for a Thursday evening burger session. Talk about value right? For that $9.50 price tag it pretty much turns the rest of the game on its head. Once ordered, it practically flew out of the kitchen – I’m saying 2 minutes tops!? The burger itself was crazy simple. Highlights included the sheer size of this sucker, delicious fried onions and one of the most perfect amounts of lettuce I’ve seen in a burger: bare minimum. Although hand made, the patties didn’t taste of the highest quality, needing more fat through the mince to give them that melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness. To add to that, the burger was way too dry. Whether this be to encourage patrons to drink more beer, I don’t know? But c’mon guys, sauce these bad boys up. No brownie points either for unmelted cheese (that should’ve been double if you’re using 2 patties anyway). If I were to go back I’d spend the coin and throw in the extras adding more cheese, tomato, mayonnaise and egg to the mix. Without these additions it regrettably gets into the Don’t Expect Much category. But if you’re passing through one Thursday night I suggest you spend the extra $3 and give it a crack. There’s honestly some potential here.”
Beer DeLuxe on Urbanspoon


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