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


Salute Bistro at Bentleigh R.S.L

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Salute Bistro at Bentleigh R.S.L – 540 Centre Rd, Bentleigh,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Salute Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

The Returned and Services League of Australia (R.S.L) was established in 1916 to support the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the Australian Defence Force. Out of respect for our current and fallen soldiers we thought it would be fitting to visit an R.S.L and eat a burger for Anzac Day. With roughly 1,500 R.S.L’s throughout Australia we didn’t have to look too far, and after a couple of whispers about an amazing burger at the Bentleigh R.S.L we marched on in and ordered their “Salute Burger.” It features a Wagyu beef pattie with cheddar cheese, caramelised onions, cos lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, all served with a mountain of fries.

Comments
“I was very glad to see that an establishment dedicated to the men and women that protected and served our country can deliver a good meal. The local R.S.L, which was always the place to get a quick and fast pub-style meal, has come along way. This burger really surprised me with how fresh and juicy it was. The beef pattie was well cooked and seasoned with a good portion of salty bacon atop. I actually really enjoyed the bun; it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with butter both top and bottom. The only thing that I would’ve liked to have seen changed is the bottom bun to be a little thicker. Lest We Forget.”
“I was so happily surprised at the site and taste of this burger. Having eaten at possibly every R.S.L between Melbourne and Noosa throughout my childhood, I know they can be hit and miss when it comes to food outside the typical “Meat and 3 Veg”. A proper sized slab of beef packed with juice and flavour mingled with the crisp, salty bacon and sharp cheddar making it a simply impeccable burger.”
“Our first R.S.L burger! I was always looking forward to the day we would review something as Australian and individual as this. I wasn’t expecting much from this burger, to be honest I was more looking forward to the cheap beer on tap which always hits the spot on a Sunday night. The beef was good and the bun was a little dry and just average. Basically this burger had no hidden surprises. It was a filling burger, but at the same time it was forgettable, all I really remember is that I liked it without really knowing why. Ohhh… and the chips were ok.”
“At first glance, I felt a little underwhelmed. Once I bit in I changed my tune. Boy was this tasty! The beef had a crunch to its outer crust but then was soft as butter as you bit through. The onions were super sweet and confirmed that caramelisation is indeed their best friend. The only thing I’d nitpick over is the bun. It tasted fine but they need to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to stop the bottom section from soaking in all the juices and falling apart.. because it got pretty damn messy. For some this could prove annoying, but for others its a blessing in disguise. My next move involved slamming my hands into the fries and using them like salad forks, dressing them with the awesomeness of meat syrup.. A more devine condiment there could not be.”
Salute at Bentleigh RSL on Urbanspoon


Grub

Friday, January 21, 2011
Grub – 911 Seward St, Hollywood, California, USA
Burger:
White Truffle Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13.50 USD
Summary

In the backstreets of Hollywood, amidst a forest of Post-Production studios lies Grub. You probably wouldn’t guess it were a restaurant if it weren’t for the sign and people coming and going. Co-Owners Betty Fraser and Denise DeCarlo (who met whilst waitressing at a pizzeria), deliver their cheeky take on “California Comfort Food” in a converted 1920’s duplex that from first glance, just looks like someone’s house or a quaint Bed & Breakfast. This is all intentional; Fraser and DeCarlo wanted a place that people could come to unwind, relax or soak up some of that lovely California sunshine in their courtyard after a busy day. With a meal in there for everyone, from breakfast, dinner and dessert, their tantalising menu will probably leave you undecided for a little while. Lucky for me I had been recommended the White Truffle burger by a LA local. It came on a Cheddar Kaiser with roasted Mushrooms, melted Swiss Cheese, caramelised Onions, fresh Arugula & Roasted-Garlic Mayo. Then of course it was all drizzled with the not-so-secret ingredient, White Truffle Oil.

Comments
“I was coming to the end of my trip. Los Angeles had been fun but it had also beaten the shit out of me. Long days and late nights were becoming the norm and the burger recommendations were flying at me left, right and centre. It was Emmy time and parties were in full swing. At one particular gala, after being introduced as “the Australian burger guy” for the 100th time, I finally had a recommendation that I knew I just had to try.
One morning (ok it was noon) I got up and decided to make the trek to LA’s trendy Post-Production district. For some reason walking seemed like a bright idea but after a decent hour, and a bit of a hunt, I found it. Strolling down Seward Street you’d be forgiven for missing it or just thinking its some random haunt. From your first step in to your last step out you’ve got amazing service – I’ve never been to a chirpier café/restaurant. As well as the White Truffle Burger I grabbed a homemade ginger ale and boy was a happy when it came out. Ten seconds later and the drink was gone. I knew I was thirsty from the walk (and from the night before) but this was ridiculous. All of a sudden the waiter brought out a few sliced carrots, cucumbers and pretzels with a herb-mayo for dipping sauce as a complimentary entrée – a really nice touch. My next drink of choice was going to be the blueberry lemonade. It was unbelievable. Burger or no burger, I’d be back at Grub in a second just for that.
Soon enough they brought out the burger. It came laid out like a conquered beast; with a steak knife straight through its heart making it ooze swiss cheese all over the place. I sat there in awe for a little while wondering how I was meant to tackle this monstrosity. After taking a few snaps of the Swiss Cheese Niagara Falls, I cut this bad boy in half and went to town. My first impression wasn’t great; the bun was way too hard and crunchy and I started questioning the use of this Cheddar Kaiser. All it did was take away from the other ingredients. The Swiss cheese coupled with the White Truffle oil was a big winner though, coating my mouth like the creamiest of melted butters.
Just when I thought it was getting better with each bite, I started pulling out the overload of lettuce, caramelised onions and mushrooms as they were killing my Truffle experience! On their own they were ok but they together they were like uninvited guests at a party. Even more disappointing was the beef – it was overseasoned and overcooked, which was a real shame. I didn’t bother eating my side of potato chips because I was just too full. I sipped on my amazing blueberry lemonade and thought about how much potential this burger had to be great. They really do have the right recipe here for an amazing burger (minus the stupid bun) but the ratios of ingredients and cooking times that day were just off the mark.”


Mocha Jo’s

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Mocha Jo’s – 87 Kingsway Road, Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Triple B – MJ’s Big Beef Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Located about 30 minutes away from Melbourne’s CBD in the suburb of Glen Waverley, this Cafe | Bar | Restaurant is the place for most locals to get a decent coffee, some good breakfast and vast options for lunch and dinner. What will greet you upon entry are the friendly staff, a comfortable environment and desserts on display. The burger we had was the Triple B – MJ’s Big Beef Burger with a 100g Prime beef pattie, Turkish bun, fresh tomato, tasty cheese, lettuce leaves, onion jam, chunky chips and house mayo.

Comments
“We all know our thoughts on Turkish buns! It just shouldn’t be done. A larger bun than needed holds a pattie that tastes a lot like Chevap Chi Chi (Serbian sausage) with sweet onion jam. The cheese was melted to the top bun, which is a plus, and I also enjoyed the house mayo. To me this was almost a Mediterranean take on a burger.”
“Initially I thought the bun was too big for the burger. However, half way through it had pretty much dissolved. The odd shaped beef tasted sausage-like and there was too much lettuce and no sauce. Don’t jump to conclusions about the staff all being Canadian… the wicked denim aprons are just a part of the uniform.”
“Turkish bread in burgers does not work. But moving on from that, I think it was an OK burger with a few faults. I was not happy with the lettuce spine I found; its just too crunchy for a burger. The pattie was not covering a lot of surface area in relation to the bun. The mayo was really good, considering I’m not a big fan of mayo in my burger, and the onion was cooked to perfection. The staff were really friendly, accommodating and quite approachable. Chips were great.”
“This is another case of a cafe/restaurant trying to dress-up their burger with exotic words like, “Turkish”, and “jam”. “Hey, there’s Onion Jam in my burger. WTF! And the bread is Turkish! No wonder it costs $19.50! It must be freakin’ gourmet!” I don’t know who they’re trying to kid.. That said, the onion jam (and the onion jam alone) was in fact, terrific. The rest was just an average mess.”


In-N-Out Burger

Thursday, October 7, 2010
In-N-Out Burger – 7009 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, California, USA
Burger:
Cheeseburger Animal Style
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$3.15 USD + $2.70 USD for french fries and a beverage
Summary

Starting out in 1948 as a humble drive-thru burger box, it has developed into an icon for burgers and fast food all over USA’s west coast. At In-N-Out Hollywood on a crazy-busy summer’s day, I experienced another possible meaning behind their name: you order, look around desperately for somewhere to sit, claim it and wait for your number to be called. Then after I ate my burger, I felt so bad with people staring at my place, I took some notes and made for the door. The layout is not dissimilar to your McTypical fast food joint: basic, nonintrusive decor and seating, all very fitting to let you focus on the meal you are sure to devour. I ordered from the Not-So-Secret Menu where I took my Cheeseburger and turned it Animal Style. This consisted of a baked plain burger bun, a mustard cooked beef pattie, American cheese, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and grilled onions.

Comments
“Screw the cab driver who on the way to drop me off kept on ragging on In-N-Out and why I shouldn’t eat meat! Although, the man had a parrot, so who was I to argue at that point in time. Once inside, amidst the calamity of people getting their orders and the tourists not knowing what to get, I managed to weasel a counter seat, claimed it and waited for my number to be called. Bingo! I unwrapped my special package and was immediately blown away with all of the American cheese oozing out. After taking a few snaps I sunk my teeth in. At first it was soft, then you hit the meat and onions and got a wicked crunch. The mustard cooked pattie + grilled onions were filled with a salty awesomeness thats hard to compare to another fast-food chain. However, the pickles were average and could’ve done with some more juiciness. This burger is probably not the highest quality or best thing for you but damn its tasty. Being a stinking hot LA day the air-con was on full blast and ended up making my chips go cold. I ate them all the same but they weren’t memorable. If I wasn’t in a rush I would’ve gladly had another one. Frankly I’d advise most people to go the double or triple if you want to avoid multiple orders. If these guys brought their business Down Under I’d be one of the first people in line. It was like crack damn-it. Thats right I said crack!”


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