The Palace Hotel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
TheBurgerAdventure-PalaceHotel

The Palace Hotel – 505 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$20
Summary

The Palace Hotel has done what most places don’t: down-scaled the fancy. What was once a rather slow paced gastropub that catered to empty nesters with a a disposable income has now become a chilled out, pet friendly local. Proprietors Jess, Pratty and Dan welcome everyone down for a low-key night whenever you’re in the mood for a Draught and can’t be bothered cooking. There mascot and pet, Billy the Staffy can be seen running around getting up to mischief, but he’s only looking for a pat and isn’t one to say no to a dropped chip. Although less fancy than before, their menu still offers some on-trend dishes like pulled pork and buffalo wings but there is still the option of a traditional pie and classic parma. We went for the Beef burger that came on seeded bun with a beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese with a side of pickles and French fries.

Comments
“The venue is barely recognisable from it’s previous existence and I can sense the current owners are trying to turn it back into a classic local pub. To the naked eye there was nothing fancy or experimental about the burger, with everything being your stock standard burger ingredients. That is, until you bit into the extremely thick, spicy, chilli flaked beef patty. It felt out of place and dwarfed all other flavours, and due to the size, had been cooked for a while leaving parts of it really dry. Highlight of the night was getting to meet and pat the local resident dog, Billy.”
“Visually this burger looked to have each of my boxes checked. The bun was fluffy, the melted cheese looked amazing on the pattie and the mustard with the pickle looked to keep everything balanced. Just like my disappointment on Christmas day when my parents decided to buy me encyclopedia Britannica instead of the Lego Police Station I wanted, that same level of disappointment came rushing back when biting into that pattie. Like my parents that year the chef chose to do something different from normal convention. In his case he tried to distinguish the burger by what I call “misusing beef” by making it super dense and sticking a whole heap of unnecessary ingredients like chilli and mustard seeds. And just like I told my parents back then, I repeated the words again to my fellow diners on this occasion, “Can we return it?”. Unfortunately in my case I had pretty much consumed half of the burger and would feel a bit awkward returning it at that point, but the pain and disappointment was there folks. I would like to try this burger again when (or if) the powers at be change their recipe, I think there is huge untapped potential here. Shoestring fries were awesome.”
“Now, at first glance this looked pretty good. It had everything I really like in a burger, down to the side of pickles and French fries. That first spicy bite raised my eyebrows and made me say “Wow”. I was not expecting any spice to it all. The patty was finely minced, it had little bit of fat and plenty of spice. It wasn’t the kind of spice that burnt though – far from it. It was just that it was the dominating flavour in the burger. It took over any, saltiness or beefy goodness that the patty had to offer. And for 20 bucks you’re getting screwed. This burger has so much potential here too. K.I.S.S.”
The Palace Hotel on Urbanspoon


Humburger

Friday, February 7, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Humburger

Humburger – 789 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
New York
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13
Summary

Located towards the northern end of the Glenferrie Rd shopping strip, Humburger recently opened with a contemporary, modern interior fit out featuring exposed white bricks, cow hide stools, neon lights and mirrors. With ample dining options including inside, outside and courtyard seating, it’s an ideal place to grab a bite to eat regardless of time or weather. With 5 different beef burgers, a chicken and a vegetarian on offer, there’s a burger to suit everyones taste. We went with the ‘New York’ burger with 2 beef patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, Emmental cheese, pickles, mayo and tomato sauce. You can wash it all down with either something alcoholic or a milk shake, and if you’re still not full by the end, the humballs are delicious for dessert.

Comments
“I’m surprised this didn’t fall over by the time it reached us, as it was delicately placed together with everything neatly piled high. What looked like something that would turn into an incredible mess, actually squashed down into something manageable, with plenty of juice squirting all over my strategically placed fries. The beef was a lot more tender than I expected and with 2 patties there was plenty of beefy flavour, with subtle hints of pickle and salty bacon coming through. The bun held up well for a while but had almost disappeared by the end.”
“Humburger feels a little more like more of a bar than a burger joint. Walking up to the counter the friendly staff look like hipster bartenders that will mix you a good drink, but surprisingly they are only interested in your burger order. The pattie was beautifully cooked and just crumbled in my mouth. The sweet bun was fresh and a delight to bite into. The other highlight was the exquisite bacon and the super runny cheese that reminded of the kind you’d get on a pizza. The burger was a little hard to manage but the payload is good, so persevere with the juice going down your hands and enjoy yourself.”
“This was a delicious start to 2014 for me. The first bite was initially soft and fluffy, but by the time I bit all the way in, I was chewing fresh crunchy pickles. The patties were cooked just a little bit pink and felt like the mince had been ground with a fine mincer – they were tightly bound, but it still worked for them. A nice sweeteness lingered during the meal; I can only imagine that the majority came from thee sauce and grilled onions. This is a very simple burger that’s really worth while. Best option in the area for sure.”
Humburger on Urbanspoon


Shake Shack, Dubai

Monday, December 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ShakeShackDubai

Shake Shack – West Food Court, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burger:
Shack Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
25AED/$7.60 AUD
Summary

When you happen to visit one the most arid, terribly hot places in the world, the best place to hang is a mall where you can enjoy luxury shopping, skiing and one of the world’s most famous burgers. Opening in 2011, Shake Shack Dubai was the first of many of its international locations (now in Turkey, UK and Russia) and ever since day one they’ve always had queues. If you aren’t aware of Shake Shack’s infamy, you can read more from D’s NYC review here, but they’ve come a long way since starting out as a humble hot dog stand in NYC. I took my place in line, watched the workhorse that is the Shake Shack kitchen do their thing and eventually got to order the Shack Burger that came with a 100% Angus beef pattie (cooked medium), cheese, lettuce tomato and Shack Sauce all on a soft burger bun.

Comments
“Not having eaten Shake Shack in NYC, I was glad I was at least going to have a crack at its first international location. But, when hype is involved, I’m usually the first to get a little suspicious. I mean how good could this be? That first, soft and meaty bite was enough to tell me everything I needed to know. The pattie was oh so right: a little bit charred on the outside and so soft on the in. It’s got a certain beefy saltiness with a smidge of pepper that I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted before. Whether it’s their cows or meat blends I don’t know, but this and their Shack Sauce is (just one) reason why people love it. The next thing I noticed is that these guys don’t cut their bun all the way through. How damn smart! A cure for the inevitable burger slide. The lettuce and tomato balanced out the heavier beef quite nicely… And the bun reminded of something White Castle does with their sliders: super soft. Originally these guys started out by slinging dogs and you can see the influence in their burgers. For me the bun is basically a hot dog bun but in burger format. Give it time and I have a feeling these guys are going to take over McDonalds as the most recognised burger chain in the world. Tremendous.”


Dude Food Man

Thursday, December 19, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_DudeFoodMan

Dude Food Man – Various Locations, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Dude Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$14
Summary

You can hardly say you’ve done it all in Melbourne until you’ve eaten from one our many food trucks. As much as some councils have tried to put the kibosh on where and when they can operate, the community has welcomed them with open arms. Relative newcomer to the scene is the Dude Food Man, who not only serves burgers but delves into other comfort foods between buns like a pulled pork slider and a Korean BBQ Beef sub. To say owner Johnny has his work cut out for him when it comes to competing for attention next to the acclaimed Mr Burger and Beatbox Kitchen is an understatement. But, with over 10 years training at places like Café Di Stasio and The Point Albert Park, sourcing only the best local ingredients, it’s no surprise The Dude Food Man has so many sell outs. On a sunny Sunday afternoon we found a spare patch of dirt at Ruckers Hill (check here for up to date locations) and ordered their signature Dude Burger that came on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, caramelised onions, pickles and aioli.

Comments
“Breaking down the cardboard box around this burger revealed an almost ideal 1:1 ratio between the size of the patty and bun. The patty was cooked perfectly, with a lovely coarse mix remaining pink on the inside, yet with the help of the crust and gooey yellow cheese completely hugging it, it managed to retain all the juice and flavour without dissolving the bun or dripping down your arm. Funnily enough, the stand out ingredient for me was the not too sour pickles that added just enough bite that enhanced the overall experience.”
“As far as food trucks go, this burger does not disappoint. The pattie was juicy, on the right side of pink, covered in cheese and had a healthy serve of mustard and pickle. The bun was great, but a bit susceptible to breaking-up while still eating. The triple cooked hand cut chips were good and super moist in the middle. The only problem I see with Dude Food is not with the burger, but with being memorable. Melbournians are spoilt for choice and the food truck business has become a very competitive category, therefore the only solution to this would be to create a more signature product on offer.”
“I eat a lot of burgers, but there’s this weird feeling that you get every now and then, when something is so damn good that you can’t help but thank a higher power. Another indication that I liked it was that it was almost all gone in under a minute. There was a lot of sweetness and saltiness in every bite, most likely from the mustard, pickle and aioli combo, but the cheese I didn’t really notice. Overall for me though, the pattie was the star, just the way it should be.”
Dude Food Man on Urbanspoon


Laurie Dee’s

Friday, December 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaurieDees

Laurie Dee’s – Pacific Epping, Epping, Victoria, Australia, Australia
Burger:
The Double Laurie Dee Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$9.95
Summary

Laurie Dee’s recently reopened within the $30 million ‘Urban Diner’ development at Pacific Epping (previously Epping Plaza) providing a restaurant and entertainment precinct that caters to the demands of all the families moving into the new surrounding estates. As you’d expect, everything is brand spanking new and th evenue resembles a cross between an American diner and a fast food outlet. We ordered at the counter, grabbed a booth and eagerly awaited the Double Laurie Dee Burger with Angus beef that’s minced daily and then smashed, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, special D’Sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles and tomato relish.

Comments
“Oh God this looked the goods and was exactly what I needed as I was completely starving (having taken the long way to get to Epping). With giant, crusty chunks of beef hanging off and ample amounts of cheese, I could not wait for my first bite. The beef was perfectly salted and crumbly with creamy cheese filling in every crevice. The pickle added a nice sour bite, but possibly the only thing I’d change is the tomato relish to a ketchup – apart from that I couldn’t fault it. The smash method of cooking a patty (starting with a fresh ball of mince and then smashing into smithereens with a spatula on the hot plate) has not caught on in Australia but I’m glad these guys have done it, and done it so well.”
“This was a very cheesy and greasy experience. Packed with meat/juice goodness, relish and melted cheese, each bite is consistently the same in taste and texture. The Special “D” sauce combined well with the relish. There wasn’t a lot of green stuff to make it boring, but enough to add some underlying fresh tones to cut through the sauce. The chips come seasoned with herbs and really tasted great – good enough not to share.”
“What really got me excited was when I saw other diners’ burgers. I was filled with massive food envy as I waited for my meal. As it arrived at our table all the signs of a smashburger were apparent: a smashed pattie. It was terribly soft and greasy, and by “terribly” I mean “awesomely”. I was too busy trying to keep a good grip on it all to try ingredients individually but the main flavours were soft, salty beefiness and then the creamy punch of the melted cheese. The only thing I would change would be their special sauce to something more traditional. Save your airfare money, maybe pack an over night bag (we are talking Epping here) and make your way down to Laurie D’s for a little piece of the USA in and around your mouth.”
Laurie Dees on Urbanspoon


Pickle n’ Roast

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Pickle-Roast

Pickle n’ Roast – 724 Burke Rd, Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$12
Summary

Pickle n’ Roast Healthy Food Outlet is a relative newcomer to Camberwell junction. They offer a limited menu of sandwiches, burgers, soups and coffee that are all available to dine in, take-away or local delivery. Pickle n’ Roast is setup much like most other cafés and won’t stand out in your mind as being on trend or hipster. Instead they focus on making memorable meals with good produce. With five burgers on the menu, including a vegetarian option, we went with the Cheese Burger Meal with chips, which for some reason is the only burger available in a meal, that comprised of a Pickle n’ Roast beef pattie, cheese, ketchup, mayo and a bun covered in melted mozzarella cheese.

Comments
“Luckily we were in no rush and weren’t particularly starving when we first walked in, as this burger took forever to arrive, and considering we were the only people there and the staff to patron ratio was 1:1, the long wait was puzzling to say the least. Having not taken much notice of the menu, I was a little surprised to discover both sides of the bun covered in greasy melted cheese, completely consuming the small beef patty covered in more cheese. The patty was thin, possibly store bought and possibly frozen before hitting the heat as it really lacked any flavour or colouring. It really reminded me of something I potentially would’ve made myself while bored and hungry on school holidays in about year 9.”
“A simple, but yet filling burger. For some reason the top bun was hollow but this was definitely a good idea because I can’t imagine how filling it would’ve been with all the extra dough. The tasty cheese and the mayo combined well to cover and moisten the thin beef pattie. The melted mozzarella on the bun was a good move and something I’ve never encountered before however, it did make the whole meal very greasy.”
“What an oddity. I’ve never in my life seen this before. Whenever a waiter brings me a knife and fork at a Burger Adventure I always laugh to myself at how they’re wasting their time. But after I grabbed the oily, mozzarella covered bun I kind of get why they were there. Whether or not it was by design, all that oil was balanced out by a rather lean pattie. There was also a lot of herbs that came through like rosemary and oregano. Some of you may know that I love mayo in burger, but it’s only really doing its job if you’ve got tomato to help it out. There wasn’t any here so I had to add more ketchup which did help the burger a bit. Great: it wasn’t. But it sure was memorable.”
Pickle n' Roast on Urbanspoon


The Woods Bar & Kitchen*

Friday, November 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheWoods_Windsor

The Woods – 108 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gippsland Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19
Summary

Since 2011 this place has been known as The Woods of Windsor and has had a reputation on Chapel St for its whisky menu and knowledgeable bartending staff. In recent months they’ve tweaked their agenda slightly, untucked their shirts and gone a little more casual. They’re still producing great food to compliment the smoky/woody characteristics of whisky (you can’t argue that meatballs and burgers don’t go with whisky), but they now call themselves The Woods Bar & Kitchen. Co-owned by the same people that brought you Yellowbird just down the road, these whisky and music connoisseurs know when a good thing is working. As if we needed an excuse to go to a bar we sat down and ordered some drinks and the Gippsland Beef Burger that came with a BLT garnish, tomato relish, tasty cheese and hand cut fries.

Comments
“This thing came out all piping hot, fat and juicy and I may have forgotten to breath while inhaling it in record time. The beef was cooked right; enabling just enough time to form a nice char on each side while remaining a perfect colour of pink on the inside and whilst trapping in all the great juice. Atop the crumbly beef was a nicely contrasting salty rasher of bacon hidden under a pile of tasty cheese. The lettuce and tomato gave it a great crunch and the big fluffy bun did its best to keep everything under control. Lovely venue, great atmosphere, ideal for first/tinder dates as there is plenty of drinks to choose from and it’s very dark and everyone looks good under candlelight.”
“With no trace of superficialness that I’m normally accustomed to seeing in most Chapel Street bars/restaurants, I instantly fell in love with this place. It possessed a real sense of casualness with great table service and friendly staff. The burger had one of the most beautifully cooked, smokey patties I’ve had this year, combined with great melted cheese coverage and some tasty creamy mayo. What brought the whole burger together for me though was how simple it tasted, with no particular dominant flavours and how easy it was to bite into. The hand cut fries were good too. Would I go back? Been there twice already.”
“Boy did this have a decent kick of pepper to it. A burger this smokey and peppery would be a beautiful accompaniment to almost any alcoholic drink I could think off. It was a well crafted, beautifully balanced burger. The ingredients all complemented one another perfectly – so I thought I’d dissect them to see if there were any leaks on what appeared to be a pretty tight ship. After biting into a little bit of cheese here, a little bit beef there and picking at some pickle I realised they were all just as great individually as they were when working together. If I had to pick a favourite child here it’d be the cheese, with a beef a close second. The cheddar was salty, full bodied and tasted like gold for some apparent reason – all around awesome.”
The Woods Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

*Why oh why? These guys have changed their name to The Woods, and with it they’ve changed the menu. NO MORE BURGER!!! The horror!