The Spotted Mallard

Friday, June 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_SpottedMallard

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

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

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


Babu Burger

Thursday, April 25, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_BabuBurger

Babu Burger – 156 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Babu’s Favourites #1
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
30 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15
Summary

With a mix of modern and vintage elements like white tiles contrasting with exposed timber beams, Babu Burger slots in perfectly in the ever-evolving, eclectic, Windsor end of Chapel St. Babu grind and mince their beef daily from Victorian beef and offer 150, 220 or 300g sized patties. They encourage you to create your own unique burger with a huge array of ingredients available. But, for the indecisive type, they have their “Favourite” burgers. We went with the number 1 that featured 220g beef, egg, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and no sauce. But dont worry, they leave the saucing to the individual on the table.

Comments
“This burger looked like something you would make at home. That is, if you had plenty of time to pick out the best looking ingredients and position it all perfectly on a plate for a photo shoot. It may go to explain why on a relatively quiet night it took a while for the burger to reach our table. The beef was cooked medium and had a great course texture. However, it just wasn’t that flavoursome. Luckily the egg and the bacon made up for it. The tomato, pickle and onion added a great crunch but, the pickle was a little too big and fairly bland in taste. I was definitely full and satisfied by the end but it just wasn’t memorable for either a good or bad reason.”
“The pattie was thick and cooked to my likeing, but I did find it a bit bland. As a solution, I highly recommend adding one of their selected sauces to add some character. Out of all the condiments the egg and bacon were really the standouts in the burger. I found the egg beautifully runny and the bacon crispy as hell. The pickles however were a bit boring – no crunch and no zing. If you are a person that likes customising your burger this is the place for you. The option of choosing the thickness of your pattie and how well you like it cooked really adds bonus points to this place, plus the condiments on offer are endless. Chips were OK.”
“I couldn’t fault the quality of this product too much at all. They’ve got a good philosphy of letting the beef be the hero. As I looked down at the end of my meal to a pool of juice sitting atop my chips, I decided that A) Babu make a solid burger, and B) I was beyond full. However, it all left me a little conflicted. When I first looked the burger up and down, it appeared as classic as they come. But when I bit in I got a strong hit of all Babu’s signature Middle-Eastern spices. This threw me off. I get that it’s a bit of a twist on a classic, but why sit on the fence. What the #1 favourite lacked for me was a bit of boldness. If I had my time here again (and I will), I’ll be creating my own burger; attempting to celebrate all those exotic spices with a harem of seductive toppings.”
Babu Bar Burger With Balls on Urbanspoon


The Beer & Burger Lounge

Friday, March 15, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_BeerBurgerLounge

The Beer and Burger Lounge – 112 Swan St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$10
Summary

The Beer and Burger Lounge occupies a large, bright and brand spanking new fit out with contrasting white tiles on the business side and exposed brick on the patrons side. As the name suggests, they offer a large range of beers and wide variety of burgers including beef, chicken, veggie, game, lamb, pork and salmon options. We grabbed a bar stool each and surrounded a table within viewing distance of the open plan kitchen and proceeded to watch the chef cook our burger with cheese, tomato jam, mustard and gherkin.

Comments
“When I heard the name ‘The Beer and Burger Lounge’ I had an image in my head of a laid-back, cool and cosy spot with a cracking range of beers, and couches as far as the eye could see. When I arrived I will admit I was a little disappointed. It just really felt cold and boring with a generic range of uninspiring beers. When the burger first turned up to the table though I began to smile. This was a traditional looking cheeseburger with a fluffy, soft seeded bun that held a thin and nicely cooked beef pattie. All the other basics of tomato jam, crunchy and tangy pickles and mustard were all good quality. I also loved the golden crispy onion ring sitting atop. All in all, a really good example of a classic cheeseburger. I just wish I felt as comfortable as I should have in a lounge.”
“Just a simple, sweet and soft burger experience. There was some serious glare coming from the gloss of the bun that was just the ideal size to keep everything together. Each ingredient worked well together but was also strong enough to stand out in each bite: the spice of the mustard, the sweetness of the tomato jam, the creaminess of the cheese and the crisp coolness of the gherkin. Again, and much to my delight (I can sense a bit of a trend at the moment), there was a delightful onion ring on top!”
“A simple and easy burger to eat. Nothing complicated here, just good old fashioned burgering (yeah that’s a word). The beef pattie was perfect! It had a nice pinkish hue in the middle. The mustard and tomato jam combined so well together, there wasn’t even any need to add any more sauce as the balance of sweet and tang was faultless. The bun was soft and perfectly sized for a single hand, and for that reason, I’m calling it a great lunch time burger. It still allows you to pick up your bosses phone call while you’re at lunch. Or not. For $10 I’m definitely going back again.”
“When I’m given the option of cheese or no cheese, I’m always going to pick cheese. There are so many more instances where you think, “This thing could do with some cheese”, rather than the contrary. So it was an easy call for me to get the Cheeseburger. All the ingredients in there were individually pretty darn good. Except when all together, they didn’t play nice. Colonel Mustard and I are good mates and have shared some memorable meals. But here, the bold condiment and its pickle counterpart really took over any creaminess the cheese was trying to deliver. The pattie was of a very high standard and had been cooked with so much tender love. There was salt, juice and the right amount of Moo in each bite. I’d definitely be back, but to try this burger again sans-mustard.”
The Beer and Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon


Prospect Espresso

Friday, February 22, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Prospect-Espresso

Prospect Espresso – 2a Prospect Hill Rd,
Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Prospect Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Co-owners Matt Ward and Mitch Haworth’s first venture is primarily all about great coffee, but they also knew they’d have to build a mouth watering menu to match. Prospect Espresso was a well need addition to the Camberwell cafe scene, boasting a warm and cosy interior filled with natural raw materials. The beautiful custom made communal table commands the room but also offers a generous amount of side dining tables that work perfectly in the smalll and well-thought out used space. Using a range of seasonal ingredients their lunch menu offers a variety of fresh, tasty bites as well as a couple of good ol’ meaty offerings including their Prospects Burger. The house made minced beef is accompanied by bacon, cheese, pickles, and lettuce all in a soft bun. On the side you’ll find some crunchy fat chips with creamy aioli.

Comments
“I can’t believe I left this place without finishing my chips or trying their coffee, but the burger was so rich and full of flavour I couldn’t possibly cram any more into my stomach. Really well presented with a skewer holding everything together, the flavours that stood out for me were the perfectly cooked, thick and salty piece of bacon that contrasted really well with the soft creaminess of the melted cheese and aioli. The beef patty was minced coarsely and kept it really juicy and tasty, and the sweet, seed covered bun kept everything together pretty well.”
“This is a sexy piece of work. The bun shone, the cheese oozed and I swear the bacon winked at me as it lay underneath, inviting me to take my first bite. Before I did though, I unloaded my chips strategically onto the plate to catch all the burger’s juices. First bite in: big success, a lot of juice seasoned chips. The coarsely ground pattie didn’t have a lot of seasoning but this worked in its favour. The semi-sweet bun was tasty but was a bit doughy, leaving me with a bunch of it left on my plate. The bacon and cheese combo were by far my highlight. The bacon was lean as hell and there was a whole lot of it – I didn’t want it to stop. A really well-balanced burger that’s sure to be known as the toast of Camberwell.”
Prospect Espresso on Urbanspoon


Captain Melville

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Captain-Melville

Captain Melville – 34 Franklin St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Captain’s Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$21
Summary

When the owners of Miss Libertine realised they were growing up and the hangovers and drunken nightclub patrons were getting a bit tiresome, they decided to completely renovate the heritage listed, 1853 bluestone building and convert it into a gastro pub. Appointing Shayne McCallum as head chef to oversee the menu, they’ve created traditional Australian pub classics as well as some more adventurous dishes like rabbit pie and tuna tartare. We of course went for the burger with Sher Wagyu beef, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, a soft brioche-like bun and hand cut chips.

Comments
“I was really surprised with this place. After being informed by the waitress that this is “the best burger your going to try”, I have to say I was a little sceptical. When it arrived at the table gleaming with its sweet soft glazed bun, I knew they had put something special together! Two perfectly cooked and seasoned patties separated by some great bacon. Juicy and full of flavour, the crunchy tangy pickles added a nice bite. The oozing egg and melted cheese also gave the burger a nice creamy texture. I’m usually not a massive fan of handcut cuts but these were pretty good.”
“Everyone loves a good surprise, especially when you’re least expecting it. So the moment I saw that it had double patties (not mentioned on the menu), I was extremely elated. The bun was super soft with a nice shiny glaze (best compared to the sweet Chinese Bread Top rolls) and it really helped enhance the perfectly seasoned, juicy beef and creaminess of the cheese and egg. This burger is great, but it’s the extra details like the crispy slices of tangy pickle and the spice from some ground pepper that really made this burger stand out.”
“These double Wagyu patties were delicious! The cheese oozing out of the burger, combined with the fresh egg really got my juices going. The bacon in between the two patties was a good move as it broke-up each bite with its salty goodness. I really liked the super soft bun with its sweet glaze. The hand cut chips were great! Fluffy on the inside and nicely cooked on the out!”
“Walking up to the old Miss Libertine, I really wasnt expecting a whole lot. Walking in however, changed that for me. I suddenly forgot about all the late night discos I’d attended. I was standing in a place that looks like it had a bunch of money poured into it. Fancy as hell, almost like a Newmarket or Halfmoon kind of joint. However, I am suspicious of most burgers that use Wagyu beef these days. Purely because some places claim they use the expensive stuff just so they can lighten your wallet. But as soon as it landed in front of me I forgot all about my suspicions and went straight into Playboy photographer mode. This burger made good use of the “Three S’s”: soft, salty and sexy. The double patties with bacon sandwiched in between were genius! Every other bite I received an express delivery of beautiful charr. The egg was good but I really dont think it needed it. With the double cheese it was more than enough creaminess. I mean, it did end up falling apart. But I didnt care. I just wanted this burger to keep going and going. Stellar start to 2013!”
Captain Melville on Urbanspoon


Ribs & Burgers

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ribs & Burgers – 3 Separation St, Northcote, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

When we first got wind of Ribs & Burgers we of course did a little Google search to see what they’re all about. What we uncovered is the location of their 3 venues: Neutral Bay and Star City Casino in Sydney and, one closer to home in Northcote Plaza. Surrounded by your shopping centre regulars like a post office, supermarket and takeaways, this smart, well-established restaurant seems oddly out of place. With a crazy passion for all things meat this new eatery is dressed head to toe in its Butcher’s Best. All staff wear blue and white aprons, pickles and sauces sit upon the shelves and an open kitchen all give patrons the idea that Burgers & Ribs are all about serving up some quality chow. So when they say 100% pure beef patties they mean it: no binding agents, no salt, no flavours, just beef. Obviously specialising in burgers and ribs they also offer other selections like chicken breast and salads (but why would you bother with those?). After a few minutes trying to work out which burger to order, the chef recommended the Wagyu burger that came on a kaiser-like bun with a 225g Wagyu beef pattie topped with sliced tomato, Spanish onion, pickles, onion rings, 1000 Island and BBQ sauce.

Comments
“This burger for me went over the top and unnecessarily doubled up on nearly everything: 2 types of sauces that clashed, 2 types of onion and double the amount of bread. The beef was cooked to an ideal medium with a healthy crust of char providing plenty of flavour when tasted on its own. However, it was completely lost amongst the sweetness of the BBQ and 1,000 Island-ish sauces, the crispyness of the lettuce, onion rings and spanish onions. The bun was huge and left me feeling completely stuffed by the end of it and left me desperately needing a nap. Should I visit again I would like to try one of their more simple and traditional burgers on offer.”
“The fondest memory I have of this burger is of that awesome thick, char grilled pattie. It really set a great tone for what the rest of the burger was going to taste like. In fact, the pattie tasted like it had been grilled on the same part of the grill that the ribs were cooked on. Although you got alot of the smokey grill flavour, the 1000 Island sauce added a great freshness to it all. I do believe there was a little too much Kaiser bun here and not enough off that awesome meat. The onion rings and chips were good, and had a great amount of crunch in each bite.”
“I really thought I would love this animal. I watched as I saw other burgers and ribs coming out and they looked irresistible. But, with my first bite all I could taste was disappointment. That traditional charcoal grill flavour crust was the best part of the pattie. But, there was just so much going on. I almost think if there were a softer bun and a lot less ingredients (take out the tomato, lettuce, onion and even the onion rings) it would’ve been a great burger. Seriously, just simplify this bad boy and you’d be on a winner. I’d be back, but purely to dabble in other meaty goodness.”
Ribs & Burgers on Urbanspoon


Gramercy Bistro

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gramercy Bistro – 162 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gramercy Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$20.50
Summary

It’s fair to say that when a place takes on a name like “Gramercy Bistro” you’re more than likely to think of all that is cool about Manhattan. Go on and add one of Melbourne’s trendiest hotels in the Cullen (a part of the Art Series Hotels) and big expectations loom. Paying homage to some of NYC’s greatest hotels, owner Adam Faigan and Head Chef Rodd Blutman and his team have put together a menu that injects a little bit of Melbourne into many go-to New York dishes like Reuben sandwiches, Steak frites, Buttermilk Pancakes of course, the humble hamburger. Catering for every kind of diner also extends to the layout: a casual deli/cafe approach towards the front, cocktails and cigars in the inside-outside area, or the relaxed, but a touch more formal, dining space near the back of the restaurant. On a sun filled Sunday we sat smack-bang in the middle and ordered their signature Gramercy Burger that comes with a Brioche bun, Wagyu beef pattie, bacon, onions, pickles, melted cheddar, tomato, relish, mustard and a side of shoestring fries.

Comments
“Some really nice presentation here with crispy salty fries served in an unpretentious cardboard box and the burger topped with a pickle. The highlight for me was the perfectly melted, super smooth, creamy and gooey cheddar cheese that ultimately enveloped the beef and married the bacon. The bun was super soft and sweet, which worked really well with the creaminess of the cheese and the contrasting tang of the mustard. The beef pattie was the right size and cooked just right, however it lacked a whole lot of flavour. I would of loved the bacon to be a bit crispier to add a bit of crunch to a burger that overall lacked a variety of texture.”
“We’re not off to a good start when I say the standouts in this burger were the bun, bacon and cheese. The pattie was a bit bland but, supported by all these awesome tasting side ingredients, as well as the tangyness of the mustard, really made up for it. Due to the pattie tasting a bit processed and run of the mill, more sauce had to be added. The fries weren’t great and to add insult to injury my Coke was a bit flat. However bonus points for the lime wedge.”
“Mouth agape I thought, “Wow, what a work of art – a sexy, classy work of art.” But then I caught eye of the weird multicoloured beef. I thought the worst, expecting a multitude of unnecessary herbs and spices to choke the beef’s potential. To my surprise, when I bit in a wave of enjoyment ran up and down my tastebud valleys. The highlight ingredients for me were the cheese, the bacon and maybe even the pattie. The not too overpowering mustard was masterfully added but the relish was a smidge too jammy and sugary. It was actually good! But then like most relationships, it kind of got boring. Not to say that this is a bad burger at all. But it didnt leave me wanting more, not out of hunger, but pure allure.”
Gramercy Bistro on Urbanspoon


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