Freshness Burger

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Freshness Burger – 1F 2-3-16 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku,
Tokyo, Japan (東京都新宿区新宿2-3-16ライオンズマンション1F)
Burger:
Classic Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
¥590/$6.95 AUD/$7.35 USD
Summary

In 1992 Mikio Kurihara spotted a house “For Rent” in the Tokyo suburb of Tomigaya. This, he thought, would be the perfect place for a burger joint. Inspired by the diners, roadhouses and grills of Tennessee USA, Kurihara began to build a brand that would be driven by one sole desire: to provide the freshest, juiciest hamburgers in Japan. Freshness Burger’s slogan “Freshness FOOD . Freshness SERVING . Freshness PEOPLE . Freshness PLANET” now echoes across over 200 locations throughout Asia. It may not make perfect sense in English, but we’re sure the Japanese get it because they pack these little places to the brim. Their menu seperates their Classic Burgers and Hamburgers (there seems to be a difference) but also offers Hotdogs, Veggie burgers, and a range of sides and drinks. Curious to see how the Japanese interpreted a classic, we ventured in and ordered the Classic Cheeseburger that came on a soft bun with a quarter-pound 100% Australian beef pattie, red cheddar cheese, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato and finely chopped pickles.

Comments
“I found this burger oozed a lot of juice and oily goodness. From where though I don’t really know!? The beef pattie was actually a little on the thin side and not as salted as I’d hoped, but still, it was cooked just right. All the other ingredients were as fresh as you’d expect. Unfortunately I had to add a good amount of ketchup and mustard to really give a little extra zing. It was really odd at how hot the whole burger was. It kind of seemed like the whole thing was placed in a steamer or something to soften it all up.
“They definitely got the name right, because this burger came out fresh as a daisy. Actually it was piping hot and I had to wait a while after burning my tongue. Even though there was a generous amount of cheese, I still had to add a decent amount of sauce to make up for the dull piece of beef. Once it had cooled down, it became a very easy burger to eat. It didnt leave a mess but it was too small to fill you up.”
“Quite a basic and enjoyable meal. The pattie needed a bit more seasoning and there was too much lettuce… but the grated pickle was a pleasant surprise! The bun was soft and took on the right amount of juice from the pattie. The sad thing was, it definitely needed mustard and tomato sauce to help boost it to the average rating for me. On a side note, “The Pepsi Nex” as they call it, was terrible and their chips/fried potatoes were average and needed more salt.”
“The first thing that you notice is how incredibly soft this burger is. At the right temperature I reckon you could kneed it into a ball and play catch with it. Everything was, like the name suggested, quite fresh. The “red cheddar’ was OK but I wanted a little more saltiness from it. The whole thing lacked a lot of flavour for me so I drowned it in ketchup and mustard. Really, the greatest impact you get is the hidden chopped pickle that sits under the cheese. Next time I’d go for one of their Hot Dogs or more Japanese-style burgers.”


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


The Newmarket Hotel

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Newmarket Hotel – 34 Inkerman St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$25
Summary

The guys that brought you venues like the Royal Saxon and The Middle Park Hotel are at it again. In a collaborative effort with architects Six Degrees and consulting chef Paul Wilson, the New Market Hotel’s famous Shnitz & Tits has been replaced with an elegance and charm only found across the Baja California. As you step past the original red brick facade, the borders between inside and outside turn to shadows and tall Oscar Niemeyer-like arches will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of StKilda and into a contemporary artwork. Alot of time and money have gone into this project, and it didn’t just stop at the renovations. The menu is rich with SoCal-Hispanic influences. Dishes like Bone Marrow Tacos and Pork Carnitas with Pineapple Salsa are perfect for diners that think they’ve had it all. After a little bit of guacomale to start off with we delved straight into the Rare breed Warialda Belted Galloway dry aged Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, sides of pickled cucumber, corn, capsicum, and a bowl spicy of patatas bravas.

Comments
“This is what I’d say is a true non-traditional burger that actually works.. and works damn well! Everything about this burger was well thought out: from the pickled side of assorted veggies and the rustic potatoes chunks with a chipotle style mayo, everthing really had it’s own distinct flavor. The burger itself has one of the best buns out there, and the pattie, oh that pattie! This is something that your not going to try anywhere else. The pattie is laced with paprika and really tastes like chorizo. I’d say its best enjoyed biting from your burger to your side dish, as each portion complements one another perfectly.”
“A lot of credit should be given to the Chef. He’s confidently taken some huge risks with various flavours and sides which could easily have turned into a disaster. The bun (my favourite style), held it together and trapped in all the juice and spice from the beef. In comparison to the other dishes at the Newmarket that are too small and leave you either hungry or broke, this was a fullfilling meal. At places like this staff can sometimes be a little “too important” and snobby, but we had some really friendly service from a blonde with half of her head shaved.”
“Overall a pleasant experience. Interesting décor, big menu, good service, but most importantly a burger to be proud of. The pattie was by far the star of the show. It was well seasoned with a mixed variety of spices that gave it a good zing. It was thick and cooked well, but 1 more minute on the grill and it would’ve been over done. The bun was perfect and the miscellaneous pickles that accompanied the burger were great; each with its own distinct flavour. The abnormally yellow chips/potato wedges were ok.”
“My first impression was Wow. What the hell is this? This burger was more Mexican than any of the burgers I’d eaten in Mexico. Probably because the Mexicans were trying to emulate the Americans. Saying that I was hoping it would be a touch spicier. Your first bite is filled with juice that can only be recreated by chorizo. The lettuce and tomato were basic but you end up forgetting about them because you’re too focused on this unique flavour to the beef. We were told its seasoned with paprika, garlic, onion powder and cooked with bone marrow.. but I couldn’t get past chorizo; especially with all the red/orange juices dripping out of it. A rare dining experience that every burger (and Mexican) lover should sink their teeth into.”
Newmarket Hotel on Urbanspoon


Bodean’s

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Bodean’s – Cr Poland & D’Arblay St, Soho, London, W1F 8PZ, UK
Burger:
8oz. Prime Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
£6.95, add £1.00 for Monterey Jack Cheese
Summary

Just a two minute stroll from London’s busiest retail jungle Oxford Street, Bodean’s West in Soho is the deli-up, dinner-down, split-level destination for those after the authentic taste of the great American outdoors right in the heart of London. The burger offered is 8oz. of 100% prime beef, topped with Monterey Jack, tomato, lettuce, red onions and pickles, all on a toasted sesame seed bun, served with a side of fries.

Comments
“I felt like I was in a traditional American sports bar, with American beers, ESPN on the many plasmas and the word BBQ written everywhere. I was instantly impressed when they asked how I wanted my beef cooked (medium-rare). I then proceeded to collect my toolbox full of condiments and eagerly awaited the burger. When it arrived I found the beef was cooked precisely the way I had asked, with just the right amount of juiciness and seasoning. The cheese didn’t take away from the flavour of the beef and the bun kept it all together with too much slide. The homemade mayo and pickles on the side also meant you could add that extra bit of zest if you needed it.”


Ruby’s Diner LAX

Monday, August 23, 2010
Ruby’s Diner LAX – 201 World Way, Terminal 6, Los Angeles,
California, USA
Burger:
The Ruby Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
Too difficult to determine after a 15 hour flight
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$8.49 USD
Summary

Setup for the hungry traveller, this “Welcome to the USA” experience will have you sitting amidst 50’s style booths with patrons from all around the world. The Ruby Burger comes on a basic sesame seed bun with a 1/3 pound USDA Ground Beef, sliced tomato, lettuce and “RubySauce” (which I swear is just mayonnaise), and a sweet/salty pickle. Your fries are also “refillable”! Not a bad option if you’re stuck in transit.

Comments
“This was so very soft and easy to eat. I’d say accompanied by the “refillable” fries, you can either sit there all day, or slam-home the burger just in time to hear your final boarding call. The ground beef was nothing flash. It wasn’t very juicy and all I really got was that grilled charcoal flavour mixed with a touch of blandness. Nevertheless, after that much travel it was still passable. I understand Ruby’s offer Ultimate Kobe Burgers at their bigger restaurants, so maybe that’s the way to go if you’re looking for something a touch gourmet. The fries delivered a satisfying crunch but along with the “greens”, were just average. The pickle held its own (the way most pickles do), providing a bolt of sweet/salty goodness. All in all, it was certainly more interesting than settling for McDonald’s, and if you can score a booth by the window you wont regret it.”


Rockpool Bar & Grill

Monday, June 28, 2010
Rockpool Bar & Grill – Crown Complex, Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$22 (extra $6 surcharge on Sundays)
Summary

Rockpool Bar & Grill has been serving up great food since it first opened in Melbourne in 2006. Lunchtime at the Rockpool is synonymous with business power lunches whilst, amidst candlelight, dinners are known to be frequented by the “first-date” variety. Based on Chef Neil Perry’s food I’m sure the deal always gets sealed. The emphasis (or mantra) at the Rockpool has always been high quality produce and we experienced this first hand with our David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger, comprised of a brioche bun, bacon, onions, gruyere cheese and zuni pickles.

Comments
“A burger that is all about the Wagyu beef pattie. With peppery sauteed onions, lean bacon, cheese and some of the best pickes I’ve had. You also get the option of two well presented pieces of lettuce and tomato on the side. Like all good burger places should, this is the first venue to ask us how we wanted the pattie cooked. Oh and the bun deserves a special mention too!”
“Respect for them asking how we wanted our beef cooked. Medium-rare is their standard and my dining companions got exactly that, however mine was cooked a little longer (I had asked for medium rare) and I had no pool of juice left on the plate. That aside the burger was great. The flavours all worked in perfect harmony. Loved the decor, atmosphere and lighting, which all combined really helped cure my hangover.”
“A really classy burger. It’s probably the only place where people can eat their burgers with a knife and fork and get away with it. Anywhere else and they would look like a wanker. My favourite aspect of the burger was the beef pattie (so far ranking highest for me). The pickle and bun came in second, followed by the bacon and cheese. Hand cut fat chips ($12 extra) were OK.”
“This was a refined and well thought out burger. The beef pattie was outstanding but overall the finely sliced, zesty zuni pickles stole the show for me. An experience not to be forgotten. Go the distance and order a beer and a side of onion rings ($9 per serve).”


Misty’s Diner

Thursday, June 17, 2010
Misty’s Diner – 103 High Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Misty’s American Style Burger
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13.90
Summary

Prepare to be greeted by the warm glow of neon lights and the retro-glam stylings that are the 1950’s American Diner. Booking is essential if you’re trying to secure yourself a booth. But with a menu full of Yankee favourites (extending from curly fries to pumpkin pie), I’m sure you’ll settle for a stool. Our burger of choice came served on a plain bun with beef, American cheese, sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato, bacon, egg and Misty’s Special Sauce.

Comments
“The team at Misty’s put together a messy, sauce filled burger. You’ll be wiping off your fingers, chin, cheeks and probably your forehead. Overall, well balanced flavours with fresh ingredients and a pattie that I can’t complain about. It had mayo on the top and bottom, but I maybe would’ve like one of them to be replaced by mustard. Could also do with a fresher bun.”
“After eagerly anticipating this venue for months, I was really let down with the stale bun and strange flavour to the beef. The cheese and egg were great, but not enough to make up for the negatives. I will definitely be returning to try to other items on the menu (including sliders and deep fried pickles), however I’ll give this burger a miss.”
“After my first bite I noticed some similarities to the Whopper served by that big, mean franchise. However this is far better than any Whopper you will ever have. I wasn’t totally won over by this burger. Regrettably I found the pattie a little bland and there was too much mayo and lettuce. Overall though, it was a good and filling experience. We had one serve of shoe-string fries that could easily feed 4 people – pretty good fries.”
“Like a child who accidentally stumbled upon a porn collection, Misty’s menu is mouthwatering… But that’s where it ends. The burger wasn’t flash. It was ok at most. But being the burger lover/whore I am, I’d still come back to try more.”


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