Bruny Island Winebar and Grill

Thursday, March 20, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BrunyIsland-Tasmania

Bruny Island Winebar and Grill – 4391 Main Rd, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia
Burger:
Bruny Island Premium Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

About an hour south of Hobart (add in a 20 minute ferry ride) and you’ll be driving across Bruny Island. Surprisingly large in land mass, generally compared with Singapore’s, Bruny Island is home to about 650 people (Singapore has over 5 million) so it makes a perfect escape from the daily grind. Covered in beautiful vegetation, mountains and surrounded by unruly oceans there’s not much to do but to take in the sights and then enjoy the local produce. The Bruny Island Winery is Australia’s southernmost vineyard and is owned by Richard and Bernice Woolley who bought the Wayaree Estate property in 1997. Their Winebar and Grill lets you match some of their award winning wines along with sampling plenty of regional produce. I sat down with my babein’ accomplice, grabbed a Pinot Noir and ordered the Premium Beef Burger that came on crusty roll with a beef pattie from Hat’s Farm next door, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, chilli jam and tomato sauce.

Comments
“It sounded pretty decent when I read the list of ingredients; all super enticing and I knew they’d be local. Upon arrival I couldn’t but blurt out a profanity. To say I was shocked was an understatement. “What was goig on with that bread?”, I thought to myself. The cerated knife stabbed through the middle would come in handy, because I knew that it wasn’t going to be pretty if I’d tackled this as a whole. When I cut it in half, squished it down and finally bit I was actually happy. All the elements were tasty and co-operated in their pursuit of pleasing my taste-buds. The chilli jam was the highlight followed by the sweet, fat coated beef. This could’ve been next level if they went for a more traditional bun. The ciabatta-style bread was enjoyable, but I’d rather leave it to dips and antipasto plates as opposed to the humble hamburger. Overall, not a bad, unorthodox burger that’s worth popping in for.”
Bruny Island Winebar and Grill on Urbanspoon


The Botanical

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Botanical

The Botanical – 169 Domain Rd, South Yarra,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger & French Fries
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13
Summary

The Botanical, or simply ‘The Bot’ as it’s commonly referred to by the locals, is a Melbourne institution located opposite the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical truly is a multi-faceted venue offering a formal dining room, informal wine store and cafe, a less formal bar and lounge, a courtyard and options for private events. The rear bar has its own menu available 7 nights a week, ideally suited to match your drink of choice, with live music on Wednesday and Sunday nights. Being an almost perfect balmy summer night, we grabbed a seat in the olive-tree lined courtyard, grabbed a beer and ordered the Cheeseburger & French Fries with lettuce, tomato, pickle and tomato chutney.

Comments
“This is my absolute favourite quiet pocket of Melbourne. I was glad to visit here in normal clothes as opposed to walking past huffing, puffing and sweating after running the Tan. Anyway, the burger came out fairly quickly, neatly presented with a heavy mug of fries, and as you’d expect with the price, wasn’t very big, but everything was in proportion. The chutney on both sides of the bun added a sweetness to each bite, which blended well with the juicy patty and salty pickles. This burger is ideal to accompany an afternoon of drinking, and will just hit the spot without leaving you bloated.”
“The stand-out for me was the great value you get for $13, which is a perfect lunch option for those carnivores that don’t want to settle for a salad. This burger is compact with a fresh crusty bun that’s very easy to palm and holds a nice thick juicy pattie surrounded by melted cheese and a double layer of home made sauce. For those sweet and tangy flavours the tomato and pickle have done their job and the cos lettuce keeps everything fresh and honest. Overall it’s a very simple burger at minimum cost that includes a bowl of awesome shoestring fries.”
“I was a little underwhelmed when the burger arrived. It was on the small side and came out just a little too quickly. I didn’t think there’d be much to it. However, it was decent. The meat was juicy and sweet, but I wanted it to be meatier/beefier. Maybe it was just the fact that the lightly spiced tomato ketchup took over most of the flavours. The bun was actually my favourite thing about the burger: a crusty Kaiser almost. I liked this burger but I wasn’t in love. These guys could charge close to $20 for this and people would pay it. Props for not being greedy.”
The Botanical on Urbanspoon


Royale Brothers

Thursday, February 27, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-RoyaleBrothers

Royale Brothers – Rear 1 Church Street, Brighton,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Royale with Cheese
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

When you read this next bit, try and say it in a posh accent – “Brighton darling”. Now you’re ready to mix it with the snooty Range Rover driving bayside dweller. But as of the start of 2014, there’s a chance the accent might get a tweak. With Royale Brothers setting up shop in the neighbourhood there’ll be more than one Average Joe popping by to get their meat fix. Brought to you by the folks that introduced Melbourne to the Portsea Polo and Sydney to Hugos, Royale Brothers is surely going to have the masses knocking on their door in no time. We placed our order from the tiny counter and waited for our flashing buzzer device to ring. Sitting on some limited seating outside, our burger of choice was their Royale with Cheese that came with a Milk Bun, Beef, cheese, onion, lettuce, pickles, mustard, mayo & Royale sauce.

Comments
“Simple things amuse simple minds, so the excitement and anticipation of the buzzer buzzing all over the table had me reminiscent of a young child awaiting Christmas morning. Once finally buzzed, it’s as if I had won a prize. Like all good presents, this one had grease leaking all over the wax paper, making it transparent and revealing a glorious mess of a burger. You couldn’t pull this thing apart if you tried. Everything was melted and bound together with each bite encompassing every vital flavour. From the salty, crumbly and charred patty, the gooey yellow cheese, combo of sauces and a slight and subtle crunch from the lettuce, pickle and onion. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t think of anyway of improving it.”
“You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France? …Royale with Cheese”. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system I can give you my impression of the burger. Royale Brother’s burger is by no means a Quarter Pounder. In fact if they ever faced off the big corporate Quarter Pounder, it would get it’s ass handed to it by this very simple, fresh and affordable burger. The fresh bun held the delicious moist pattie well with no soggy structural issues to worry about. The mayo and cheese combined well and the pickle added some great tang, but not as crunchy as I would have liked. The chips were a bit average, however the burger is that good that it kind of makes up for it. Definitely going back!”
“This impressed me right away. The cheese took me back to my days of opening up happy meals after a victorious soccer game; stuck to the sides of the wax paper all gooey and awesome. The first bite was soft, sweet at times, but most importantly, creamy and beefy. The balance was pretty damn good here; across all flavours. They left things just greasy enough as to nod to tradition but then the fluffiness of the bun talked to my über fancy botox side. Anything I would do different next time? I’d probably add some bacon, or for the fun of it, add another pattie. This is one of Bayside’s best.”
The Royale Brothers 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


Bridge Hotel

Friday, July 12, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_BridgeHotel

Bridge Hotel – 642 Bridge Rd, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Black Angus Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
22 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$19
Summary

From the outside it’s basically your standard Melbourne pub. Step past the bouncers inside and we urge you to attempt to know where to go. You’re first greeted with a Parisian alley way – balconies above you as you walk past. There are dining areas all around with stairs leading to god knows where and a traditional pub bar on your left. Call it an adventure, call it confusing. Or, just call over a staff member and get yourself a seat. Refurbished by Justin Northrop of Techne Architects in 2011, the Bridge Hotel is a 100-year-old building that has been known to get quite crowded – so get in early on a Saturday. They boast a pretty extensive pub menu with some modern twists on some classics as well as a cosy roast served every Sunday for $19. Having witnessed a few come out of the kitchen already, we braced ourselves and ordered their Black Angus Beef Burger that comes with bacon, egg, caramelised onion, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cheese, relish & ailoi with beer battered chips.

Comments
“I had to seriously squish this burger down to have an even remote chance of taking an even bite out of it. Had I of taken the skewer out the whole thing would of completely fallen apart. The fact that it was so big meant some bites you got nothing but cold and crunchy lettuce, tomato and beetroot. Other times it was a bunch of flour from the bun and some egg and bacon that reminded me of a breakfast roll (not having a go at breakfast rolls, it just wasn’t breakfast time). The highlight of the burger was the beefy angus pattie and the crispy caramelised onions however, they didn’t outweigh the difficultness of consuming this burger.”
“I’ll give them points for effort and drama because it did make me think, “How the hell am I meant to eat this?” If there wasn’t a skewer involved you’d just have a pile of ingredients. It was almost like a shishkebab version of a burger. You would’nt exactly say that it was bad or anything. It was OK at best. Saying that I was glad not to eat brioche again (the epidemic that seems to be striking Melbourne). The pattie was rather light and fluffy, but didnt have any beefy kick to it. It was more rissoley than anything. The highlight I must say were the blackened pickled/ caramelised onions. Their sweetness stood out in this, neither here nor there burger.”
Bridge Hotel on Urbanspoon


The Post Office Hotel

Friday, May 3, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PostOfficeHotel

The Post Office Hotel – 231 Sydney Rd, Coburg, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$17
Summary

After more than a few licks of paint in 2010, The Post Office Hotel opened its doors again to a more than happy Coburg neighbourhood. At its core it’s a Gastropub – but with probably a little more emphasis on the “pub”. The reason for this emphasis is purely because its such a homely and warm environment. It’s inviting and caters for everybody of all tastes, which really makes you question whether or not any of the locals would actually refer to it anything other than “the pub”. Although quite large with many different areas for drinking, dining or even maybe a little boot-scoot, their menu acts as if you’ve entered a high-end English cottage turned restaurant. Toulouse Sausages, Spaghettini with truffle oil and Spatchcock are offered from either their elegant Cafe229 & Dining Hall or Pub menus. On a cool Sunday evening we stepped up to the bar and ordered the Post Office Hotel’s Wagyu Burger that came with a 200g Wagyu pattie, lettuce, tomato, caramelised onions, gruyere, beetroot and a side of french fries. Be mindful, they don’t have ketchup, but the offer of chutney and aioli is plentiful.

Comments
“This burger was on the very verge of greatness for me, with the large, perfectly cooked wagyu beef pattie being the absolute highlight. Unfortunately the other ingredients were a little too strong and instead of enhancing the beef flavour, slowly overpowered it. From the buttery, flaky texture of the croissant-like bun and the sweetness of the beetroot relish and caramelised onions. I’d like to try a simpler version with just the pattie and the creamy gruyere cheese. I really enjoy a good stalk of a venue’s kitchen and peering in I saw some seriously good looking dishes being produced that I’d love to try next time I’m in the area.”
“This burger really ticked a lot of boxes for me. The brioche bun and beautifully charred pattie were the two great stand outs for me. I really would have been happy with the bun and pattie and done away with everything else, not because they were subpar, but because I loved the complex flavour of the pattie. The beetroot relish was great and together with the brioche really made the burger quite sweet. The melted cheese perfectly covered the pattie and combined really well with the caramelised onions. Chips were good.”
“Appearance-wise it looked a million bucks. However, my first bite in and there was drama. It was all very soft, but Wow was the pattie piping hot. Especially when compared to the rest of my room-temperature burger. I gave it a second as my tastebuds regained consciousness and continued. When you use beetroot, you run the risk of upsetting some people and pleasing others. This has to please all those who bite in. I think we’ve found the perfect amount of beetroot to use in a burger. Call me crazy, or maybe I just enjoyed the beetroot’s cooling properties. Extra highlights to add to it’s CV were the deliciously salty, melted gruyere all over the high quality pattie and, my favourite of all, the caramelised onions that popped up every now and then to give the burger a little bit of bbq fundraiser charm.”
The Post Office Hotel on Urbanspoon


Prince Alfred Hotel

Friday, April 19, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PrinceAlfred

Prince Alfred Hotel – 619 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Prince Alfred Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

A pub with all the right elements: a beer tap, beer garden and a good variety of fancified pub grub (best enjoyed with beer of course). Ask any Richmond native and they will tell you this place is an institution; great for quick drinks after work, long lunches and Sunday dinners. Upon first inspection you might think this place is quiet and cosy – almost grandma cosy. But when you notice all the flatscreens and the sensational beer garden, you can imagine how busy it might get here on a Saturday night before/during/after the footy. As well a handful of imported and local beers on tap their menu offers the usual pub favourites but with a bit of a new age twist. They tried to tempt us with veal and sage sausages, herb and lemon crumbed chicken with radicchio and even spaghettini, but of course we were here for the Prince Alfred Burger. It came with a beef pattie on a brioche bun, relish, cheese, lettuce, onion, aoli, caramelised onions and a side of fries.

Comments
“I knew that the Prince Alfred had renovated and gone for a more refined dining style rather than the traditional pub. But what threw me was this formal dining area paired with flat screen TVs. I guess they thought that no dude should go without footy, even when the Mrs drags him out for a romantic weekend dinner. It was a well presented burger that played it pretty safe. As you would expect from this place all the ingredients they used were really fresh and packed with flavour. A thick juicy pattie was held together by a sweet fresh brioche bun, with a side of really good chips. Like I said… not a burger that’s changing the world, but it is something you could rely on being tasty everytime you go.”
“They’ve taken little risk in terms of ingredients; just your basic beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato between a bun. But my God, when you’re using really good quality and fresh produce that’s full of flavour, why would you mess with a sure thing? Starting off quite tall due to a giant hunk of juicy beef, everything eventually squashed down into a manageable bite. The lettuce and tomato added just the right amount of crunch but didn’t take anything away from the great tasting beef. Although if I had to pick out anything, it would’ve been a tad pinker pattie.”
“For a pub dining area it’s a bit more formal. With elegant chairs and tables, soft amber lights and well dressed staff, I almost felt like I needed to wear a shirt. But what threw me off were the flat screen TVs playing football – they made me feel like I was in a TAB. What frustrates me is not knowing what’s in my burger. Sometimes venues name a burger and don’t provide any details about whats in it (I need details folks). Overall, the burger was tasty, a touch sweet and good quality. Not to mention being accompanied by some great tasting chips.”
“Venue discrepancies aside, this was a lovely bite. Was it memorable though? Not entirely. I guess when you look at it on the grand scheme of things, it actually sits nicely with other tasty burgers. But, without anything to really to call its very own, it was hard to spot an “it” factor that could take the burger from good to great. Aside from that, it was simple, fresh and enjoyable. I really shouldn’t complain though because if I’m after a really fresh take on a classic in Richmond, I’d come here.”
Prince Alfred on Urbanspoon