Hello Sam

Thursday, November 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_HelloSam

Hello Sam – 760 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Too Cheesy
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12
Summary

Go back some 10 years and unless you were buying a Lamborghini or on your way to buy a couch, you’d probably never really have thought to hang out that far down Chapel St. Nowadays, amid a jungle of high rise apartments, you only have to spit and you’d hit a new place to eat. Hello Sam is making the most of the sprawl and basically has any type of burger for any occasion or any body. Their owner Katherine Sampson (bonus points for why it’s called “Hello SAM”) is better known for her Healthy Habits chain but aims to bring the diner tradition out of the dark dingy corners, polish it off and please a whole bunch of Melbournians with some gourmet burgers. Hello Sam’s menu is pretty extensive, so whether you’re in the mood for a fish, lamb, chicken, or beef burger (or maybe even a hotdog) you’ll be covered. We decided to upgrade their namesake Simply Sam burger to the Too Cheesy version. It came on a brioche bun with an Angus pattie, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato relish, 2 mustard mayo and a cheddar ale melt.

Comments
“A slight moment of panic as it looked like they’d forgotten the beef patty. However, after lifting the top bun I saw that hidden underneath a waterfall of cheese was the piece of beef. The pattie had been cooked to within an inch of its life, leaving behind little flavour but, the super creamy cheese somewhat made up for it. The bun was fresh, the salad was fresh, but I would of preferred the chutney to have a little bit more tang and bite to it. I loved the complimentary hand wipes that came with the meal and as tempting as they may smell, don’t eat them.”
“For an additional $1 to upgrade from the Simply Sam to the Too Cheesy I’d really recommend you pay it and get transported to cheese heaven. It was by far one of the cheesiest burgers I’ve had so far this year. The pattie was a bit too small for the bun and was a tad bit over cooked, but was still good. The bun was like a soft kiss from the heavens, promising to take you to a safe place away from all the world’s craziness. If I was working around the corner I’d definitely be there for lunch a couple of days a week; perfect for that quick lunch break.”
“I wasn’t overly impressed to begin with. The pattie was rather charred and looked to be wearing an oversized bun for a hat/helmet. It wasn’t until I bit in that I tasted some of the best cheese I’ve ever encountered in a burger. It had me looking like a crackie: licking the front of my teeth for 15 minutes after I had finished, trying to get at any remanence. The pattie wasn’t bad, but it didn’t get the love and attention it needed on the grill. The bun to pattie ratio was saddest part – being left with an outrageous crescent moon shaped bun after I eaten through the pattie wasn’t ideal. Hello Sam does have a lot of potential, but right now the operation seems rushed, reactive and they’re learning as they go. Saying that, because of that cheddar cheese (and with hopefully this feedback taken on-board), I’ll be poking me head in from time to time as summer rolls in.”
Hello SAM Burger Cafe on Urbanspoon


The Corner Hotel

Sunday, September 15, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Corner-Hotel

The Corner Hotel – 57 Swan St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Corner Chilli Burger (Double)
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$19
Summary

One of Melbourne’s great homes of music, the iconic Corner Hotel in Richmond is only a skip and a jump away from the city and very accessible from Richmond Train Station. The Corner has been a part of the Melbourne music scene since the 1940’s; fast forward to today where some of the biggest DJ’s and bands in the world still get butts moving on its dance floor. As well as pumping great music, the Corner’s rooftop kitchen is better known for pumping out some decent pub grub to the Richmond local, but also those wanting a bite before a gig. The open rooftop area is substantially covered from the weather elements with more than enough tables and seating to please the crowds. We thought we would try the Corner Chilli Burger (Double) with two Ranger Valley wagyu beef patties, lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, jalapenos, chipotle mayo and a serve of chips on the side.

Comments
“Even though I’ve attended many gigs at the Corner, this was actually the first time I’ve ventured upstairs to the massive rooftop beer garden. Straight away I knew this was going to be a challenge to get through and consume in a dignified manner… and I was right. We did not need to go with the double; the beef was an off grey colour and somehow instead of being juicy, was “wet”. The two patties were both completely enveloped by a huge amount of stringy cheese that by the end felt like biting into rubber. In some cuisines, spices are added to mask poor quality meat, which I presume is the only reason jalapenos and chipotle were used in this burger. I’ll be back, however just for the live music.”
“The pattie was wagyu beef, but I can’t say I thought much of it. It felt and tasted like an everyday beef pattie. Those wagyu qualities just weren’t there for me. For an extra $2 we decided to go for the double pattie, but I think a single would’ve been enough. Some things that impressed me were the minimum amount of green stuff and the seductive amount of melted cheese all over the pattie. Another thing that really impressed me was the creamy characteristics the burger took on from the chipotle mayo – a really nice balance of cream and spice. The chips were OK.”
The Corner Hotel 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


Grand Hotel

Friday, May 31, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheGrand

Grand Hotel – 333 Burnley St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Grand Wagyu Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Is it a pub or is it a restaurant? Well, it’s both. One part of the Grand boasts a dining room that offers a fine dining Italian menu, whilst the other is a loungey bar area. Here the story changes to good honest pub grub and whole lot of beer and wine to share with your gang. The big difference between this venue and other typical Richmond divey pub is that your meal will be prepared by a “chef” not a cook. Overall the atmosphere was very much relaxed, with some great comfortable booths and dim lighting to hide all the sauce on your face. As always we went for the burger that came with a Wagyu pattie, cheese, brioche bun and served with fries and chilli mayo.

Comments
“As simple as a burger can be, just beef, cheese and bun, but done really really right. Everything was in perfect proportion, with enough of the sweet bun in each bite that also soaked up and retained all the juice from the beef without dissolving or falling to the plate. Something that is unintentional and would be hard to perfect, is a thin crust of burnt cheese that has formed from briefly hitting the hot plate, it’s so simple but so delicious and wish it could happen on every burger. Venue was warm, dark, cozy and ideal for a cold winters night.”
“This burger really didn’t resemble the typical pub burger we’ve come to expect. It felt more gourmet, where all the ingredients were refined – it was a case of fewer ingredients really going a long way. The soft pattie just crumbled in my mouth. It tasted great, simple, elegant and just a pleasure to eat. Aside from the pattie the bun was soft and sweet in typical brioche fashion. It was a great experience and a simple burger I would go back for. Chips were great.”
“Many will tell you, simplicity is key when making a decent burger. Awesome for us, it looks like someone told these guys. It was basically beef, cheese and bun. No matter which angle you looked at it from there was cheese oozage. It was safe to say that whilst taking photos my eyes had talked this thing up to my tastebuds. Unfortunatly they were a little let down. In the end the bun became too much hard work and the cheese didnt really bring much to the table. The soft fatty pattie was the highlight by far, with parsley strewn throughout. Sure I’d go back, but to probably try some of their Italian signature dishes.”
Grand Hotel Dining Room 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


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


Tree of Us

Friday, March 1, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TreeOfUs

71 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tree Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14
Summary

When you consider its location, you could almost say Tree of Us is in the middle of nowhere. Standing as a solo cafe/restaurant away from the busier end of Church St is a bold move. But thats the style of the three Primary School pals who opened up this ecclectic, high-quality produce driven eatery. Part owner and former Chef at Rockpool, Shane Scource, has created a menu that’ll cater to pretty much anyone with a jaw and a decent set of tastebuds. Breakfast offers the likes of eggs cooked your way to slow cooked organic beans to a breaky burger. And that’s where it gets interesting – the burgers. With a whole page dedicated to the Meal of Kings you’ll find a number of different takes on the traditional hamburger. They’ve even got a burger challenge going that might get you a burger named in your honour. When it came for us to try one of their acclaimed creations, we took a seat in some ex-church pews and ordered the tantalising Tree Cheese Burger. In between a Brioche bun came a Bertie’s Butchers Wuk Wuk beef chuck pattie covered with melted Swiss, mozzarella and goats cheese, red onion, roquette, house tomato relish and dijon.

Comments
“A seriously fresh and light burger that was really easy to consume, in what felt like about 3 bites. The soft and fluffy bun completely enveloped the ingredients and helped keep everything from falling out. Although, I did remove the roquette myself as im just not a fan of its texture in a burger. The house made tomato relish was the real dominant flavour, giving off hints of a traditional tomato pasta sauce that unfortunately drowned out the course, beefy pattie and trio of cheeses. I’ve got to say I’m a BIG fan of the fact they donate a percentage of their profits to planting trees.”
“This is how I imagine the Tree Cheese Burger was created… Owners to Chef: “You can’t really be thinking of melting 3 different kinds cheeses onto that burger can you?” Chef to Owners: “YOLO mothereffers!” and walks out the room with his hands in the air. Well, I hope it went down that way because it sure got my taste buds excited at the thought of all those cheeses. Arriving at our table the oozing was just as I had expected. Biting in I noticed that because of all the home made relish – choc full of cumin and paprika – the pattie remained cleverly unseasoned. Smart move as to not drown my palette but I wished the Wuk Wuk beef the star of the show. But unfortunately its condiment counterparts and creamy cheeses hogged more of the stage than desired. All in all, I left Tree of Us with my mind made up that this is the sort of burger that I’d have to be in a particular mood to eat. Its not a 3am dirty burger, its something I’d push towards the gourmet side of the scale. Which you’ve got to respect. Next time I’d give it a crack but ask for my relish on the side.
The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon