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


South Melbourne Trader

Monday, March 31, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-SthMelbTrader

South Melbourne Trader – 111 Cecil St,
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15.90
Summary

The South Melbourne Trader is one of those contemporary pub venues that’s built to cater for all sorts of crowds, from the big lunch time work crowds on a Friday, to the modern family who’s not in the particular mood to cook. Located only 2 minutes’ walk from the South Melbourne Markets this place has done well to build a local following in an area with plenty of old time pubs on offer. Former Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Johnon MacDonald has brought his knowledge to SMT and put together a quality Wagyu burger at an affordable price. It arrived on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, house made pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, Jamaican Jerk and hand cut chips.

Comments
“At first bite, several of the distinct flavours made be double guess whether or not I’d actually eaten this burger before. Once I lifted up the top bun and the bright pink pickled onions stared back at me, revealing the uncanny similarities between this and the Wagyu burger at Rockpool. The brioche bun combined with all the pickled vegetables and Jamaican Jerk sauce unfortunately overpowered the beef patty, which was cooked a little longer than ideal. However, when tasted on its own had great flavour.”
“The burger had a very tasty pattie with the right level of moisture in it and at the perfect thickness. The bun did get a bit mushy towards the end, but it made the distance, so no real complaints. There was minimal green stuff on offer, but they were very generous on the mayo. For a lunch time option I think it’s slightly on the heavy side, but that’s what long Friday lunches are for. Chips were average.”
“I’m normally the kind of guy to put more mayo on top of mayo. But this experience was even too creamy for me. The Rockpool on a budget burger still had really good moments. It makes sense for them to copy its greatness as not every one has had the pleasure of visiting Neil Perry’s fine establishment. The beef was by far the standout with a nice beefy charr to it, but it needed to be heroed more. All the sauces and onions stole its limelight. It looked small, but the sleepiness that hung around afterwards was enough to make me think about pulling over on my drive home. Pretty good but I’d go the original (and pay for it) any day of the week.”
The South Melbourne Trader on Urbanspoon


O’Connell’s

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Oconnells

O’Connell’s – 407 Coventry St, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
11 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$22
Summary

Sister venue to the much loved Railway Club Hotel, O’Connell’s of South Melbourne has prided itself on producing award winning food and service in a relaxed and inviting environment since 1990. Their kitchen has seen the likes of Greg Malouf, Cath Kalka and Adrian Richardson who have helped cement O’Connell’s as the go-to South Melbourne Gastropub year after year. Now with two younger chefs, Luke Van de Engel and Xavier Mercader at the helm, their emphasis on quality is as strong as ever. Working closely with suppliers, farmers and producers they aime to source the best and freshest ingredients on offer. The Restaurant Menu features dishes like Red wine braised Beef Short Rib, Squid ink tagliatelle and Cape Grim steaks as well as over 100 wines to choose from around the world. Sitting in the restaurant’s cosy dining area, we ordered the Beef Burger (available on the bar menu too) and it arrived swiftly on a brioche bun packed with bread and butter pickles, cheese, mustard, house made ketchup and French fries.

Comments
“When using such strong flavours as mustard, pickles and caramelised onions, I often prefer a “less is more” approach, and think I would of enjoyed this burger a lot more had both of the buns not been coated in large amounts of fiery mustard. The boldness of these flavours didn’t really pair well with the delicateness of the sweet and soft brioche bun. It ended up overwhelming the beef pattie which, tasted on its own, managed to retain a lot of its juiciness and flavour.”
“The char flavoured pattie was cooked to perfection and had me going back for more. This was beautifully supported by the distinct sharpness and smokiness of the cheddar. Always sure to please my distinct tastes was the double mustard and pickles. And it wouldn’t be a modern day burger if it didn’t have a sweet and soft brioche bun to keep everything nicely together. The chips were good but don’t feel the need to use the chutney – I don’t think you’ll need it.”
“Obviously a popular dish because we saw many coming out of the kitchen. Arriving at our table it looked as pretty as a Parisian morning. You could just imagine the juices that were about to pour out when you bit it. Yet, none of the afore mentioned took place. Yes, it was a tasty burger but my eyes did deceive me. The pattie could’ve been pinker and the cheese could’ve been way creamier. Overall I think I liked it, but I felt like I’d been invited to a girls place late at night, just to discover we’re going to midnight mass.”
O'Connell's Hotel South Melbourne on Urbanspoon


Wayside Inn

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wayside Inn – 446 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$18
Summary

If you ever find yourself meandering around the industrial back streets of Port/South Melbourne thinking to yourself “I would love a casual, yet refined dining experience with the option of a bar menu, restaurant and sunny courtyard”… then the Wayside Inn is for you. From the creators of The Station Hotel in Footscray, owner Sean Donovan and Head Chef Matt Merrick offer a new pub dining experience based on the simple concept of well-prepared food using quality ingredients, one of the highlights being the different daily offering of rotisserie available like Venison with figs, Boer Goat and Duck. To wash down your meal there are over 20 beers to choose from and a carefully selected wine list to best match your chosen dish. However, we decided to go for the Cheese burger (available on the all day bar menu). It comes with a thick beef pattie, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, all on a brioche bun. On the side you get big hand cut chips that are triple cooked: first boiled, slowly fried and then finally deep fried.

Comments
“I have to say I was really left in two minds about this burger! With the old saying in mind that you “eat with your eyes”, this burger would be at the top of that list. An amazingly thick and juice pattie that was cooked to perfection. Some really great smokey bacon added to this meaty affair. I have to say I do enjoy a good beetroot relish, especially on such a meaty burger – it added the perfect amount of sweetness. Now the few things that kind of let me down! The great bun was definitely cut unevenly; with the base being too thin and I found the cheese a bit too sharp and overpowering. Now for the chips. THEY ARE NOT CHIPS!! It was seriously like eating half a potato with every bite!”
“A very visablly appealing burger; stacked high with a big chunk of beef in full view with cheese running down the sides. The large piece of beef had been minced perfectly leaving plenty of fat and juice in the pattie. The cheese was very strong on its own however, with so much beef it added just the right amount of kick – any other cheese would have been lost. Although not usually a fan of beetroot, the relish under the beef added just enough sweetness necessary. The bacon was cut very thick and tasted great. All-in-all a really good and well thought out burger. In terms of thick cut chips, they’re probably the best I’ve had, but they still don’t compare to a good French Fry.”
“A great juicy, thick (and I mean thick) pattie. The bun was good, but if cut a little bit more evenly in the middle it would have had a better bread distribution and wouldn’t leave the bottom bun a thin, soggy mess. The bacon was nicely smoked and full of that sweet hickory taste, combined with a really sharp cheese to round out each bite full of goodness. I thought I could taste mustard so that warmed my heart and then the relish added another sweet angle to the burger. Chips were a bit too thick for my liking, but cooked well none the less. This burger will definitely be seeing me again.”
“The waterfall of cheese gushing down the side of my pattie struck my taste buds like cupids arrow – it was instant love. The sharp aged cheddar did however, turn out to be a team player. Alone it was strong and let you know who’s boss, but when mixed together with the awesome beef pattie and delicious smokey bacon, it was supportive and nurturing like a MILF. Next time, honestly this is the way I would tackle it though: just beef, bacon and cheese. For such an enjoyable burger its a shame the chips weren’t the moreish salty side snack that I’d hoped for. But thats not enough to stop me from heading back for a lunchtime burger and brew. Big up Sean D and the team for polishing the hell out of this hidden gem.”
Wayside Inn on Urbanspoon


Honey Bar

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Honey Bar – 345 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much*
Price:
$16.50
Summary

Honey is a bar that prides itself on letting its guests really enjoy themselves. Open late everyday, Carlton Draught on tap, free Wifi, and an excellent food menu that any decent bar worth it’s salt should have. On top of all this there’s personable service, a relaxed and comfortable environment and decent tunes in the background. When all these things line up, what else would nail the occasion but their Beef burger with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelised onion and chips.

Comments
“This burger didn’t really do anything for me. I found that none of the flavours really had bite and it seemed a little bland. The beef pattie was well-cooked, but reminded me of a rissole. There was also a lot of bitter lettuce involved. I know the other guys will say it, but Turkish bread again? Really? Big props on the amazing chips.”
“I understand what Chris Farley was going through when scoffing down the chips on this SNL skit. I fell in love and would marry these chips if I could. By the way the beef was grey, the lettuce a touch bitter and the bun was Turkish.”
“This burger had some good things going for it. The pattie reminded me of rissole meat, a tad bit bland, but was OK. The bacon, cheese, and onion worked well. The stand out though wasn’t the burger, it was the chips. Not sure if they were beer battered or double cooked, but they were AWESOME. The most disappointing part though was the Turkish bread; it just doesn’t work in burgers guys. I would recommend it as a dinner or a hangover burger (a bit too heavy for lunch).”
“A trend amongst bars/pubs is the Turkish bread thing. . this has got to change. They’re better off spending more money on a simpler bread roll and putting extra cash into a more premium grass-fed beef. Saying that, the rustic homestyle pattie was still soft and pretty juicy, but flavour-wise it was more like a rissole. In terms of ratios, there was too much lettuce going on and not enough cheese for my liking. I’d say this goliath would be best suited as an excellent hangover cure or as something you could wolf down after just finishing a marathon. Massive bonus points for some killer chips.”
Honey Bar on Urbanspoon


The Palace

Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Palace – 505 City Road (corner Pickles Street), South Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
17 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$19
Summary

The Palace is celebrity chef and hometown-favourite Luke Mangan’s new gastropub. There are two menus (restaurant and bar). Both are well thought through and will entice you to return and try what you missed out on. Obviously we had to go for the Wagyu burger (on the Bar menu) with beetroot, cheese, tomato chutney and a pot of friess.

Comments
“This was definitely one of those pleasing meals that when you leave there is nothing that you can complain about. A juicy herb and garlic wagyu beef pattie with a perfectly sweet tomato chutney that really paired-up well with the beetroot. A fresh and fluffy bun that really stood up to my high standards.”
“The bun was fantastic. It kept everything together and withstood all the juicyness from the beef and relish. Very warm and comfortable surroundings that seem to be catering to the local empty nesters and RM Williams crowd.”
“A burger that allowed me to forget my worries and just enjoy some of the simple things in life. The beef pattie was great. The ratio of garlic, herbs and moisture in the pattie made it perfection in a bun. The bun was well sized and the ingredients in the burger were well portioned and nothing was really taking over in terms of flavour. A great combination of good fresh ingredients and taste. Chips were Good too.”


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