Speakeasy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Speakeasy – 359 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Speakeasy Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

With a narrow entrance on Chapel St, it is easy to miss the Speakeasy, but if you know where to look, the white welcoming décor and the front wooden communal table make it easy to pin point. With more room in the back, there is good potential to cater for larger crowds and the outside terrace also makes it easier to enjoy the upcoming summer rays and down a few bevvies with mates. The menu is quite simple, catering to all tastes and cravings, from pork to duck, to vege and fish – they’ve got breakfast, lunch and dinner covered. Having been open for a few months, and creating a bit of buzz around Melbourne, Speakeasy is on its way to contradicting its namesake. We sat down for lunch one lazy Sunday afternoon and ordered the Speakeasy Beef Burger which came on a glazed brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise and fat cut chips.

Comments
“It all started with a great brioche bun, a delicious classic ketchup and mayo combo, and then a well cooked pattie that tasted a little bit like a rissole, even sausage mince at times. The cheese was tasty, but why wasn’t ours melted? As far as Chapel St burgers go, this place has the potential to own them all.”
“First off, they unfortunately broke one of the cardinal sins in making a burger, not melting the cheese on the pattie. Then to rub salt into the wounds, I saw another patrons burger come out 15 minutes later with the cheese perfectly melted and oozing onto the plate. That aside the beef was cooked really well, with the right amount of juice that (combined with the mayo) created a delicious compliment. It was a shame about the cheese as this burger has the potential to be the best on or around Chapel St. I never have been nor will I ever be, a fan of fancy big cuts of chips, they’re just not fluffy on the inside when they are that big!”
“This burger had no real standouts, however still delivered a good feed. The bun was fluffy, sweet and soft, but did brake one of the most epic burger rules – “thou shall not use bun with larger radius than pattie”. That aside the pattie was seasoned well and cooked to a good standard. The mayo and cheese worked well, with the cheese adding a nice saltiness helping it to stand out. For once there wasn’t a whole lot of greenery, which is good. The fat chips were cooked alright, but I’m still not convinced I like them. Helpful tip I picked up from D – cut fat chips longways, that way it cools quicker and are easier to eat.”
“Such a real shame that this thing came out with un-melted cheese. Not only would’ve that help melt my heart, but there would have been some “tight pants” in the house. My bun was spot on; it was glazed well and even though there was a little too much of it, I wasn’t left with a whole lot of it on my plate once I’d gotten through the pattie. Speaking of which, was nicely pink in the centre, quite tasty and had a significant amount of “rissole-ness” to it. The cheese tasted a lot like an aged cheddar and really was excellent. It had a sharp, distinct flavour that isn’t the norm for a burger in these parts of Chapel St. I did enjoy this but screw you guys for giving us some serious food envy with everyone else’s burger looking a billion times more awesome.”
Speakeasy Kitchen Bar on Urbanspoon


Red Egg*

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Red Egg – 500 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Beef
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$23
Summary

Red Egg is a newly opened, recently renovated restaurant in the space of previously famed Angeluccis and Studio Cafe. Dining takes place in a very large and lounge-like room amidst dim lighting, modern furnishing and decor. With busy Chapel St at its door, Red Egg’s sidewalk dining is the perfect place for both “sight seeing” and being seen. They boast a wide range of Modern Australian dishes from seafood and steaks, as well as enticing wood-fire pizzas and plenty of meals designed to be shared. We launched into their Wagyu Beef Burger that came on a focaccia/baguette-like bun with tomato, lettuce, caramelised onion, bacon, cheese, a Wagyu beef pattie and a side of fries.

Comments
“I started off a little condused as I was expecting to have a duck egg on my burger – this was one of the main reasons I was taking the guys here. After speaking to the staff, I found out people weren’t the biggest fans of duck egg, so they took it off the menu.. how rude! It wasn’t the easiest burger to manage, especially when using a round beef pattie on a rectangle ciabatta bun. Each of the ingredients were packed full of flavour, with the beef and fried onions as the standout winners, but I ended up having to eat them individually and all in different stages.”
“A burger with a lot of potential. The pattie for starters gets a BIG tick – juicy, slightly pink in the middle, great taste and cooked just right. The Cheese was good, the onions could have been a little bit more caramelised and bacon slices with big strands of fat were a poor choice. The sauce that came with it was ok, but the biggest disappointment for me was the dense loaf of bread they used as a bun. It was a dough overload and a more traditional bun would have suited it better. Fries were ok.”
“The chefs are either boa-constrictors or they haven’t actually tried eating this burger. It was such a pain in the ass (more specifically, jaw) to get the first bite in. The bun was ALL WRONG and was almost like a spongy baguette. There was really nothing great about this burger. The meat was OK, but it was more like a rissole than the succulent Wagyu pattie I was expecting, and the veggies weren’t anything exciting. The only plus to this challenge of a burger was the bacon, which I found quite good. But saying that, it is pretty difficult to screw up the delicious meat-candy that is bacon.”

*Last we checked Red Egg had closed. We swear it’s not our fault.


The Millswyn

Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Millswyn – 131-133 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Millswyn Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Just opposite Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens along Domain Rd, you can’t miss a refined and sexy looking locale by the name of The Millswyn. You’re welcome to grab a spot at the bar or in the dining room, but with warm nights fast approaching, the terrace is the perfect spot for a bite and a beer. With a menu that ranges from a selection of Charcuterie, seafood and “Midnight Sweets”, you might find yourself tempted by the Millswyn Burger (available on the bar menu all week), which comes with a thick beef pattie, a toasted sesame seed bun, BLT garnish, avocado, relish and fries. Now all that’s left to do is decide on a drink.

Comments
“I really believe that when a meal comes out with great presentation, it will nearly always taste a little bit better. They have gone to a great effort to create a visually pleasing burger. Luckily it didn’t end there! A tender and juicy pattie sits on a slightly sweet bun with all your extras accompanied on the side. It was a nice change to go without cheese – it would’ve actually taken away from the burgers true flavours. I loved the side of relish, but I’m not sure how much the avocado really added.”
“You know a burger is good when it doesn’t need cheese. The beef was simply perfect and cooked with the right shade of pink. There was also the just right amount of fat to hold it all together and keep it juicy. The intertwined BLT combo with avacodo was very fresh and it didnt take away from the flavour of the beef, also giving it a really nice texture. Great atmostphere, decor, music and good-looking people everywhere.”
“A really enjoyable burger. The preparation that went into it was obvious, and the quality of the produce was of the highest standard. The beef was thick, juicy and fantastic. The blanched tomato slice was tasty and the avocado with bacon always mix well. There was no cheese, but it didn’t need it. What I really enjoyed was the relish (please try it when you go) that was a perfect dipping sauce for their very well-executed fries. And incase you have a spare $25 in your pocket, try washing it down with the Estrella Damm Inedit Beer – damn good.”
“As soon as it came out I was reminded of the USA, where building your own burger is a regular occurrence and makes the pickiest of eaters happy campers. I threw the lot in between the soft sesame seed bun and went to town. Definitely some of the nicest beef I’ve had; simple, soft, tender and tasty as hell. It was hard to tell if the avocado was needed; whatever it added it was subtle. The bacon was awesome, lean and a bit crunchy, with a hints of Kielbasa that you might pick up from an Eastern European deli. Salutations to the chef and the team for creating such a unique and luxurious dining experience.”


Squires Loft Steakhouse

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Squires Loft Steakhouse – 1 Queens Rd, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$25.50
Summary

Formerly known as The Grill Room, the Squires Loft Steakhouses are synonmyous with excellent quality produce and mouth watering meats. Looking around the place it seemed like a bit of boys club; not too many women around apart from the service. However, the diners ranged from mates sharing some steaks over a pint, businessmen relaxing after a busy day and there was even a long table filled with jockeys talking track. We ordered the chargrilled Wagyu Burger, served on a toasted bun with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and honey mayo. You also get to choose from a range of complimentary side sauces which normally cost you $4.50. Along with the burger there were onion-rings and chips. Those looking for a light meal, beware, the portions are large and quite hefty, even for the hungriest of carnivores.

Comments
“Such a clash of big flavours made me feel sick by the end of it. Individually the ingredients were great: the beef, gooey cheese, 2 pieces of thick bacon and Honey Mayo, but combined they were overpowering. Chips were slightly overcooked and they didn’t have enough salt. The onion-rings were great.”
“A burger that was ok but nothing too special. What made it better for me was the side of mustard that was really the hero throughout. With a drink you end up paying a lot.. but you do get a lot, including ok chips, average onion-rings and a complimentary side sauce (stay away from the blue cheese sauce! way too strong.) Would I go again? Probably not for a burger.”
“I was expecting a more refined product from these guys. Most of the elements on their own were tasty, but together, they started a flavour riot that was out of control. Props on the Honey Mayo and beef.. but a big thumbs down on the lettuce (way too basic, the kind you’d find in a 7-11 sandwich).”


Watergrill

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Watergrill – 300 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Watergrill Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$8.90
Summary

Having recently reopened as a smaller, more compact version of its former infamous establishment, this seafood restaurant caters to both the take-away and dine-in customers. This classy (as apposed to classic) style fish’n’chip shop offered us a burger with 100% beef, cooked onion, bacon, egg, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and tomato sauce on a sesame seed bun.

Comments
“For me this burger didn’t have a great appeal. Although it oozed “burger juices” everywhere, I found the bun somewhat dry, the onion had been overcooked and had lost its flavour, and the pineapple was overkill. The egg was my highlight. It’s early days so I would expect there would be some improvements to come.”
“The beef had been packed too tight, which resulted in it crumbling from the first bite. This did not make it an easy meal to eat. The beef was also a little burnt making it dry, however the oozing egg made up for it. Very friendly service and considering they’d only been open for 3 days I can only imagine it will get better over time.”
“For a place that has been open for under a week I can’t say it was all that bad. However, there were a few things I would refine: the pattie needed more seasoning, the bun felt like it came from a supermarket bakery and the onion was over cooked (raw red onion would have sufficed in my opinion). Would I go back? I’d say give it a month. Chips were a plus.”
“This place has a lot going for it including the right environment, staff and reputation. But in the end my highlights were everything but the burger.”


T.G.I Friday’s

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
T.G.I Friday’s – 500 Chapel St, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Mushroom Onion Swiss Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$17.95
Summary

First opened in New York City in 1965, and now expanded to over 700 restaurants in 54 countries, TGI’s has a lot to boast about. Two impressive feats include serving 19.8 million hamburgers worldwide, and starting the concept of “Happy Hour”. With a reputation for delivering huge American-style meals, our burger of choice was topped with sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onions, melted Swiss cheese, mayonnaise and a side of crunchy fries.

Comments
“Mushrooms! Combining them with such a tender juicy meat pattie you really are getting something a little unique. With some sweet caramelised onion atop the pattie and some fresh spanish onion below, I can’t remember the last time I was so impressed by onion. I was a little let down by the cheese though, it’s flavour didn’t really come through like I was hoping it would.”
“I was not expecting this. I would not typically order this burger but I’m so glad we did. Couldn’t tell you what the beef or the cheese tasted like and frankly, I didn’t care. This burger is all about the blending flavours of the mushrooms and onion. Pretty and pleasant waitresses, all happy to refill your glass of coke is pure bliss.”
“Meant to be an International burger (by TGI standards), I thought it was more of a common sense burger. But rather than entering a debate about what International means to me, all I can say is that you must have this burger. It had a good amount of mushrooms, which I thought needed a touch more seasoning, but still quite passable, a very juicy pattie and sweet caramelised onions. Chips at TGI’s are always good.”
“Delicious.
A mushroom trip that puts Amsterdam to shame.”


Les Boucheries Parisiennes*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Les Boucheries Parisiennes – 268 Toorak Rd, South Yarra,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Formal
Sleepiness:
30 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$14.50
Summary

A french restaurant that is dedicated to (and worships), meat in all its glory. Served only at lunch, we are offered a Wagyu Beef burger consisting of apple smoked bacon, vintage cheddar, pomme frites and a side of salad. With French trained chefs, French waiters, French beer and wine, and Parisian decor, all that is left to say is… “Bon Appetit”.

Comments
“The French really have impressed us with this simple burger. With just the bare minimum of ingredients, this Wagyu beef burger makes your taste buds dance with delight thanks to its vintage aged cheese and apple smoked bacon. A perfect bun, spread with a distinctive herbed/garlic butter really shows that when it comes to burgers, the word ‘Traditional’ can really take on a different meaning.”
“A large window encourages diners to peek into the kitchen. This really shows the confidence they have in their cooking skills.. I wasn’t dissapointed. The soft and juicy beef, bacon and cheese contrasted perfectly with the crunch of the baguette style bun; a flawless combination. Amazing fries.”
“C’était magnifique. Who would have thought Les Français could nail a burger so well and so simply. One of the simplest gourmet and best value for money burgers I have had the pleasure of experiencing so far. The herb/garlic butter, medium thickness Wagyu beef pattie, and bacon (not crispy but very tasty), were all well represented and contributed beautifully to the burger. The sharpness and oozing texture of the aged cheese was the biggest stand out for me. The burger didn’t have sauce, but didn’t need it. Chips were great too.”
“Like a revolution brewing in my mouth, sharp and peppery undertones ran wild. Every bite I took, the burger bit back. However, the key conspirator in this case was an aristocratic aged cheddar. It was teamed with an excellent Wagyu beef pattie and a refined piece of bacon, lying on a baguette-like bun with a smear of intoxicating garlic butter. A burger fit for the history books.”

*Unfortunately this fine establishment has since closed and moved on to greener pastures. For those lucky enough to have enjoyed the experience… feel free to brag.


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