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


Shake Shack, Dubai

Monday, December 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ShakeShackDubai

Shake Shack – West Food Court, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burger:
Shack Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
25AED/$7.60 AUD
Summary

When you happen to visit one the most arid, terribly hot places in the world, the best place to hang is a mall where you can enjoy luxury shopping, skiing and one of the world’s most famous burgers. Opening in 2011, Shake Shack Dubai was the first of many of its international locations (now in Turkey, UK and Russia) and ever since day one they’ve always had queues. If you aren’t aware of Shake Shack’s infamy, you can read more from D’s NYC review here, but they’ve come a long way since starting out as a humble hot dog stand in NYC. I took my place in line, watched the workhorse that is the Shake Shack kitchen do their thing and eventually got to order the Shack Burger that came with a 100% Angus beef pattie (cooked medium), cheese, lettuce tomato and Shack Sauce all on a soft burger bun.

Comments
“Not having eaten Shake Shack in NYC, I was glad I was at least going to have a crack at its first international location. But, when hype is involved, I’m usually the first to get a little suspicious. I mean how good could this be? That first, soft and meaty bite was enough to tell me everything I needed to know. The pattie was oh so right: a little bit charred on the outside and so soft on the in. It’s got a certain beefy saltiness with a smidge of pepper that I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted before. Whether it’s their cows or meat blends I don’t know, but this and their Shack Sauce is (just one) reason why people love it. The next thing I noticed is that these guys don’t cut their bun all the way through. How damn smart! A cure for the inevitable burger slide. The lettuce and tomato balanced out the heavier beef quite nicely… And the bun reminded of something White Castle does with their sliders: super soft. Originally these guys started out by slinging dogs and you can see the influence in their burgers. For me the bun is basically a hot dog bun but in burger format. Give it time and I have a feeling these guys are going to take over McDonalds as the most recognised burger chain in the world. Tremendous.”


Dude Food Man

Thursday, December 19, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_DudeFoodMan

Dude Food Man – Various Locations, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Dude Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$14
Summary

You can hardly say you’ve done it all in Melbourne until you’ve eaten from one our many food trucks. As much as some councils have tried to put the kibosh on where and when they can operate, the community has welcomed them with open arms. Relative newcomer to the scene is the Dude Food Man, who not only serves burgers but delves into other comfort foods between buns like a pulled pork slider and a Korean BBQ Beef sub. To say owner Johnny has his work cut out for him when it comes to competing for attention next to the acclaimed Mr Burger and Beatbox Kitchen is an understatement. But, with over 10 years training at places like Café Di Stasio and The Point Albert Park, sourcing only the best local ingredients, it’s no surprise The Dude Food Man has so many sell outs. On a sunny Sunday afternoon we found a spare patch of dirt at Ruckers Hill (check here for up to date locations) and ordered their signature Dude Burger that came on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, caramelised onions, pickles and aioli.

Comments
“Breaking down the cardboard box around this burger revealed an almost ideal 1:1 ratio between the size of the patty and bun. The patty was cooked perfectly, with a lovely coarse mix remaining pink on the inside, yet with the help of the crust and gooey yellow cheese completely hugging it, it managed to retain all the juice and flavour without dissolving the bun or dripping down your arm. Funnily enough, the stand out ingredient for me was the not too sour pickles that added just enough bite that enhanced the overall experience.”
“As far as food trucks go, this burger does not disappoint. The pattie was juicy, on the right side of pink, covered in cheese and had a healthy serve of mustard and pickle. The bun was great, but a bit susceptible to breaking-up while still eating. The triple cooked hand cut chips were good and super moist in the middle. The only problem I see with Dude Food is not with the burger, but with being memorable. Melbournians are spoilt for choice and the food truck business has become a very competitive category, therefore the only solution to this would be to create a more signature product on offer.”
“I eat a lot of burgers, but there’s this weird feeling that you get every now and then, when something is so damn good that you can’t help but thank a higher power. Another indication that I liked it was that it was almost all gone in under a minute. There was a lot of sweetness and saltiness in every bite, most likely from the mustard, pickle and aioli combo, but the cheese I didn’t really notice. Overall for me though, the pattie was the star, just the way it should be.”
Dude Food Man on Urbanspoon


Patty & Bun

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Patty&Bun-London

Patty & Bun – 54 James St, W1U 1HE London, UK
Burger:
ARI GOLD Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
£7.50/$13.50 AUD
Summary

When you’ve got an idea and the passion to drive said idea, chances are you’ll do alright. Patty & Bun is the story of Joe Grossman: a young Englishman who’s great at what he loves doing. After a trip to the States and experiencing the awesomeness that Shake Shack delivered, he saw potential back home amid the street/dude-food boom and began on his own adventure to out-do the yanks at their own game. Much research and many recipe experiments later, Grossman began to pop-up with his burgers at different bars and locales around London. His followers started to grow and grow and so when it came to open his first permanent establishment there’s no surprise that there are queues out the door. I patiently waited my name to be called, took a seat and then ordered what many call London’s best burger: the ARI GOLD Cheeseburger. It came with a grass fed 35 day aged Aberdeen Angus beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, pickled onions, ketchup, smoked P&B mustard mayo in between a glazed brioche bun.

Comments
“It was 20 minute wait. But, it was also a hot London day, so sitting on the bench outside (purpose built for waiting) I soaked the weather up. The burger came fully clothed in wax paper and as my boy D always boasts, “Good things come in wax packages”. I unwrapped the little guy with some eagerness and to be truthful I wasn’t ready for what I was about to see. It’s like I was 13 and my Christmas gift had been mistakenly swapped for a stack of Playboys. I wanted to take this burger upstairs to my room and make it mine. It was so darn sexy and so darn cheesey. The smokiness, saltiness and softness of the patty and bun combo made me glad I was sitting down as my legs would’ve probably given way. I didn’t taste too much of the pickles but the red onions were sweet enough for me not too notice. It’s hard to imagine but my Ari Gold experience left me cursing more than the character it’s named after – so f****en good.”
Patty & Bun on Urbanspoon


Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Monday, December 9, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_GloriaSwanstons

Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen – 243 Swanston St, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Kick Ass Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

Up until a few years ago the Lounge was synonymous as one of Melbourne’s main university hangouts. With a 10min walk from RMIT University, pool table, pub grub and a balcony right over Swanston Street it’s easy to understand how the conditions were right for students to graze. Earlier this year Lounge received a much needed refurbishment and established Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen with a menu possessing some of the most mouth watering American style comfort food going around in Melbourne. As part of the relaunch of Gloria Swanston’s kitchen and as an aid to bring in new clientele they now offer one of it’s marquee meals, the Kick Ass burger, every Tuesday for $8 (normally $16). After hiking up the stairs, picking one of the few well lit corners to sit in, we ordered the Kick Ass beef burger that came with 200grams of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, bacon, double cheese served and with crinkle cut fries.

Comments
“One of my favourite parts of travelling is treating myself to a Bacon Deluxe from Hungry Jacks at the airport – regardless of the time. So, when I bit into this burger it brought up wonderful connotations from many previous holidays. Unlike the Bacon Deluxe they use a single, large, course and beefy patty that has a nice layer of char on the outside and a fairly pink and crumbly in the centre. Then there’s plenty of creaminess from the double cheese, saltiness of the bacon, tang from the sauce between the sweet bun, resulting in every bite being packed full of flavour.”
“Thinking back from my days of university when I saw we were going up to the Lounge, I was expecting a hipster hell – instead I found a very casual, relaxed environment with minimal hipsters in sight. The beef pattie had some smoky flavoured undertones that combined well with the creaminess of the the double cheese and mayo. With the great addition of some of the saltiest bacon I have had in a while the burger went up a level in my book. The brioche bun was of decent quality and didn’t disappoint, neither did the crinkle cut fries. I’ll definitely be back.”
“To say I was mildly excited to see all that cheese melting was an understatement. I bit in and immediately had a Samuel L Jackson moment: this was a tasty burger. It was charred on the outside and soft on the in. There was plenty of salt on the pattie but it was balanced out brilliantly by the cheese and creamy sweetness of the ketchup mayo mix. My favourite thing with this burger was that it embraced tradition and didn’t fall into a gourmet trap. This is fast-food done slow, done awesome.”
Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Laurie Dee’s

Friday, December 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaurieDees

Laurie Dee’s – Pacific Epping, Epping, Victoria, Australia, Australia
Burger:
The Double Laurie Dee Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$9.95
Summary

Laurie Dee’s recently reopened within the $30 million ‘Urban Diner’ development at Pacific Epping (previously Epping Plaza) providing a restaurant and entertainment precinct that caters to the demands of all the families moving into the new surrounding estates. As you’d expect, everything is brand spanking new and th evenue resembles a cross between an American diner and a fast food outlet. We ordered at the counter, grabbed a booth and eagerly awaited the Double Laurie Dee Burger with Angus beef that’s minced daily and then smashed, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, special D’Sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles and tomato relish.

Comments
“Oh God this looked the goods and was exactly what I needed as I was completely starving (having taken the long way to get to Epping). With giant, crusty chunks of beef hanging off and ample amounts of cheese, I could not wait for my first bite. The beef was perfectly salted and crumbly with creamy cheese filling in every crevice. The pickle added a nice sour bite, but possibly the only thing I’d change is the tomato relish to a ketchup – apart from that I couldn’t fault it. The smash method of cooking a patty (starting with a fresh ball of mince and then smashing into smithereens with a spatula on the hot plate) has not caught on in Australia but I’m glad these guys have done it, and done it so well.”
“This was a very cheesy and greasy experience. Packed with meat/juice goodness, relish and melted cheese, each bite is consistently the same in taste and texture. The Special “D” sauce combined well with the relish. There wasn’t a lot of green stuff to make it boring, but enough to add some underlying fresh tones to cut through the sauce. The chips come seasoned with herbs and really tasted great – good enough not to share.”
“What really got me excited was when I saw other diners’ burgers. I was filled with massive food envy as I waited for my meal. As it arrived at our table all the signs of a smashburger were apparent: a smashed pattie. It was terribly soft and greasy, and by “terribly” I mean “awesomely”. I was too busy trying to keep a good grip on it all to try ingredients individually but the main flavours were soft, salty beefiness and then the creamy punch of the melted cheese. The only thing I would change would be their special sauce to something more traditional. Save your airfare money, maybe pack an over night bag (we are talking Epping here) and make your way down to Laurie D’s for a little piece of the USA in and around your mouth.”
Laurie Dees on Urbanspoon