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


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


The Spotted Mallard

Friday, June 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_SpottedMallard

The Spotted Mallard – 314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Spotted Mallard Wagyu Beef & Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$19
Summary

With no street frontage but a large old glass door opening to a retro lobby and staircase, it’s fair to say we had no idea what to expect at The Spotted Mallard. Upon entering we were greeted by a large and lively room. There was a folk band entertaining a crowd that looked to be having a rip roaring time on the dance floor as well as what appeared to be 3 generations of the one family catching up over some dinner and wine. The owners; Sam, Samanda, Pete and Max undertook the conversion of a reception centre in 2012 that involved installing a stage and an overhaul of the kitchen that is now largely occupied by staff formerly of Mamasita. The menu features plently of comfort food like a Beef Cheek Rueben, a Wild Mushroom Pot Pie, Slow Braised Lamb and of course the Wagyu Beef and Bacon Burger that comes with a 200gm pattie (cooked pink), streaky bacon, molten gruyere cheese, caramelized onion and pickles on a chipotle mayo doused brioche.

Comments
“My theory that burgers served in waxed paper taste better has been proven right once again. Partly I believe it’s because it traps in all of the ingredients and flavour and partly because I’m slightly OCD and I like my hands being clean. Personal weirdness aside, this is an amazing burger; the beef was cooked medium and was really soft, juicy and maintained its flavour while up against some strong competition that would usually overpower the patty. The cheese was perfectly melted and tasted great against the salty, crispy bacon. The spiciness from the chipotle mayo made me instantly regret leaving my chapstick in the car. These ingredients alone would of made a great burger however, the sweetness from the caramelised onions and sour from the pickle took it to the next level, without overpowering the burger and all working in harmony.”
“I love the idea of grabbing a show, maybe even having a dance and enjoying a bite under one roof. The pub menu on offer was basic, but looked to be executed quite well. The steak and the burger would have been my top two picks if I was going in off the clock. Now to the fantastic burger: the pattie was simply amazing. It was perfectly charred coupled with a great punch of herbs and spices, topped off with the perfect melted hit of cheese and crunch of pickle. The bun was delicate and soft, slightly spongy towards the end, but did it’s job. Chips were thick and fluffy.”
“The venue made feel like I’d been transported to Hungary c.1970. I loved it. The burger’s individual elements were all great but when together they were a work of art. The burger was peppery, hearty, creamy and all together special. It’s not like they did anything that was crazy-out-of-this-world but, it just stood out from the pack. This burger made me feel good. It was the warm hug that you look for after a full day of skiing. It’s the glass of whisky after a long day at work. Truly magnificent.”
The Spotted Mallard 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


Captain Melville

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Captain-Melville

Captain Melville – 34 Franklin St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Captain’s Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$21
Summary

When the owners of Miss Libertine realised they were growing up and the hangovers and drunken nightclub patrons were getting a bit tiresome, they decided to completely renovate the heritage listed, 1853 bluestone building and convert it into a gastro pub. Appointing Shayne McCallum as head chef to oversee the menu, they’ve created traditional Australian pub classics as well as some more adventurous dishes like rabbit pie and tuna tartare. We of course went for the burger with Sher Wagyu beef, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, a soft brioche-like bun and hand cut chips.

Comments
“I was really surprised with this place. After being informed by the waitress that this is “the best burger your going to try”, I have to say I was a little sceptical. When it arrived at the table gleaming with its sweet soft glazed bun, I knew they had put something special together! Two perfectly cooked and seasoned patties separated by some great bacon. Juicy and full of flavour, the crunchy tangy pickles added a nice bite. The oozing egg and melted cheese also gave the burger a nice creamy texture. I’m usually not a massive fan of handcut cuts but these were pretty good.”
“Everyone loves a good surprise, especially when you’re least expecting it. So the moment I saw that it had double patties (not mentioned on the menu), I was extremely elated. The bun was super soft with a nice shiny glaze (best compared to the sweet Chinese Bread Top rolls) and it really helped enhance the perfectly seasoned, juicy beef and creaminess of the cheese and egg. This burger is great, but it’s the extra details like the crispy slices of tangy pickle and the spice from some ground pepper that really made this burger stand out.”
“These double Wagyu patties were delicious! The cheese oozing out of the burger, combined with the fresh egg really got my juices going. The bacon in between the two patties was a good move as it broke-up each bite with its salty goodness. I really liked the super soft bun with its sweet glaze. The hand cut chips were great! Fluffy on the inside and nicely cooked on the out!”
“Walking up to the old Miss Libertine, I really wasnt expecting a whole lot. Walking in however, changed that for me. I suddenly forgot about all the late night discos I’d attended. I was standing in a place that looks like it had a bunch of money poured into it. Fancy as hell, almost like a Newmarket or Halfmoon kind of joint. However, I am suspicious of most burgers that use Wagyu beef these days. Purely because some places claim they use the expensive stuff just so they can lighten your wallet. But as soon as it landed in front of me I forgot all about my suspicions and went straight into Playboy photographer mode. This burger made good use of the “Three S’s”: soft, salty and sexy. The double patties with bacon sandwiched in between were genius! Every other bite I received an express delivery of beautiful charr. The egg was good but I really dont think it needed it. With the double cheese it was more than enough creaminess. I mean, it did end up falling apart. But I didnt care. I just wanted this burger to keep going and going. Stellar start to 2013!”
Captain Melville on Urbanspoon


Ribs & Burgers

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ribs & Burgers – 3 Separation St, Northcote, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

When we first got wind of Ribs & Burgers we of course did a little Google search to see what they’re all about. What we uncovered is the location of their 3 venues: Neutral Bay and Star City Casino in Sydney and, one closer to home in Northcote Plaza. Surrounded by your shopping centre regulars like a post office, supermarket and takeaways, this smart, well-established restaurant seems oddly out of place. With a crazy passion for all things meat this new eatery is dressed head to toe in its Butcher’s Best. All staff wear blue and white aprons, pickles and sauces sit upon the shelves and an open kitchen all give patrons the idea that Burgers & Ribs are all about serving up some quality chow. So when they say 100% pure beef patties they mean it: no binding agents, no salt, no flavours, just beef. Obviously specialising in burgers and ribs they also offer other selections like chicken breast and salads (but why would you bother with those?). After a few minutes trying to work out which burger to order, the chef recommended the Wagyu burger that came on a kaiser-like bun with a 225g Wagyu beef pattie topped with sliced tomato, Spanish onion, pickles, onion rings, 1000 Island and BBQ sauce.

Comments
“This burger for me went over the top and unnecessarily doubled up on nearly everything: 2 types of sauces that clashed, 2 types of onion and double the amount of bread. The beef was cooked to an ideal medium with a healthy crust of char providing plenty of flavour when tasted on its own. However, it was completely lost amongst the sweetness of the BBQ and 1,000 Island-ish sauces, the crispyness of the lettuce, onion rings and spanish onions. The bun was huge and left me feeling completely stuffed by the end of it and left me desperately needing a nap. Should I visit again I would like to try one of their more simple and traditional burgers on offer.”
“The fondest memory I have of this burger is of that awesome thick, char grilled pattie. It really set a great tone for what the rest of the burger was going to taste like. In fact, the pattie tasted like it had been grilled on the same part of the grill that the ribs were cooked on. Although you got alot of the smokey grill flavour, the 1000 Island sauce added a great freshness to it all. I do believe there was a little too much Kaiser bun here and not enough off that awesome meat. The onion rings and chips were good, and had a great amount of crunch in each bite.”
“I really thought I would love this animal. I watched as I saw other burgers and ribs coming out and they looked irresistible. But, with my first bite all I could taste was disappointment. That traditional charcoal grill flavour crust was the best part of the pattie. But, there was just so much going on. I almost think if there were a softer bun and a lot less ingredients (take out the tomato, lettuce, onion and even the onion rings) it would’ve been a great burger. Seriously, just simplify this bad boy and you’d be on a winner. I’d be back, but purely to dabble in other meaty goodness.”
Ribs & Burgers on Urbanspoon


Coco Cubano

Friday, November 30, 2012

Coco Cubano – 157 Greville St, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14.90
Summary

Located on a prime corner position on the ever evolving and eclectic enclave that is Greville St, Prahran, Coco Cubano is a living tribute to all things Cuban. Stereotypical Cuban photographs adorn the walls including cigars, vintage cars, Che Guevara, coffee beans and family portraits of moustached men. With the Coco Cubano philosophy being ‘Viva la revolucion! Be the revolucion’, they encourage you to get amongst it with a wide selection of coffee, chocolates, cocktails and tapas menu. Despite their political differences and embargo the Cubans were not denied the humble American burger. Accompanied by a $15 jug of Sangria (Sunday arvo’s only) we ordered the Wagyu burger that came on wholemeal bun with a 100% Wagyu beef mince with onion, bacon, cheese, capsicum, garlic aioli and some thick cut chips.

Comments
“With the sun still shining and the temperature sitting in the high 20′s in the early evening, we could of almost convinced ourselves we were in Cuba. Then we realised we live in Victoria, the nanny state, therefor there wasn’t any aroma of a Cuban cigar in the air. This burger had some serious ingredients in it; all packing some great flavours, really fresh and high quality. This left me thinking how they made any money off the burger at the price it was at. This was the first time I had experienced capsicum in a burger and thought it suited it. It added a bit of spice to an otherwise extremely creamy burger. The wholemeal bun ultimately fell apart due to the serious juice oozing from the wagyu beef.”
“Blending an almost Caribbean vibe with Greville St culture is an interesting and a brave take. As you walk off the street you suddenly feel the urge to drink from a cocktail glass with an umbrella in it. I really enjoyed the theme and casualness of the place, add the fact that the open kitchen had a fiery grill roaring at the time we walked in and the smell had me hooked. The pattie was a meaty, thick Wagyu chunk that tasted great. Your initial reaction is to add sauce, but after a few bites you don’t need it. The roasted peppers with aioli really worked well in this burger, as did the wholemeal bun. The thick chips were really good, crusty on the outside and with great amount of seasoning.”
“As stated, we paid $14.50 a pop for this burger. So when it came out looking like a million bucks with all the fancy bells and whistles, boy was I impressed. As soon as I bit in I experienced a wave of creaminess seeping out of its every nook and cranny. Time passed and I started to consider the potential logic behind the wholemeal bun. Never would I even think of using such a thing but then I realised it was just there for support. The wholemeal made for neutral, non-intrusive scaffolding. So, apart from eventually falling apart, it wasn’t so bad. Overall the burger was quite simple, creamy and meaty, but I felt it lacked a bit of acidity. It needed an extra something to cut through the decadent aioli and cheese. Maybe some red onion, pickles or even sweet tomato ketchup would’ve helped that out. I honestly really liked this burger; especially for the price.”
Coco Cubano on Urbanspoon