Eat here: Burger Project, Melbourne (burgers)

Burger Project
Shop 2.05, Level 2, St Collins Lane, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD
http://burgerproject.com/

You certainly can’t complain about a lack of burger options in Melbourne. We have a horrendous hot dog shortage, but we’re good for burgers. I wrote last week that my fellow burger buddy and I were going to try out Burger Project, and try it out we did.

It’s perched atop the newly fancied up St Collins Lane on Collins Street, and going up the elevators, it kinda felt a bit Crown-casino like – big, la-di-da chandelier lighting, security guards doing laps outside designer stores, and a lot of suit-clad businessmen.

Getting to the top of the building and into Burger Project central really didn’t do much for me – it felt so white and clean and sterile. But the menu looked decent; Burger Project prides itself on quality, with their philosophies centering around sustainability and community support. They’ve sourced an impressive list of suppliers, including Cape Grim Beef (36 month grass fed Cape Grim beef chuck and brisket for the patties), Lilydale free range chicken, and Murray River Salt. And Mr Perry’s reputation for the infamous Rockpool Burger is obviously helpful when establishing little side ventures like this.

So, our orders. She got the CHEESE (grass fed beef patty, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce, $9.90). Unfortunately, didn’t quite hit the mark – she likened it to a fish and chip shop burger. She did enjoy the chocolate thickshake, though!

As for me, it was the AMERICAN CHEESE (grass fed beef patty, cheese, onion, pickles, secret sauce and rose mayonnaise, $9.90) plus bacon, $2.00). I liked mine more, with the pros being the outstanding pickles, great sauces, patty cooked medium and nice salty bacon.

But, there were flaws:
– Wayyyyy too much sauce = soggy bottomed burger bun
– Cheese wasn’t melted. You cannot present a cheeseburger with unmelted cheese. Inexcusable.
– You can kinda make it out from the photo below, but patty to bun size ratio was way off, which, after the non-melted cheese, is my next biggest pet burger hate. The patty needs to extend out to the bun perimeter. It just has to. But this one didn’t  : (

Points for service, though – quick and friendly. And the food has potential, but honestly, I expected a hell of a lot better. When you’re in the CBD and competing with places like Royal Stacks and Grand Trailer Park Taverna, you gotta lift your game! Nice burger, not crap, but not amazing.

Burger Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: Royal Stacks, Melbourne (burgers)

Royal Stacks
800 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
and
470 Collins St, Melbourne CBD
http://royalstacks.com.au/

Another day, another burger… My favourite food buddy and I are heading off to try Neil Perry’s efforts at Burger Project after work tonight, but before we get to that, let’s discuss another relatively newbie to the Melbourne burger scene: Royal Stacks.

I first tried Royal Stacks a few months ago, not long after they opened in the CBD, and absolutely loved their Shake Shack-style burgers – the burger I had really reminded me of the few Shake Shack burgers I got through while we were in America, simple and delicious, so I was pretty keen to get back again and bring husband along with me.

We found ourselves not far from the Brunswick location a few weekends ago, so we decided to drop in. Being that it was his first visit, husband got to choose, and he wisely went with the single stack (beef patty, tomato, butter lettuce, American cheddar cheese, their special burger sauce and pickles) + bacon, and the molten cheese smothered potato gems.

Immediately obvious is the similarity to Shake Shack, from the picture perfect presentation to the branding and logos, to the fact that they also do some incredible frozen custards for dessert. And the similarities don’t stop there – it’s a damn good burger. Well cooked patty, perfectly seasoned, lots of melty cheese, appropriate bun and lettuce, it’s all there. If anything, the tomato was sliced a little thick this time, but that’s not hard to remedy.

Potato gems – YES. Golden, crispy gems, lots of salt, and swimming in liquid gold that somewhat approximated the taste of melted cheese. It may not be natural or healthy, but God it’s good!! Husband loved it all, too – said it was comfortably as good as the Shack, which is a big call considering how much he loved their burgers. I’m stoked that one location is walking distance from the office and the other is around 10km from home; I’ll be back (again) very soon!

 

 

Royal Stacks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: Juanita Peaches, Melbourne (burgers & fried chicken)

Juanita Peaches
12-14 Edward St, Brunswick
https://www.instagram.com/juanitapeaches/

So, I wrote earlier in the week about the epic Saturday morning breakfast date that turned into a full day outing; Juanita Peaches was one of our stops, for first lunch. Husband and I had both been wanting to try them out for a while, having been enormous fans of All Day Donuts (and all of Raph Rashid’s other ventures, for that matter) for quite a long time. And let’s be honest – anywhere you can get a cheeseburger, fried chicken and donuts has to be a good place.

We ordered a cheeseburger and 2 pieces of fried chicken to share. The fried chicken, at $4 a piece, was actually pretty good value considering how big  the pieces were. I have no idea what they were coated in, but it was probably the best fried chicken coating I’ve ever had. Flavours of amazing. They were also nice and crispy without being as oily as most other fried chicken I’ve had, which was another tick for me. And tender, white, juicy chicken. Trifecta.

The burger ($12) was a 120g grass fed beef affair, housed in a brioche bun, with double cheese, onion, mustard and pickles. My only fault with this was the excessive onion (which meant I couldn’t have more than a couple of little bites), which is no fault of the burger, but of my own stomach’s inability to handle fructose. Otherwise, fantastic cheeseburger. Perfectly seasoned patty, buttery delicious brioche bun, lots of tangy pickles, and all of the melty, molten cheese. Loved it!

They’re open daily from noon, and tonight they’re open until 10pm. Dinner sorted!

 

Juanita Peaches Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: The Fish & Burger Co, Melbourne (burgers)

The Fish & Burger Co, Melbourne
1001 Doncaster Rd, East Doncaster
http://www.thefishandburgerco.com

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Happy Friday! Never thought I’d be so happy to be back at work for the week! Last Friday was the tail end of migraine central, so after working from home for the day, I was excited to finally venture out of the house for a movie night with dad 🙂 he can’t cook though, so he told me we were going out for dinner. When he told me dinner was going to be a new burger place in Doncaster, I was skeptical; Doncaster isn’t exactly known for their amazing burgers. That’s more Fitzroy and Collingwood’s territory. But dads pretty good at spotting a good burger, so off we went.

We arrived at The Fish & Burger Co, and it looked just like something you’d likely find in a more hipster area. Big modern space with light bulbs dangling off chunky ropes looped around ceiling beams, and some crazy looking freak shakes on the menu. Touché, dad.

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As you might expect, the menu has fish and burgers, but also some fancy salads, tapas, and a pretty decent range of kids meals. The fish coming out of the kitchen looked great, but dad and I were there for burgers. We both went with the ‘Ol School Cheese – 150g Wagyu beef brisket patty, American cheese, lettuce, pickles, Spanish onion, ketchup, mustard and mayo ($10.00) plus bacon ($2.00) because obviously. And a small fries.

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They came out quickly, and they looked impressive. Any remaining skepticism I had was dashed pretty quickly after the first 2 bites – cooked a perfect medium, the patty was still a little pink, juicy, and well seasoned. The cheese was perfect, the bacon was crispy, and extra points for using my holy trinity of condiments. To say I was a surprised was an understatement. The fries were great too, all golden and crisp, no soggy spuds. I even got a bad dad joke out of them with a “don’t even think about leaving the table until you finish your veggies” when I left a handful of fries…  >.<

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It’s nothing over the top or la-di-da, but for a simple and extremely well priced bacon cheeseburger, this is certainly up there for me. Dad, a fellow burger lover, agreed in between mouthfuls. A welcome addition to the eastern suburbs, and most definitely in my sights for another visit!

Also, Star Wars was marginally better the second time around, though it still felt like too much of a re-make of the original. Dad’s homemade Nutella Baci ice cream was the biggest winner of the night, though – he may not be able to cook, but he can make some serious ice cream!!

The Fish & Burger Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: Longhorn Saloon, Melbourne (American)

Longhorn Saloon
118 Elgin St, Carlton
http://www.longhornsaloon.com.au/

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The husband made it through another birthday last week. And while he doesn’t like to celebrate it, he does very much like good American BBQ, so (much like my birthday) we had a bit of an unbirthday dinner at Longhorn. Another brain child of the Balleau (Le Bon Ton) family, it’s got that gorgeous Southern feel to it, which was only helped along by the awesome playlist of Rebirth Brass Band and Trombone Shorty, that homely decor and the loveliest staff.

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The birthday boy chose a few dishes to share and we sang along to Trombone and reminisced about the good times we’d had in New Orleans while we waited (which wasn’t very long). First up were the fried chicken tenders with a cheddar biscuit & cracked pepper white gravy, The chicken was crazy good – tender, white flesh coated in the most delicious crunchy coating. Plus a fluffy biscuit and creamy gravy; it’s really good stuff, and the birthday boy’s favourite.

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Next up was the 5 Points Deli Brisket Reuben (on dark rye, with corned brisket, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing). It was one of the biggest sandwiches I’ve ever seen, and the brisket was delicious, especially the rendered, melty fat pockets in there. There was probably a bit much sauerkraut and dressing for my liking, so I pulled mine apart and ate all the meaty goodness. And the pickle was unreal.

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Last up was the Le Bon Ton Cheeseburger (Wagyu beef patty, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, spicy ketchup, aioli), which I really liked. Good choice with the iceberg lettuce which kept things crunchy, perfectly cooked bacon with molten cheese on top – it’s what you want in a cheeseburger.

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The service was quick and super friendly, the food was delicious, the setting was gorgeous, the tunes were on point – it was the perfect unbirthday dinner  : )  And if you can make it through another Monday today, you can treat yourself to dinner there tomorrow night!

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Longhorn Saloon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne (burgers)

The Spotted Mallard
314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
http://spottedmallard.com/

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Live music and burgers. When they’re done well, there’s really not much better, and The Spotted Mallard does them both exceptionally well. Monday night saw a few of us gather there to see the very talented Harry Hookey followed by the equally talented The Audreys, and eat some burgers.

While it doesn’t look like much when you’re coming in off Sydney Rd, climb the stairs and you’re in a stunning ex-ballroom, complete with fancy wallpaper, nanna-style lampshade lights, perfectly mismatched old chairs and couches, and cavernous stained glass skylights. It’s got so much character to it – the perfect place for live music.

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And burgers. We all ordered one. They have other stuff, too, but it was 96% burgers coming out of the kitchen. What you’re getting is the Wagyu Beef and Bacon Burger: 150gm Wagyu beef patty cooked pink with streaky bacon, molten gryuere, caramelised onion, pickles and chipotle mayo. And fat, chunky chips.

The burger was actually cooked to the perfect medium-rare, a thick strip of pink inside. Heaps of bacon, and the molten gruyere was an incredible choice. I was stoked when half the table handballed their pickles over to me – tangy deliciousness! My only partial fault was that the bread wasn’t quite strong enough to hold by the time I neared the end, but that’s better than having a crappy, dry burger patty. This guy has stormed straight into my top 5!

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If you haven’t got plans this weekend, maybe consider taking in a set (there’s live music every night) and a burger…

The Spotted Mallard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat here: Kitty Burns, Melbourne (brunch)

Kitty Burns
24 Acacia Pl, Abbotsford
http://kittyburns.com.au/

OMG it’s Thursday. I’ve been hanging out for today for almost 2 months. I desperately need a break from everything, so I’m finally getting some hard earned days off in lieu and heading to Warburton (AKA my special happy place) for the next few days… YAY! I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to today, but last weekend I had the pleasure of brunching with the loveliest bunch of ladies, and that pumped me up to get through another few work days 🙂

Let me be frank and honest here (because, let’s face it, when am I not?); I love hanging out with these girls. They make me feel like I’m part of a T-Swift girl squad. They’re all intelligent, fun, funny, talented women. And at a time where it seems a lot of women sadly want to compete with and one-up each other (and the blogging world can be surprisingly “mean” and competitive), I cannot tell you how refreshing it is that I’ve fallen into friendships with these ladies where it’s all fun and giggles and absolutely NO competition or egotism whatsoever.

We try to catch up semi-regularly (or as regularly as six busy women can manage), and chose newbie Kitty Burns for our latest brunch. Tucked into a cute little nook off the main road opposite Ikea, Acacia Place is beautiful. Lots of open space and big trees, fresh air and bright sunshine, it’s the ultimate spot for a brunchery. And the menu is every bit as incredible as the setting; there was a LOT of indecision before we finally just dove it, surprisingly all ordering something different…

Sheena (Chasing a Plate) went with Meet Mr Burns, the meat platter from the heavens… That slab of bacon looked amazing!

Terri (Little Wanderings) had the awfully pretty french toast…

Tian (Eat More) had the spiced Togarashi avocado with toast and a mac & cheese croquette (actually, I think we all either ordered or tried the croquette – it was creamy, cheesy, fried happiness)…

Mon (Mon’s Adventure)  went with the Omelette “Arnold Bennett” with slow poached smoked rockling, which she kindly let me taste (delicious and creamy) and a very cute little bottle of coffee…

Cass (Hungry Cookie) picked the Eton Mess with coconut yoghurt and strawberry textures and spiced meringue – also kindly gave me a taste test and, again, amazing! The flavour of the strawberries and cherries were pure Aussie summer to me 🙂

And I couldn’t go past the coconut chia pudding. With mango. And strawberry bits. And aerated coconut. And activated buckwheat clusters. And magic. I dunno how they get theirs to taste that perfect, I need help with this at home! It was rich and thick and creamy, the coconut yoghurt was probably the best I’ve ever tasted, and the crunchy buckwheat clusters were the perfect addition – need these to add to my oats at home!

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I was a bit apprehensive before visiting, as I am with all places that blow up with attention on opening, but the praise is well deserved. The cafe itself is stunning, with high ceilings, enormous windows to flood it with natural light, and surrounded by trees. The company was obviously top notch, with conversation ranging from new jobs to travel adventures to the many uses for the humble potato to ballerinas at weddings and I think literally everything in between. And the food was fantastic. It was just the kind of menu I fall in love with and want to sample everything from. I just wish it was a little closer to home so it could be my regular!!

Kitty Burns Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato