Tag Archives: burgers

Tree of Us

If you haven’t noticed, I love to take on people’s recommendations. I mean, rather than pondering over mixed reviews on Urbanspoon, that comfort of having the approval come from someone you know just provides that extra weight.

Thus, Tree of Us sits on my list of places to go after The Sunday Oven told me where she thinks the best burgers are at.

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Located on the quiet end of Church St, less lively than the likes of Victoria St (Shizuku, Jinda Thai), it can be identified by this dark, yet intricate artwork on the wall outside. I like that the place embraces this aspect of Melbourne, especially when it’s located in the inner suburbs where street-art is prominent.

As a burger place, they add a few basics to brighten up the interior, such as paintings and simple flowers, but also don’t try too hard because in the end – it’s all about the food!

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For a Saturday night, it seemed a little quiet, but I have noted it seems like a popular breakfast place too. This is understandable when there is a “Not Burgers” menu section which includes meals such as organic muesli, French toast and – wait for it….a breakfast steak!

Speaking of steak, I was extremely hungry (more than usual), so I went with the No Misteak (above, $18), which had scotch fillet, bacon, Swiss cheese, caramelised onion, relish, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. The issue this posed is that the steak was a bit hard to bite off if I used my hands, but if I tried cutting the steak, it made my burger fall apart. First world problems much! In the end I went back to my hands – the steak was actually quite soft and became easier to bite, but I might have preferred it a tiny bit pinker.

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On the bright side, I enjoyed the way the Swiss cheese oozed over my steak and how the chips were like thickly cut potatoes ($4 as a side). I’ve said it before, I like my chips thickly cut, but these were a bit salty after too many.

My friend ordered The Chicken Coop with free range chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli and dill pickle (above, $12). These sounded like your standard burger ingredients, but my friend downed it astonishingly quickly.

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My other two friends ordered the staple Tree House Burger with beef chuck patty, lettuce, relish, mayo and dill pickle ($11). One of them ordered a Bonsai burger, which is a mini version of the burger ($6, above). They also offer this for the Lumberjack and Sweet Pea burgers. I think it’s a great option for people who are not overly hungry.

My friends also enjoyed the delicious and soft brioche buns used with the burgers. If it was earlier in the day, I would have adventurously gone for a milkshake/smoothie and maybe even a Breakfast Burger, but instead I went with a meat fest! Having had about three burger meals in that week, I still feel that Spot on Kebab Station wins in value for money and in the uniqueness of their burgers.

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Tree of Us offers great service, the owner looked after us and even provided a complimentary slice of salted caramel brownie (above) as our group chatted until were the last ones there. The salted flavour was quite strong for me, so I found the bite sized pieces for us a good portion. If you check out their Instagram, it seems that one of their mothers likes to drop by with homemade desserts quite often!

I love the simplicity of the place, the honest and down-to-earth feeling that the staff and shop provide and their ethos of sustainability. I’d be happy to drop by for brunch, as strange as that sounds, for a different and bubbly atmosphere and to try something off their Not Burgers menu!

Tree of Us is located at 71 Church St, Richmond and is open Mon-Tue 7.30am-4pm and Wed-Sun 7.30am-9.30pm. Check out their menu here.

The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon

Spot on Kebab Station

My friend recently recommended a burger place to me in the Western suburbs. Unexpectedly, it’s actually one of your late-night kebab places but with a more extensive menu.

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To be specific, they recommended the bomba burger, a mighty burger 30g bigger than a quarter pounder. It includes halal beef patty, cheese, tomato, onion, fries, a lamb doner (kebab meat) and their special Spot on sauce (bottom on the menu below).

20140516_211520As you see, they also serve kebabs and plenty of other options. They had another menu (below) with coffee, sweets and family combo options.

It’s great that they can serve such a variety, but it seems they are well known for their burgers, strangely enough for a kebab station! I must admit their haka burger looks amazing as well (click here), so I’ll definitely have to come back some time for it.

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For a Friday night, it was fairly busy but not packed. You will have to wait a while to order and a bit of time for your burger, but this should be expected from food trucks that cook your food fresh. It’s about $10.50 for a bomba burger combo with chips and drink, whilst I think the burger by itself may have been around $8 or so. Of course, when you weigh it up, you think I might as well get a combo.

The burgers are served in convenient takeaway containers. They also have a cosy seating area next to the truck complete with a television, which was playing some AFL, for entertainment.

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You can see my combo below – the burger is massive, the bread lengthy and the mild sauce adds an exciting flavour. Due to its size, it’s very difficult to hold without making a mess. They don’t have plastic cutlery so it’s all about getting down and dirty.

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It seems it’s also all the rage now to have chips inside your food, but I’m glad I ordered a combo because the extra chips on the side helped fill me up. It’s a little strange that they don’t offer you sauce for your chips, so we had to go back and ask for a container to share.

With the two different types of meat (beef and lamb), you can’t complain about any lack of filling, but I think I preferred the juicy beef patty.

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It’s unexpected gems like these that are a great surprise and make it feel worth it. I feel like I would choose this place over the overrated Huxtaburger any day. This food is going to fill me up for a similar price, but it’s also different from your typical, classic burger.

Spot on Kebab Station is located at 263 Ballarat Road, Braybrook and is open 5pm until late every night. Their Facebook indicates they close at 5am Mon-Thurs and 6am Fri-Sun.

Spot On Kebab Station on Urbanspoon

Rue & Co

I wrote about the new eating spot Rue & Co recently on Weekendnotes but I’m yet to express my opinion on the food.

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It houses Melbourne foodie names such as St Ali (which has cafes in North and South Melbourne), Masterchef George Calombaris’ Greek venture, Jimmy Grants, and Kong, a taste of Chin Chin’s Chris Lucas’ yet-to-open restaurant.

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You’ve probably heard all about it by now, but it also contains a large work of art by street artist RONE (the portrait in the first picture), whilst fairy lights and projections add to the beauty at night.
20140502_175028After examining the menus, we felt spoilt for choice. Lucky we had a group of five or so, which means we could all get something different.

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As a massive lover of Chin Chin, I was eager to try Kong (menu above), influenced by Korean and Japanese food. The buns looked a little small and not too interesting as we peered over at other peoples’ meals. One friend chose the roast pork belly kong bo ssam (below). We weren’t entirely sure what it was, but the description says it is served with kimchi, ssam jang (spicy sauce) and butter lettuce ($14). We also thought it’s hard to go wrong with pork belly.

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Unfortunately it was a bit underwhelming for $14. The sauce was light and doesn’t add much flavour, and I’m not sure what the difference between lettuce and butter lettuce is, as it tasted fairly normal.

I also ordered a ssam roti roll with BBQ lemon and gochujang chicken with slaw, Korean chilli paste and zucchini kimchi ($12). This was like a normal wrap in roti bread with a touch of spice. It’s possible I’ve set my expectations too high because of Chin Chin, but I’d be happy to try the restaurant when it opens in Richmond and its full menu before I completely write it off.

Kong on Urbanspoon
Meanwhile, my friends were lining up at Jimmy Grants for the 200g slow roasted lamb shoulder ($18.50, below), served with pita bread and tzatziki sauce. I’ve heard a lot about Jimmy Grants but never had the chance to drop by the original restaurant, so this location seemed convenient.

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They also bought a serve of chips with garlic, feta and oregano ($7, above), which were nice whilst the lamb was standard, but serving size seems a bit small for $18.50.

I preferred the souvlaki, Mr. Papadopoulos ($9.50, below), which another friend ordered. It contained lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onions and parsley. This was surprisingly the best thing I tried that night – even my friend who doesn’t like Greek food enjoyed it too.
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Jimmy Grant's on Urbanspoon

After this I was still hungry so it was time for round two! After much debate, we went with a shroom burger with caramelised onion and thyme from St Ali’s Church of Secular Coffee with chips ($12, below right). It’s a good option for vegetarians as the mushroom is large and juicy.

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My friend didn’t realise the omission of the word ‘meat’ so was a bit disappointed haha, but I guess for non-vegetarians there are more exciting burgers. Someone on my Instagram recommended the soul searching burger, which contains kimchi and shrimp with spicy mayonnaise.

The St Ali menu has changed slightly after its initial opening from the menu below, thus now each day has a special burger and some names may have changed.
Whilst my friends went to get our burger, curiosity took the better of me and I went to try some of Jimmy Grants’ dim sims ($7.50 for 3 pieces). I’d seen many people express their love for these on Instagram, but for my friends it was a bit odd with ingredients such as peas inside. *A lovely reader has pointed out these are in fact capers not peas. Not that odd, however still not entirely to my taste. The dim sims contain cabbage, chicken, coriander and capers!

I was indifferent, but they didn’t live up to all the hype I’d observed and I would choose my sister’s homemade dim sims any day!

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We didn’t have any dessert as we headed off to Sugar Hit Melbourne – Bollywood that night.

This just meant I found an excuse to drop by one morning before work. The only thing open at this time is St Ali and although it was 10am, a long line of corporates and everyday Melburnians greeted me (below).

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As I overheard someone tell his colleague, “Yeah that’s what you do in Melbourne. Coffee.”

St Ali has some of the best baristas in the world, so why not drop by? I can concur my latte was great and I rarely like lattes without a hint of flavour. I eyed the interesting profiteroles on the menu last time so I bought a mixed pack of six to share with colleagues ($3 each) on this occasion.

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The chocolate and hazelnut was great, with a little hazelnut on top, chocolate cream inside and a bit of a crumbly texture akin to a cookie and different to your normal profiteroles.

The salted caramel was great too, with the salty hint not too strong. I can’t decide which one I liked more!

Church of Secular Coffee on Urbanspoon

Overall, the food did not wow me as much as I’d think these big names would. Maybe I didn’t try the right items, but I think it’s the atmosphere and beauty of Rue & Co that really draws you in.

Rue & Co is open from 7am until late every day and is located at 80 Collins St, Melbourne CBD.

I’m Sorry Miss Jackson…

I hope I got that song (Outkast – Ms Jackson) stuck in your head now. I had to get it stuck in yours, because that’s exactly what happened to me when I visited one of the cafes below. This is a bit of a miscellaneous post, as I haven’t explored enough for them to warrant their own articles, so here it goes.

Mr Burger
I’ve heard so many people raving about this food truck, that I had to try it out to see what the fuss is. The opportunity arose when my friend told me they were at Federation Square, and in a flash, I was there.

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I was surprised to see not many people lining up, considering how popular I’ve heard it is. But on a Friday night, people in the city probably had plans to go somewhere for a proper dinner.

I chose the Mr Meat ($10) burger with beef pattie, bacon, cheese, lettuce, pickle, caramelised onions, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise.

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The cheese oozed throughout the burger making it look disgustingly good. It’s a good value burger that satisfied my hunger, but I don’t see the specialty of it. In the end I felt like I was having a glorified and more filling McDonalds or fast food burger.

In the meantime, I’ll still declare my love and dedication to the burgers of Beatbox Kitchen, but I still have to chase up burger recommendations from friends at places such as Tree of Us and Spot on Kebab Station.

Mr Burger is a roving food truck. Keep an eye on their movements here and check out their menu here.

Mr Burger on Urbanspoon

Miss Jackson
Our staple cafe near work is Green Eggs and Ham, but their special didn’t entice us last week so I scoured the web for another place nearby.

This gem is located in what looks like it used to be a house off Grey St. The staff are very casual and quite friendly. They led us towards the back of the cafe, which was located near a door where staff kept venturing in and out. This is what made us feel like we were in a house, and our seating seemed to be in what used to be a separate room.

20140424_125430 After we had trouble with deciding what we wanted from the menu, my friend chose this warm chicken piadina with bacon, avocado and basil mayo ($11.50). She enjoyed it, but not enough to finish it all, as the flavour became a bit repetitive. 20140424_125415Meanwhile, the rest of us got reeled in by the Spanish baked eggs with chorizo, char grilled capsicum and olives ($16). This displayed great presentation, but olives are a refined taste that not all of us could stomach. I enjoyed a few but couldn’t finish them all. The rest of the dish was great, the capsicums soft, and the tomatoes provided a nice flavour to eat with the bread. A bit more chorizo would have helped make it more filling, but the bread helped to do that in the end.

Miss Jackson is located at 2/19 Grey St and is open Tue-Sun 7am-4pm. You can view their menu here and keep an eye on their specials on Facebook.

Miss Jackson on Urbanspoon

Green Eggs and Ham Pt.2
If you haven’t checked out my previous post on this cafe, click here. It’s our favourite cafe near work, so it might be out of the way for other people unless you’re nearby.

For my Weekendnotes article covering my more recent visit, click here. This trip included some great aspects such as this cute iced coffee served in a beaker!

20140417_130023 Meanwhile, the special that day, which all five of us ordered, was a delicious Japanese pancake (okonomiyaki) with a generous amount of teriyaki chicken. Don’t miss out on their next amazing special!

Green Eggs and Ham is located at 22 St Kilda Road and they are open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm.

Green Eggs and Ham on Urbanspoon

Father’s Office

I’ve heard the place Father’s Office thrown around many times, but always thought of it as more of a bar. Upon arrival it has a noisy bar section on one side, but a lovely dining section to your left.

Father’s Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant actually has a 1920’s theme, which I wasn’t aware of until I saw the waitresses dressed in sparking black dresses with fancy headpieces. “Speakeasy” refers to places that served alcohol illegally in the 20’s in America, as it was prohibited.
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It was early in the night, so still a little empty, but it allowed me to admire the decor, with the main wall’s photo (above) providing a true vintage feel. In addition to this, the blue water glasses really provided a nice colour that subtly complimented the colour of the walls.

Continuing with the theme, the menu is presented like an olden day newspaper with the unique cocktails on the front whilst the inside is full of various American and pub meals..and plenty more drinks. The menu had a similar feel to my previous visit to New Orleans inspired Po’ Boy Quarter, with items such as New Orleans Cajun Chicken Wings, however Father’s Office’s influences felt a little broader.

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20140322_190857Their drinks menu had some entertaining descriptions and I thought I couldn’t drop by this place without trying a drink. So I went for a Granny’s Blackberry Press ($15, right), perhaps swayed by the description “An instant favourite with some of our prettier customers”, allowing me to deduce that its popular with the ladies! It consists of blackberry, creme de mure, limoncello, apple juice and mint. All those flavours mixed so well, with the prime flavour being blackberry. It’s quite fruity and was presented in a lovely fashion, so my other friend ditched her sparkling wine and we ordered another one!

We all ended up getting burgers – I was particularly determined on getting one as I had been craving one that week. It was a tough choice, but I went with the pork belly burger ($19, below), which included brioche bun, apple and pear compote, cos lettuce, Dijonaise dressing and Victorian pork belly. Secretly, I was hoping that it would live up to the pork belly burger at Strange Wolf, which has sadly closed.

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In my excitement, I didn’t realise the apple part was “compote”, usually pieces of fruit soaked in syrup and spices. It provided a strange mushy texture to my burger, which I didn’t enjoy too much. I was expecting crunchy pieces of apple, but that’s my fault for not reading properly (and maybe not knowing what compote meant until I wrote this blog). The pork belly was not bad but didn’t feature as much crackling as I would have liked.

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The chips were classic French fries and were addictive, but I’ve always preferred my chips thickly cut. I know this isn’t the tradition for American food though but I did love the the accompanying mayo in a cute little jar on the side.

My other friend chose the fried chicken burger ($15, above), crispy buttermilk battered chicken thigh with purple pickled coleslaw and Dijonaise mayonnaise. The chicken lived up to its description as it was cooked just right, it was crispy, juicy and buttery. My friend absolutely loved it, whilst I had a try and felt the same, but she felt there was too much of the purple coleslaw.

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Finally, I had joked to my friends about the ‘Man burger’ and next thing you know two of them ordered it! The Man burger ($20, above) comes with fried Dijon mustard, black Angus patty, Swiss cheese, beer battered fries, more cheese, a fried egg and bacon. I looked at my burger, and then their’s and instantly felt the food envy. It looked great, but my friends felt the taste of the Dijon mustard was a bit overwhelming in the burger.

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Overall, the meals and atmosphere were great. The burgers were good and although they weren’t as big or amazing as I expected, they satisfied our burger cravings and made us content. There are little things in the burgers that didn’t suit us as individuals, but seem unique from other places and seem to be pleasing the crowds.

Father’s Office is located at 249 Little Lonsdale St and is open Mon-Thurs 11am-1am, Fri-Sat 11am-3am and Sun 11am-midnight. You can find their menus here.

Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Japanese Burgers

Don’t be fooled – this isn’t just another burger post, but a post about Japanese food with a twist. If the typical sloppy meat burgers aren’t your thing, or you’re looking to try something a bit different, did you know there are sushi and ramen burgers in town? If not, now you do! If curiosity is biting at you right now, read on.

J Cafe Restaurant: 176 Exhibition St

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If you haven’t heard of this place in the city, this is where you can get your dose of sushi burgers. You are probably wondering what this actually consists of, but it’s not entirely surprising, it’s made of exactly what a sushi roll would have.

Two patties made of squished rice sandwich your filling, in my case, my soft shell crab and lettuce ($8.50 on its own, below) and in my friend’s case some prawns and avocado ($5.50). Then a sheet of seaweed encloses the entire creation and voila, you have your sushi burger!

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It was fairly busy when we got there, so we had to wait about 10-15minutes before we were seated. As a takeaway place, there wasn’t really much space to stand without being in the way of the entrance so we were relieved when some people left and we got to sit down.

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Apologies for the blurry picture, just included to show how they presented the food

A mere sushi burger would not fill me up, so we went for the set meals where you get your chosen meal with your burger (unsure of price, but quite worth it) and then you can choose between a drink or miso soup, so we had one of each. I’m not sure if this is the same as the bento meals ($12.50) on their current menu, but it doesn’t seem to be, as these are all packed into one bento box, whereas ours were served separately.

The presentation of the meals were quite impressive, coming on a large plate with sauce and extras such as cucumber, lettuce, tomato, corn, lemon and sauce. The ebi fry (deep fried prawns) are pictured above and our other choice was a good, safe serving of gyoza (Japanese pork dumplings, below). I don’t feel like you can go wrong with fried Japanese foods so I happily enjoyed the crumbed outside of the prawn and believe it always goes well with its mayo to dip in. From my bad memory, the gyoza were passable and I think it was a decent serving to go with the sushi burger.

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My soft shell crab was not bad and just a bit bigger than what you would get in a normal sized sushi roll. It wasn’t mind-blowing though and could have been a bit crispier and golden rather than its murky brown colour. The downside was the wait. The prawn burger came out first, then the sides, however it seemed that the crab burgers took a little longer.

It was a busy Friday night, so it was lucky that I could enjoy the sides whilst I waited. I enjoyed the cute Sushi Burger cartoon character (right) on the waiters’ shirts and on the menu and I would come back to try some of their other burgers such as the salmon aburi or their burger and noodle sets. I would also simply come back, because it’s something different to your typical Japanese and a different way to consume sushi, which is an everyday thing in Melbourne. They do have your standard Japanese meals too if you’re around the area so don’t be afraid to give it a try!

If you missed it, their current menu can be found here. J Cafe is open Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm, Tue-Fri 5.30-9pm and they are closed on weekends.

J Café Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Shizuku: 309 Victoria St, Abbotsford

You’ll be surprised to find this one towards the (funky) end of Victoria St, standing out from the abundance of Vietnamese eateries. Looking to choose between the Japanese and Korean we found on this particular end (closer to North Richmond Station), we wandered back to Shizuku and thought we would give it a chance.

It’s fairly small and was not busy at all for a Saturday night. The menu was quite small but their zensai or appetiser list was the most extensive section and had some dishes I hadn’t come across before. My friend was curious as to what eel tastes like, and I do enjoy my unagi (eel) don, so I was happy to order the unagi salad ($15) which included salad leaves, cucumber, apple, cherry tomato and some crispy noodles on top.

Unagi salad

I was afraid that it would be a small serving as a starter, but it was a suitable size for two people to share and we managed to pick through it from the start and all throughout our meal. The dressing was light but gave a sweet edge to the dish, balancing out the sour apples and adding flavour to the greens. Unagi has always tasted like fish to me, which I love, so the chopped pieces of grilled eel and its fish flavour were really complimented by the whole combination of apple and dressing. Whoever decided to start using apples in salads (a-la Chin Chin and Red Spice Road), is a genius!

My friend went for the miso ramen ($15) and I couldn’t go past the novelty of the ramen burger ($15). I didn’t realise until I saw the burger on the menu, that I had come across this place once on Weekendnotes and thought I should try this sometime. Having stumbled into this exact place unintentionally, I took this as a calling to have the ramen burger for the good of my blog (and curiosity).

You can get it with either pork belly or eggplant, and although I do like eggplant, I can never pass on pork belly. It had candied pork belly, plum sauce, prune sauce and kewpie mayonnaise. I’m not entirely clear what “candying” pork belly involves, but I guess it’s similar to caramelised but maybe even slightly sweeter. Don’t expect a crunchy and crispy pork, but a soft and tender pork with some rich sauces to go with it.

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The buns that enclose the burger are made from the ramen noodles, compacted into circular patties that sandwich your pork and lettuce. I’m also a big fan of plum sauce, so I enjoyed the combination of the sweet pork and rich condiments. The burger is served with miso soup and I was surprised as to how filling the burger could be.

The only problem was the usual burger dilemma – the messy end. Noodle buns aren’t exactly solid enough to hold everything together by then, and with the sauce seeping in, I found it difficult to hold and eat it without losing my dignity. The best I could do was put the leftover compacted noodles (there was no meat left) in my spoon and to eat it with my miso soup!

Despite the low ratings, I would suggest giving this place a try. I find the ramen burger much more interesting than the sushi burger, as their combination of sauces and the amazing, soft candied pork really won me over. But it will be more likely that you’ll find me at J Cafe in the meantime, merely for the convenience of location in the city!

Shizuku, according to their Facebook, is open Mon-Sun from 11.30-11pm. Their menu can be found on their website, but it’s not the latest version!

Shizuku on Urbanspoon

Burgers in Melbourne

Before you start telling me what’s the best burger in Melbourne – let me put this straight. I’m not here to debate the BEST burger, I’m merely here to share some of the burgers I have tried. You may have heard of them, you may have not, and there’s plenty more on my to-go-list so please leave your suggestions!

Strange Wolf: Strachan Lane, Melbourne CBD

Introduced to this typically-hidden-in-a-dodgy-alleyway joint by my lovely film festival committee, Strange Wolf is located underground just off Collins St. Or should I say was – I think they’re closed now, as I heard they would be closing towards the end of the year and their Facebook and website has disappeared.


Not my picture – from Urbanspoon, click for link!

Alas, let me reminisce of the burger that was. It was called The Underbelly ($15, above), with free range pork belly, smoked cheese, pickle, apple slaw and BBQ sauce. Unfortunately, from this view you can’t tell the burger’s true size. I found it larger than your average burger, or than burgers from more casual takeaway places such as Huxtaburger, and thus quite filling. The apple slaw goes well with the large pork belly slices and made it stand out from your everyday beef burger. It felt like a fulfilling burger and it wasn’t too messy except for the bits of apple slaw that fall out.

Furthermore, they have large herby hand-cut chips, which is how I like my chips – nice and thick. I would usually prefer a larger serving than the small cone that comes with it – but the burger really filled me up! If this place hasn’t closed, please correct me, but the signs don’t look good.

Strange Wolf on Urbanspoon

Huxtaburger: Fulham Place off Flinders Lane

To be honest – I don’t have that much to say about Huxtaburger. It seems to be a highly rated burger shop amongst Melburnians, indicated by the excitement of CBD dwellers when they opened up Huxtaburger II (the original is in Collingwood).

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Like most burger places, it has a bit of an American diner atmosphere to its decor. This place has more of a take-away feel, rather than dine-in, unless you’re after a quick munch on your work break or with one or two friends. Their menu is very basic, with their staple burgers and their beer/soft drink menus on either side.

As I wasn’t too hungry, I went for the classic Huxtaburger ($8.5) with beef patty, mustard, mayo, tomato sauce, tomato, cheese, lettuce and pickles. To me, this sounds like a typical burger. It was good – but what was so special about it? I’m still not sure. I also tried their chipotle fries ($2.50-$3?), which gives the chips a kind of smoked, Mexican chilli flavour. I probably enjoyed this more than the burger – although as I have mentioned, I’m pretty weak so it was a bit chilli for me towards the end.

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Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

Hammer & Tong: 412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

On a bit of a different note, Hammer and Tong are more of a brunch place. One of their specialties is their soft shell crab burger ($16) and my table had 3 out of 4 people order the dish.

Soft shell crab burger

My friend enjoyed the mayonnaise/cheesy sauce, as it complimented and added to the texture of the crab, and seemed to provide the main flavour of the dish. I enjoyed a bite too – but I guess the downside is the price vs the serving size. Hardly enough to fill you up unless you’re after a light meal.

Hammer and Tong on Urbanspoon

Misty’s Diner: 765 Gilbert Rd, Reservoir

This year, Misty’s Diner opened its second branch in the northern suburb of Reservoir. We’ve discovered this place is basically where you go if you want to have a heart attack on a plate…so it’s best not to go too often. Misty’s goes all out with it’s American theme, from its Marilyn Monroe newspaper art, to the American accented cashier at the counter.

ThickshakeThe attraction of Misty’s is its extra goodies from thickshakes, deep fried desserts or American snacks such as Twinkies at the counter. Having enjoyed a white chocolate cookies and cream thickshake last time, I couldn’t resist trying a mixed berries and white chocolate shake this time! I think I still prefer the cookies and cream one (they’re a bit expensive though, can’t remember the price but probably $6 or $8+).

Burger and fries

Another extra, is that they have various fries with topping. Delicious, but fills you with so much guilt after the meal. I ordered the Western & Bacon burger ($14.90, above), mushrooms, BBQ sauce, onion rings, bacon, mayo and Swiss cheese, with a side of wet fries (fries topped with meat gravy).

In complete American style, these meals are oversized but delicious, fatty but mouthwatering.  The menu with its sauces and abundance of ingredients really attempt to pack lots of meat and flavours into your meal. Not for the light-hearted!

Misty's Diner on Urbanspoon

Beatbox Kitchen: various locations

Lucky last, and lucky for me, Beatbox Kitchen often stops by the front of my work building. Eager to try, I left my lunch at work in order to try burgers from this cutely designed truck. There were only two options, the Raph Burger ($11, beef) and the Shroom Burger ($10, portobello mushroom).

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Never content to leave it at that, we asked if we could add a beef patty to the shroom burger. Of course, it was possible, but for a price of $15. This meant my burger had a whole marinated portobello mushroom, beef, lettuce, gouda cheese, tomato, onion and stereo sauce (tangy mayo).

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Out of all the burgers, I enjoyed this one the most. It seemed to have just the right amount of everything, including sauce. That means you still get to a messy stage, with sauce dripping out, after you get about halfway. It was so good, I didn’t even need to take my tomato out (I don’t like tomato) as the other ingredients and sauce still made it taste rich and flavoursome.

The excellent flavour might have something to do with the stereo sauce, but the beef patty was juicy and tasty too. We also ordered chips with stereo sauce (at that time, I still wasn’t sure what stereo sauce was but it sounded interesting), but didn’t realise the serving was so big. The burgers were incredibly filling with the extra beef, and the chips were too similar to McDonald’s fries for me to enjoy so I didn’t finish them.

UPDATE:
To add to an already very long post, I couldn’t help but try Beatbox Kitchen again whilst pondering what I should have for lunch the other day. Spying the truck across the road, I thought this could only be a sign! I thought I would try the Raph Burger and see how it stands on its own. This included the 170gm grass-fed beef patty (medium-rare), cos lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion and stereo sauce.

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So the difference from last time was no gouda cheese or mushroom. As I was looking for something less filling, I still enjoyed the burger immensely and can deduct that the actual beef patty is cooked just right. Without the gouda cheese, it’s evidently less saucy/cheesy but the stereo sauce was still great and tangy. It also meant that this time, I could notice the buttery bun a lot more and the bun’s texture was slightly crisp and crunchy today. Goes to show what different experiences you can have with the same place!

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In addition to these places, I have been to Andrew’s Hamburgers in Albert Park and The Bottle of Milk in Lorne, but due to my lack of photos and memory, I can’t comment too accurately. I do however remember I wasn’t completely amazed by Andrew’s Hamburgers after all the hype, and that I enjoyed a good messy burger from The Bottle of Milk by the nearby beach! Perhaps it’s better to try it yourself rather than trusting my bad recollections.

I am still eager to try Ribs and Burgers, Top Paddock’s soft shell crab burger and anything else you guys recommend. Let me know what burgers you liked or where I should go in the comment section below!