Tag Archives: burgers

Mission #4: Grand Trailer Park Taverna

The final instalment of my Other Bloggers mission! I finally got to meet allergicinmelbourne, who I often interact with in blog comments and on Instagram.
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Mission #3: Yarraville Gardens

Considering I was kind-of-almost in the westside the other day (Kensington), I thought for Mission #3, that I would stop by Yarraville Gardens and experience the food truck hype. Continue reading

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