Rockpool Bar and Grill
8 Whiteman Street
+61 3 8648 1900
The burgallection post continues with an exceptional, highly recommended burger in Melbourne. It is the famous David Blackmore Full Blood Wagyu burger from Rockpool Bar and Grill. Rockpool is an illustrious name in the food industry of Australia, where dishes are created from ingredients of the highest quality at exquisite execution. The restaurant is dim, dark and elusive, and staff informative and slightly formal. I have dined at both the restaurant and the bar and have very much preferred the latter. For starters, the ambience is much more relaxed and the next and most important point, it is where you can order the absolutely delicious Wagyu burger.
(picture courtesy of Fakebooo)
Fakebooo, Roen, The Angmoh and I organized to dine at Rockpool one evening. With one exact intention in mind, our order of 4 burgers was placed, together with a side of onion rings and chips.
The burger looks far from impressive but this is where looks can be deceiving. Behind the façade of simplicity is a patty cooked to perfection, with a perfect sear, locking in pink tender meat packed with flavour. The buns, once again, simple bread, but charred on the edges and soft and fluffy inside, make a great vessel to embrace the flawless patty. Adorned with house-made sweet and piquant tomato sauce, stretchy melting tasty cheese, lovely smoked crispy bacon and tangy pickle, this is the burger of dreams.
The glutton in us beckoned for dessert despite our satiated happy bellies. We decided to share 2 desserts between the four of us.
The grilled pistachio and chocolate millefeuille was an absolute delight. The aroma of pistachios was heady with the real deal, and milllefeuille resembled a nutty praline. The strawberry tart with balsamic ice cream was another winner. The buttery tart encased decadent rich Chantilly and atop that sat slices of fresh juicy strawberries. The ice cream with its hints of balsamic lifted the entire dessert to a whole new level.
Our bill did add up that evening, especially with each dessert costing approximately the same as a burger. However, the precision and excellence of each dish was top-notch, and that made the meal absofreakinlutely worth it.
The South Melbourne Trader
111 Cecil Street (corner Market Street)
+61 3 9696 3938
My next destination has been voted Melbourne’s no.1 burger (by Burger Friday, April 2013). The statement is proudly displayed at South Melbourne Trader, a bistro that sits under my gym and tempts me each time I walk past, before and after a work-out. When I heard that the new head chef was ex-Rockpool, I knew I had to check out their wagyu burger, calories be damned!
With The Angmoh and Fakebooo in tow, we had a burger each and shared chicken ribs and dessert. The wafts of smoke and spice from the ribs had us salivating. They were juicy and tender but leaned towards the salty side. The deconstructed dessert of apple and rhubarb pie was nice, with dried, fresh and processed elements of apple paired with uplifting rhubarb. I’m never one for liquorice so its presence confounded me. Not to say it wasn’t enjoyable but I’ll rather have a traditional, old-fashioned apple pie any day.
Now onto our purpose, the burger. The wagyu patty was extremely tasty and the brioche buns were buttery soft. There was a slathering of spicy sauce that complimented the patty. My burger unfortunately dripped with mayo.
The wagyu burger at The South Melbourne Trader is undeniably good but it doesn’t quite hold the candle to Rockpool’s. On the bright side, I can walk past it without succumbing and blowing my calorie budget.
80 Lygon Street
+61 3 9036 1456
B.East marks the most recent burgerdition of my quest. Fakebooo, The Angmoh and I journeyed North on the very start of Melbourne’s summer season towards B.east, an eatery, bar and gig venue rolled into one. It’s all very casual and lies at the start of the food heaven strip of Lygon street, Brunswick East. It was balmy and warm on the evening that we went, perfect for al fresco dining.
The menu offers burgers, sliders, po’boys and sides. There is also a challenge of devouring the B.east burger (triple patty, triple bacon) in 18 minutes, clearly not for delicate slow chewers. Fakebooo ordered for us and paid at the counter and was assigned a “chicken man” tag. As we waited for food to arrive, we nursed our drinks and doodled on our phones.
(Top) Sexy – Double beef, double cheddar, lettuce, tomato, bacon BBQ sauce and onion debris $15
(Bottom) Filthy – Mustard fried beef, vintage cheddar, B.EAST chilli paste, pickled red onion, tomato, cos and horseradish aioli $12
The Angmoh’s burger was nicely stacked with Ds. Double patty, double cheese, it was alluringly mouth-watering. He managed to choke out a “very good” in between bites and swallows of his meal. My burger was really spicy, possibly with the use of habaneros in the house-made chilli paste. There was a fair bit of sauce and sweet mayo, which unfortunately drowned out the taste of the beef and pickled onions.
Fakebooo wanted to try something different and decided to get the smoked beer can chicken. Beer can chicken is a way of cooking chicken on the BBQ, with an opened can of beer nestled in the cavity of the chicken. The bird is seasoned and cooked in the BBQ with the hood down, such that the beer steams into the chicken and it retains its chicken beery juices. The filling of Fakebooo’s sandwich was smokey, which made an odd accompaniment to the very sweet cranberry sauce. The sandwich would be more enjoyable on a softer roll, perhaps with a touch of green salad.
Nevertheless, B.EAST makes a great place to hangout for those who enjoy live music and a good feed, complete with bottle in hand.
144 Bridport Street,
+61 3 9690 2126
My very last contribution to this year’s burger voyage is a consistent favourite of mine. I consider it to be my local burger joint, being 2 suburbs or a 3.5km run from home. Andrew’s is a long-established burgery in Albert Park. It has served the local community, regular nearby patrons (that’s me) and beach tourists for the past several decades. It is possibly the only local take away shop that specialises in burgers alone. Sure there are chicken and veggie burgers and a souvlaki on the menu but folks come here for the beef burgers.
I always order The Hawaiian, which is a standard beef burger with beetroot and pineapple. The Angmoh goes for “The Lot”, which has egg and bacon and cheese, and he always makes sure to add beetroot. The patties are full of charred taste and the rest of the toppings are cooked on top of the patty on the grill, infusing all of the flavours into one giant scrumptious meld. The assembled burger is juicy, messy and oh-so-mo-fo-good.
I highly recommend visiting offpeak or placing an order a good hour in advance during busy times. Pick up your takeaway bag and head towards the beach for some people-watching and belly-satisfying times.