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Cuisine Scene: An Ode To Burgers

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Cuisine Scene: An Ode To Burgers

Oh, burger, sizzling on the grill

I cannot make my heart stand still

I’ve got the Heinz anticipation

That ‘where’s the beef’ articulation


A cattle call of bovine bliss

Makes me long for meat like this

You are truly rare indeed

In your bun adorned by poppy seed


Perhaps a pickle, one will do

Or beetroot relish, if that’s what suits

I crave your fat, I’m tired of starches

Eat your heart out, Golden Arches.


It’s no secret- burgers are delicious. They have a unique ability to make even the staunchest vegetarian weak at the knees. I myself have traipsed the globe in search of the perfect pattie- it’s in Thailand, and that is a whole other story entirely- but a few fine Sydney establishments have proven that there is much more to this lifelong favourite than whacking a patty on a bun.

When compiling a list of things to do before you die, be sure to include a trip to Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill to sample David Blackmore’s Full-Blooded Wagyu Beef Burger. While you might want to die, or at the very least gasp in shock when you notice the $24 price tag (sans fries, might I add) I can assure you that your taste buds will severely appreciate the mouth-gasms that occur with each bite. Served on a toasted brioche bun, this medium rare pattie is layered with bacon, Gruyere cheese, tomato relish and perfectly tart zucchini and red onion pickle. The only downside to this tower of glory is its immense popularity- get there anytime after midday and you will be battling the foray of suited businessmen.

We could simply not have a conversation about burgers without mentioning Jazz City Milk Bar. Just a stones throw from Oxford Street, this nostalgic little haunt offers up the freshest Creole cooking in town. There is a burger for everybody here- from the classic cheeseburger to Johnny’s Fatboy with chilli beef, crispy bacon, onion, pickle, relish, mayo, lettuce, cheese and mustard; you will no doubt be hobbling out of here with your top pant button undone.

There is something about the slightly sweet and fluffy buns that hark back to McDonalds cheeseburger days - so much so that you may feel inspired to dunk your sweet potato fries into your peanut butter malted milkshake. This is ultimate comfort food, but as much as it transports you back to your childhood, chef/owner Dan McGuirt lets his classical training and time spent at Vue de Monde shine through. Downside: definitely not a first date venue - unless your potential lover is into potbellies and grubby faces.

It’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan when craving a burger, and luckily if Jazz City is bursting at the seams (which is often the case) a Wagyu Beef Burger from The East Village Hotel is certainly up for the challenge. This is a burger in its purest form, with cheddar cheese, tomato, pickle and lettuce, served with EVH homemade burger sauce and a healthy side of hand cut chips. The greatest thing about East Village: they do meat well, and the patty itself is cooked to perfection. Another big plus for this little Darlinghurst haunt is the recently approved rooftop, which we’re sure will host many a sunny summer Sunday.

When you’re a little more pressed for time (or cash) look no further than a Bastard from BurgerFuel! Much tastier than its namesake, this beauty offers up 1/3 pounds of pure grass fed New Zealand beef with tasty cheese, bacon, beetroot, avocado, lettuce, relish, aioli and a sweet slice of fresh mango - what will they think of next!? Kumara fries are an absolute must with this bad boy. Heck, at just 12 bucks a pop, you could go nuts and have two burgers! Speaking of going nuts, the Peanut Piston might tickle your fancy, this interesting combo is served on a poppy seed bun with peanut-satay sauce, aioli, relish and salad- just be sure to have a stack of napkins handy.

So from your local corner shop to the finest dining, Sydney’s full-blown burger craze seems as though its here to stay, so happy burger-ring….


- Hannah Darling