Shannon Bennett’s Benny Burger.
Famous for his fine dine Vue de monde, Shannon Bennett is now paying some star attention to the humble burger, with top results
BENNY BURGER: REVIEWED BY MEGAN MILLER
IT’S been 17 years since Shannon Bennett opened Vue de monde on a Carlton backstreet. In that time, he’s won awards, opened cafes in airports and art galleries, moved Vue sky high to the top of the Rialto and secured a gig on Masterchef Australia.
Along the way, he’s had six children, and it’s his role as a dad that has informed his latest venture. Benny Burger was born out of Bennett wanting to feed his tribe’s love of burgers, minus the preservatives and sketchy origins.
Ethical yet affordable is Benny’s schtick. This is fast food made good using the likes of organic, grass-fed Queensland beef, spuds straight from the soil at Gembrook and organic Schulz milk for the cheese and shakes.
Melbourne’s first Benny began flipping in Richmond in June. One of 13 burgers on offer, The Chang, sports the typically Down Under duo of egg and beetroot – a middle-finger tribute to Momofuku’s David Chang who said back in 2015 that Aussies f**k up burgers more than anyone else. It’s piled high with salad, beetroot relish, a runny fried egg and a rough-hewn Blackmore wagyu patty which, just like those old-school buns, readily falls out the bottom on first bite. Oi, oi, oi.
The Cheesy Burns was (almost) perfectly formed, punchy from tangy pickles and mustard but derailed by a slightly under-seasoned and dry patty.
Thumbs up to the fries – planks of proper, skin-on fried potato, and the real-deal, straw-clogging shakes using house-made syrups rather than cloying artificial flavours.
The graffiti-blazoned interior is fun and Atari arcade games as tables will always be winners.
In a town brimming with burgers, Benny has its work cut out for it. But given its fine-dining smarts, it will no doubt cement its place.