COVER STORY

We tra­verse the coun­try in search of Aus­tralia’s Top 10 burg­ers.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Rock­well And Sons, Mel­bourne, rock­welland­sons.com.au

One per­son’s pickle is an­other’s beet­root, es­pe­cially when it comes to burg­ers. While we were di­gest­ing the Amer­i­can burger revo­lu­tion Down Un­der, New York chef David Chang ac­cused our na­tion of f***king up burg­ers by putting beet­root on them. Yes David, we love beet­root on our burg­ers, but we love pick­les too.

Spawned from our ra­pa­cious ap­petite for global trends, the mil­len­nial chef gave us the Us-style burger with sweet bun and plas­tic cheese. But, not ev­ery burger lover has a sweet tooth. Lately, the clas­sic Aussie – beef, tomato, beet­root, cheese, ba­con and fried egg on a savoury bun – re-emerged as a lo­cal hero.

The on­go­ing burger delir­ium has star chefs Neil Perry, Luke Man­gan and Shan­non Ben­nett go­ing head-to-head for the burger king crown. The craze has also given rise to larger-than-your-head abom­i­na­tions cre­ated for In­sta­gram fame, rather than eat­ing en­joy­ment.

A real burger has noth­ing to do with the bun. It must have a patty of minced meat or it’s tech­ni­cally a sand­wich. We’re talk­ing real-deal beef burg­ers. So here, in or­der, are our top 10.

1. Mary’s burger with trash­can ba­con: Let’s be hon­est, there is BM (be­fore Mary’s) and AM (af­ter Mary’s). This New­town dive bar proved that you’ll put up with any amount of un­apolo­getic at­ti­tude for a crack­ing burger. The Mary’s burger re­lies on a soft, slightly sweet bun, beef (pas­ture-fed chuck, brisket, rump), let­tuce, tomato, onion, Amer­i­can cheese, and Mary’s se­cret sauce. Add smoked ba­con for a truly rockin’ ex­pe­ri­ence. Mary’s, Syd­ney, get­fat.com.au

2. Huxtaburger: If Mary’s led Syd­ney’s revo­lu­tion, it’s fair to say Huxtaburger led Mel­bourne’s. Huxtaburger walks the line of Amer­i­can and Aussie burger in style with a soft bun and Wagyu pat­ties. The Huxtaburger comes with beef patty, cheese, let­tuce, tomato, mus­tard, mayo, tomato sauce and pick­les – just add ba­con for a bang­ing bun. Huxtaburger, Mel­bourne, huxtaburger.com.au

3. Ben’s Clas­sic: No al­ter­ations for you! Ben’s could soon be­come the Soup Nazi (for all you Se­in­feld fans) of Bris­bane’s burger scene. Don’t let the no al­ter­ations pol­icy get you down. This Aussie ver­sion of an Amer­i­can burger slam-dunks a sweet, soft bun with juicy beef patty, Amer­i­can cheese, pick­les, let­tuce, tomato, onion, mus­tard and mayo. Ben’s Burg­ers, Bris­bane, bens­burg­ers.com.au

4. The Chur Beast: Across the ditch, the word chur is a tick of ap­proval, and these tasty burg­ers have ours. A briochesoft, slightly crusty bun wraps two grilled beef pat­ties, each draped in melted cheese,dou­ble ba­con, tomato jam, bar­be­cue sauce and mus­tard mayo, yet they’re just small enough to get your mouth around. Chur, bro. Chur Burger, Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Bris­bane, chur­burger.com.au

5. Betty’s clas­sic with pick­les and ba­con: Lit­tle-known Queens­land burger joint Betty’s has lifted the bar on the burger scene. The Betty’s clas­sic is a eu­phoric ex­pe­ri­ence. A glis­ten­ing, soft bun oozes cheese melted over an An­gus patty. Let­tuce, tomato, onion and spe­cial sauce join the party to de­liver a diner-style meal. Betty’s Burg­ers, Queens­land, Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, bet­tys­burg­ers.com.au

6. Dou­ble Patty Smash: If you want the proper Amer­i­can, full frontal, food coma-in­duc­ing ride, head to Rock­well And Sons for this flavour bomb of a burger that will have you loos­en­ing your belt. Two balls of minced brisket and chuck beef are smashed on the hot­plate. Caramelised on the out­side, pink in the mid­dle, it’s joined by cheese and spe­cial sauce on a seeded bun.

7. The Aussie: Our celebrity chefs might be go­ing toe-to-toe, but Neil Perry takes the crown. With the mantra, “fast food, slow food val­ues”, this is all about the beef. Pat­ties are made from 36-month, 100 per cent grass-fed, Cape Grim beef. Other com­po­nents sim­ply play a sup­port­ing role. Or­der the Aussie – that beef patty with beet­root, cheese, onion, pick­les, tomato, let­tuce and se­cret sauce. Burger Project, Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Bris­bane, burg­er­pro­ject.com

8. Royale: The Royale at Nord­burger is like do­ing a deal with the devil – di­vine at the time but you may re­gret the huge un­der­tak­ing later. Some of South Aus­tralia’s best chefs pro­claim there is only one burger in the state. Once you squeeze the dou­ble patty, dou­ble cheese, caramelised onions, pick­les, mus­tard, and Nord sauce on a seeded bun into your mouth, you’ll un­der­stand why. Nord­burger, Ade­laide, nord­burger.com

9. An­drew’s beef burger with the lot Matt Pre­ston reck­ons these are some of the best in Aus­tralia and it’s hard to dis­agree. Here, most burg­ers are proudly and un­apolo­get­i­cally savoury. Wrap your laugh­ing gear around an An­drew’s burger with the lot – beef, let­tuce, onions, egg, ba­con, tomato, dou­ble cheese and tomato sauce – amen. An­drew’s Ham­burg­ers, Mel­bourne, an­drew­sham­burg­ers.com

10. Paul’s spe­cial with ba­con and egg: Call it a nos­tal­gic tip of the hat to the tuck­shops of yes­ter­year, but 60 years of burger flip­ping shows at Paul’s Famous Ham­burg­ers. This place re­minds us how good Aussies make burg­ers. All menu op­tions start with a seeded bun, let­tuce, tomato, onions and tomato sauce. Paul’s Famous Ham­burg­ers, Syl­va­nia, Syd­ney, pauls­fa­mousham­burg­ers.com.au Other stand­out burg­ers were just nudged from this list. For the top 20, see de­li­cious.com.au.

WANT FRIES WITH THAT? A lot of burg­ers were eaten in the mak­ing of this story.

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