FLIP­PING THE SCRIPT

In a city brim­ming with reimag­ined buns, are the burg­ers bet­ter in Rip­pon­lea?

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - 3 Glen Eira Ave, Rip­pon­lea. mjburg­er­bar.com.au

ME­GAN MILLER RE­VIEWS MOCHA JO’S BURGER BAR

WE’VE HAD char­coal, squid-ink and Ker­mit-green matcha buns, sky­scraper su­per-stacks and lob­ster dough­nut burg­ers, but some­times get­ting back to ba­sics can be just as im­pact­ful.

Take Mocha Jo’s dinky new Rip­pon­lea burger bar. A spin-off of the flag­ship restau­rant in Glen Waver­ley, it’s owned by Christo Christophidis, who also hap­pens to have Rip­pon­lea Food & Wine across the road.

This 20-seater – with an­other 40 out­side – is right on track – al­most lit­er­ally, oc­cu­py­ing what was prob­a­bly an old sta­tion-mas­ter’s of­fice next to Rip­pon­lea train sta­tion. Opened in June, it has been decked out diner style and while small in size, it de­liv­ers big on flavour, with sim­ple, Amer­i­can-style burg­ers its schtick.

Go clas­sic with The Cheese­burger, a two-hand sit­u­a­tion with a springy milk bun loaded with crisp let­tuce, good pickles, yel­low Amer­i­can cheese, tangy house mayo and a rough-hewn patty of rich 600-day grain-fed Vic­to­rian wagyu. It’s nonon­sense, fill­ing and de­li­cious.

That dense patty gets foot­loose in The Kevin Ba­con with maple ba­con, dou­ble cheese, a gooey fried egg and crisp shreds of potato.

Also bor­row­ing from the US, there’s The South­ern hot with jalapeños and sriracha mayo, while the high-piled South­ern Cali teams two juicy deep­fried chicken fil­lets, a lick of bour­bon ba­con jam and a chipo­tle mayo that shim­mies with some heat.

Veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan op­tions are also do­ing de­cent busi­ness.

Most din­ers chase a bun with a straw-clog­ging thick­shake (salted caramel for the win), avail­able ex­tra thick and with malt for proper cheekpuck­er­ing ef­fect.

In a sub­urb that punches above its weight for good eat­ing – famed At­tica is a mere 200 me­tres away – a best-in­class burger is hard to beat.

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