8bit Mel­bourne CBD

Time Out (Melbourne) - - FOOD AWARDS 2017 -

Mel­bourne’s ar­cade-themed joint makes one of the city’s best beef burg­ers. By De­lima Shanti

THE GAME OF one-up­ping each other with the weird­est, most loaded burg­ers in town has gone quiet – if any­thing, the com­pe­ti­tion is now about a sim­ple burger that nails ev­ery com­po­nent, like 8bit’s sig­na­ture beef burger. The meat patty is thin, but that’s not a bad thing: it caramelises more evenly on the grill this way, be­fore be­ing capped with a melted slice of yel­low Amer­i­can cheese. Adding a touch of fresh­ness are the clas­sic condi­ments – tomato, red onion, pick­les and let­tuce – so that ev­ery bite is equal parts salty, fatty, crisp and soft. Skip the fries and or­der a side of potato gems, which have more crunch than the beer bat­tered chips. If spice is your thing, the Af­ter Burner im­proves on the sig­na­ture burger with ex­tra Sriracha, jalapeños and chipo­tle mayo. The Golden Axe fried chicken burger uses the same brioche bun; the bat­tered fried chook comes pip­ing hot with a crisp char that’s al­most too burnt, but not quite. It sits on some white cab­bage ’slaw and Sriracha mayo and is hot enough to melt the bright yel­low cheese on con­tact. Some clever engi­neer­ing went into the pa­per sleeve your burger is served in, catch­ing the juices be­fore they drip down to your el­bow. Also, thumbs up for the spot-on fill­ing-to-bun ra­tio. A sole Pac­man ma­chine stands near the cashier so pun­ters wait­ing for their burg­ers can have a bash, and even the mu­ral by the kitchen win­dow pays tribute to the brick paths in the orig­i­nal Mario game. It’s counter seat­ing only, so the crowd moves quickly. Too bad the Swanston Street venue isn’t li­censed, be­cause a cold pint is the only thing that can im­prove this burger-eat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Ò231 Swanston St, Mel­bourne. 03 9687 8838. www.eat8bit.com.au.

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