It was a nice and sunny, but lets be honest, still bitterly cold Melbourne afternoon that saw my food adventuring take me and a couple of mates to the Railway club hotel in Port Melbourne. I’d been here before to sample the steaks - and they do a great job upstairs in the restaurant, however, I hadn’t yet sampled the bar food downstairs. Since I hadn’t seen Damo or Paul since my return from the US, I suggested a catch up with an afternoon burger and a cleansing beverage or two down at a pub. Knowing the quality of the meat served at the Railway club, I was quietly confident in suggesting the venue as an option for an afternoon fix of burger goodness. Down stairs on the Sunday (Could be every day for all I know) they had a deal with a burger and a pot for $15 – considering a pot of light was $4.80!! this wasn’t a bad option. I really mustn’t drink that much because I have no idea how much it costs normally for a beer at a pub. I suspect however that $4.80 for a pot of light beer is reasonably expensive – however as I said, since I neither frequent pubs or drink all that much I guess it’s neither here nor there – and you certainly don’t read my blog to hear me complain about the price of a beer… So let’s move on to the important stuff – the burgers. We were all getting the burgers so there wasn’t too much discussion on the food, however , Damo piped in with recommendation of ordering some ribs to share before hand. Good thing too because the ribs were pretty damn good, falling off the bone, lovely sauce, good meat – although we almost thought the coleslaw was the best part about the entrée. The ribs were devoured so fast that I didn’t have time for a photo – suffice it to say that they were good, and I’m coming back to get some more.
Anyway – Burgers, ah yes, the reason we were all there. Each burger comes with an Angus ground beef patty, Swiss cheese, beetroot, pickles, tomato, mustard and mayo all on a Brioche bun. I chucked the beetroot, which meant I was subjected to ridicule by Damo who believes that I can’t give a fair and reasonable review without eating a burger that has all the ingredients that the chef felt should go on the burger. My response was – stuff you, if you want to write a blog about burgers be my guest – I think beetroot taste like something I expect to peal off the underside of my shoe, so I’d rather not put that anywhere near a burger thank you very much. Anyway, aside from that little debate, most of the talk was muted by the fact that our mouths were full of burger and chips and it’s rather had to communicate in an intelligible manner with a mouth full of beef… Ok, so the burgers as you can see look the part – simple, nice seeded bun, in the slightly sweet Brioche style that’s all the rage at the moment. The patty was a high quality beef – loosely formed, nice and beefy, covered in melted nutty Swiss cheese.
The mustard and mayo added to the sauciness and brought out the strong beef flavour of the meat, although the mustard was quite soft with no heat or tang. The lettuce was crisp and tomato nice and fresh adding a lightness to the burger. The onion was pickled lightly and rather sweet and the pickle was a sweet style as well, not sharp at all - when combined with the bun (And remember I’ve ditched the super sweet beetroot) you get an overly sweet taste profile. The burger felt and tasted light and sweet – it needed something sharp and something salty or smokey. I think a stronger pickle and some bacon would have really added to this burger. My other issue was the fact that it was cooked well done, giving the meat a slightly dry crumbly and rubbery texture - and this was clearly good quality meat that would have benefited greatly from coming out a little bit pink. The elements are all there for a really really good burger, but I think they have just missed the mark. I’d give it a 6.5 – that’s not to say it was a bad burger – just that it missed the mark for me on this occasion, I’d probably look at the steak instead next time.