One of my all time favourite burgers is the amazing Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger from Rockpool Bar and Grill – Crown Complex Southbank in Melbourne. I’m salivating just thinking about it. Friends (You know who you are) – we need to go again soon. Neil Perry, the chef behind the famous Rockpool brand is more than just a fine dining expert – although it must be said he’s amazing at that… He is also a bit of burger genius. So when I heard that he was opening a burger bar, well, you might say I got a little excited. It’s been tough to get out of the house in recent times, and I know that Burger Project has been open for a while in Melbourne. My Instagram feed has been making me jealous for the last 10 months… However, with things settling down, I finally decided that I needed to set off on another food adventure.
Joining me on this adventure were Katie, Taz and little Lucy. Lucy got excited as soon as I mentioned there might be chippies – and then she cried because there were no chippies immediately available. Note to self: 19month old toddlers clearly don’t like to wait.
Getting to Chadstone was a journey in itself.The weather was terrible, so traffic was appalling and the parking around Chadstone felt like the Christmas rush. I don’t know if it’s because of all the new shops opening up, but it was just crazy busy inside. After 30mins of stalking people to get a car park we eventually managed to snag one and were able to make our way through the hordes of shoppers to our dining destination. Arriving at Burger Project at 3:00 we were greeted with sign stating that the place was closed from 3:00 to 4:00pm. I noticed the manager and had only just finished putting said sign up and I managed to negotiate our way into the restaurant. Katie was at this stage getting pretty snappy and Lucy needed to sit down and have some food, so thankfully we managed to avoid a full scale meltdown.
Confronted with the menu, the first thing I noticed was the prices – Very reasonable and much cheaper than expected. $8.90 for the classic burger and only $13.90 for the most expensive burgers. Considering that this is a Neil Perry joint, I was happily surprised – although I was worried it might mean a lower quality burger.
I decided to go for a standard Cheese and Bacon burger – $10.90 – comes with Cheese, bacon, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and a secret sauce. Taz went for the same and Katie opted for the double. I also ordered a salted caramel thickshake $7.50 (Amazing) and we shared two large chips $5.50 each (Average).
You order and then collect when it’s ready – so we are talking more of an upscale fast food joint than a real restaurant. The décor feels more fast food style as well.
The burgers took a little while, but we didn’t mind as we were still getting over the journey in. Soon enough the buzzer was jumping off the table and I was jumping out of my seat. Burgers collected, I began the business of tucking in…
First impressions – it’s smaller than I though it would be. Not a huge burger – and it looks fast food. A McDonalds style bun – soft, spongy, the burger is juicy and dripping as soon as I pick it up. First bite and you get the soft sweet bun, but then a really savoury beef hit. The patty is really well seasoned – a good American style beef hit that you just don’t get that often here in Australia. Our beef often tends to the sweeter side, but this was salty and savoury and actually really good. It was a fatty mix and probably a chuck blend – it had that sort of fast food style. But I have to say I was impressed. The cheese was well melted, a standard American style – a good match for this burger. The bacon was an Australian style – not smoked, or smoked very lightly. It was crispy though and was a nice savoury crispy addition. The beef/cheese/bacon combo complimented the sweet soft bun – you then got the sharp sweet/sour tang of the pickle cutting through the fattiness and the fresh crisp lettuce, onion and tomato balancing the burger nicely. The sauce was ok – but I didn’t get a lot of it and to be honest it didn’t seem to add a lot. The burger was juicy enough with the patty and the cheese.
Overall, the taste was really good fast food style burger. The kind you get in good fast food places in the states. This is no gourmet burger, and it sits on the fatty salty side of things, so if that’s not your thing, you probably wont love this burger. That being said, the ingredients are good quality – not blow your socks off quality, but at least you know you are eating real food and not something created in a factory.
Price wise it’s $17.90 for a burger soft drink and small chips – so it’s well positioned and cheaper than some other high end fast food style burger places.
I’d give it an 8 – and although I wouldn’t go during peak times again, if I was just wondering around Chadstone there’s no doubt I’d make some sort of excuse to wind up here again for a sneaky burger.