The Portland Hotel – 115/127 Russell St Melbourne VIC

Posted: May 3, 2014 in Burger Hunt
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I have fond memories of the Portland Hotel, in fact it was here that I met my wife (Katie). I also love their Parma, and the fact that they also happen to be a James Squire brew house doesn’t hurt either. So when Paul mentioned that he wanted to meet at the Portland for pre-drinks and a meal before the footy I was pretty happy with the choice. Naturally I decided to try the burger at the Portland, and when you read the menu you’d be hard pressed to pass up the opportunity too. The Portland offers a Wagyu and Black Angus Beef burger for $23, it comes with Bacon, swiss cheese, smoked tomatoes, dill pickle, cucumber green tomato chutney, white truffle mayo in a toasted Brioche bun, complete with side of chips – and of course, washed down with your favourite James Squire Beer! Sounds great.  And if they could deliver, this would be an awesome burger.

POrtland hotel

I must admit, before ordering the burger I was very tempted to order the Parma, I’ve had it before and I know it’s really good. But after reading the menu description of the burger I felt reassured that I was making the right choice – I have to stay focused on the hunt for the best burger. Everyone else got Parma’s – This was quite a testing moment for me, I wont lie. When the burger arrive it looked great, a good size without being overly large.  The first bite was interesting, the patty was juicy and beefy, although a little over cooked – not the end of the world. However, the bun was a disappointment, it felt and tasted a little on the stale side.


I didn’t get any real smokey flavours from either the bacon or the tomato and the mayo didn’t deliver on the white truffle promise. As I ate the burger I was left thinking, damn, I wish I had ordered the Parma. Not that the burger was bad by any stretch, you could do far worse. It just didn’t deliver on the promise. The flavours were far too muted, I wanted to taste the green tomato chutney, the smoked tomato and the truffled mayo, but really what I got was far more pedestrian. Yes, I got a nice beefy meat flavour, with bacon and cheese in the background, a subtle richness from the mayo and a standard salad lending freshness, but I can get this elsewhere for half the price! A good effort, but they need to back off on the hyperbole if the don’t want to disappoint. Or cut the price. Alternatively they could follow through? I mean, I’d really like to try that burger. Next time I’m getting the Parma (Which I find is always spot on)!

Portland Hotel & James Squire Brewhouse on Urbanspoon


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