Bonarche Burger Review

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Image from bonarche.com

When it comes to burgers, these guys don’t mess about. The burgers are huge, packed with ingredients, with sauces and juices dripping all over the place. Each party is made in house from Australian steak and all ingredients are made/prepared fresh daily.

The restaurant itself is neat and small; probably seating around 15 people inside with a few more outside. Some interesting Star Wars inspired art hangs from the walls and a decent selection of local craft beers stocks the fridge.

To start off with, you have some unique choices of chips; kimchi, pizza and “disco”. These all come in large servings with excessive toppings. Beware that the burgers themselves are huge. Even sharing one serving of chips between three people on top of a burger will probably be too much unless you are inhumanly hungry.

Onto the main event though. The Beef n Beach is the iconic offering at Bonarche; combining aoli with BBQ sauce, beef with bacon and some juicy pineapple to top it all off. It’s big and tasty, but personally, I prefer the Hangover Burger. This genius creation includes a hash brown to complement the beef patty, smokey BBQ, bacon, egg and even a Barocca on the side. Brilliant. But you’d have to have a pretty big hangover appetite to tackle those one.

On the chicken side, the Tender Tokyo is good for something different. A katsu-style crumbed chicken patty interacts with Asian style slaw and kapu dressing. Like the others, they’re big and messy but totally delicious.

Overall, the menu here is extensive. They have all the classics; cheese burger, chicken and cheese, steak burger, portobello mushroom, Hawaiian etc.; as well as some more adventurous offerings (in addition to those already mentioned); Mexican style chicken, porterhouse with eggplant and feta, lentil patty. No matter whether you choose a tried and tested combination or something a little different, they all seem to be pretty damn good. I found anywhere yet that does as well on a quality-price-size basis yet.

Burgers: $14.50-$21

Atmosphere: 3/5
Value: 4/5
Quality: 5/5
Overall: 9/10

14 Norton Street, Leichhardt

bonarche.com

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On Ramen’s Ramen Burger

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When you walk past a restaurant displaying posters claiming to have “the best ramen in town” and “Sydney’s first ramen burger”, it catches your attention. On Ramen is primarily a small ramen bar. Located just off George street, it’s small and comfortable and not too busy. It has tables for groups as well as bar space for singles and has a very Japanese underlying feel- with posters of maneki-neko cats on the walls and lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

For those wondering how exactly you make a “ramen burger”, the idea is close to Japanese burger chain, MOS Burger’s rice burger. The two “bun” pieces are two two tightly-packed cakes of fried ramen. Beyond that, it’s fairly similar to a normal burger, you get a patty (beef, chicken or pork), salads, chilli sauce and tangy mayo, served up with a side of coleslaw and watermelon.

The burger patty holds together better than expected; it’s fried just enough for the noodles to keep shape but of is also still soft enough that they don’t crumble at first bite. The burger itself doesn’t hold so well as a whole though (it comes with two toothpicks to help keep formation and it’s probably best to leave them in as long as possible).

The patty is pretty much what you’d expect coming from a Japanese ramen bar. It’s a fairly typical flat, okay but-nothing-fancy-affair, but it does the job. The sauces do stand out amongst burgers though. A word of warning though; by the end it gets a bit greasy and sickly, so save the watermelon for relief half way through.

Price: $12.50

Atmosphere: 4/5
Quality: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Overall 7/10

181-187 Hay Street, Sydney

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Lord of the Fries Review

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Sydney
There was a lot of hype when Lord of the Fries opened up shop on George Street. A fast food outlet promising locally sourced ingredients, burgers that were all vegan and fries that weren’t dripping in grease and fat makes people talk. I finally decided to give it a try.

The burgers come in two sizes, which is handy; mini for $3.95 or big for $7.95. They are fairly basic; other than the vegan patty, you’re only left with sauce and, depending which burger you get, lettuce, onion or tomato. The patties themselves aren’t much either- they’re quite thin and fail to leave any long lasting impression. One thing you can say for the burgers is that they are light. Whether you actually consider that to be a good thing is of course your call.

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Luckily the burgers are not the main event here (as the name may suggest). The fries come in three different forms: classic, chunky and sweet potato. As promised by Lord of the Fries, their fries do not seem to be covered in grease and cheap oil. They are quite heavy though- a $4.95 regular serve feels like it might contain the equivalent of around three potatoes. Lord of the Fries also offer a lengthy range of sauces to top off those fries. I had the European Mayo which was actually quite dull and it didn’t help that they didn’t put much on.

All in all, Lord of the Fries is probably better suited to a late night snack rather than a burger to make an event of having. They are cost effective and will fill you up, but nothing to rave about.

Atmosphere 1/5
Quality 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 6/10

537 George Street, Sydney

lordofthefries.com.au

 

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Charlie & Co. Burgers Review

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Sydney

Following in the tradition of Westfield food courts, Charlie & Co. Burgers is horribly overpriced; burgers ranging from $14-16 and chips starting at $7. They may have a small area for private seating, but when it comes down to it, we’re still talking about a fast food burger from a food court. Regardless, Charlie & Co. still attract large queues, with signs indicating that their burgers are worth the wait (no mention of the cost).

Most of their beef burgers feature a Waguyu patty, and admittedly, it’s a pretty good quality and taster patty. Their are also chicken, vegetable and fish of the day (with an actual fish fillet rather than patty) burgers. Most come with caramelised onions, but if you want the luxury of salad, you’ll need to purchase one of the more expensive burgers or pay the extra $1-1.50 per topping. The buns are quite nice, and bigger than what you’ll find at most burger joints, they’re also not particularly greasy which against the trend of many of the “gourmet” burger outlets popping up nowadays.

If Charlie & Co. weren’t so expensive, I’d rate them pretty highly, I mean the party did taste good quality. When you pay $14 for a food court burger and all you get is a patty, onions and sauce, it’s hard to be impressed.

Atmosphere 2/5
Value 2/5
Quality 3/5
Overall 6/10

Westfield Sydney Food Court, Pitt Street Mall

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Image from Not Quite Nigella
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