Friday, March 30, 2012
Burger reviewed: Wagyu Burger, beef burger, cornte cheese, onion confit, house pickles, fries
Venue: Bear Brass
I feel a lot of sympathy for Richmond supporters. The journey of a Burger Friday fellow reviewing burgers on a Friday has a lot of similarities with the proverbial emotional rollercoaster experience of the yellow and black faithful. Today we headed off with an air of anticipation following some strong recent murmurings to expect big things from the burger at Bear Brass, a self described “buzzy” venue in Southbank along the banks of the Yarra River.
With an absolute belter of an autumn day in Melbourne at a positively balmy 27 degrees with the sun shining, the setting could not be better for a big first up performance. The small side to side cranial movements of a head wobble are just starting to set in that this could be the one. And then the reality sinks in. Whack.
While the Burger Friday fellows like to avoid hype in order to judge burgers with an openness of mind (not seen since when Ben Cousins’ experienced his last hit), perhaps it was these reverberations that penetrated our sub conscious thoughts which ultimately left us underwhelmed.
So let's start with the good, before moving onto the bad and the ugly. The burger itself was generous in size, with a decent helping of McD's style fries and accompanying saucers of tomato sauce and homemade pickles. Plentiful sauce is always a favourite of the fellows so this was welcomed with open arms, even if it’s come from a Big Red Heinz bottle out the back. The venue also gets a tick, as it is in a bloody good location and having been recently refurbished, is in spectacular nick. The cooking of the burger patty also gets a tick from me, because it was cooked to a nice medium and was sufficient in size and appearance.
Now for the bad. The bun to patty ratio was all out of whack. The patty sat in that bun like it was a baseball in beaten old chewed up baseball mitt. Using the power of guesstimate, I would say the ratio was around 1:2, falling clearly outsize of the acceptable range. It wasn't that the patty was small, it was just that the bun was proportionally oversized.
Also falling into the bad category was the cheese. While taking time out from managing my (fantasy) football team during the week, I was postulating that good cheese should be awarded a Nobel peace prize for its contributions towards structural integrity and overall harmonisation of burgers across the world. My postulations however require a rethink after today's burger. Perhaps the key element is not just cheese by itself, but cheese in conjunction with the application of heat to bring forth the gloriousness of melted cheese. Unfortunately this cheese was neither melted nor glorious.
And the ugly has to go to the flavouring. Or should I say lack thereof. I poured that whole aforementioned saucer of pickles (also containing some chillies which had about as much heat as Melbourne in the middle of winter) and the saucer of sauce on the burger to try and give it flavour. While this helped to some degree, it was ultimately to no avail. A great burger has that ultimate combination of flavours of sweetness, saltiness and smack of tanginess to finish it off. This sadly had none of the above. It's unfortunate given the cooking of the patty was great and the simple addition of some salt, pepper and good relish could have turned a mediocre burger into something much much better.
For me the burger as a whole was a lot like the coaching career at Richmond of the man with the golden tan Terry Wallace. He came in with a bang, looking good and getting supporters excited about where the tigers were going. Ultimately though for all the good looks, 5 year plans, bravado, and head wobbling, the tigers were no good where it counts, being performing on the field. But if a few pieces had fallen the right way (like recruiting Buddy Franklin instead of Richard Tambling), who knows, perhaps they could have been something. Likewise for this burger, a couple of additions and suddenly we have something great.
Burger Friday Rating: 25.5/50