Friday, February 22, 2013

Collins Kitchen

Burger reviewed: The Wagyu Burger

Venue: Collins Kitchen @ the Grand Hyatt

Date: 22/02/2013

The Burger Friday brigade (including esteemed guests) ventured across the river to Collins Kitchen, a somewhat upmarket hotel eatery within the confines of the Spice Market building (better known for its questionably legal European backpackers on a Thursday night). In stark contrast, the restaurant presented a rather more demure Paris Hilton like surrounding compared with its arguably more famous sibling. Oh wait, I may have got that wrong, we were at the Grand Hyatt and there wasn’t a video camera involved.

Anyways onto the star of the show, the Wagyu burger with caramelized onion and smoked mozzarella. Given the hype surrounding this burger, there was much expectation among the Burger Friday crew with names such as the silky skilled Ryan Griffen or even the Little Master were being bandied around. At a touch over $40 each for the burger, shared chips and an overpriced bottle of Boags premium, the age old cost vs quality debate was not doubt to arise. For the record, Cabaret bar in sunny Brisbane wins the debate every time.

When then burgers arrived (albeit about 30 mins late with no chips), we were pleasantly surprised. Visually appealing, albeit simple. As the photo attests, unlike the 17th at Sawgrass there was nothing gimmicky about this and the result would come down to the quality of the core ingredients.

Anyways, down to the detail.

There was some debate as to whether the patty was pre-purchased from Coles or hand made. Although it was a good size for the bun and fairly well wood-fired, there was some something just something missing, perhaps taste.

Similar, the bun was mildly toasted and appealing to the eye. However structural integrity issues were to follow and I’m pretty sure I saw my bun in the $2 bin at Coles the night before.

I liken the toppings to the 2012 brownlow medallist, a beacon of light amongst an otherwise un-organised rabble. Although no bacon was afforded, the mozzarella and caramelized onions worked well in tandem, and there was also a healthy serve of mayonnaise and tomato relish. Minimalistic which definitely suited the burger, however like Brynne, its hard to dress up something that doesn’t work.

The chips had to be ordered separately. Double fried and generously cut, the texture was passable however with no seasoning, drowning in Heinz big red was required and ultimately, these didn’t quite live up to the test.

As a side note, particular comment needed to be given to the service on the day. After waiting over half an hour for the burger, the side orders of chips did not come until 20 minutes later, at which time all burgers were finished. You don’t exactly see Masterchef head honcho Marco Pierre White taking 50 minutes to bring out 2 plates of chips, even on a bad day.

In any event, I needed to think long and hard about who I could compare this burger to. There were significant similarities to Courtney Walsh (with the most ducks in test history, he knows what it’s like to take a long walk out there for minimal reward), Scott Gumbleton (Over hyped, cost a bomb and took a long time to ultimately under deliver) or even Warrington Wolves rugby player Paul Wood (something wasn’t quite right after he left something out the field during the 2012 rugby super league grand final and walked off with only one testicle). Bet the three seeds cider after the game, never quite tasted as right with two seeds missing.

Nevertheless, of all the overhyped sportsman who didn’t quite live up to their reputation, Oscar Pistorius (albeit topical) takes the cake. He was an inspiration to many through being the first amputee to participate in the able-bodied Olympics, taking part in the individual 400m race and also South Africa’s 4x400m  relay team. With his stunning model girlfriend, Pistorius arguably had the world at his fingertips with endless potential and rave reviews following him everywhere.  On 14 February 2013, Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was fatally shot at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of that morning. On this day, the level of disappointment felt when something doesn’t quite live up to its potential was nothing short of heart breaking. I guess the people who felt betrayed and disappointed with Pistorius know how we felt.  At the end of the day, the burger just didn’t have the legs to get there and certainly did not live up to the hype which followed it.

Overall, if you had a spare $40, I would recommend that you go the $38 buffet which was also on offer at the restaurant.  Until next time, yours in all things burger.

Burger Friday Rating: 32/50

Collins Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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