Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maori Chief Hotel

Burger Reviewed: The Maori Chief Burger

Venue: The Maori Chief Hotel

Date: 16/3/13

“All sorrows are less with bread” – Miguel De Cervantes
We begin our blog this week with a quote from world-renowned 16th century Spanish novelist, Miguel De Cervantes (author of the fiction classic ‘Don Quixote’), who may have been the first writer to accurately capture the joys of a burger.  Surely he wasn’t referring to a ham, cheese and tomato toastie?! If we have interpreted Miguel correctly (and I suspect we have), then he may be the inaugural ambassador of the Burger Friday ethos – all things are better with bread. 

Our sorrows this week were cleansed at the Maori Chief Hotel in Moray St South Melbourne, a cavernous Burger tasting arena too say the least. The hotel name accurately alluded to its New Zealand roots and of course, a ferocious love of rugby. Unfortunately Friday lunchtime isn’t the usual prime time to see the All Blacks in action, however I was assured by the barman that on a Saturday night with the All Blacks headlining you would have to lay a Richie McCaw tackle or demonstrate the speed of Sonny Bill Williams jetting off to France ($$$$) in order to find a seat.

We were fortunate enough to be treated to perfect burger tasting weather as we made our way upstairs to the beer garden/outdoor dining area and were greeted with the mercury hitting a touch above 28 degrees Celsius.  Not surprisingly, there was an impressive turn-out of patrons with the outdoor dining area resembling the internet sensation – the Harlem Shake – as it became a fight to secure a table (even without the rugby on!).

We ordered the signature Chief Burger which entailed a lightly seeded Panini bun, along with the usual suspects – lettuce, tomato, melted cheese and caramelised onion – and finished by BBQ grilled egg and bacon. It is worth noting that impressively, a range of sauces were available for the burger including; tomato relish, BBQ sauce and even our personal favourite down at BF HQ; sweet chilli mayo.

We’d like to personally commend the chef on the bun, week after week of sweet brioche buns was taking its toll on the BF crew and left us wondering whether we’d have head into subway and order an Italian herb and cheese roll to remind us of our Italian heritage. The Panini Bun, light and fluffy, with the texture of sour dough bread and the ability to soak up the remanent moisture from the patty was truly a treat. Kudos.

The patty was thick and juicy, but this caused serious structural integrity issues and with arguably the most lop-sided bun-to-patty ratio we have seen, only the most experience burger eaters will be able to tackle this burger without fear of it falling apart.  It might be worth heading down to the Westpac Centre beforehand to grab a hold of one of Quentin Lynch’s or Travis Cloke’s gloves – as it may be the only way you can get a good hold of this burger.

Big, ugly, yet highly effective.

With those characteristics in mind, the uncanny similarities of the burger must be made to none other than AFL life member Mick Martyn. Mick was a monster of a man standing at a towering 190cm and weighing in at 105KG. He possessed no silky skills nor was there anything pretty about his game (or himself for that matter), however he just got the job done on the opposing full forward every week, and during his duel premiership career he became one of the most reliable and feared back men in the competition.

The Chief Burger wasn’t easy on the eye, however if you’re in need of a feed in the South Melbourne area, it will get the job done.

Burger Friday Rating: 34/50

Maori Chief Hotel on Urbanspoon

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