Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The South Melbourne Trader

Burger reviewed: The Wagyu Beef Burger

Venue: The South Melbourne Trader

Date: 5/4/2013

On a glorious autumn day in Melbourne, this weeks Burger Friday saw the Fellows stroll to sample the burger wares of the South Melbourne Trader (TSMT) in South Melbourne.

Located on the corner of Market and Cecil Streets, at the bottom of the Spotlight centre, TSMT is figuratively a Scott Muller throw away from one of the iconic food spots in Melbourne, the South Melbourne Market, birth place of perhaps the world’s most famous Dim Sims. An eclectic space, with high ceilings and cray fishing pots for light fittings, TSMT is a somewhat unassuming venue. With the suburb turning into a “foodie” mecca in recent years resulting in significant competition, it may have been easy to miss TSMT amongst some of its more recognisable/glamorous neighborhood counterparts such as St Ali and Chez Dre.

Having worked nearby for a significant period of time, I had often walked past this venue without second thought of it being good for anything more than a takeaway coffee (they serve Five Senses if anyone cares). But with what we experienced on Friday, TSMT should rightly hold its own in the upper echelon of establishments not only in the area, but across Melbourne.

With new head chef, Johnon MacDonald (previously of Rockpool & Ginger Boy) in front of the hot plate and a fresh new menu that included a Wagyu beef burger, we were given the tipoff that TSMT was worth giving a go. That tipoff may have been on par with getting told that Black Caviar was going to be a fairly handy horse before its first race. 

As aforementioned, the burger reviewed today was the Wagyu beef burger. Served on sensational looking pieces of brioche bun with bronzed curves that would make a Serena Williams envious, the burger incorporated a sizeable handmade beef patty, gruyere cheese, pickled sliced cucumber, pickled red onion, tomato, cos lettuce, and finished with tomato Jamaican jerk style relish spread on the bottom and fresh mayo on the top.

The pickled ingredients served to provide both sweetness and tang, something that is greatly savoured by the Burger Friday Fellows, as well as a great crunchy contrast in texture to the softness of the bun. The Wagyu meat patty was just melt in your mouth goodness, cooked to a perfect medium, every mouthful was a pleasure.  A special mention must be given to the Jamaican jerk sauce, which was unlike anything we have witnessed before on our Friday adventures. Somewhat similar to a tomato kasundi relish, this unique flavor and spiciness was a #winner.   The pairing of the mayo and the Jamaican jerk sauce was an excellent combination. Whilst vastly different flavours, they were highly complementary to each other like ying and yang or in sporting parlance, Bill Russell and Bob Cousy, Kobe and Shaq, or Lebron James and Dwayne Wade if you will.

On the topic of complementary combinations, the burger came accompanied by a generous serving of hand cut chips with the skin on, more Jamaican jerk sauce and a selection of imported and local beer including the likes of Dos Blockos and White Rabbit. As part of a promotional special, all of this came to the impressive price of $19.50. Whilst we can’t guarantee that the special will last, we can guarantee the quality of the burger will.

This burger we are proudly dubbing the Gary Ablett Jnr. The man they nicknamed God, Gary Ablett Snr was one of the most freakish players to have ever played AFL. However his offspring Gary Ablett Jnr in the eyes of many, in particular this Burger Friday Fellow, has managed to surpass the old man. Similarly with this burger it is clear to see the influence and pedigree from the Rockpool training of the chef. However for mine, surpassing in both taste and value this burger is better than its proverbial old man and should rightly be held as one of the best burgers in Melbourne.

Congratulations Johnon MacDonald and the South Melbourne Trader…..ladies and gentleman we have a new leader!

Burger Friday Score: 44.13/50

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  2. Went back and had this burger during the week again. Blood fantastic. Keep up the good work

  3. Can't wait to taste one!