Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Melbourne Public Cafe - South Wharf

Burger reviewed: The Angus Beef Burger

Venue: Melbourne Public

Date: 3/5/13

There is nothing better than looking forward to a burger every Friday morning. Unfortunately, one of our own took this mantra to heart and ended up fainting from anticipation a mere few hours before the scheduled lunch time visit. Sympathy or softness, you can be the judge…

Nevertheless, the Burger Friday crew (minus one) made our way down to South Wharf to sample the wares at Melbourne Public. Nestled in between the Polly Woodside, DFO and the Exhibition Centre, Melbourne Public is “Melbourne’s newest drinking and dining secret set on the banks of the Yarra River” (as highlighted by their website).

Topped with all the usual suspects, shaved bacon, caramelised onions and special sauce (per the menu) the signature Angus beef burger had all the ingredients of a winner. However, unlike the Essendon faithful, we weren’t getting ahead of ourselves as any fan would know, the real test doesn’t begin until September (sorry boys no premierships are won in May, better start getting back on them tides).

After a short wait at the counter (interesting that they would be flying solo at the till during a Friday lunch), we managed to order our burgers and chips for the reasonable price of $21.50. It should also be said that the Melbourne Public has a free drink offer available via the website and needless to say that some of the more thrifty amongst us could not hold back their excitement (starting to sound like a bit of a theme). As we waited patiently for our Friday birthright, Kim and the team were kind enough to put on re-runs of Watson Snr and the team getting thumped by Hawthorn in the 89 semi final.  These days, Tim does his best work every morning on the Morning Glory radio show on SEN (a blatant plug for a shout-out to the Burger Friday team wouldn’t go astray).

As the burgers arrived, we were instantly drawn to the simple yet effective setting. Chips a plenty with ample sauce, the signs were looking good. The burger is what you would expect from a pub style beef burger. The trimmings including caramelised onions complimenting the perfectly cooked beef pattie with the slight sweetness of the bun presenting a great combination. We often sample burgers which try to do too much without getting the basics right. This cannot be said for Melbourne Public’s beef burger which absolutely ticks all the base boxes which you are looking for in a burger.

The burger however was not the star of the show. Presented in the deep fryer from which they were cooked, the chips were crispy and slightly seasoned. It’s not often after a Burger Friday that the majority of conversation post meal is devoted to the sidekick to the main course. Like Watson is to Holmes, Clarke was to Ponting and Ricky is to Seal, the quality of the accompaniments although complimentary can sometimes also take over as the star.

In the sporting world, there are multiple examples of solid performers who just get the job done each week, making most of the ability which they have been given. Some, such as Mr Cricket, Luke Donald and Nick Maxwell might have even stretched their abilities levels and could be even considered great. Then there are others who (perhaps fortunately for them), realise the limitations of their ability early and begin to focus other personal traits. Names which come to mind include Mick Malthouse (who was a decent enough player but has become one of best AFL coaches of our time), Liam Pickering (again, an average player who has since benefited significantly from Ricky Nixon’s inability to stick to his age bracket) and James Brayshaw (did any one actually know this guy used to play state cricket?).

Although all worthy nominations, I will need to dub this burger the Caroline Wozniacki. Caro (not to be confused with the award winning and 100% factual reporter) was the first Scandinavian woman to hold the number one world ranking in the world (in 2010) whilst never reaching the peak and winning a grand slam singles title. Woznaicki is a solid performer who cannot be faulted on her tennis technique, however she lacks a spark which has prevented her from becoming elite. Similarly, the Melbourne burger although faultless in its execution, needs a certain BFX (Burger Friday X-factor) to rise up our rankings. Caro has talent written all over her and should really be one (if not the most) marketable players going around. Oh, and her tennis isn’t too bad either…

All in all, congratulations to Kim and team on presenting a cracker of a burger which you would happily drop in for if you were in the area. With a free beer to boot, you can even tell the missus that you got an even better bargain than she did at DFO.

Burger Friday Rating: 38/50

Melbourne Public Cafe on Urbanspoon

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