Tag Archives: burgers

south side sprawl – eat with relish

Welcome to the new and exciting blog series from your friends at Eat, Drink, Stagger. Well, new, at the least.

Why am I not surprised that something so logical and simple took me so long to think of — perform a blanket review of all* eateries around my workplace (South Melbourne) on a weekly basis. To start with, I reviewed Relish, an old favourite that I’ve be going to for far longer than I’ve been an obnoxious foodie type. Back to the beginning.

Eat the burger then chips?
Eat the chips then burger?
Eat some of chips and some of the burger?
Sauce with your chips? Beside the chips? On the chips?

Mind. Blown.

The combinations are endless. The existential nausea is…nauseating.

Personally, I like to eat my chips first, then the burger. I sauce them up and then dig in. My theory is that chips are best eaten hot and crisp while their oily texture is an assest rather than an encumbrance.

Of course, this leaves me with a cold burger. Nobody’s perfect.

Daniel, my co-worker and burger buddy isn’t shackled to any particular burger-chip ideology. He is happy eating burger then chips, chips then burger and everything in between. Oh, to be free and easy.

Before you even get to these life changing decisions, you must order. Sacré bleu!

Fortunately my dining companion and I can rarely pass up the special of the day — usually a burger, chips and drink combo. If you do decide to stray from the specials board (heaven forbid!), you’ll find all the standard cafe fare of focaccias, wraps et al. They also do a decent coffee, using Coffee Supreme.

The vast majority of the burgers share a common ingredient, relish (hence the cafe’s name). I had thought it a needless point of difference from other burgers and other burger joints —  a nod to the name without any real thought. Then, on my last visit a change in the relish of Relish (ha!). The relish had improved. Either that, or my affinity for the preserved has strengthened. Whatever the reason, I found the relish delicious. Marmaladesque with a lovely smoky flavour.

If you’re looking for a burger hit in South Melbourne, and want something other than Grill’d, give Relish a look.

Relish on Urbanspoon

* Given that I am a man of limited resources, I will by necessity restrict my reviews to the more interesting places. Shame, I was really looking forward to reviewing the Coffee Club.

which man’s burger reigns supreme?

Why is it that the best burger joints in Melbourne are just men’s names? You’ve got Danny’s in North Fitzroy, and Andrew’s in Albert Park, and both have excellent reputations. I finally got to try out the burgers at both and decide which for myself was the winner.

I love cheeseburgers, and fast food burgers are cardboard, let’s be honest. Being out and about late at night in the city, Danny’s is an excellent choice – not too far out of the city, has a lovely diner feel and the burgers are made with fresh buns, shredded lettuce and patties.

My dining partner’s burger of choice is the burger with the lot – cheese, tomato, egg, bacon. Often, several patties.

burger, detail

I ordered a cheeseburger at Danny’s but couldn’t get a photo that really captured its glory properly. But here’s one of their chips. We ate more than we should have, but they were just so good. It made The Age’s top ten list a while ago when they did a feature on the best chips in Melbourne.

large chips

The diner is really nice at Danny’s, but even though I’ve been in there several times of late, I don’t find the staff to be particularly friendly. However, their drawcard is they are open till 2am. If I’ve driven into the city for a gig and am feeling peckish after, guess where I end up!

Andrew’s shut at 9pm and when I went there, it was packed. There isn’t really anywhere to linger and sit. Albert Park is nowhere near where I live (whereas at least North Fitzroy isn’t too far) so it’s a little bit of a problem not having anywhere to eat my burger. We ended up across the road on a park bench.


Here’s my cheeseburger. Easily one of the best I’ve ever had. None of this plastic-tasting cheese business. The meat patty and cheese together was so satisfying – more flavoursome than Danny’s.

burger with the lot

The burger with the lot is fantastic. Delicious meat patties and fresh, flavoursome ingredients. You don’t need to add extra condiments. The chips, however, were absolutely awful – they were very dry and tasted old. I rarely throw food away, but these were turfed on account of how bad they were.

By an inch, I would declare Andrew’s as serving the superior burger. Proximity and the late night opening means that I would most likely frequent Danny’s. However, you can’t be disappointed by either when in the mood for a good old-fashioned (non-gourmet) burger.

Danny's Burgers on Urbanspoon Andrew's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

no goddamn colonels, no goddamn clowns!!!


Grill'd interior

Post-fillum nosh and I was starving. I persuaded the Bit O’ Meat (the nickname for my better half) to buy me a gourmet burger. A mere hop, skip and a jump across the road from Cinema Nova and we’re at Grill’d in Carlton.

I must say when I first was introduced to the gourmet burger bar concept, I was singing the praises of rival Urban Burger to all and sundry. However, I have now defected to the other camp: I much prefer Grill’d and find them on the whole to be more flavoursome and satisfying, and aesthetically, less sloppy.

You might recall that I previously wrote about Grill’d. So for this occasion, I made sure to choose a burger I hadn’t had before – the ‘Grill’d Bird ‘n’ Brie’, while partner had ‘Hot Mama’, available in either ‘hot’, or ‘extra hot’. Bravely, I thought, Bit O’ Meat chose ‘extra hot’. The chicken and brie one I decided on sounded very similar to one of my favourites at Urban Burger, and so I was keen to compare.

Below is a photo of my ‘Bird ‘n’ Brie’ with its best ‘come hither’ look:


Grill'd Bird 'n' Brie burger

It’s become clear to me that Grill’d burgers are actually prepared pretty carefully (it seemed so to me as they prepared our order) – they’re always neat and all ingredients are in balance. though mine was a little heavy on the cranberry sauce. The brie was melty and luxurious with bites of chicken. Partner’s was also delish but not as hot as I thought it would be – just enough to give the burger a good hit of flavour and heat.

I’m actually looking forward to trying one of their vegetarian burgers next up. Might bring a toothbrush with me if I have a side of fries…those things, while addictive, are definitely not first-date food. I don’t care: I will still eat them and look stupid with green bits in my teeth, and remind my companion with the promise of breakfast at St Ali’s and dinner at the Station Hotel in Footscray. Don’t let anyone tell you bribery doesn’t work!


Grill'd on Urbanspoon