The weather is drizzly and cold on this wet Thursday night. Jeremy and I have tickets to watch Pinnochio at 7.30pm, so we’ve rushed into the city to find a place to eat before the show. Unfortunately the weather is not our friend, so we scrap our plans to head to Bar One, and instead beeline over to The Burger Bistro in Shafto Lane.
This burger bar is the first of all the new “gourmet” burger venues I tried back in the day. It’s small, unpretentious and boasts an impressive menu that is just that little bit different to all the others. I feel a bit sorry for them because Grill’d have very cleverly built a GIANT store at the top of Shafto Lane, which would steal quite a bit of their foot traffic. Smart business decision, and you can see it’s had an affect on Burger Bistro – we were one of three other groups eating there.
However the staff continue to be efficient and friendly; and the menu continues to grow, with new and impressive additions since the last time I have come here.
Their motto here is simple. Burgers as they should be. And yes, they live up to this statement.
I stare at the menu a little bit torn. Should I get The Beef Big Smoke like I usually do? Or should I try the Captain America which my friends tell me is amazing? My eyes are drawn to the El Mariachi ($16) which I haven’t seen before. It’s Mt Barker free range chicken breast marinated in spicy Mexican chipotle dry rub, salad, fresh lime and sweet corn salsa.
The char on the chicken has managed to lock in the juiciness that you worry may disappear when eating this temperamental meat. The spice rub is hot! And the salsa is sweet, cooling and delicious. It’s a very different burger than I would normally gravitate to, and it’s a great start to our night out (I’m a bit worried poor Jeremy will fall asleep at the ballet since its his first time and the tickets were given to me for free from one of the supplier’s I work with).
Jeremy chooses my ‘go-to’ burger here: The Beef Big Smoke ($15.50). It’s a CAAB Angus beef patty with pancetta bacon, emmental cheese, salad, garlic mayo and smokey BBQ sauce. The beef is cooked so it has a slightly pink centre, the cheese is flavoursome and melts into the centre. You can tell (as the menu confirms) that they make the patties on site, using just simple salt and pepper to flavour it. It’s fresh, juicy and thankfully, not oily!
Both burgers are served on a lightly grilled New Norcia spelt sourdough bun. It’s soft with a nice crunch on the inside that allows the rivers of sauce used to sit without soaking and ruining the bread. The haphazard rocket inside is texture and flavour appropriate. Yum yum!
We share a medium serve of thick cut chips ($8) which comes with two dipping sauces of our choice. We opt for tomato sauce and garlic mayo. They’re golden, crunchy and just slightly starchy in the centre. Normally whenever we order chips we need to abandon them mid-meal because we get too full, but somehow we actually manage to get through these! They taste nice, but I’m a bit thrown by the $8 price tag given the size of the serving. But then I get distracted by the sweet and tangy tomato sauce and forget all about my gripe. I rarely have tomato sauce with chips, but these may have converted me back to my childhood days where ‘ketchup’ had to go with everything.
I highly recommend you try this place if you’re a fan of burgers and want something different than the mainstream options on offer everywhere else. The menu is diverse, generous and delicious. I’m happy that years after my first visit it still tastes just as great.