My recent burger outings over the last few weeks have been to a few of my favourite places, which is great, but at the same time, I have also been wanting to get out and try somewhere new too, so I headed to “Burger Project” on Collins Street in Melbourne. Whenever I hear about this place, people always reference that it’s “Neil Perry’s” place!? Like that means the burger is automatically going to be good or something?! Well, for me, if the experience I had at his Rockpool restaurant is anything to go by (it ranks last on TGBC ratings), he has a long way to go to prove that he can cut it when it comes to producing a high quality burger. There was only one way to find out!
Located on the 2nd floor and almost the only place open in the newly fitted space, there is plenty of casual seats to park at while you chow down on your burger and plenty of burgers to choose from too. I got there a little bit early, so walked straight up and ordered. At first I couldn’t decide between the “Double” and “The Bacon Project”. I ended up ordering the “Double” which came with 2 X grass fed beef, cheese, onions, pickles, tomato, lettuce, secret sauce and I added bacon so I could enjoy the best of both worlds!! I resisted adding fried chicken this time as I wanted to see what the standard was like first.
Interestingly, despite eating in, the burger came completely wrapped in paper on a tray. I ripped it open and got stuck into it. First thing that hit me was how good the meat tasted! Mmmmmm so good! Then, something happened that changed the course for the rest of the experience. Only 4 bites in and the bun completely ripped open, with onions, pickles and sauce pushing up through the burger – “Not happy Jan!”
The patties were too big for the bun – or was the bun too small for the patties?? Either way, it was a problem. Plus the cheese was too small for the patties too and seemed to get lost. For me, burger etiquette states that the bun must be equal to or slightly larger than the size of the meat, and the cheese must be bigger than the meat so that the melted goodness can wrap around the patty and preferably run down the edges.
The general construction was poor. For example, the two pieces of tomato were stacked on top of each other, rather than spread out a bit. The majority of the ingredients were all sitting on one side of the burger – like it was made standing upright and everything fell through or something. Finally, the one piece of bacon I got was so small I almost thought it hadn’t been put in, but I knew it was there because the sweetness was so strong, it over powered the burger.
Chips on the side were actually awesome and I chose to wash it all down with a Strawberry thick shake too, which was also very tasty. Highly recommend both of these!
Overall, the ingredients were actually really fresh and tasty, but there was just a lot of things working against it, which made for what I would class as a “solid” burger. At less than $14 it was good value for money, so worthwhile giving it a go yourself. I did notice that by the time I’d finished my meal, there was easily 30 people lined up to order, so it’s obviously popular and maybe my experience is not consistent with the masses!! The only thing I know for sure is that it was definitely better than Rockpool!!! Well done Neil – a much better effort!!