It’s interesting to observe the various food trends that sweep Melbourne. The fact that we even have such noticeable ‘trends’ says a lot about our city: we are always on the lookout for interesting new concepts, and when something presents itself we all flock to it like seagulls. It’s all a little bit hipster, really.
One of the latest crazes to hit the local culinary scene is American diner-style food, with hamburgers being the obvious focus. At the risk of facing ‘hipster’ accusations I must say that this is certainly one trend that I am right on board with. After seeing that the Merrywell had received a rating of ‘Go now!’ on the Burger Adventure, I just had to check it out.
The Merrywell’s incredibly hip-looking downstairs burger bar features a simple selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads and finger food. I went for the “Merrywell” burger.
The melted-cheese-enrobed patty was the one of the fattest, juiciest patties I’d ever had. It was just pink in the middle; enough to indicate that it was not overcooked but not so pink that it would cause a food poisoning scare. The tangy mustard and acidic pickles were fantastic (I love pickles, I honestly think they are underrated in this country). I’m not entirely sure what the ‘special sauce’ was but it was a nice change from the usual tomato sauce or relish. The caramelised onions were perfectly soft and sweet. The flour-dusted white bun was soft and fluffy, not too crusty, but also robust enough to support the enormous piece of meat. I didn’t like the bun as much as Huxtaburger’s sweet, brioche-like offering, but that one would perhaps have been too delicate for a patty like this.
The bacon was also some of the best bacon I’ve had. I usually eat Istra free-range at home (which is top notch, by the way) but the stuff on this burger was just amazing. It was sweet and smoky and perfectly charred, although it did get a bit lost in amongst everything else. I only noticed it when I was nibbling at the bits that were sticking out.
I wish I had taken more photos of the burger during the eating process but I just couldn’t put it down. Even if I could have I don’t think I would be bothered cleaning all the meat juices and sauce off my fingers.
The chips were pretty good, although nothing spectacular. I’m not a huge fan of plain unseasoned chips; I always feel like they need a bit of ‘something’ to enhance them. Like duck fat.
The tomato sauce was nice as well. It tasted quite a bit different to the stuff I’m used to (e.g. Heinz), perhaps that’s what authentic ketchup is supposed to taste like.
Another decent contender for best burger I’ve had in Melbourne. It was large, meaty and fantastic. It was filling but not sickening, and for some reason or other I didn’t get much of a burger coma afterwards either. That means I can eat these every day, right?
At $20 for a Merrywell burger with chips it is a little pricier than some other offerings. I would prefer it if the burger was available on its own without chips, as I wanted to try their onion rings and would rather have gotten these instead of chips.
Anyway, definitely worth a visit for any burger fan.The Merrywell Corner Clarendon St and Crown riverside Southbank