As a food blogger, my list of places to try is never-ending. Every day some hip new place opens with an exclusive launch; numerous blogger reviews and the obligatory Fairfax Good Food write-up shortly follow. Before you know it, said place has regular lines out the door and even your ignorant non-foodie colleagues know about it. In such circumstances it’s easy to succumb to FOMO and abandon the list of places-you-really-need-to-get-around-to-going-to, resulting in a possible risk to your foodie credentials in future when you have to sheepishly admit you haven’t been to Rockpool yet.
The Umami burger at NSHRY (pronounced ‘noshery’) is widely touted as one of Melbourne’s best and being the burger lover that I am, it has been on my to-eat list for quite some time. I found myself in need of dinner on a Thursday, which happens to be NSHRY’s burger night, so I finally paid a visit.
Beef cheek croquettes ($6)
The croquettes were nice and crunchy with a creamy potato and beef cheek interior. Tasty and very moreish.
Chicken wings ($7)
The wings were lightly battered and coated in a chilli and salt mixture. They weren’t bad, but nothing memorable.
Tropical chicken burger ($27 including drink, $22 burger only)Bob’s choice was the chicken burger, comprising crumbed chicken breast, bacon, pineapple relish and lettuce. We requested onion rings instead of chips, which were coated in a thin layer of panko crumb. They fell apart easily and weren’t particularly impressive. Beer and burger lounge currently remain the onion ring champions.
I’m not really into non-beef burgers. I just don’t think a relatively bland, lean meat like chicken breast can ever top a good, juicy beef patty. However, this was a pretty good offering: the pineapple was just sweet enough to complement the meat without being cloying, and was a nice change from the tired mayo/avo combination often seen with chicken.
Umami burger ($27 including drink, $23 burger only)
This is the moment I had been looking forward to for so long.
A thick medium-rare patty was coated in an ‘umami rub’,which according to Good Food consists of a mixture of kombu (kelp) and porcini. The meaty savouriness was further enhanced by the crispy layer of umami-rich parmesan and duxelle-like mushroom mixture. Melty gruyere, oven roasted tomato and sweet caramelised onion completed the burger’s rich, complex flavour profile. The soft brioche bun was perfect, supporting the weight of the patty well and preventing total burger disintegration. Pure, utter bliss.
The umami burger also scored points for originality. It’s not often that I rate burgers which stray too far from my favourite cheese/tomato relish/mustard/pickle formula, but this was spectacular. Best burger in Melbourne. Full stop.
The thick cut chips were also quite good, accompanied by tomato sauce and two types of kewpie mayo, a spiced one (my personal favourite) and another that was lightly flavoured with wasabi.
Pear and rhubarb crumble ($12.50)
Crumble isn’t usually presented in an attractive manner, however NSHRY did quite a good job of it. A perfect sphere of vanilla ice cream and a curly rhubarb garnish sat proudly atop the nutty, buttery crumble. The heavily spiced pear and rhubarb was soft and warm beneath the crunchy surface.
I went on burger night, the only time NSHRY are open for dinner, so I can’t vouch for their brunch or coffee which makes up their usual business. Nevertheless, that burger alone is enough for me to recommend the place.
The umami burger’s $23 price tag may seem hefty at first, until you’ve actually eaten the thing and realised how amazing it is. The true penny pinchers out there may also want to consider the fact that it also includes chips, three sauces and salad (compare with Grill’d, where a beef burger, chips and three sauces works out to around $18).
Yes, I ate other stuff too. But I’m not here to talk about croquettes and crumble. Go to NSHRY, get the damn burger. Do it on burger night and enjoy with a good glass of red.NSHRY 129A Beaconsfield Parade Albert Park