Papi Chulo

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Papi Chulo Verdict: 6.5/10

Beef Burger: 7/10

Brisket Burger: 4/10

Sides: 8/10

 

 

Why Papi Chulo?

She says: This is a fairly recent entry onto the restaurant landscape and Merivale family. I had heard about it opening but I didn’t realise they did burgers (He did of course). Though Manly is a bit out of our way usually, we were on our way out of town right past it (sort of) so we thought  thought we would give it the OBM once over.

He says: It’s not often I’m in the vicinity of the Manly wharf so when She’s wonderful parents lent us their car and we were already headed to a weekend soiree nearby the food god’s aligned to give us the opportunity to try the legendary Dan Hong’s (he of the Fish Shop burger perfection) new patty in bun creation.

What did you order?

  • Papi Chulo Burger  $18
  • Smoked Wagyu Brisket “Sandwich” – $18
  • Curly fries – $9
  • Peanut butter milkshake

Tell us about the Papi Chulo Burge?

He says: This was a really decent burger. Patty, sauce, pickles, bun and texture all ticked the right boxes. There were no clear faults but I feel it just lacked that little something to up the ‘wow’ factor. A workmanlike effort that I commend but hardly sent me into the passionate burger induced psychosis I desired.

 

She says: This is a solid, classic beef burger – nice, somewhat smokey, grilled patty with those awesome crunchy cooked bits. Good, American style melted cheese and a fair bit of sauce. I was expecting a lot after He told me that the same chef was responsible for the Fish Shop burger, (which remains to be reviewed by us but which is very high in my esteem) but it wasn’t quite as mind blowing as I had hoped. I would eat it again though for sure if it was a little bit closer town.

So then, how did you find the Smoked Wagyu Brisket “Sandwich”?

She says: Alas, this was not at all my kind of burger. I did make note to Him that it was described in the menu as a sandwich but He assured me that it would be suitable to be reviewed as it came on a burger bun. I am in no way pointing fingers (squarely at him), but I will say unless you are a big caramelized onion fan, I would stick with the beef burger.

He says: This was described as a Sandwich (a strange trait that is appearing at a few places of late) but after catching a few photos of it on other blogs and the fact that it was served on a burger bun made me feel at peace at it’s inclusion. When it arrived it looked like it was going to be the cat’s pyjamas. Alas it didn’t work at all. There was an over arching feeling of bad team work here. All the elements on their own (tender beef brisket, well cooked egg, sweet but not cloying caramelised onions, juicy pickles and soft luscious bun) kicked goals but when you put them together they negated each other’s virtues. To use another sports analogy- this burger was a team of champions rather than a champion team. Avoid it.IMG_4698

And what about the sides?

She says: It was my first time curly fries experience and I am a believer. They were that great style of chip that is almost crumbed, common to hotel room service menus an d with extra crunch. And the peanut thickshake was incredible. Both sides were big winners in my books. I would travel to Manly once a week by Segway for these sides.

He says: The curly fries had devilish batter that could charm even the most hardened culinary critic. The peanut milkshake was akin to liquid gold and put me in a heavenly food coma at it’s completion.


Visited on 26 July 2014

|| 22-23 Manly Wharf Manly NSW 2095|| Website ||

Hours:

Mon – Fri 12:00pm – 10:30pm (Reduced menu 3:00pm – 5:30pm)
Sat 11:30am – 10:30pm
Sun 11:30am – 9:00pm

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Oxford Tavern

Oxford Tavern Verdict: 7/10

Beef Burger: 9/10

Chicken Burger: 4/10

Sides: 7/10

 

 

Why Oxford Tavern?

She says: I grew up in the inner west and used to pass the Oxford Tavern back in the days that it was a genuine girly bar, advertising “jelly wresting” (which I have since learnt is not as delicious as it sounds). Needless to say, I was repulsed by the whole thing back then but since it has been re-done but the Drinkn’Dine crew (also responsible for the Norfolk and the Foresters, among others) I was intrigued.

He says: Unlike She I have no stigma attached to the Oxford Tavern’s ‘shady’ former life. My knowledge of the venue mainly revolves around the Drink n Dine group taking it over. Being a fan of that company’s other and prior burger exploits (Norfolk, Carrington, Forresters and a special shout out to the Abercrombie’s {R.I.P.} Thursday night cheap cheeseburger debauchery) was enough to get me through the door with a decent amount of excitement. 

 

What did you order?

  • Hickory Burger – $10 (lunch)
  • Fried Chicken Burger – $10
  • Fries with Sour Cream, Bacon, Green Onions and Sriaracha – $10
  • The Jelly Wrestle – $20
  • Bloody Mary – ?

Tell us about the Hickory Burge?

He says: This is one of the better cheeseburgers I’ve had in Sydney. Every mouth water inducing element (from a patty wheeling and dealing in perfection for both taste and tenderness, glorious oozing cheese, a zingy pickle and a special sauce to rival any other) came into play to explode into burger excellence. Sure it was a Sunday, and perhaps I was a little hungover, but this cheeseburger was almost enough to make me  kneel down and cry tears of joy and deference.

She says:  I was really, really impressed with this burger (thank god because we have been on a not so great run with beef burgers lately). It had that great grilled burger taste with the chewy, crunchy, great almost-burnt bits around the edges of the patty.  There was more than ample cheese, which is always a plus and a nice amount of sauce, including a authentic American mustard which, with the pickle, added the perfect amount of tangy punch. Fresh, sparse salad finishes it perfectly. I HIGHLY recommend this burger!

So then, how did you find the Fred Chicken Burger?

She says: Oh my. I am not sure how to describe this one in kind terms. The fried chicken by itself was worthy of note, but as a burger it dropped the ball. It was little more than a bit of fried chicken wedged between two halves of a bun. The coleslaw lacked flavour and was generally un-sauced, and the corn added little to nothing to the burger as a whole.  It lacked the cohesion that we have seen executed so well in some of the other chicken burgers we have tried recently. Next time I would order the fried chicken alone.

He says: Unfortunately this one nearly made me cry for the exact opposite reasons. I don’t want to be too harsh but this was a bit of a train wreck burger wise. The bun seemed a little on the stale side, the fried chicken leaning towards bland and cold, the slaw devoid of flavour and personality, the addition of corn completely superfluous and, seriously, WHERE THE FUCK WAS THE SAUCE DUDES???? On the strength of the Hickory burger though I’m prepared to accept that maybe this was a one off anomaly in the kitchen and would be prepared to give it another crack.

And what about the sides?

She says: Crinkle cut chips will always have a special place in my heart, nestled next to the bigger section of said heart devoted to the king of the chip, curly fries. These chips with sour cream and Sriaracha were pretty good, with a fresh, nacho-esk vibe. The Bloody Marys we ordered were also pretty good but the real star of the sides show was the dessert, which we ordered out of pure greed when we saw it go past. It is a MOUNTAIN of waffles, cream and jelly topped with 100s &1000s. We discovered about halfway in that there was also ICECREAM  buried in its depths. We were informed that they usually provide customers with rubber gloves and  refuse them cutlery, forcing them to eat with their hands. We luckily had utensils left over and were spared the embarrassment of shovelling this into our mouths with our hands (forks and our own gluttony worked just fine to embarrass us)

He says: The crinkle cut chips alone were tasty but the addition of siracha, bacon and sour cream didn’t bring that much to the party. Maybe needed more of each ingredient (and possibly some melted cheese wouldn’t go astray). The Bloody Marys were impressive and served their purpose with vigour but the Jelly Wrestle desert opened up a new level. It’s a must try that transcends the novelty the moment you start heaving all of the different elements into your mouth. Probably the most flat out ‘fun’ dish I’ve had in ages.

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Visited on 17 August 2014

|| 1 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW 2049 || Website ||

Hours:

Mon – Thu: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Fri – Sat: 12:00 pm – 3:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Oxford Tavern on Urbanspoon

Batch Burgers & Espresso

Batch Burgers Verdict: 7/10

Beef Burger: 6/10

Chicken Burger: 8/10

Sides: 7/10

 

Why Batch?

She says: I think that this was yet another of his blog finds. The photos of this place online looked fantastic. Turns out that it is actually quite a small restaurant, with only bar seating inside and two tables out the front. Great for a date but probably tough if you are more than two and it’s peak burger times

He says: Batch was indeed a blog find. I also regularly found myself waking up with the Batch burger menu on my Ipad signifying my last point of consciousness before slumber on numerous occasions. Not particularly difficult to work out what food source features prominently in my dreams and why.


What did you order?

  • Chocolate malt milkshake with Maltesers – $8
  • Cheesy fries – $5
  • Berliner– $13.50
  • New Yorker – $15

Tell us about the New Yorker ?

He says: After settling on our plan of attack regarding the menu and nestling up in the tight confines of Batch, this little fella rocked up on a plate. It looked great and all the components seemed to be in harmonious play but I was a little disappointed with the patty. It was a touch on dry side and flavourless. The other fillings (from the seductive sauce, pineapple goodness which She now seems to be a fan of, and through to the soft brioche bun) all worked well but alas were let down. Kind of like you threw a party and told all the coolest kids to surround the milquetoast in attempt to lift their character. Needless to say, it doesn’t work out.

She says: We had some debate on the way there as to which beef burger to choose (the other contender was the Cheese Burger ($11.00) with onion, pickles & cheese American mustard and ketchup on a seeded brioche bun). The argument for the New Yorker proved the most convincing (the lack of any kind of salad on the Cheese Burger was the deciding factor) and when it came it, like the interior of Batch itself, definitely looked the part. And while this tower of a burger held together well and the ingredients were nice and fresh, as a whole didn’t blow me away.  (Side note – this was another burger with Pineapple, what is He doing to me!)

So then, how did you find the Berliner?

She says: This was another cracker chicken burger (we have had a great run so far). It definitely outshone the New Yorker (except maybe in the looks department). We watched as the chef put the cheese straight onto the hotplate to melt it down before slapping it onto a perfectly crispy chicken schnitzel. This was delicately placed on a bun with mayonnaise and one leaf of iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise, topped with bacon. Good ratios, good taste.

He says: Whoa. This was delicious. Chicken (crumbed to perfection) and bacon to sauce ratio was spot on but the real star was the fried cheese. Yes, they fry the cheese then put it on the burger. It’s a minor masterpiece with my only complaint being the bun on this one was a little dry. 

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And what about the sides?

She says: Our milkshake order (Chocolate malt milkshake with Maltesers) was the star of the show sides-wise. We basically ordered malt on malt on malt. The waitress double checked that  she had heard us correctly and looked dubious, but our order was genius! It was amazing, and luckily came with two straws facilitating somewhat trite milkshake-sharing-date-headclashes. The cheesy fries were good for the price but more cheese would have been (as it always is) welcome.

He says: The milkshake smacked my joy receptors into overdrive. Like the lava of a chocolate malt volcano. I was more into the cheesy fries than She and think it’s because whatever cheese they used was suitably sharp and moreish. Unlike She I also completely submerged every cheesy chip in the aioli kindly afforded to us


Visited on 29 June 2014

|| 3A Broughton St, Kirribilli NSW 2061 ||   Menu ||  Website  ||

Hours:

7am to 10pm – 7 days a week

Batch Burgers & Espresso on Urbanspoon

Bonarchè Burger

Bonarche Bruger outside

Bonarchè Burgers Verdict: 8/10

Beef Burger: 7/10

Chicken Burger: 8.5/10

Sides: 8/10

 

Why Bonarchè?

She says: Bonarchè was included in Concrete Playground’s ‘Top Ten Burgers in Sydney’ list. Which is lucky because it is an unassuming little shopfront that I probably wouldn’t have chosen to enter based purely on its looks (or its website for that matter, which is like a throw back from the time when you had to wait and listen for your modem to connect). 

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He says: I had yet to stumble across a negative review of Bonarchè and had a local Leichardt friend who swore by the place’s quality.

Burgers and chips

What did you order?

  • Tender Tokyo – $15.00
  • Beach n Beef – $15.00

  • Disco Fries – $9.00

  • Malted musk milkshake – Special

Your burger

Tell us about the Beach and Beef burger?

He says: What a monster. This burger would have dwarfed three Mary’s burgers triple piggy backing each other. Flavour was spot on, patty cooked to perfection and the BBQ sauce/aioli combo a winner. There did just seem to be too much packed into the burger though (especially on the avocado front) and two handed consumption became a logistical nightmare. Otherwise a really solid belly filler. 

Your burger cross section

She says: This was a stupendously big burger. As per our usual practice, we halved each burger to share. Luckily He was in charge of this one. Cutting it somewhat compromised the structural integrity of the burger and it was it pretty much fell to bits (although based on the patty consistency, I think this may have happened anyway). Structural issues aside, the meat was delicious  and was complimented by the avocado and smoky BBQ sauce. This was another burger with pineapple, which I think I am coming around to.

Tokyo special

So then, how did you find the Tender Tokyo burger?

She says: It is probably one of my top chicken burgers of the year. As the name would suggest it is Japanese inspired with a Panko breadcrumbed tender chicken breast tonkatsu sauce, Japanese coleslaw & kupi mayo dressing it was as beautifully balanced as a chicken burger based haiku. The crumbing was perfectly crunchy with just the right amount of chicken to sauce to coleslaw to bun ratio.

Tokyo special cross sectionHe says: This was a cracker. A chicken burger to tell the kids about. Redefined the notion of synergy as everything on this burger came in to play to aid the other in a near perfect marriage. The Panko breadcrumbed chicken holding hands with a suitably crisp coleslaw whilst straddling the delicious tonkatsu sauce and mayo dressing double threat was one I’d be happy to experience on, at the very least, a weekly basis. 

Chips and milkshakeAnd what about the sides?

She says: The disco fries covered in cheese and real gravy, not the powdered insulting stuff that they have at the RSL. If only we had have had more room to finish them off. And the malted musk milkshake was pretty incredible. At His suggestion we tried it, and it was a delicious decision. 

He says: The disco fries are suitably decadent and hard to fault for what they are. Being a musk lifesaver junky in my youth the musk flavoured milkshake was right up my alley. Well played Bonarchè, well played.


Visited on 22 June 2014

|| 14 Norton St , Leichhardt NSW ||   Menu  ||  Website  ||

Hours:

Wed 5-9PM

Thurs 5-9.00PM*

Fri 12-3PM  and 5-9.30PM

Sat 12PM-9.30PM*

Sun 11AM-8.OOPM

*Winter trading hours

Bonarche Burgers on Urbanspoon