Sunnybank’s Market Square always overflows with people. On any given night, long queues stretch below neon signs and out onto footpaths.
But one eatery is now front and centre in the scene. Last month Johnny Na opened the doors to the second instalment of his hugely popular Miel Container burger joint. Its red shipping-container facade cuts a striking contrast against the surrounding restaurants.
For Na, this 120-seat second operation was all about scaling up in the backyard of his most loyal customers. “Forty or 50 per cent are from the south side,” Na says. “It’s a good location. Always busy. We’re just trying to do something different.”
Na’s original Miel Container, a CBD “pop-up”, was an instant success on opening in 2013, winning fans with its wide-ranging menu of burger creations. “Young people in particular are wanting a different experience,” Na says. “By focusing on quality and difference we are appealing to them.”
Inside the Sunnybank restaurant it’s just as busy as the car park outside, a queue at the counter consistently five or six deep. Johnny’s brother, Steve, leads the Sunnybank team, the staff working feverishly to push burgers out of a poky kitchen.
The burgers are a fusion of Na’s diverse Korean-via-French culinary training. Think barbeque bulgogi and miso-smoked pork belly, both served with bean-paste mayo, or more traditional grass-fed beef, crumbed fish and vegie burgers. All come sandwiched between house-baked brioche or ciabatta.
Servings are generous and the option to DIY is a point of difference, flying in the face of the “no menu change” policies that are becoming common elsewhere. Sunnybank adds tap beer to the mix as well as a small menu of ice-cream and shakes.
Na has relied heavily on the feedback of his customers in growing his business and says share platters and family deals are next in the pipeline for the Sunnybank store.
Shop 36/37 Market Square, 341 Mains Road, Sunnybank
Mon to Sun 11am–late