Anyone opening a new burger business in Melbourne better have a point of difference. The Burger Project has a good one: Neil Perry.

Using 36-month-old Cape Grim grass-fed beef and free-range Lilydale chicken, Burger Project is pushing its “slow food fast food” motto hard. “For us, grass-fed and range-fed animals are super-important, as is the way that they’re treated,” says Perry. “I’ve been down to the farm in Tassie. They’re super happy and content, and I think you can taste that in the beef.”

In unusual style, Burger Project brings in whole chuck and brisket by the tonne, then hand-slices the meat and forms it into pucks before pressing it on to the grill and seasoning with Murray River salt. “You get a better texture and juiciness from that, rather than machine-forming,” says Perry.

Thirteen burgers form the menu, including the American Cheese with house-made pickles, ‘secret sauce’ and rose mayonnaise; and the Magic Mushroom with crumbed confit field mushroom, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato and lettuce. Chips come with either chipotle or Szechuan salt. Valrhona chocolate and salted caramel and strawberry thickshakes are made entirely in-store. The kicker is that, unlike the $22 Wagyu burger at Rockpool Bar and Grill, Burger Project’s basic offering starts at $8.90.

The Collins Street store is the brand’s third outlet (there are two in Sydney), with more to come. There’ll be eight Burger Projects by the end of the year, and 20 by the end of 2017. The Burger Project is one of the first residents in the new St. Collins Lane development, which will soon feature Sydney taqueria Los Vida and patisserie Cafe de la Ville.

The Burger Project
The Aviary, Level 2, 260 Collins Street, Melbourne

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