David Chang is the semi-legendary owner of the Momofuku string of restaurants, a co-founder of Lucky Peach magazine and a man who makes his opinions known. In a new “Burger Manifesto” published on Lucky Peach’s website, he has taken a swing at Australian-style burgers, lambasting them as “mostly terrible”, save Mary’s in Sydney's Newtown. “You know who fucks up burgers more than anyone else in the world? Australians,” he says. “Australia has no idea what a burger is. They put a fried egg on their burger. They put canned beetroot on it, like a wedge of it. I am not joking you.”
We’re not joking either, Dave. A little beetroot and runny egg is far from the worst we can do to our burgers. Over in Collingwood you’ll find the closest equivalent on this side of the equator to the infamous Heart Attack Grill: Easey’s. If Chang is looking for real burger blasphemy, he’ll find it in its Melbourne Madness burger: a double-beef patty with triple American cheddar, bacon, jalapenos, pickles, onion, mustard and ketchup, a potato cake and a fried dim sim.
Chef and co-owner of new backstreets bar Leonard’s House of Love, Nick Stanton, has found a creative way to use one of his favourite flavours – cheeseburger – in a new way. He takes the ingredients – mince, burger bun, cheese, onion – and stuffs it into a rotisserie chicken, covers it in a Coca-Cola glaze and slow-roasts it for several hours.
If you’re after Chang’s worst nightmare, you’ll find a good rendition of it in Fat Bob’s signature burger in Moorabbin: a beef patty topped with all the fixings, including beetroot, egg and a fat wedge of pineapple. ‘Straya.
To piss off Dave Chang, put these burgers on your list:
Double Patty Smash Burger at Rockwell and Sons
The Ivan Drago at Grand Trailer Park Taverna
The Lot at Brother Burger
Melbourne Madness at Easey’s
Fat Bob at Fat Bob’s
The Lot at Danny’s Burgers
Hawaiian Five-0 at Andrew’s Hamburgers
If you’re a disciple of Chang’s burger school of simplicity, try these (tell them to hold the mustard):
Easey Cheesy at Easey’s
American Classic Cheese at Parlour Diner
KSA at Grand Trailer Park Taverna
Beef Burger at Dandenong Pavilion
Minor at Tuck Shop Take Away
Huxtaburger at Huxtaburger
Simplex at Fat Bob’s
Pony Boy at Royale Brothers