John Pavlos isn’t a trained chef, but knows a good burger when he eats one. Inspired by the specimens he tasted while travelling through America, Pavlos has spent the past six months perfecting his burger recipe with the help of family and friends. With the opening of Meet & Bun, the rest of Perth can taste his handiwork.
Pavlos cites American chain Shake Shack as a “huge inspiration”. Those that have tasted one of Shake Shack’s gold-standard burgers might experience a bout of déjà vu when opening a Meet & Bun box. One bite of the pillowy sweet bread and it’s a certainty. The additive-free patties – another thing Meet & Bun has in common with Shake Shack – are made with beef from Princi Butchers, hand pressed on-site and served pink.
“Our motto is we cook our burgers pink and juicy,” says Pavlos who left a career in the construction industry to open Meet & Bun with wife Venessa. “It’s pure chuck steak. There are no fillers, so if we dry it out too much, there’s nothing to retain the natural juiciness. That’s why we leave it nice and pink. The only other option I give is well-done.”
Curiously, Meet & Bun uses brioche imported from France. “We just couldn’t find a light enough bun,” says Pavlos. “With a lot of burgers around Perth, I find that the bun is so thick and heavy you just fill up on bread, rather than the beef and fillings inside. I think it’s going to take some getting used to. It’s quite light so some people feel like it’s not filling enough.”
Burgers start from $10 with choices ranging from a basic hamburger to the “Big Daddy” featuring an extra patty, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and salad. The “Chilli Chilli Bang Bang” adds jalapenos and chilli flakes, while Pavlos’s brother Danny lends his name (and recipe) to the fried chicken option. All burgers contain chipotle mayo made daily in-store. Diners can also choose from two breakfast burgers while a crumbed portobello mushroom burger is in development. Fries seasoned with smoked paprika are another tick for flavour.
Meet & Bun will be in the Trinity Arcade food hall for the next six months and, licensing allowing, will soon offer craft beer. Pavlos, meanwhile, is searching for a more permanent home.
“The dream is to turn it into a bar,” says Pavlos. “The reason we spelt it m-e-e-t is because we want it to be a meeting place where you can have a great burger and a great beer, just have a good time with your friends and family, kick back and relax.”
Meet & Bun
Shop 114, Trinity Arcade, Perth
Mon to Thu 10:30am-3pm