What do you imagine a Vietnamese burger tastes like? What about a Chinese burger, or a Canadian one? These are the questions Concept Burger hopes to answer. The new Wolli Creek restaurant is serving seven burgers, each based on a different cuisine.
The idea comes from hospitality first-timers Sergio Spagnuoli and Coco Liang. They asked perennial consultant Tomislav Martinovic to help execute it; the man who revolutionised the north shore burger scene with Five Points.
“The challenge for me was how do I make it taste and feel like a burger without a patty or a slice of American cheese? If you take out American cheese from a burger it sends a message to your brain, 'Is this actually a sandwich?’” says Martinovic.
This is what he came up with: a Chinese burger (his personal favourite) with spiced fried chicken, celeriac slaw, pickled cucumber and fermented chili paste; a Canadian with a regular grass-fed patty, American cheese, maple-glazed bacon and Dijon mustard; and a Japanese one with tempura gemfish with pickled radish and a yuzu and green chili mayo. “I tried an Aussie burger, but anything I added – beetroot, grilled onion, pineapple, egg – it didn’t really improve the burger.”
Those looking for a classic American cheeseburger better go elsewhere; Concept Burger is just about the only specialty-burger restaurant in Sydney that doesn’t have one. There’s no fast-food-style fries, either, let alone a plate of them “loaded” with cheese and other gimmicky things. They’ve instead opted for house-made potato crisps.
The rest of the short menu has a trio of salads (including green tea soba noodles tossed with pickled radish, bean sprouts, avo, mint and soy); fried sides (tempura onion rings and chicken); and a single dessert consisting of white chocolate mousse sprinkled with cookie crumbs, pistachios, raspberries and passionfruit. “We wanted to get away from the American diner a bit and not do soft serve,” says Martinovic.
There’s liquor, too, at this stage a small selection of wine and six beers. The small restaurant, designed with light timber and minimal colours, like many these days, is entirely a sit-down dining experience.
9–11 Arncliffe Street, Wolli Creek
(02) 9597 4184
Tue to Fri 5pm–10pm
Sat & Sun 11am–10pm