It’s that time of the year, the time to compile and reflect on the year that has been. One of the busiest times of my year. Compiling the Top 20 Movies of 2016 over at Salty Popcorn, the Top 20 Pieces of Shit Movies of 2016, also over at Salty, this year I introduce My Top 10 Restaurants of Sydney (coming soon) and now my second annual best burgs list, the Top 20 Sydney Burgers of 2016. For last year’s list of amazement please see HERE.
Being the second annual list for the Top 20 Sydney Burgers I had to approach it a little differently. It is basically the Top 20 Sydney Burgers of 2016 that I first ate in 2016. Burgers like Bar Luca’s Blame Canada, BBJ’s Primo, Brad’s Trufflenator and Mr Gee’s Truffle Burger, while still my favourite burgers in existence, were in last year’s list. Therefor they do not make an outing this year. The list is also heavy on SPECIALS, the burgers that may have only breathed life for a week or two but captured my attention and belly.
The scoring and the below comments for each burger are based on the scores I gave them on Instagram at the time I ate them. Each burger comment may have comments I made specific for the day I made the post and got blissfully a little bit larger. The list is in descending order from #20 >>> #1. Please note EVERY burger I eat starts at a perfect 5/5 and I deduct points if anything is not perfect for me. This year was slightly less in the burg inhalation – only 85 devoured compared to last years 95. On a good note I am 3kgs lighter than this time last year. Christmas will destroy this no doubt.
****** POINTS OF NOTE ******
- Chef Brad who has a few burgers in here no longer works at Dee Why Hotel. At this stage in his burgerdom he can be found at Eleven11 Cafe in Warriewood.
- Burgers by Josh is now located at Annandale Hotel – his previous pop-ups are listed in here
#20: DOUBLE CHEESY – CHEF’S KITCHEN 4.7/5
As luck had it I had to drive past the nomnoms of @chefskitchen_around lunch time and slipped in to try this week’s special……..
Double Cheezy – 2x 110gm cold smoked patties, high melt cheese, tomato sauce, American mustard, lots of pickles and cajun liquid cheese.
Easily TOP THREE cheeseburgers of all time for me. I am preferring the round bun to the larger rectangular style and that smoked flavour in the patties gave it a flavour boost I wasn’t sure if I would like but I fell in love with on bite one, and those patties were cooked to perfection. The trick I find with a cheese burger is the balance of sauce, mustard and cheese, it can get way too tart and acidic and then I am lost and screwing up my face, have no fear with Double Cheezy, Charles has created a perfect balance of flavours. I foodgasmed so hard my eyes rolled back.
On scoring: a 4.7/5 on the Spoonometer of Foodgasms.
#19: MADRID MADNESS – THE HOTDOG MAN 4.7/5
I got my @thehotdogmanau (in Manly) on yesterday to try their range of burgers, sadly hidden by the venue name, are top notch.
They have a specialty bun and rolls for both the dogs and burgs, handmade to their specs. It’s a half milk/ half brioche bun and it’s brilliantly sweet with incredible structural integrity that can handle doubles without blinking.
This was my fave burger and it was phenomenal. Meet the MADRID MADNESS – chargrilled Chorizo Patty (made with chorizo, brisket and chuck), black tiger prawns, garlic, rocket, manchego cheese and smoked paprika mayo. I think it was $19.50 and fatties get free potato royales.
It was like a sublime Spanish dish on a burger and will make my top 20 burgers of 2016. My only negative was slightly too much sauce for me, still tasted amezeballs but a lot dripped out while I was eating and I emptied the napkin holder cleaning myself.
On the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms this one’s a 4.7/5 from me. Easily the best burger in Manly.
#18: SECRET MENU BEEF – GROLLA SYDNEY
It doesn’t get much better than this, the beef rib burger from the very cool @grollasydney in Neutral Bay – while a burger not sure it actually classifies as a burger. It’s beef rib, not a patty but it is farking insanely good!! In-house smoked beef rib, homemade slaw, radish, special mustard sauce on a #Brioche Bun with Gold Leaf.
Please note they don’t usually serve it with the bone in – they offered it to me for the pics and then removed the meat off the bone for me and returned. Also note the burger comes in two levels, the standard and the epic – the epic contains the gold leaf and a little bit more meat (burger pictured is the EPIC).
This burger tastes phenomenal – that smoked meat is perfection and me and bestie @samrix2 LOVED IT. Foodgasm stuff!! 4.7/5.
#17: PLEASE EXPLAIN – BURGERS BY JOSH AT THE ANNANDALE HOTEL
The Pauline Hanson’s “Please Explain”
This face melting burg consists of:
House Smoked Chicken Shish Thigh piece ♨
House Habanero Sauce
Toum (House Garlic sauce)
Hand-cut twice fried chips
Finished on artisian red bun
This weekend only is all that is left for this delish fiery ranga burg.
After the initial shock that saw a layer of my taste buds melt off and enter a BBJ habanero furnace they remoulded into submission and I entered that hot food chilli bliss indulgence. That habanero sauce is on point to the max but be warned this will not be for everyone, if u don’t do spice u don’t do the PLEASE EXPLAIN!!! Fries were a massive tick also as the carbs pacified the flames of my mouth. The chicken and the patty were as always cooked to BBJ spec of awesome and the garlic and cheese were nice background complimenting flavours but were mostly stomped on by the chilli. The bun does look very cool. I loved this hot burger – there aren’t many burgers this hot in Sydney, two big thumbs up and on the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms a flame faced 4.7/5.
#16: THE PHATMAK – ORIGINALS BURGER CO.
The PHATMAK! Available for November during lunch service (from 11am). Free range grass fed beef, mac & cheese patty, bacon, double American cheese, pickles, onion, baby cos, BBQ sauce, chilli sauce, OG’s house dressing.
To be clear I have taken a bunch of pics for these guys and am doing some work with them – as they are basically a client I just wouldn’t post about a burg if it was shit but this is far from shit.
Probably my favourite burger with a Mac N Cheese patty in it. It just wasn’t offensively cheesy and the winner of this burg is that chilli sauce – provides a heat that cuts through it all and left me in a state of feeding frenzy.
This one will probably make my Top 10 burgs of 2016. On the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms this one’s a 4.7/5 for me.
#15: WHITE STALLION – CHICKEN AND SONS
If bourbon bagel burgers aka burgels aren’t your thing at @chicken_and_sons #surryhills this weekend you could always wrap your laughing gear around a WHITE STALLION – double beef pattie, glazed double bacon, double cheese, secret sauce, charred onion, jalapeño, tomato and lettuce. $18-
Freaking epic beef burger, easily a top 10 contender for 2016 burger lists. It’s “Chicken” and Sons in name only, Adam and his crew know burgers, all meats and epic food. This is close to a perfect beef burger and the jalapeño adds that extra heat that I LOVE!! An easy 4.8/5 on the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms – get it into you!!
#14: ON POINT AS FUCK – CHICKEN AND SONS
Chef Adam at @chicken_and_sons decided to make a take-the-piss burger to poke fun at all the descriptive shit filling the Sydney burger scene at the moment – the irony is the OP burg is totes ON Point AF .
In Chef’s words…..
The ‘On point’ burger ingredients...
‘Make dem gains, Gym lyf’ Signature Angus pattie
Way more American cheese than necessary
Dem feels Jalapeño, 3 cheese and bacon popper
Legit AF Fried cheese pattie
Meowwww Tiger sauce cuz
Ermargherd Hash brown
Crispy AF Bacon
David Attenborough fries
Troy Mcclures pickles (not really home made)
Free Hax by Adrock, Jaydog and Dezhizzle (Monday)
Served on Chicken and sons signature paper (best paper in the game) Signed copies available on request… Hahahaha
The burger is fucking insane and intense – it embraces EPIC and is not for the faint of heart. It is big and I needed a sleep after while my body fought the battle of digestion.
I ate the popper as en entree and it was fracking amazing!!
Patty was cooked well and the hash brown was a great addition. The fries on the side were sublime and the level of cheese in this baby is enough to to kill anyone with lactose issues. I didn’t photograph the internal cheese surprise in the cheese patty – that is the thick crumbed thing in the middle – it was basically filled with an entire hot runny fondue – best cheese patty I am yet to eat, perfectly runny and at a delightful warm temp.
This burger is a challenge and should not be ordered lightly but expect to be rewarded if you do eat it. On the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms this is a 4.8/5 from me. I suggest the Kosciuszko Pale Ale to accompany.
#13: GET IT INDIA – GOODTIME BURGERS
Oh my – this burg was soooooooooo f’n good!!! The GET IT INDIA from @goodtimeburgers
Indian fried butter chicken (I think the guy said it soaked for 48hrs)
Mango mint chutney
Coriander & Spanish Onion
Zucchini & chickpea fritta topper.
Mind blown – not usually a topper fan but this was a perfect start to this Indian-inspired burger. The chicken was aplenty and melted in my mouth and the flavours made my toes curl and eyes roll into my head. And they have great standard thick chips that somehow tasted a little like peanuts – the guys said they were cooked in a standard oil but maybe a splash of peanut oil in there – LOVED THEM. And at only $15 for the lot this was a massive win win!!
I am pretty sure this was only a special and may end after this weekend so check with venue first before heading in to order it (the parking in Bondi is a bloody wet holiday nightmare). If it’s finished hassle the hell out of them to bring it back – it’s a perfect winter burg!! A nice 4.8/5 on the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms.
#12: CHEECH AND CHONG – BURGERS BY JOSH AT HOTEL WILLIAM
Another @burgersbyjosh pop up is sadly coming to an end. The tenure of the maestro and his dedicated and friendly staff comes to an end tomorrow at @hotelwilliam and his last special brings the burger game home strong.
This mega-burger tower – CHEET AND CHONG contains:
*Mac N Cheetos Patty
*Signature Wagyu Patty
*Crispy AF bacon
*Mesquite BBQ Sauce
*Low N Slow pulled pork
*Westmont Crinkle cut pickles
They took their four cheese macaroni blend then crumbed it in Cheetos Cheese and bacon balls then then deep fried it!! That was amazing!! Loved it. May have heart attack! But pickles nearly makes it a vegetarian burger right??! This one is HUGE and a smokey flavour orgy, for me it makes my TOP 5 BBJ BURGS – I should probably write a Top 10 by now .
The first bite was all pulled pork then I could get to the Mac and Cheetos Patty and it wasn’t until the fourth bite I got to the wagyu. I found the pulled pork quite subtle in flavour and the Mac patty also quite subtle with a sublime crispy outer shell and the beef is gold as usual.
The AF Bacon shone in this one, combined with the mesquite BBQ sauce it gave a nice smokey tang that cut into the other ingredients. I was actually uncertain how I would get this in my mouth and people who walked past the table commented with “wows,” but somehow I managed. This would be my favourite special at Hotel William and as previously mentioned this would make Top 5 BBJ for me. Rumour has it that Mac n Cheetos patty may make a permanent hack item at his next venue.
On the fat bastard spoonometer of burgerly foodgasms this is a 4.8/5 for me.
If visiting Josh today or tomorrow get in early – everything will be sold and burgers will sell out. Thanks for another fine pop up to Josh and his Crew!!
#11: THE WHITE FLAG – CHEF’S KITCHEN
This week’s sublime special from @chefskitchen_ is here…
The White Flag…..
Shredded beef and grilled onions cooked in red wine jus
Swiss cheese béchamel
100% brisket patty
Plus the topper – Truffled pommes Dauphine (fancypants way of saying – mashed potato mixed with truffle and choux pastry)
It is a small to medium sized burger and this was great for a change, no behemoth required – this is about epic quality as opposed to towering quantity and it wins huge bonus points for taking me back to what I imagined was the taste of my mum’s Shepherd’s Pie but on a fine burger. The pulled beef blended with the brisket patty and it all melted in the mouth. It looked a simple burger but the flavours were complex and balanced to the point of foodgasm and due to the size I could also enjoy the thick chips in Parmesan with aioli dipping sauce #DROOL
Easily the best I have had from Madman at #chefskitchen – on the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms a 4.8/5 from me.
#10: FINDING EMO – BAR LUCA/ BL
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to eat a black fish burger. Chef Sarah at @blburgers and @barlucasydney is a burger alchemist of the dark arts with crazy ground-breaking burgers presented weekly. This is a tongue in cheek celebration for the release of #findingdory called…… Finding Emo Squid ink & beer battered Dory Fillet, guacamole, red cabbage slaw, dill & black garlic aioli on a charcoal brioche bun! $16 and pretty sure it ends to tomorrow at all the BL stores – three in Sydney.
I have a nightmare squid ink cooking disaster story for another time but this kept me scared of this burger but I shouldn’t have panicked because holy black hearted seafood Batman!! It was beeeeyoooodiful. There was one thing that would have made it perfection and a perfect score for me, chilli – it was delish as is but my palate digs the hotstuff and this burger would be a match made in heaven for the heat.
On the fat bastard spoonometer of burgerly foodgasms this is a 4.8/5 and one of my faves of 2016 so far!
#9: JUSTIN BEAVER – BAR LUCA/ BL
Happy Australian national burger day peeps – in honour of this joyous occasion I celebrated early yesterday with another marvel from the extremely skilled crew at @blburgers – with their love for Canada they have paid homage to the Biebs with some Canadian sausage on their JUSTIN BEAVER burger……. 200g pattie, USA red cheddar, 6″ triple smoked Canadian sausage, Beaver Coney Island mustard, pickles, onions, ketchup, lettuce & maple aioli for $16
As usual it is near perfection from Sarah and the BL crew – the first bite I had landed a giant amount of sauce on my tongue and it was tart and overpowering but when I got the bites in and other stuff hit the tongue first I fell in love, perhaps it was the Biebs music serenading instore haha.
There is a reason Sarah and the crew are constantly lauded as one of the best in Sydney – consistency, perfect patties, superb venues, A&F model counter staff haha, questionable tunes and masterful art in tastebud seduction.
The Justin Beaver is an easy 4.8/5 on the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms. And as luck would have it their new venue is open this week on Beach Road Bondi so more outlets to stalk and feast at.
#8: LIL KIM – JUICY LUCY
One of the best chicken burgers in the whole of Sydney right here – the most awesome Lil Kim from @juicylucychicken
Fried chicken from heaven
Korean BBQ sauce
Love!!! The flavours from the Kimchi and BBQ sauce with the crispy chicken are enough to make me multiple foodgasm!! On the fat bastard of burgerly foodgasms this is a nice 4.8/5. It demands attention and I want another one NOW DAMMIT!!!!
#7: THE DIRTY BIRD BRISKET BURGER – ORCHARD TAVERN
This is THE DIRTY BIRD BRISKET BURGER and it is no word of a lie the biggest burger I have eaten.
Southern Fried Chicken
Served with chips and more aioli
Cost: $23- It is worth that!! It is called their Burger of the Week so it may not be around for long – hit them up on FB with questions as they don’t have Insta.
I have to be honest – it was the BEST barnyard style burger I have ever had and every element was cooked to perfection. The brisket had the consistency of butter and the chicken was as crunchy as corn flakes without milk. Every element was flawless BUT it was too big for me to get my mouth around. There was two layers of chicken and two layers of beef so I took one of each layer off and some bacon and ate these with knife and fork – I know right – hand the burger membership back. But this made the burger manageable and it still had each ingredient in it.
I loved the smokey ranch like flavourings and would rate this a top 10 burger for 2016 at this stage. The onion rings were a nice entree and to be perfectly frank – the chips were unnecessary and went to waste because there is no way any normal person can casually consume both the burger and the chips – but of the three I ate the fries were delicious.
On the fat bastard spoonometer of burgerly foodgasms this is a 4.855/5 for me. Thanks for the tip James!!
#6: FIG JAM – CHEF BRAD/ DEE WHY HOTEL
A perfect meal for me is generally a huge mixed cheese platter, some salami or prosciutto, crackers or fresh baked bread accompanied with anything truffle and a bottle of wine. What Chef has done is combine a cheese platter with a burger and it is beyond foodgasmic, it could be his best burger of 2016.
This one is known as the FIGJAM – go on say it . Fuck I’m Good Just Ask Me hahaha
Wagyu Beef Patty
King Island Blue Cheese
Fig and Walnut Paste
All on a Milk Bun
I can’t rave enough about this burger – it could just be that all the ingredients are close on my favourite flavours. Truffle and blue cheese is like sex and love rolled into a food for me. The fig and walnut paste is like a delightful quince accompaniment and that honey mayo is like a bloody divine cherry on top.
I drank a pale ale with the burg but I would highly recommend a strong Shiraz to pair and bring out that cheese platter flavour.
I need to check my scores for the year but I’m pretty sure this is Chef’s best. On the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms this is a 4.9/5 for me. And I LOVE it’s not a monster burger, it is quality and nuanced in flavour. Bloody brilliant Brad!!
#5: HOO LEE FOOK – GOODTIME BURGERS
@goodtimeburgers is a surprise burger venue in Bondi Junction, with all the talk of Sydney burgers centring mainly around four major players it is always an incredible feeling when you discover something else epic. Burger loving review is now live on Spooning – hit up link HERE.
There is three burgs reviewed in the article but the one I want to highlight – HOO LEE FOOK follows.
The last burger we indulged in, the HOO LEE FOOK: Master stock glazed pork belly with kimchi slaw, coriander, Japanese Mayo and Gouchujang Hot Sauce for $12, this came with a jalapeño popper sticking out of the top. It looked a lot smaller than the pics of it I had seen on the Fatties and as friend, Rixy Dix, and I were sharing all the burgers I was really concerned how I was going to chop this one in half. I shouldn’t have worried, that pork belly was the consistency of butter and parted easier than Moses and the big JC parting the Red Sea.
This burger is freaking mind blowing, containing flavours that I dream about, that pork belly and the coriander was a Good Friday holy gift sending us both to hell for eating pork on the non meat day of Christianity but it was worth it.
Rixy Dix gave the big call “best burger of my life,” and I was pretty damned close in agreeing. Do not walk past Goodtime Burgers without eating this burg – solid 4.9/5 on the Spoonometer. Next time no sharing!!
#4: SIGNATURE BUTTERMILK – CHICKEN AND SONS
Thanks to Chef Adam and Mark at @chicken_and_sons for having me and the blogstagramming mafia in for a fracking awesome chaotic feastage at the recently reopened #ChickenandSons in Chatswood. Always LOVE the food. Get a side of jerk pineapple and the Maccas loaded fries are the bomb!!
This is their standard, Signature Buttermilk Chicken Burg – now imagine their monster sized burgs!!
This has buttermilk breast, red cabbage slaw, chipotle aioli, American cheese and housepickles. It is basically flawless and the hint of heat is sublime. On the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms this one’s a 4.9/5 and possibly the best chicken burg of 2016.
#3: ZEUS 2.0 – CHEF BRAD/ DEE WHY HOTEL
Ladies and gentleman, Cronus has deemed it necessary to improve of @brads_burger_bbq from @deewhyhotel ‘s ZEUS and has allowed me to unveil ZEUS 2.0 – it’s release date is currently TBA but Brad will announce it soon.
Now imagine ZEUS and then think him better……
Chicken kebab meat
Beef kebab meat
50/50 house made garlic yoghurt
Quinoa tabouleh (totes healthy)
Sumac pickled onions American cheddar
New rustic shoestring fries with stealth coating (on the burger)
And it all holds together beautifully on their @brasseriebread Japanese milk bun – prepare to be blown away by this Titan!! My first battle with this god resulted in me being seduced by a Unicorn and Zeus 2.0 is even better – a new model Unicorn to replace the previous. It doesn’t look possible but I held this in one hand for a photograph and then it had limited spillage – it is perfection between buns giving a mouth orgy worthy of approval from Caligula.
#2: THE BIG BIRD – CHICKEN AND SONS
“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun’ well remove the all-beef patties, add two HUGE pieces of sublime crispy fried chicken, make it about three times the size of a Big Mac and imagine it made from a pro chef and enjoy the multiple foodgasms.
It was fucking amazing! The guy at a nearby table saw Chef Adam present it to me and his words were “holy fuck.”
On the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms I award my first chicken burger unicorn of 5/5. My new benchmark in burgers from the hen.
#1: HACK TRUFFLENATOR – CHEF BRAD/ DEE WHY HOTEL – I couldn’t help myself – I am a slave to the truffle :). Nice work Brad :).
How do u better a chicken Trufflenator and a beef Trufflenator? U insert the El Paso girl quote “why can’t we have both?” The one thing missing from the chicken Trufflenator was a hit of umami and while still a I preferred the beef – in reply to the people Chef @brads_burger_bbq has introduced the………….. HACK TRUFFLENATOR:
Crumbed Truffle buttermilk infused breast stuffed with truffle butter and further cooked in truffle butter
Truffled Maple Syrup
And as always on the @brasseriebread Japanese Milk Bun – $25.50 or $21 for the straight chicken truffe. I would honestly recommend an uber hack – double the wagyu for $30.
Sooooooo – both the Trufflenator and the Chicken Trufflenator I have awarded to so like those huge hoteliers who are introducing their best hotels in the world I award this a 6/5 on the fat bastard spoonometer of burgerly foodgasms or a double golden. It ticks every box and is the best burger Chef Brad has made, I multiple foodgasmed and went into a feeding frenzy where I couldn’t stop stuffing and ravenously destroying the thing in my mouth.
Get yummy in your tummy now – this is NOT ON THE MENU and is available by asking for it at the counter ONLY, #1 JK burger of the year right here (at the moment). <<<< I predicted this 26 weeks ago haha.