Friday, 6 July 2012

Andrew's Hamburgers and Rambling Through Albert Park

I read that Wafu is closing its doors because the proprietor has a bizarre outlook at how a restaurant should be run essentially. I am given a hard enough time by clients on a daily basis and if I really want to be frustrated I will sit in traffic on Collins Street at peak hour. Why would anyone want the frustration of dealing with such weird rules when frequenting this restaurant

It seems as if wherever you look these days there is a "Best of" list that is written by anyone that has access to a computer. I will attempt to resist the urge to devise one simply because they are so subjective. Recently though I read one that attempted to list the best places to find a hamburger in Melbourne and thought it was a bit intriguing because one of the entries carried on about the veggie-burger. A veggie-burger is not a hamburger so I revert to my argument that these lists are subjective. One entry that I did notice, that seems to be consistent on most "best of" lists is Andrew's Hamburgers in Albert Park.

On occasion when I am having a slow day or when I finish my immediate duties, I will go for a walk/run (usually a walk being unfit and also because I can talk whilst walking) from Southbank to St Kilda Pier Kiosk via the footpath that follows the tram line to Beacon Cove. It is a 17km wander where the halfway point is the historic St Kilda Pier Kiosk where I can indulge in a coffee. I have found the kiosk to be a relaxing place where you can dawdle and enjoy the cityscape and of course return all of the "important/urgent/vital/critical" phone calls that you miss out along the way.

Instead of following the same route back to Southbank, I deviated through the terrace houses of Albert Park and down Montague Street where I found the much discussed, Andrew's Hamburgers.

When I presented myself, the shop was packed and it was 4:30PM. The staff are like machines producing mainly "Hamburgers with the lot" that includes the fresh produce that you would expect but also an egg and bacon. There is very minimal seating at a counter in the shop so I retreated outside to a bench on the street to eat my substantial offering. It was divine. Secretly I harboured ambitions to return and have another but guilt would have have then suggested that I add another 17km to my wander and also visit the gym. A sacrifice that would totally be worth it in retrospect though. By far, this was the best hamburger that I have had in ages. 

Andrew's Hamburgers

Andrew's Hamburgers
Link to review
144 Bridport Street West  Albert Park VIC 3206
(03) 9690 2126
My Rating: 12/20
Service: 1/5 (counter service)
Ambiance: 2/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Comment: Bloody great hamburgers with the lot.

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

When I revised this post on 15/09/12, 91% of reviewers on Urbanspoon like Andrew's Hamburgers and I agree with them.

Andrew's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 5 July 2012

South Melbourne - Clarendon Street

During the recent Moe earthquake, I thought I was going to end up out my window and take a one way trip to Clarendon Street. Fortunately that did not happen and I lived to start this blog. I had been meaning to explore Clarendon Street in South Melbourne for a while and the anticipation did not turn into disappointment.

The first stop was the South Melbourne market. I envisioned the place to resemble the Prahran market and be filled with produce, meat, fish and culinary oddities but that is not the case. For the most part it is a trash and treasure flea market however there are a few fruit stalls. Seemingly it is open only on Wednesday, Friday and the weekends as there is only a demand for trash and treasure on those days of the week. Resembling the man with the bowlers hat in the Johnny Walker ad, I kept on walking and did not stop until I exited the place. I did notice that Claypots is located in this place as that requires a visit so I will be back in the future.

Being confronted by so much trash and treasure caused me great distress and also it built up a thirst. The epicurean emo and I retreated into The Blue Room as it looked like a sane venue and were advertising lunch specials. Some $17.50 lunch specials were on offer that included an alcoholic beverage so both the spaghetti and meatballs and the penne were ordered and the shiraz was placed before me and consumed with great anticipation. The morbid fear that I experienced being so close to so much trash and treasure dissipated and I enjoyed my warm lunch. The Blue Room had a calm and relaxed atmosphere and the service was prompt. They were advertising all you can eat mussels for $29 as a special for later in the day also. When I posted this, 74% of the reviewers like this place also according to Urbanspoon.

The Blue Room Restaurant Bar Cafe on Urbanspoon

Still being thirsty, we ventured to the Golden Gate Hotel which proved to be quite the find. They were advertising a steak lunch special for $14 and when it was brought out to some other guests, I was shocked at how good it looked. The table that received the dead cow expressed their joy also. Pints of Kosciuszko Pale Ale flowed and my thirst was abated. I am looking forward to visiting this watering hole again and trying the steak and of course also ensuring that the Kosciuszko Pale Ale remains of the highest quality coming out of the tap. I am not sure why only 66% of the punters that wrote a review of this place on Urbanspoon like it. It is a pleasant place that is good value for money.

Golden Gate Hotel on Urbanspoon

After walking 50m, I felt sense of discomfort as I was quickly becoming parched again so we had to retreat into the Clarendon Hotel. With the gas hearth it wasn't hard to relax and test the quality of the Carlton Draught. Fox News was being shown on one television and Judge Judy was airing on the other. Before the channel was changed to Fox News, Good Charlotte videos were being screened. One of the servers became distressed as he believed that the conga line of videos was to honour the memory of one of the members of Good Charlotte, as he believed one of the members recently died. As one of their albums is called "The Chronicles of Life and Death" I can understand the confusion but the server seemed to believe that one of the Madden brothers had kicked on. I was afraid to quiz him as to whether this would affect his viewing of the second series of The Voice.

Also in the immediate area is a Dan Murphy's so a few bottles of liquor was purchased for the home bar.

When I think of South Melbourne I used to think of places to get your brakes repaired or even your motorcar stolen, but this stretch of Clarendon Street defied my expectations. I look forward to exploring it further, returning to the Golden Gate, and perhaps wandering down to Albert Park in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I don't care if Monday's blue...

One of the best kept secrets in Melbourne, well at least from I can tell because of the attendance, is the $7 cinema ticket night at the Kino Palace cinema on Collins Street. For ages this cinema was Kino Dendy but it changed hands in the recent past it would seem.

The first voucher from my Entertainment Book was ripped out before the wander to the cinema. In reality it is a rather anti-epicurean event, but I attended Maccas with the epicurean emo and received a free frozen coke after purchasing one. That is a savings of $3.25.

So a couple of frozen cokes and a tickets to see Prometheus cost a modest $17.25. It isn't bad for a night out for two in the Melbourne CBD however when it is put in perspective, which can ultimately be applied to fine dining (give me the benefit of the doubt here) is that you must mingle with the public, and the public are everywhere. There was a gentleman in the cinema that sounded like Black Caviar 300m from the post at Royal Ascot when he breathed from three rows back. People came in after the movie started and then looked like kangaroos when presented with the age old problem of where to sit. Fortunately Kino Palace does not allocate seating which is a plus. I probably added to the annoyance and discomfort of my fellow patrons as I am still in the final stages of getting rid of the flu so I coughed on occasion. Can you really have a relaxing time when in such close proximity to the public?

Punters attempted to have a relaxing time at Coda not long back however the restaurant was soon under attack by the happy couple that decided to play the old age trick of walking into a restaurant and asking if a table for two can be sourced. When the restaurant responds in the affirmative, one of the members of the party goes outside and pushes a pram in the size of a Volkswagen Golf. You may have read the recent press that the restaurant refused them service for this outrageous ploy. I am sure the diners were appreciative that they did not have to shout about how much they hate the carbon tax and the federal government over the noise of the screaming child. I would encourage everyone to support Coda and the interesting article can be found here.

After the cinematic experience and being somewhat disappointed by Prometheus, we found ourselves at the Transport Bar in Federation Square after wandering past Coda and the packed Chin Chin. I was impressed that the Transport Bar had Coopers Red on tap as that is always a favourite and also a cauldron of muddled cider on offer. A pint of the former and a serve of the latter totalled $18.50 was ordered and enjoyed in a relaxed environment.