Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sea Salt

Burger reviewed: The Beef Burger

Venue: Sea Salt

Date: 4 July 2013

Nestled in the hustling and bustling hip avenue of Degraves street, the Burger Friday fraternity located it's next burger adventure, Sea Salt.  As far as locations go, Degraves street showcases just what the real Melbourne ambience is about – cobble stoned streets, narrow laneways, Banksy-esque graffiti (art) adoring the neighbouring walls, and surrounded by mixture of boutique and eclectic shops. Uniquely Melbourne, it is the type of place you don’t mind your burger taking a bit of time to come out as there is so much to absorb.

Sea Salt unashamedly fits within this diverse shopping strip, it is unassuming yet deceptive at the same time.  At first glance you could be mislead by the large variety of homemade sushi rolls displayed in the front window to think this is just a sushi bar; should you enter, the perpetuating shout of fish and chips orders might give you a different impression, or were you to take a seat at the neat tables at the front of the store, you are likely to get the cafe-style lunch vibe.  It is the Swiss army knife of venues, or to use a contemporary football term – the ‘swing man’ of venues (ala Jake Carlisle, Michael Hurley and Ben Reid this year, or even your Adam Hunter who held the mantle for a while around '05/06). 

Before we get into the ratings, a little background of how we stumbled across this gem. Sea Salt is known around Melbourne (CBD) for its fish & chips, namely, its $8.90 Salmon Burgers & chips combo. However, due to beef being the BF meat of choice, we have steered clear of Sea Salt – until now.  It was with great enthusiasm that we heard whisper that this Melbourne institution was to debut it’s Gippsland Angus beef burger (for a limited time only).  Coincidence or fate... we think fate. Kudos to Sea Sat for branching out in the competitive burger market.

The burger came out in good time despite the peak hour time slot. The the waiters were friendly and unassuming, in many instances this has been a rare occurrence to us, it is however a very important reflection on the eatery. The presentation could not be faulted, the burger came out on a wooden board, with an aluminium mini deep fryer basket - although we've seen this presentation on a few occasions, it is a delight to the eye and very impressive.

The burger consisted of lettuce and tomato, tasty cheese, beetroot, mayo, tomato relish together with the pattie. The Gippsland beef pattie was well cooked, slightly pink in the middle, and lived up to all expectations. The beetroot was an absolute winner, an uncommon ingredient in the upper market burger industry; together with the tomato it was highly refreshing. The one let down of the burger was the oversupply of mayonnaise which filtered through to the pattie and provided an unpleasant creaminess which overpowered the charcoal finish and the texture of the pattie. There is an obvious solution to that – tell Popeye in the kitchen to lay off the spinach – or, better yet, include a slice of crispy bacon, the saltiness of which would help to offset the creaminess of the burger.

Having said that, credit must be given for the chips. Golden, crispy throughout, well drained and generously seasoned. These chips were a craftsmanship to be proud of and must have taken years to master. Hats off guys!

After much deliberation, we have decided to dub this burger the Paul "Big Fish" Salmon.  After an illustrious career as one of the best tap ruckman in the business with Essendon and Hawthorn, the Big Fish was poached out of retirement by the old fox Kevin Sheedy, where he was primarily used as a forward in order to prolong his career.  Similarly, Sea Salt has forged its way successfully in the fish & chip market, and is now making strong strides into the beef burger industry. With a little improvement, Sea Salt Angus Burgers will be a mainstay of DeGraves St.

We can only hope that this limited edition burger becomes a permanent fixture on the Sea Salt menu.

Burger Friday Rating: 36/50

Sea Salt on Urbanspoon

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