Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Shack

Burger reviewed: The Western King

Venue: The Shack (Perth)

Date: 26/07/2013

Today's burger adventure saw Burger Friday tackle the first of Perth's many pseudo burger chain restaurants. The venue of choice - The Shack (previously known as The Local Shack. And before that, The Burger Shack). What is particularly perplexing about the name changes of this venue is that The Shack does not give off the feeling of a shack at all. With its high ceilings, big doors and rustic paint work you could be forgiven for thinking you are chowing down in a cafe in inner-city Melbourne. But who cares about the venue? We are here for a burger.

The Shack boasts 18 different burgers ranging from the stock standard beef burger to a chicken burger called the "Thai Cockfight" (whenever I hear the word cockfight I can't help but think of Seinfeld episode where Kramer and Little Jerry Seinfeld take on Marcellino's "dog with glove on its head"). This presents an obvious selection dilemma in that we are spoilt for choice. However, as we have a selection policy of choosing a burger that our rating scale is not prejudicial towards, we ordered the Western King with cheese and bacon and got ready to nosh.    
The patty was well put together and had that fibrous texture indicative of a handmade patty. What became obvious from the start was the adventurous use of dried herbs and spices in the patty mixture which created a flavoursome first bite. My only gripe with the patty was that it was cooked to more of a well done than a medium which meant that some of juice from the meat had been cooked out of it. I would recommend that the chef at The Local Shack turn the temperature of the grill plate up slightly - this will allow a slight charring of the outside whilst keeping the inside juicy and medium rather than cooking the patty completely through (we should write a book on grilling burger patties - "A time to grill" or "To grill a mockingbird").

My main gripe with this burger is around the quality of the bun. It didn't seem fresh, was a bit on the crusty side and was quite heavy. And to make things even worse, this was one of the hardest burgers to eat from a structural integrity standpoint. This burger resisted all burger management techniques. Even the universally accepted "cut the burger in half" burger management technique (pictured above) - a technique so proven it has taken its rightful place along side the other game changing techniques such as the famed "bite and suck the filling" pie eating technique and the hair dressing methodology of putting the hair between two fingers and cutting above them. If it wasn't for Clause 7 of our sacred Constitution, I would have reached for the knife and fork.  

The salads were fresh and played their part. Salads on a burger is like Snicko in the Decision Review System - while it can add value, it is left out of the decision making process for good reason.

The sauce was the real winner. An eclectic mix of guacamole and seeded mustard which created a tangy and refreshing salsa that cleansed the palette with every bite. Full marks for the sauce. 

The chips were a quality side dish. Similar to the burger, they were sprinkled with dried herbs and spices and were accompanied by a quality sauce. Plentiful in supply (a large serving was enough for two people) and cooked to a level that saw them crunchy on the outside but remain fluffy on the inside.  

Overall, the herbs and spices used in the patty and chips teamed well with the extravagant sauce combination. However, the cooking of the patty and the poorness of the bun let the team down. This display of flare and extravagance only to be ultimately let down reminded me of Dean Wallis in the 1999 Preliminary Final against Carlton. A rugged defender without an attacking bone in his body, Wallis decided to take the game on in the final minute only to be caught by a Fraser Brown tackle, ultimately costing the Dons a chance of overrunning the Blues and a spot in the Granny.  

If you find yourself in the CBD and need a beef injection, check out The Local Shack and the vast array of burger treats it offers.

Score: 33/50

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