28th July 2016
Shop 2.05, Level 2 St Collins Lane
260 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Those of you out there who have heard of St Collins Lane, raise your hand. Given that I haven’t relocated myself to underneath a rock, I think it’s pretty safe to say that not many people know about this new and rather artsy and high-brow shopping complex. In fact, I still wouldn’t know about it if it weren’t for The Burger Project – Neil Perry’s burger bar located in the charmingly named fine dining food court, The Aviary.
Although new to Melbourne, The Burger Project is actually far from being a new venture. Having opened 3 branches in Sydney with great success, Neil Perry decided to move his Fast Food Done Slow philosophy interstate. 36-month Cape Grim grass-fed steak, sustainable and locally sourced veggies, and house-churned ice cream, all served in the space of time it takes to update your Facebook status.
Having previously tried Neil Perry’s burgers at Rockpool, and finding them to be overly gentrified, I was curious to see how The Burger Project would be different. My burger, simply named Cheese ($9.9), came pretty and perky in its little paper bag. The glossy Breadtop bun sandwiched fresh salad and a coarse beef patty with cheese melted on top, garnished with house-made pickles and sauces. Although I wasn’t wowed, I thought this was a tasty and balanced burger that leaves you feeling indulged but not revolting.
The Double ($13.9), aka the Cheese with an extra patty, was a significantly heftier sandwich. As someone who prefers some big, beefy flavours in my burgers, I thought the double patty was a definite plus, especially given the leaner and less fatty-tasting beef. We washed the burgers down with a side of Chips with Sichuan Pepper Salt ($3.5, small) – an addictively oriental twist on the oft-rehashed chipotle chilli salt (which they also offer here, by the way).
We were sensible enough not to order the thickshakes, but we couldn’t say no to the Blueberry Pie ($6). The house-made soft-serve was silky smooth, with fragrant vanilla flecks churned through. Piled on top was crunchy biscuit crumble and juicy blueberry compote, and it was pretty much the best ice cream dessert I’ve had for a while.
After years of eating good burgers, I’ve found myself becoming more jaded and quite hard to impress. But frankly, I don’t think The Burger Project is out to wow with how unique or indulgent its burgers are. In fact, I would say that The Burger Project is what McDonalds wishes it could be – straight-forward and delicious burgers made from quality ingredients that are good for any time.
Rating: 13/20 – better than before.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.