424 Bridge Road
Richmond, VIC 3121
Remember the freakshake? That monstrous mash-up between beverage and dessert? It had a small heyday a year or two ago, but like all over-the-top fads, it didn’t last long. But now, Three One 2 One is bringing (sexy) freakshakes back (yeah!), along with a selection of extravagant burgers, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to check the spectacle out.
Three One 2 One – named for the suburb’s postcode – used to be one of the millions of unremarkable cafes set along Bridge Road. Little did everyone know, changes were quietly happening beneath the surface. Krishna and the team spent over 6 months developing a line of unique and indulgent burgers, and next thing you know, Three One 2 One is the up-and-coming place to get your burger fix. They still do brunch, but I imagine that goes largely ignored in comparison.
The Wake Me Up!! ($17) was a rich, creamy thickshake of banana, coffee, and hazelnuts, topped with an absurd array of sugared treats on a cloud of whipped cream. There was a giant roasted marshmallow, Ferrero Rocher, fairy floss, and an entire Monaco ice cream sandwich. I’m not sure how much coffee there is in this, but there’s enough sugar to send an entire kindergarten hyper.
Believe it or not, the Neverland ($19) was even more ludicrous. Instead of the somewhat lighter concoction of banana and coffee, this one was an all-out saccharine blend of cookies and cream in caramel macadamia ice cream. Piled on top was an entire sweet shop, featuring a Tim Tam, mini Snickers, Maltesers, Fairy Floss, a Lollipop, and Haribo gummy bears glued to the rim with Nutella. Despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary, Krishna insisted that this was an entree, not a dessert!
Frankly I was ready to call it a day after those milkshakes but alas, there were burgers to be had! I went for the Kickass Mac n’ Cheese ($18), and it came to the table tottering and overflowing. Between the butter-yellow brioche buns were the makings of a bacon double cheese burger, only oozing with creamy mac n’ cheese sauce. Despite expecting this to be something of a gimmick, I was actually surprised by how balanced this burger was as a whole. There was enough sauce to make the burger taste extra-creamy, but it wasn’t strong enough to overpower the burger, which was a solid concoction that ticked all the boxes with its quality beef patty, smoky bacon, and contrastingly tangy tomato sauce. I was especially grateful for the freshness of the salad, as well as the pickled jalapenos, which further served to counterbalance all the fat and protein in the sandwich.
Just as intriguing was The Italian ($19), which looked a bit like the Kick Ass Mac ‘n Cheese, but with the mac n’ cheese sauce replaced with Bolognese. Once again, I found myself enjoying this burger far more than expected; the herbed, tangy sauce of the chunky Bolognese added subtle layers to the big, smoky flavours of beef and bacon. And you even get some bonus onion rings on top of the cool red bun!
My blogger buddy for the day – the lovely Michelle from Spoonful of Sugar – and her partner had The Golden Claws ($18) and The Ghetto 2.0v ($17) respectively. They seemed to enjoy these quite a bit, judging by the way the polished them off. Also coincidentally enough, they were both also pharmacists! I thought that was super cool, but it also meant that poor Chris had to sit through 2 hours of pharmacy talk.
Despite not even being able to finish all our food and drinks, somehow Krishna managed to talk us into sharing the Mac n’ Cheese Attack ($19.5), which is his favourite menu item. And as disgusted as I was with myself afterwards, I was glad that I got to try this one, because it really was pretty amazing. This pseudo-burger had buns made of crispy, fluffy waffles, sandwiching the most wonderful fried chicken that burst with flavour, and another deluge of creamy mac n’ cheese sauce. It is definitely way too much, but you have to try it at least once.
Although the decadence level of Three One 2 One borders on absurd, I have to admit that I really enjoyed my meal. There’s just something so liberating about letting go of sensibilities, and having a meal that is so unabashedly indulgent. I also really appreciated the fact that the burgers themselves were top-notch, as opposed to an average burger hiding behind gimmicky ingredients. Unfortunately Chris didn’t like them as much, as he is something of a burger purist, but with several more traditional options on the menu, that problem basically solves itself.
Rating: 14.5/20 – chris the burger purist buzzkill.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Three One 2 One.