Australia’s Best Burgers, Chips & Shakes?……. Hardly!
Wow! I can’t believe it! After our less-than-favourable experience at Grille’d, we had put our “Burger Vs Burger” project of eating at all the trending burger joints in Sydney on-hold for more than 2 months! I didn’t realise that I was that badly traumatised by the messy experience. Haaha. But this Sunday arvo, we put our Burger pants back on and headed out to Burger Project-World Square, to put another burger joint through their burger-paces.
Long gone are the days when there were lines out-the-door, at the first Burger Project – eager patrons waiting for their turn to hand Neil Perry cash to try his first venture into fast food. Today, it was pretty quiet except for a bunch of primary schoolers playing fussball, an attempt to get at parent’s wallets through the youthful desires of their kids. *Rolls eyes*.
At the fast-food style counter, you make your selections. The burger options were either beef (various takes on a cheese burger); chicken burgers (various configurations involving a crumbed chicken fillet); and veg burgers (various recipes using mushrooms). We ordered a Chilli Cheese Burger for me ($13.50); a Peking Chicken Burger for my wife ($14.90) (this was a limited edition special); and a small chips & shake combo (fries with chipotle chilli salt and coffee milkshake) for an additional $10.50)- for a total of $38.90. Ouch! And if you paid with card, there was an additional surcharge. Hmmmmm……. Feels like the Rockpool Dining Group is trying to milk every last cent from their patrons?
Armed with a buzzer, we had the entire empty restaurant to elect our seating from. Probs 6 years ago the grey and white decor was chic, but a number of years on it was just drab.
The wait for our food was considerably long (perhaps 15 mins), considering the kitchen were literally cooking for the two of us and another dude. But when our food arrived, we were pretty ready to tuck in (wifey had skipped breakfast).
Burger Project claims “Fast Food, Slow Food Values”- hey, it’s slogans like this which makes me evaluate them more critically. Ahem, let us be the judge of that.
Yes, BP has values/aspirations to be sustainable, i.e. minimal packaging and everything is recyclable/compostable. But a nearly $15 burger in an oversized paper bag (needed to be folded in on itself as the burger is too small to fill it out) in my opinion that doesn’t spell out ‘slow food values’ though.
The big bite test……. At least it was very easy to wrap both top and bottom teeth around the buns, as the burger was pretty flat. As harsh as I’ve been thus far, I can admit that the burger was good! The milk bun had a really nice chewy texture to it, although it was quite thin. The burger lived up to its chilly namesake, the jalapeño gave it a nice chilli kick and the sauce was applied perfectly! Just enough, without being messy. The veg was fresh, the beef patty was cooked perfectly- although it lacked a beef taste. I could only feel the texture of the meat when chewing, but it lacked any flavour. And same again for the cheese, there wasn’t any cheesiness, but you just felt its melty chewy qualities on your teeth.
My wife’s limited edition Chinese New Year burger – Peking Chicken, consisted of the same milk bun as mine; fresh veg (lettuce, pickles, shallots); a thin crumbed chicken schnitzel; and two sauces, one was a sweet chilli paste, while the other was the hoisin sauce (hoisin + sprinkling of shallots= Peking burger?). Her conclusion was that it was good, but if anything it was too sweet, and she preferred the standard BP chicken burger if she had to ‘do-over’.
The $10 chips and milkshake? The chipotle salt was non-descript, I’d describe it as just being salty – the complementary self-service tomato sauce was probs the most memorable element to the chips. Oops. And the coffee flavour in the milkshake was weak.
Our end verdict? 3.0 Stars from 5.0. Burger Project’s claims of “Fast Food with Slow Food Values”? More like fast food quality food, at overpriced slow food prices! When compared head to head with the other burger joints we’ve eaten at, it’s probably better than 8bit but not as good as Down N’ Out, meaning that it’s below average. To tell you the truth, it’s not much better than McDonalds; being half-the-price of Burger Project, I’m thinking 99% of families would rather go to the Golden arches for their fast food burgers, than to the Rockpool Dining groups version of a value meal for every-day Australians. Can you believe it, if you were a family of 4, it could easily add up to $80!? Eighty bucks for fast food! Has this world gone MAD!?
Score break-down: 2 from 3 for Food (it was good, but not a stand-out); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the service staff were professional enough); 0 from 0 for atmosphere (the restaurant was empty, the interior was ‘blah’ and they were playing music off Mtv or something); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for money (we understand that the cost needs to cover staffing, rent, overheads etc etc, but $38.90 for 2 burgers, small fries and small milkshake- that’s not affordable for most families)).
Our end comments, are that we understand that you need to position yourself in the marketplace and the marketing team has a job to do – stir up interest in a product! But outright lies of being Australia’s “best” burgers, chips, and shakes is just too much! And stating that you’re fast food with slow food values, maybe social responsibility values, but definitely not value for money though. No look-in for Burger Project in our Burger Vs Burger competition, we can and have easily struck BP off our list of potential contenders for the title of ‘Sydney’s Best Burger Joint!’
Burger Project- World Square- Sunday 31 March
PH: (02) 9259 5600
Shop 6, Level 1, World Square Shopping Centre, 644 George Street, Sydney
Mon – Sun 11am – 9pm
**Surcharge for use of Credit cards