Last week, Snooze and I were invited by Grill'd to try out their new Coat of Arms burger. When I first read the invite, I got excited. It's no secret I love Grill'd burgers, and I was intrigued about trying some of our lesser known local fauna and flora.
As the CoA burger is tres exclusive, we had to go to the Grill'd at Lt Bourke St. I hadn't been to this particular Grill'd before (my 'local' Grill'd is the one at Melb Central). It had opened in the recent months and they were giving away freebies to celebrate its launch (a busy work schedule meant that I wasn't able to go... sigh).
Although Grill'd is a chain restaurant, I do like the set up at the Lt Bourke St better than the one at Melb Central and QV. For one, it has astro turf. Another, they have even friendlier and spunkier looking staff (if that's even possible!) there. And third, it doesn't have the loud background music (which the other places have and makes a difficult job in holding a conversation).
Snooze and I reviewed the CoA burger and here are our thoughts.
Bureaucrat's review: First impressions are important and I was very happy that the CoA burger was impressive to behold. It was well-stacked burger with a generous emu-roo patty and lots of fresh salad. Based on this burger, I'vee now decided that, as with cakes, the higher it is and the more layers there are, the better the burger/cake.
The big question for me was, what does emu taste like? I know what kanga tastes like (slightly gamey) and I wasn't sure what to expect for emu. Because the emu and roo are mixed together, I couldn't distinguish what the emu tasted like. This was a good and a not-so-good thing. Good because it made the burger less confronting to eat (no one wants to eat mystery meat). Not-so-good because I'm still curious to know what emu tastes like.
Paul, who headed up the 9 month R&D into the CoA burger from Grill'd (I wish I had his job!), explained that they mixed in native thyme mayo and goat's cheese into the patty. This probably ensured that the patty wasn't dry and rubbery (as you would have otherwise expected for such a lean meat patty).
Paul also explained how the roo and emu have been raised (on special farms) so that should assuage Mr Strong's concern that I'd be eating meat that hadn't been raised in accordance with health standards.
I particularly liked the native thyme mayo which was blended w Meredith goat's cheese (here's a suggestion to Grill'd - serve this over the chips like a cheesy-potato melt). It added nice richness to the burger (and to further offset the potential dryer texture of a game meat patty). I also liked the unexpected addition of quan dong - a tart plum-like fruit that's used by Aborigines for medicinal purposes.
I also really liked the generous amounts of beetroot (which gave an earthiness to the burger) and the bush tomato relish and the caramelised onion (which gave a depth in flavour). With the herbiness from the patty, the richness from the mayo, tartness from the quan dong you'd think the beetroot, relish and onion would be too much. Not at all. I found all the flavours and textures worked incredibly well. As with the mayo blend, the beetroot, relish and onions help keep the burger moist.
Wow, I think Bureaucrat's said it all.
I haven't tried a lot of indigenous foods and I was intrigued to try out something that combined quite so many together. It was seriously good overall, given how many of the things on the burger are favourites with me.
The emu and kangaroo pattie first; slightly gamey but smooth, tender and moist. I also liked the thought that went into the ingredients and how well they worked together. The smoothness, touch of tartness and acid and the salt kick from the goat's cheese. The smoothness and moisture from the native thyme mayo. (The thyme was quite strong and may not be to everybody's taste). The bush tomato relish added nice flavour and depth as did the quandong and the caramelised onion. All that's left is the mesculin lettuce, tomato and beetroot, compulsory on an Aussie burger.
Bureaucrat: I'm loving the CoA burger. It's something different (it's different, it's noice, it's unusual) and definitely Australian. For those who are squeamish about eating roo or emu, I do encourage you to try it - it doesn't taste too gamey. Love the look, love the ingredients and love the generousity of the serve. Propz for promoting native foodstuff in the mainstream foodie world - I'd love to see more of these ingredients permanently on the menu.
Get a wriggle on and try a CoA burger - they're only around until the end of Jan, and only in the Lt Bourke St shop and there's only 50 of these burgers available each day. Check out our giveaway below to win two vouchers to try the CoA burger for free.
Snooze: I'm not usually a burger girl; meat just ain't my thing. But I enjoyed this burger and if it's an indication of Grill'd's burger generally, I think I need to go back. It's just a shame the ingredients are so hard to get that this burger will only be on the menu for such a short time. Fingers crossed for next year?
369 Little Bourke Street
Phone: 9670 7100