Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Burger Block, Kew (by invitation) by Benny

Burger Heaven has been found! It’s in a tiny, largely neglected shopping strip near the old outer circle railway reservation in Kew. 

Burgers have long been the food of the common man, so it should not be too surprising that some of the best come from modest surrounds. In the case of The Burger Block, the surrounds are not so much ‘modest’, as ‘dilapidated’. The shopping strip looks like it was built in bits starting in the 1920s and ending in the 1970s, with most of the shops showing little evidence of any renovation or renewal since. The exceptions are a couple of caf├ęs that are clearly popular with Ladies Who Lunch.

While The Burger Block sports bold new signage, new tables and chairs and fresh flowers on the inside tables, the fundamentals look as if they have been serving the locals for quite some time. But don’t let this fool you – Bilby Blue confidently proclaimed her chicken burger as the best she has ever tasted! And my Asian-inspired beef burger was so amazing that surely it can’t possibly be good for me.

The Burger Block, Kew, cajun chicken burger
Cajun chicken burger

Owner Brenda has invited Bilby and me to sample her burgers, and after a warm welcome, allows us free range of the largish menu – six Fusion Beef Burgers; five levels of Block Legends (which are really the same burger, but just bigger, and bigger, and …); eight Fusion Chicken Burgers; and for the non-meat-eaters, a Tempura Fish Burger and a Vegie Patch Burger. This abundance is augmented by other bready goodies such as a selection of toasties and Turkish pides, as well as dim sims (fried or steamed). For those needing something sweet after their burger, there are Belgian waffles, muffins, slices and a selection of good-looking bikkies.

The Burger Block’s coffee is a house blend of seven Arabica beans from Beraldo, and its tea from SereniTEA is organic and Fairtrade certified.

After discussing the many options with Brenda, we opted for the customer favourite Chocka Block (Asian-infused beef patty, American cheese, bacon, Spanish onion, lettuce, tomato, BB’s secret fusion sauce) and the Cajun Chicken (Asian-infused skinless chicken breast, Louisiana spices, American cheese, bacon, Spanish onion, lettuce, tomato and Japanese Mayo). Both were served on a brioche bun. We were also intrigued by the Aioli Furikake (roasted seaweed seasoning) Loaded Chips.

The Burger Block, Kew, loaded chips, seaweed
The chips arrive first, generously topped with a mild aioli sprinkled liberally with roasted seaweed. They are excellent, crisp with a soft centre, the topping taking the flavour up a few notches (whoever thought of matching roasted seaweed with chips was truly inspired).

The Burger Block, Kew, chocka block burger
My Chocka Block oozes meat juices and sauces all over my hands, but I don’t care. The patty is melt-in-the-mouth tender, the flavour is simply wonderful, and the soft seeded brioche bun a great match.

Bilby’s Cajun Chicken is even better (if that is possible). Perfectly cooked strips of spicy peppery chicken give a great flavour hit, and the combination of the fresh ingredients and the mayo is just divine (see first pic). When we swap burgers to have a taste, she is lucky to get it back!

If I have any quibbles at all, it is that I’m not sure about the ‘Asian-fusion’ description – however it is clear that there is a real mix of elements from many sources. Our flavours don’t seem to be particularly Asian but it is undeniable that there is a special something that lifts the burgers to be something truly extraordinary. Whatever they use for marinade results in beautifully flavoured and succulent meat.

The Burger Block, Kew, dim sim
Am I still hungry? Not at all, but I have a soft spot for a good dim sim – especially these, that, in appearance at least, hark back to the 1960s. The steamed dim sim has a home-made feel to the flavour and texture and is pretty good.

The Burger Block, Kew, fusion, burgers, Asian
The lunch hour rush arrives and Brenda and her staff become very busy. Amongst the many customers are heaps of tradies in their work clothes and heavy boots. They know their favourites and don’t even have to consult the menu. In my experience, tradies pretty quickly find the best lunch places, and they are clearly voting for The Burger Block.

The Burger Block, Kew, fusion, burgers, Asian

Verdict

We loved it
We loved it. The Burger Block is now our go to place for burgers.

Overall

Exceptionally good burgers and great friendly service in a modest setting.

Find it at

The Burger Block
85 Willsmere Road
Kew Vic 3101
Telephone: (03) 9853 5771

The Burger Block Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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