Purveyor: Oporto, Everywhere in Australia
Menu Item: Bondi Burger Meal (Small)
Squawk: Fast n cheap. Reliably consistent. Easily found in case of chicken burger emergencies. And they’re not afraid to put a shit-ton of chicken salt on your chips. It may be all chemicals and way to bright yellow to be good for you, but damn its tastes good.
Buaawk: There was a time in Australia when Oporto was considered THE definitive chicken burger. Their unique Portuguese style chicken (spicy, but not painful), great sauce and value for money helped them quickly grow from their original Bondi Beach location into the national chain they are today. But sadly all that growth came at a price. The mass produced bread rolls are mostly air and sugar. The chicken overly processed. Their sauce used to be the “real deal,” but now it’s a colour that cant possibly be natural. And so far, every Oporto we’ve been in has been a mess – dirty trays, wrappers, empty bags and cups strewn all over. Even when the place is empty it can be hard to find a clear place to sit. But hey, they still got that nasty (read: we love it) “chook salt” on their chips.
Menu Item: Chipotle Chicken Burger
Squawk: Man, this was tasty. Two generous hammer flattened, grilled chicken breast fillets cooked to perfection. Not dry at all. The brioche bun was fresh and squishy and the tomato and lettuce inside juicy and crisp. The pièce de résistance was the huge dollop of avocado and chipotle blended sauce. It was literally dripping out of the bun. Just the right level of spice for everyone.
Not a traditional fried burger but extremely fresh and juicy. An at $8.50 a filling bargain.
Buaawk: It’s cash only but the cashier just said “We will start making it while you go get cash”. Good sales tactics and really friendly. Some slaw would be a great addition to help hold in all the sauce. So underground they don’t have a website
Bonus Points: Despite this not being a sit down venue the Thai English misspellings on the menu and delightful staff makes this hole in the ground one not to be missed. Plus its cheep cheep.
Purveyor: The Argyle, The Rocks, Sydney NSW Australia
Menu Item: Southern Fried Chicken Burger
Price: $17 AUD
Squawk: The brioche bun out of a packet, that they could not ruin, was perhaps the only good, but they did not make it so that does not count. Sadly there is nothing good to say about this disgraceful attempt at a chicken burger. The only good thing would have been that it was passable as a fillet ‘o fish burger, but as it was not made of fish I reckon it deserves negative points for having the texture of Flathead.
Buaawk: It said it came with pickled daikon, Habanero butter and “Crisy” Fries (not crispy). Maybe Crisy is the Chef responsible for this excuse for a meal. I’m going to review based on the different experience stages I went through.
Pre-Burger – The description on the menu is misleading. I got excited by the words “Southern” and “Habanero.” There was nothing Southern about this burger, except the rating, and the spiciest ingredient of the experience was my temper.
Delivery to Table – The chicken, as shown, did not even fill the small brioche bun which made it look immediately like a Macca’s $1 burger.
Eating – Like I said. it tasted like a fish burger. I am not sure why, I think it was the slippery bread-crumb batter that fell off as you ate it. The chips were 100% like Macca’s fries so they at least complimented the look of the meal. And they were served in a cool looking mini fryer basket.
Post easting – I was left hungry enough to drown my sorrows in another pint of beer for lack of feeling full. The nail in the coffin was when a mate’s chicken burger turned up as shown in the picture on the right. It had a double layer of chicken which forgave the meal slightly for him but made me even sadder, dropping the score by 1 point at least.
UPDATE: Stupidly, we went back. Mainly for the delicious Steigl Ale, but even falling down those steps isn’t enough to make this burger worthy. It just doesn’t not make a great initial impression visually. The chips were dry, but the chicken was super plump and juicy and that’s pretty much the only thing good we have to say. OK, the bun wasn’t bad – super minimal, crispy outside, soft and doughy inside, sort of like a southern biscuit. Overall the burger was sorely missing much needed tang form pickles or slaw. And a pickle would go a long way. For some reason we think pickled carrots would be perfect on this one. All this said, The Argyle is great, albeit touristy, venue and the live music was as actually good.
Purveyor: Lucky Pickle, 509-511 Crown St (entrance off High Holborn St), Surry Hills, Australia
Menu Item: Katsu Chicken Sandwich
Squawk: You gotta hand it to these guys. They do one thing, and they do it well. OK – maybe they do three or four things, but really the Katsu Chicken Sandwich is the star at this tiny little place and people line up for it. The chicken is perfect. And the sandwich is simple: Chicken, bread and slaw. This is both its beauty and its (partial) downfall.