Purveyor: Bar Luca, 52 Phillip St. Sydney Australia
Menu Item: Chicken Karage Burger w wasabi aioli, pickled vegetables, coriander and coral lettuce.
Price: $14 AUD.
Add Fries +$3
Add Fries and Chicken Wings +$6 (Squaaaaawk!)
Add Cheese +$2
Add Streaky Bacon +$2
Add Egg +$2 (No!)
Squawk: Three reviewers. Three identical burgers. We all went for the added cheese, pickles and the fries/chicken wings combo option because we are hard core Cluckers. Normally we would have added bacon too, but with the wings? It just all seemed a bit too risky. And by “risky” we mean anything from a heart attack to a head down, drooling nap session back at the office while our friendly colleagues draw dicks on our face with permanent pen.
In a sea of sameness these guys have a unique take on the chicken burger: Japanese. It starts of course with the crispy Karage style chicken – and lots of it – and extends to the Japanese style pickles and of course the wasabi aioli. All of which adds up to a winner. Mostly. We didn’t spot the Nippon influence right away and if we had we probably wouldn’t have added the extra “normal” pickles, not that they detracted one bit. More that we felt we’d accidentally strayed from the Chef’s vision. (sigh) Next time.
We also loved that even though we may have misfired with the pickles, they gave us the option to add them without any drama. In fact their Burger Add-Ons as listed in the “price” section above, made us very happy. It’s like having 4-Wheel Drive in your car. Even if you don’t use it 99% of the time, its nice to know it’s there just in case. And because those add-ons are there, there’s no barrier to your own particular flavour of goodness. It’s not quite The Counter, but it’s appreciated. Also we loved the wide sauce selection. We were happy to our friends at Diemen’s represented along with a new one from Changz we’d never seen before (it’s really nice.)
The venue is meh. Sort of a CBD vibe with people in suits and shorts – good mix, but it’s not a place you’d ever come for the vibe or decor. Thankfully their burger is a winner.
Buaawk: Normally when we’re out on the job we start by making a list of all the things we like and attribute point values. In this rare instance we started by trying to figure out what we could possibly take points away for. It’s that good. It may not be the Perfect 10 Unicorn, but it’s close. We knocked off points for the mayo overload. Wasabi or not, they need to ease up. Take a look at that massive glob oozing out between the cheese and the brioche in the photo above and you’ll get an idea of what we were dealing with. And the fries. A burger this good deserves better fries. Sure the parsley on top is a nice touch, but overall Bar Luca drops the ball with these shoestrings. And it’s a damn shame.