A friend of mine has been constantly raving about the burgers he has had at Grill'd on Victoria Street. Once he even texted me, ''Yum, Grill'd'', while he was eating his burger there. I was quietly surprised by this new obsession as he is one of the pickiest eaters I know.
Still, I had sworn off burgers for a while after eating the most disgusting burger from Burger Fuel a few months ago. I had always liked their burgers but there was something seriously wrong with this one. Interestingly, about two days after I ate that unusually horrible burger, Burger Fuel, which was under the Coca-Cola sign in Kings Cross, closed down and a sign taped to the door referred customers to its existing store in Newtown, in the inner-west. I guess that bad burger signalled that they had given up in the Cross and this was the end.
But that was a while ago, and I was now ready to eat burgers again. So last week I set off for Grill'd.
Grill'd was established by a former Fosters brand manager, Simon Crowe, in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn in 2004. Success came quickly and there are now about 35 franchise burger joints across Australia, including two in Darlinghurst (there is also one on Crown Street on the Surry Hills border). The one on Victoria Street has been around for no more than six months and seems to be very popular every time I go by.
I visited long after the lunch-rush and it was actually quite empty, except for about three other people and a couple of others who were getting take-out. The music was loud and utterly dreadful, some techno-music hum that sounded like a dentist's drill and not particularly conducive to lingering around eating.
The menu is rather expansive and offers seven different types of beef burgers, six chicken burgers, two lamb burgers and three vegie burgers, which range in price from $8.90 to $12.50 for the works. There are also two steak sandwiches ($14.90), two snack burgers ($6.90), four salads ($11.50-$12.90) and hot chips sprinkled in rosemary.
The burger fillings are rather full-on and include the Grill'd Bird and Brie, which has chicken breast, brie cheese, cranberry sauce, salad and herbed mayo. Or how about the Kung Fu Fighter, which includes lean beef, shredded carrot, coriander, satay sauce, salad and herbed mayo.
I went for the basic, Simply Grill'd ($8.90), the least expensive burger on the menu, which includes lean beef, salad, relish and herbed mayo. I payed a buck extra for tasty cheese and also ordered the smallest serve of hot chips ($3.30), so the bill came to $13.20, which is pretty pricey for a burger and chips.
The chips had that lovely hand-cut, home-made taste, but I could only eat about a third of the bag. It would be good if you could just pay $2 for a handful to go with your burger, rather than having to buy enough for three people.
The burger - after all that expectation - was yummy. Yes, it tasted good, but it's just a burger after all. Nothing to text home about. Perhaps next time I should try something more exotic - but there is so many to choose from and that day I just couldn't decide.
Grill'd Healthy Burgers
314 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
02 9331 6562