The price of fame is being busy; REAL busy.
Rude Boy Burger has had some attention of late, appearing in Broadsheet; Triple M’s “The 12 Most Ridiculously Delicious Burgers In Melbourne” list; and, Time Out Melbourne’s “Best Melbourne Burgers” list. Now, I am very sceptical about these lists, and there are reports that some of them are basically just paid advertising – with the highest bidder getting the highest rating. But, given Pinky gave me the thumbs up for this place, I was keen to join him and give it a go.
Based on his experience of just how busy they are, we left it til late to arrive here – at about 8:00pm. It was still absolutely packed, with a line to infinity. We decided to have some more beers, and wait for the line to subside. We came back an hour later, and there was still a 45 minute wait. Like I said, busy.
Now the first impression was average. A nice fit out, although being so busy let’s the dining area get a bit messy. Looking at the menu, they explicitly mention that the burgers are cooked medium-well. This I have never encountered before. All the best burger places talk about medium-rare patties, and this is the best way to have a burger in my opinion. I asked if this option was available, and a very stressed member of the kitchen staff shot that idea down, quick smart. I wondered why? Is the mince not fresh? Or is it just too much inconvenience for them to fulfil the request? Of course, it could have just been the stress of being so busy.
While ordering, I was watching the cooks at the grill handle the patties. There was lots of pressing and squashing going on, and very little respect for this glorious creation. Another black mark in my book. A great burger really needs to be treated like a fine piece of steak. They were also melting the cheese in the oven; red flag for an overcooked patty!
The presentation and overall look of the burgers was excellent. I ordered the shop’s namesake: the Rude Boy. As you can see from the photos, there was a massive amount of sauce present. We were also told that the kitchen ran out of burger buns, and had to grab an alternative from the cafe next door. It was a delicious brioche bun, but I can’t comment on how this compares to the standard bun. Overall a very tasty burger, but as predicted, the patty was overcooked (although not dry); and over-salted. In my experience, salting a burger patty is a real science. If you are going to have a pink patty you need to ramp up the salt a bit. If this patty was pink, the seasoning could possibly have been perfect. As it was well done it was REALLY salty. A saucy number that was actually quite delicious all in all, but left me with a very dry mouth. More beer anyone?!
Special mention to the “Cubano” loaded fries. Recommended by Pinky, and there was no doubt they were delicious. As it was so late, and I rode my bike 18kms to get here, I really needed those extra carbs. Look at all those pickles!
Overall a great burger, but room for improvement. When the dust settles from the fame of media notoriety, perhaps they will have the time to devote to perfecting some of the flaws I found here. But a worthy contender in it’s current guise.