So, the history of The Burger Block in Kew is sorta like watching the passing of the baton. In a nutshell, it goes like this: Mom and dad owned it as a cafe for about 15 years. Then a few years back, their son took over and revamped it as a burger joint. Earlier this year (2016), his sister Brenda rolled up her sleeves, put on her boxing gloves, re-branded, and jumped into the ring with the rest of Melbourne’s burger joints.
So confident was this lovely young business woman, that she reached out to us on Instagram to come in and give her buzzing new venture a try. So we did – who can say no to that level of confidence, and a burger? Eh? 😉
As we arrived, we caught glimpse of their signage: Asian Fusion Cafe, this definitely perked the interest! Cafe, Asian, Fusion, Burgers. It’s hard to be everything to everybody, so as we entered the very small space, we thought to ourselves, “This could go either way….”
Brenda greeted us (and everybody else who streamed in before we got through the door) with all smiles and showed us the menu. We ordered and plonked ourselves down, at one of only a few tables, in eager anticipation. Our large Bowl of Fries arrived first – they were big, yet thinner, sorta triangular in cut – and seasoned with a similar spice mix as you’d get at Schnitz. Crunchy, yummy, no sauce required – a great start to our lunch.
While there are a great number of ‘fusion’ and gargantuan burgers to order from on the menu, Hubby Bear was more interested in the actual taste an quality of the meat as opposed to eating a burger big enough to walk on its own. So he ordered the Chocka Block burger: lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion, American cheese, bacon and a BBQ secret sauce wrapped around a beef patty. The beef patty. Hubby Bear tore a little piece off to taste and said it was really well seasoned, so well seasoned it could be eaten on its own. When he asked Brenda what the meat was spiced with, she just replied that it was momma’s special recipe. Nice. Two thumbs up from the carnivore… now let’s see how the vego goes…
Given there was only a singular vegetarian option on the burger list, I was under no illusion. This is a place to please meat eaters. And while my Vegie Patch Burger‘s patty (made of potato, peas, carrot, corn and onion) was okay, flavour-wise it couldn’t stand on its own two legs (like hubby’s beef patty could), at least not without all the other yummy things encasing it. The slices of beet root added a nice sweetness, the American cheese contributed to the saltiness, the lettuce, tomato, onion all did their bit, and the Japanese mayo topped it all off. In my opinion, if the veg patty was removed and replaced with a veg-version of an Okonomiyaki (you know, one of those thin, crunchy Japanese potato pancakes) the burger would’ve been a whole lot better.
So which way did it go? With all things considered, this little burger joint is on par with its contemporaries, even if it is really a cafe at its heart. Why? because the words unique, flavoursome, and passionate all come to mind when we think of The Burger Block.
So burger fanatics, we put you on your guard. Whether you like a more classic burger, or want to triumph over their 5-layers-of-meat “Jack Hammer”, drop a pin in your phone’s map and make a trip to see Brenda and her team!
Value: N/A – we dined as guests for this lunch.
Address: 85 Willsmere Road, Kew, Victoria 3101, Australia
Tip! They’re only open until 3pm weekdays, then 3.30pm Saturdays and are closed on Sundays. So make sure you skip a few meals, and head in for brekky or lunch here!