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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mountbatten Hotel, Haymarket Sydney

I had an intense craving for a hamburger the other day: a real burger with a thick beef pattie sandwiched between a toasted sesame seed bun, served with a token salad and a huge pile of golden crunchy chips.

The traditional burger flipper at your Aussie milk bar is a dying breed (and almost extinct in the CBD) but thankfully the humble hamburger can still be found at your local corner pub. And so we end up at one of my oft-frequented watering holes, the Mountbatten Hotel.

I've lost count of the menu overhauls here over the past three years (there was Chinese, Thai, Italian then Aussie bistro) but its latest incarnation is definitely pub grub (bangers and mash, nachos, steak sangers and pasta).

Good Old Hamburger $9.00
Lettuce, tomatoes and fried onions with chips
Extras $1 each (egg, beetroot, cheese, bacon, pineapple and avocado)

The burger looks small but halfway through it suddenly seems a lot bigger. This is primarily due to the substantial patty, about two fingers thick, and reassuringly misshapen like a handmade beef patty should be. The patty is studded with diced onion, the disc surface deliciously charred with a mouthwatering pattern of grill mark stripes.

The chips are sturdy straws of gold. We alternate between mouthfuls of burger and shoved-in handfuls of salted chips (drizzled with happy splashes of tomato sauce of course).

The bun is fresh and soft, its surface toasted, the lettuce is crisp and the tomato juicy. But it's the patty that's the star here and it's imparting of pure bliss makes it worth every penny and more.

Long live the Aussie hamburger.

Next time I'm ordering it with beetroot. In true Aussie style.

Mountbatten Hotel
701 George St Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 02 9280 4700

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Mountbatten Hotel, Dec 2004
Mountbatten Hotel, Oct 2004
9 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/01/2007 03:12:00 pm


  • At 12/01/2007 3:25 pm, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    My dad always tells me how un-Australian I am to eat a hamburger without beetroot. I like the taste but get fussy with the bread turning soggy and pink.

    This looks great though, I was just discussing the disappearance of good old corner milk bars with a friend the other day. A very sad state of affairs!

  • At 12/01/2007 10:16 pm, Blogger Cranky Tech said…

    They charge extra for beetroot?

    That is un-Australian.

  • At 12/02/2007 7:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You may be lucky to find the good old fashion milk bars outside of the city and on the country roads. Some of them even serve the old fashion (REAL) milkshakes like Vanilla Malt in one of those big silver milkshake cups that are all tattered and bruised.

  • At 12/02/2007 8:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And another suggestion for a nice big burger is Burgerman in Darlinghurst.

    Does anyone know of any place that makes their own chips? Not the frozen ones they get out of the big bags?

  • At 12/02/2007 11:44 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    This burger looks great - I could eat one right now! It does seem a bit "un-Australian" to charge a dollar extra for beetroot - should be a standard inclusion! :-)

  • At 12/02/2007 11:50 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    Though more expensive, that looked like one nice juicy burger! The traditional milk bar ones tend to have patties that were wafer thin and then pounded even flatter with the "paint scraper" thing they used to flip it with at the grill. It tastes good with the lot though and all the flavours meld together especially the bacon and pineapple and egg and beetroot. The beef wafer was just to soak up the tomato sauce !

  • At 12/03/2007 12:02 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lisa - I miss our local milk bar. Many a hot summer afternoon was spent playing Double Dragon with sticky fingers from potato scallops :)

    Hi Paul - lol. Too right.

    Hi Anon - That's the best part about travelling out of Sydney - uncovering old-fashioned milk bars and general stores!

    Hi Anon - There's Oceanic Cafe where you can watch them peeling and cutting the potatoes in the dining room. They're not the crispiest chips but it's certainly a memorable flashback in time. Otherwise you can upgrade and enjoy supreme hand-cut chips from Flying Fish at Pyrmomt.

    Hi Kelly - I suppose a beetroot tax comes with the CBD territory :)

    Hi Rachel - Actually I remember our milk bar used to use frozen beef patties, but then the burgers were always super cheap too.

  • At 12/03/2007 4:16 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    You sure made that burger delicious.. Helen.. ;) i'm going out to get one. .muahahha!!

  • At 12/05/2007 11:06 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi MamaBok - Hope it was tasty :) Now that's one thing you can get in your town! Hurray!


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