Ever since I first ate the Wagyu burger at Rockpool Bar and Grill I’ve been touting it as the best in Melbourne. Each time I’m nearby, I drop in to the bar and sit silently munching burger in hand, sandwiched between blokes doing exactly the same (although I thought it was a bit dodgy that last time that two blokes in town for the rugby were drinking a NZ sauvignon blanc with their buns).
Apparently, the Sydney version is even better with a brioche-like bun made in-house. For my second lunch of the day last I tried it, recognised by a friendly face, Tim, at the bar.
Then the burger itself. The bun was good, and as a whole the flavours as remembered. But the experience was marred by gristle in the meat which I spat out. Worse, hard shards of burnt meat – charcoal – stuck between my teeth. For $18 I expected something better.
I also felt the bar itself, an annex off the main restaurant didn’t quite have the class of its Melbourne cousin, despite an elaborate display of glasses, which must take an elaborate process to clean.
Nevertheless within the hour I returned with Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella who changed my perspective on the burger altogether. First, there is the size. For a bloke it’s at the limit of what you can pick up and eat in your hands without a visit to the dry cleaners. For a petit woman, it is too big, a knife and fork job to prevent a face wipe and dry cleaning job.
Then she declares a better burger. And it turns out Justin North’s Plan B by Becasse has bested the best. The burger is smaller – easier to manage – and cheaper at $10 to eat in or take away, Lorraine tells me.
I screwed up by not trying that version. But if like me Plan A was to visit Rockpool Bar & Grill for a burger, it may be worth opting for Plan B instead.