Plan B for burgers. Not Rockpool Bar & Grill

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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.

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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.

8 Comments

  1. Try Cafe Vue’s burger. It’s small, but the best ‘fine dining’ burger I’ve tried in Melbourne. For a real old-school style burger, Andrew’s in Albert Park is unbeatable.

  2. Michael, Amazingly I still have to visit NZ although the tourism campaign being run through Flight of the Conchords means it won’t be long before I’m there.

    Howard, and if it’s still too small for your mates they could have a second.

    Lorraine, it’s a date!

    Forager, they have Rockpool burgers free in the Qantas lounge?

  3. These burgers are the best burgers I have ever had. The price is high, but the burger is well worth it. I can’t wait for this weekend so that I can make the trip back. Yummy!

  4. I’ve had the Rockpool burger in the Qantas lounge (presume it’s the same) and the Plan B burger recently. I found them difficult to compare – the Plan B one had a better brioche & patty, but the Rockpool one more generous and more interesting flavours. It’s helps though that the Rockpool one was essentially “free” at the Qantas lounge. Perhaps I would’ve felt differently if I had to fork out $18 bucks for it.

  5. Next time you’re in Sydney, I will take to you Plan B! 😉 It’s worth a trip in itself!

  6. Plan B is indeed a small burger, but it does pack a punch. All my mates laugh when they see it’s size, but when they finish the burger it’s a different story!

  7. I rave about this place all too much. But next time you are in New Zealand, venture down to Queenstown and give a Fergburger a try.

    Sure it’s “fast food” but the quality of all of the ingredients, the patty, and the home made relish really do put these burgers onto the top rung. I can’t speak highly enough of them.

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