It seems everyone these days has jumped on the burger revolution. There are a mutitude of gourmet and not so gourmet on offer not only in Newcastle, but every major city in Australia (not that were complaining). Here at Bistro Lowlands we take our burgers very seriously, if you overhear kitchen convos between the chefs, you can bet your buns that it will be about constructing the individuals dream burger, usually one upping each other with weird and wonderful ingredients (Baconaise anyone?)
One question that has been driving Tony since he opened Bistro Lowlands in 2014 is, what makes the perfect burger? He has done extensive research (many kilos worth actually), all over Sydney, Melbourne, Tassie, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and everywhere in between. Is it the bun? Brioche? Milk? Sesame seeds? Is it the pattie? The sauce? The construction? All of these come into play, and if the delicate balance of these essential burg cornerstones is thrown off, well, chaos reigns - and not in a good way. Every establishment has a different formula, and although we are extremly happy and proud of ours, we are never above trying new burgs and appreciating other takes on this gastronomic gift from the heavens. A great article on this very subject is here.
The other essential part of the burger evolution is the name of the burger. For us, it is an important part of the burger personality, no one wants to order a Firebird and not need a drink of ice cold beer to compliment the joyous inferno raging on their tongue. The special burgers we create for limited periods at a time get especially creative, take 'The Bad Mother-Clucker', a sweat inducing double chicken pattie, bacon, triple cheese, baconaise and special sauce.
Or the 'Nutmare on Elm Street', our oh so sweet dessert burger special with torched banana, nutella, walnut praline, peanut butter custard, peanut brittle icecream and a brioche bun.
Some of our other crackers have been The Kung-Fu burger - a vegan dream, featuring kimchi and Miso roasted mushroom, the Barack O'Parma, a chicken parmigiana inspired powerhouse, and even The Three Little Pigs, which combines pork belly, pulled pork AND bacon for a triple treat.
Of course however, the name does not affect the flavour, merely enhances it. Quality ingredients are key, as is the way the burger is constructed. Construction of Bistro Lowlands burgers is now down to a fine art, and only a priveliged few in the kitchen are allowed to engage in the creation of said art. Yes, one has to earn his/her stripes before they are allowed the honour of constructing our burgers. THATS how serious we are.
So weather you have been swept up in the burger revolution or not, make sure the next time you bite in to one - and we sincerely hope its with us - take a moment to reflect on the care that has been taken to make it. Has it been crafted in a way that addresses all its vital building blocks (bun, ingredients, construction)? If those things are performing a fine balancing act together, and you finish with an empty plate and a smile on your face, then my friend, you were just lucky enough to have a bloody great burger. Long live the revolution!