Jus Burgers, 364 Chapel Street, South Yarra. Phone: 9827 1318
Consider The Sauce is listed with a fledgling social media service called Social Callout, which is endeavouring to connect bloggers with marketers, PR types and folks wanting to talk up their products and services.
I hooked up with this crew not because I’m eager to get my snout in the freebie trough – been there, done that.
It’s more about being open to new story ideas.
But while it’s very early days yet, I think it’s already fair to say there’s not much future in our relationship with this site – so far the “callouts” have been overwhelmingly of zero interest to CTS and the prospects of there ever being any with applications to the west seem nil.
The one that did catch our eye was posted by Perth-based burger outfit Jus Burgers, seeking bloggers to check out their new Chapel St emporium.
So I applied for the “callout” and … nothing.
The “callout” went up again, so I applied again.
Turns out there’s been some gremlins in the Social Callout system, but this time I eventually get an email reply from Melbourne Jus Burgers manager Cory.
When I finally talk to him on the phone, it’s clear we’re on the same page when it comes to bloggers, freebies, marketing and so on.
“There’s no way I expect blogger reviews to be all positive,” he says. “In fact, if they’re anything less than honest, then they’re not of use to us. Besides, if there’s critcism, that’s the kind of feedback we need.”
So on that basis, we’re happy to make a rare foray across the river to Chapel St for a complementary meal (full disclosure below).
In fact we’re quite excited, as the menu strongly hints at good eats to be had at a place that presents as a more tony, ambitious version of the sort of thing Grill’d does.
The line-up of burgers and sides is enticing – see full menu below.
There’s THREE kinds of slaw.
Among the JB boasts are “no frozen food” and “all Victorian”.
And to top it all, one of CTS’s very best pals, food obsessive Nat Stockley, is very much a burger expert – one who has given Jus Burgers the thumbs up!
The place is smaller than we expect, though there is a kid-friendly room “out the back”.
Exposed brick, graffiti-style sloganeering, too-loud hip-hop – it fits right into the Chapel St scene.
But ambiance be damned – we’re here for the food.
Bennie’s wagyu burger earns an instant 10 out of 10, what with its beaut, crispy charcoal flavour and texture – once he’s done licking his chops and fingers.
For like his dad’s excellent roo burger, it’s a truly sloppy handful.
This messy outcome is due to both the overkill in terms of the various sauces and dressings used on our respective burgers and the crumbly Turkish-style buns.
Truth is, though, we don’t care.
It’s a finger-licking feast time, the paper serviettes are of the more substantial variety and there’s plenty of them at hand not far from our table.
Apart from the terrific patty in my burger, there’s a nice spice hit from the “horseradish slaw and goan cuisine green chilli jam”.
Our sides arrive after our burgers, but we don’t mind that, either – even though, predictably, there’s more food than we can feasibly consume.
Chips – very good; hot and crisp.
Onion rings – way better than very good; sensational, amazing, as good as any we’ve had. Ever.
Honestly, these rings are near-perfect, with a mostly grease-free coating that adheres to the onion remarkably well. Maybe, just maybe, they have a touch too much salt.
Spanish slaw (“sherry vinegar, honey and smoked paprika dressing”) – the only blah part of our meal. We expect some real zing and some sharply defined tastes, but get instead a rather bland and overly sweet salad. If anything, the mint and sweet factors remind us of a bland Vietnamese coleslaw.
Would we have paid for our meal?
Is Jus Burgers worth a trip to Chapel St?
Yes, just for a different, quality take on the familiar.
Meanwhile, the CTS flirtation with Social Callout and the unease it is causing is leading us to reconsider our whole approach to such matters.
Our meal at Jus Burgers was provided free of charge by the owner in return for a story on Consider The Sauce. Neither staff nor management knew what we were going to order. Jus Burgers has not been given any editorial control of this post.
Big slide, little boy, wimpers of fear …