Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
Sydney is crazy about burgers, and one of the latest additions to the burger scene is Neil Perry’s The Burger Project in World Square. Curious, and feeling in need of a good, greasy, heart-stopping burger, I head on over to check it out.
The place functions much like a fast food restaurant, albeit more snooty. The menu is printed in large black circles above the counter and orders are taken up front. On my first trip, I order the Cheese and Bacon Burger because bacon just makes everything taste so much better. I am given a black buzzer to alert me when my food is ready. Meanwhile, I make my way into the dining area, where there are bright lights over every table (all the better for photo taking!). I am early – I arrived just before noon – so I have the place to myself, but the restaurant soon begins to fill up.
Before too long, my buzzer vibrates, and I head back to the counter to collect my burger. It is juicy, tangy from the secret sauce, and delicious. After all, they do use Cape Grim beef chuck and brisket, hand-ground in store – none of that pre-bought frozen patties for Neil Perry! Can I tell the difference between this burger and the wagyu burger that goes for $25 a pop at Neil Perry’s other restaurant, Rockpool? Yes. The wagyu burger is definitely more substantial than its cousin at the Burger Project, and the meat is more flavourful. But all in all, for $11, the Bacon Project is a pretty darn good burger.
On my second trip, I sample the crispy chicken wings with a side of the chipotle chilli fries. My wings are coated in hot sauce, and are deliciously crispy – good to the last bite. The fries, while not as good as the ones in Belgium, are also right up there. The dusting of chipotle powder gives the fries a great hit of smoky flavour.
Prices at The Burger Project start at $8.90 for a classic beef burger (up $1 since its opening in late 2014). Add cheese for $1. Add cheese and bacon for $2. Add an extra patty and cheese for $4. You can even get your burger in a bowl – without the bun and with extra lettuce – at the same price. Like a classic American diner, you can also get ice cream ($4 for a single and $6.50 for a double scoop) with additional toppings at $1 each. There are classic Aussie desserts – think lamingtons and pavlova, and shakes too. To make your meal super classy, you can even get wine (there’s a wine list!).
The Burger Project is a long way from McDonald’s – we’re not in the same city any more, let alone the same ball park – and definitely worth the few extra dollars.
The Burger Project
Level 1, World Square
644 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Open 11am – 9pm daily
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