The best burger in Canberra – an unlikely review

Maelinar 16 May 2008 55

Questacon – yes thats right…

Taste (Flavour) = 10
Size = 10
Ingredients = 10
Decor/Cutlery = 10
Waiting Staff = 10
Cost = 10


Questacon in the Parliamentary Triangle does not immediately appear on peoples radars when thinking of a lunchtime burger, but I rate it as the best I’ve had in Canberra – understanding as the ingredients change, a range of complexities arise in burger review terms.

The burger is a handmade meat pattie, cooked to slightly crisp on the outside, and from what I gathered, mostly made out of meat. Accompanying the pattie, is the usual host of lettuce, cheese and tomato relish/sauces, sandwiched between two toasted buns. The service was accompanied with a side of chips – absolutely nothing to complain about.

Serving size is quite large for anything else I’ve seen in comparison, this could be due to the snazzy boxes they use to serve the takeaway meals in – complete with a locking mechanism for people who can’t immediately get to their food I presume. The benefit of using such a large box, is you have to fill it 🙂

The décor/cutlery I was tempted to give a 9 – plastic seats, but they are in line with the nature of the venue, and brightly coloured. Its hard to find something else to say, rather than simply point to the Questacon building and intone the location is in pretty decent scenery.

While eating my burger, and being quite surprised at the quality of it, I got to thinking just how many of these burgers they would be pumping out a day. I’d estimate at least 5 busloads of children go through per day per work week, which is a high turnover of hungry little grubs looking for a burger and chips at the end of their visit.

Thus it comes as no surprise that the catering staff at Questacon are pretty good with this in mind.

So, if in the area, go check it out. If you don’t like your meal, you can always have a play on all the cool stuff they have lying about outside.

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55 Responses to The best burger in Canberra – an unlikely review
swamiOFswank swamiOFswank 6:34 pm 22 May 08

So does the yellow monstrosity in Haig Park actually produce anything purporting to be edible? I’ve never seen it open for biz – or at least with anyone buying anything.

MelonHead MelonHead 6:11 pm 18 May 08

Note at post #8. The food van at the back of PMC is called Gaby’s and has been trading continuously for the 22 years that I have worked in the Barton area.

Mama Ria’s used to be THE place for a great old fashioned take away. But, as noted, has changed hands more than once in the last few years and suffered.

Lastly: Food Vans in Civic. I am convinced that there is much skulduggery in their demise. Except the bus in Girrahween St near Haig Park. You try parking an unregistered heap of junk in a public carpark for ten years and tell me nothing will happen.

Meantime burgers rule. The Lachlan Cafe in Brisbane Ave does a great Monday to Friday burger and excellent coffee, too.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 1:09 pm 18 May 08

Maelinar, call me thick (again), but you are speaking in riddles (again), dot dot dot (again)

I’m not watching anything or anyone. I’m often being attacked for being honest, oh, and for being myself. If others on this site DARED be who they really are, it would be a very different place … and don’t let the moron IQ I portray on this site fool you … not all is at it seems … it is more like imbecile … yes, imbecile.

Now shoosh, up, I’m trying to eat a burger with the lot, and we all know how difficult that can be when it’s not cut in half …

Mælinar Mælinar 12:21 pm 18 May 08

Might want to watch it CR – some people dont like being called names that particularly match their demeanours…

CanberraResident CanberraResident 10:29 am 18 May 08

minime, you raised the same thing on another thread, at which point I called you the pied piper for obvious reasons. The nickname I gave you has just been cemented in tin. Thank you.

Now … burgers. Why don’t you go flip a couple for breakfast. Yeah?

minime2 minime2 3:28 am 18 May 08

Post #40 … canberra resident, you are still here. Do a backflip on leaving?

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 6:53 pm 17 May 08

Deadmandrinking said :

Gunghalin Lakes sucks.

Way ahead of the Raiders Club at GTC.

kean van choc kean van choc 6:36 pm 17 May 08

The Yum Yum Tree in Bailey’s Arcade, Civic, does a very fine burger – and one hell of a roast pork roll with crackling… Sadly only open during the day though.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 4:30 pm 17 May 08

Best burgers in the region IMHO – the Country Kitchen at the servo in Bungendore. Close second, Theo’s in Ainslie.

It’s a travesty that there are no food vans left in the city area, an absolute shambles.

ant ant 11:24 pm 16 May 08

Damn you Maelinar, you ratbag, I’m now STARVING and why didn’t you mention this when I was working practically next door?! I often stamped past Questacon and never thought of investigating it for food. I love hamburgers.

This G-Spot place sounds nice but I’m still not going to be lured into Gunghalin to try it. I’d get lost anyway as my map doesn’t have it on.

Dollys, wasn’t that in the carpark between the Workies and Toad Hall? There was definitely a van there, I practically kept it solvent.

green_frogs_go_pop green_frogs_go_pop 11:14 pm 16 May 08

dolly’s is in the car park next to the woolies servo in mawson.

they do an ..ok burger there, i guess. i really should check them out more..basically because they’re like the only fast food place open after like 8pm in mawson!

el el 9:52 pm 16 May 08

Holden Caulfield – Dolly’s still exists, my friend. It’s across the carpark from Southlands shopping centre in Mawson.

Danman Danman 9:39 pm 16 May 08

2nd-ed on teh deep fried mars bars

bighead bighead 6:57 pm 16 May 08

G Spot when you are drunk… Awesome… G Spot when you are sober… just as good. Finishing off the crazy bastard then some chips… and then wash it down with a deep fried mars bar… Oh dear god it is good 😀

Primal Primal 5:33 pm 16 May 08

Nicholls Takeaway & Pizza deserves a mention – makes a wonderful burger with the lot.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 4:41 pm 16 May 08

I always get them to cut my burger in half, sometimes, even quarters.

Easier to get your mouth around the edges, and gives you a nice cross-section view of the ingredients, just incase there’s any disgusting bits. Nice to look at when it’s layer upon layer upon layer …

No, I’m not a pansy.

Danman Danman 4:04 pm 16 May 08

mama Ria’s is no longer run by the original chaps – they did have awesome burgers and a Auzzie Pizza that was hard to top as well. Sadly, like the bakery down the road from Mama Rias, they are under new management and thus their quality has slipped quite considerably.

RE G-Spot – I go there often for a late night feed after a long session in my darkroom or after cming home from a nigth of low ligth photography….Though I have not been known to weave the 4 or so km there on my pedal powered iron horse to get some foodilie treats for drunken folks back at “Pub Mawalan” so its yet proven to be irresistable to DaNmAn just yet !

Mælinar Mælinar 3:54 pm 16 May 08

Sounds great !

My recipe is similar, except instead of cider and port I’ve been using honey – at a quick glance.

The honey/brown sugar glaze is like looking into a mirror – and appeals vigourously to my sweet tooth.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:48 pm 16 May 08

@Maelinar: I’d love to do a ham with all the trimmings

We did this recipe last year for Christmas in July with a ham from Bundawarrah – blew everybody away. It was from Gourmet Traveller in 2004 – they seem to have taken the recipe off their website. We served it with a simple warm salad – pears poached in verjuice and butter, mixed leaves and walnuts (I think we may have used pecans instead).

Cider-mustard glazed ham (serves 15-20 as part of a buffet)

560ml dry apple cider
100g firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dijon mustard
2tbsp cider vinegar
40ml port
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1/4 tsp each ground allspice, ground mace, ground cloves
5kg leg of cooked ham rind removed and fat scored in a criss-cross pattern
cloves to decorate

1. Combine 1 cup cider, sugar, mustard, vinegar, port, rindand spcies in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer for 2 minutes.

2. Stud ham with cloves, then place on a rack in a roasting pan, brush with cider mixture, then pour remaining cider and cider mixture into base of pan and bake at 180oC for 1 hour or until glazed and golden, brushing frequently with pan juices. Remove from oven and stand for 10 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:33 pm 16 May 08

NotBurgers rock. NotBacon – not so much. NotDogs are OK if you turn them into corndogs / pluto pups / dagwood dogs (tick your particular regionalism).

There was a six-part cooking show in the US on the Food Network called Ultimate Recipe Showdown. They had a whole episode on burgers – one round for beef, one for poultry and one for seafood for a total of nine recipes. Recipes here, (scroll way down past the contestants) but grab the series online if you can (cough rapidshare / torrent cough) to see how the Yanks do it. Would’ve loved to be there and slap egg, pineapple and beetroot on one, then watched the judges’ faces ;).

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