Always try the cheeseburger, according to Bar Luca chef, Sarah Robbins.
It’s the ultimate quality control test for an unknown burger joint: how well do they manage the most universal and basic of burgers?
You’d be forgiven, however, for making an exception to this advice when it comes to Sarah’s own joint, though I’m sure their cheeseburgers are up to scratch. It’s partly because Bar Luca is a highly rated, regular culinary collaborator with the unapologetically named ‘The Fatties Burger Appreciation Society’ (yes it’s a thing and you need to be involved), so you can trust that many burger-quality-discerning tastebuds have done the heavy lifting for you.
It’s also because basics are great, but a bespoke burger designed for a good cause, by a team that has a poutine-based ‘Blame Canada’ burger on its permanent menu, is definitely the more exciting option. And if you’re going to indulge, why not go all out? And you’ll definitely hit the gym for a workout afterwards. Yep. Definitely.
This ‘Burger Festival’ creation, which took two weeks to turn into reality, will be served to roughly 200 diners as part of the Burgers for Boobs fundraiser event on 12 July 2015, which will be raising money to help a ‘Fatties’ member’s mother with her second breast cancer operation and also for Australian Breast Cancer research. Those who have a ticket for Bar Luca’s service session are definitely in for a treat.
True to its name, this burger is inspired by elements from old-school carnivals (or your closest Hollywood movie approximation), compiled in a giant, gourmet tower of ingredients that grounds itself on the popcorn-salt dusted wagyu patty, topped with deep fried pickle, bacon, American cheddar, popcorn, tomato, lettuce, toffee apple aioli, and a tiny, mustard-and-ketchup-covered corn dog on top.
The first bite into the burger is a firework explosion of flavours, a spinning teacup ride that is a unique combination of sweet, sour, salty and meaty umami. Much like moving down a line of booths at a carnival, each subsequent bite of the burger is slightly different as individual flavours move to the forefront; there’s the tender wagyu patty, packed with juices and a hint of char-grilled smokiness, then the American cheddar and burst of bacon, then crisp lettuce, sweetened by the standout toffee-apple aioli, which tempers all the salt.
The only hiccups was that the oily batter from the deep-fried pickle overwhelmed the actual pickle and the popcorn component was a little lost in the actual burger, though it’s the first thing you smell. Sarah was very receptive to our suggestions so hopefully it’s all ironed out in time for the event on July 12.
If you’re someone who typically takes the ‘deconstructed burger salad with knife and fork’ approach in an attempt to preserve your status as a civilised mammal, I can say, from the other side, that you need to take the ‘compress down and bite’ approach for the full experience. Do have lots of tissues on hand as the juicy wagyu patty and sauces made a soaking mess of the bottom bun.
But hey, you’re eating a burger. There is no dignity, only deliciousness. And if you’re eating a burger by Bar Luca, no one is judging you.
(For the true first-world anarchists out there, the ‘compress and turn sideways to eat burger like a corn on the cob’ approach is also something that Sarah’s seen, albeit at Bar Luca’s ‘build your own burger’ event, with a burger involving at least five meat patties. Don’t try this at home. And maybe not with this burger)
If you want to delay the expanding waistline, a burger shared between two, with shoestring fries on the side, is probably enough to fill you up for lunch and beyond. I have a feeling, though, that you won’t want to share.
Burgers For Boobs
When: Sunday, 12th July 2015 – 12pm, 3pm & 6pm sessions
Where: Harpoon Harry’s (40/44 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills, Sydney NSW)
52 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9247 9700
Web: Bar Luca
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Bar Luca