Burgers – they seem to be everywhere now in Sydney, but where do you head when in search of a decent burger at an affordable price?
I recently discovered Burger Project within The Gateway Centre in Circular Quay – a brand new retail, dining and office precinct overlooking the harbour and ferry wharf. Burger Project however has been around since 2014 and is part of the renowned Rockpool Restaurant Group.
The Rockpool Bar & Grill burger was the inspiration that led Rockpool Group Directors Neil Perry, Trish Richards and David Doyle to open up their latest restaurant addition to the group and let’s say it’s a good thing they did.
What fascinates me about Burger Project is the fact that they use the finest Cape Grim beef in Australia and all of their beef is cut, minced and rolled into patties by hand every single day. They take pride in using natural ingredients that are of the highest quality and sustainability is something they hold dear to their hearts.
This is how a good burger should be, with great pride taken in the choice of meat and fresh ingredients, all the way to the careful presentation.
Positioned on level one of The Gateway Centre, Burger Project captures fascinating views of the beautiful Sydney Harbour both day and night. We ventured here on a raining Sunday night to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to a concert at the Sydney Opera House and literally had the restaurant all to ourselves.
Recently opened, you can still smell the fresh coats of paint on the walls, whilst you are greeted by a sense of newness, that you feel like you don’t want to disturb.
We are quickly served at the counter and order a burger each with a large portion of fries to share between us. The menu is large enough not to be overwhelming, but still big enough to have a burger to cater for everyone’s tastes. Whether you enjoy a simple classic or American Cheese, or fancy some bacon in your burger or fried chicken, you can find all of these choices alongside a Magic Mushroom Burger for those not into meat.
If you are trying to eat healthy, or can’t eat gluten then you can order your favourite burger in a bowl that is served without the bun, but with extra lettuce instead.
Chips are served separately either as a small or large portion and you can choose between three types of salt: salt, chipotle chilli salt or Sichuan pepper salt which we went for.
As well as taking care of your stomach, Burger Project can also take care of your thirst. Alongside the standard drinks you come to expect, you can also order Real Shakes, Thick Shakes and House Sodas as well as a few choices of wines, beer and cider. For dessert lovers, then why not try out their Ice Cream Desserts. The Bounty Hunter, Nuts About Chocolate and Blueberry Pie all sounded delightful.
Burger Project is a self-service restaurant, so once you have ordered, pull up a chair at one of the tables and wait until the buzzer goes off. All burgers are cooked to order and are cooked to a tender, juicy medium, but if you prefer it cooked a little longer, just let them know.
It didn’t take long until our buzzer went off which nearly scared me half to death. We grabbed some extra napkins and mustards and tomato sauce for our chips and soon dug in. We did have to spend about a minute working out which burger was whose as they were not marked – might be something that could be improved moving forwards to avoid confusion.
I had ordered the Chilli Cheese Burger which comprised a beef pattie, cheese, jalapeno, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce. The burger was perfectly cooked and juicy in the centre, whilst there were plenty of pickles, cheese, tomato and lettuce. Not quite sure where the jalapeno was as I couldn’t find any in my burger, but the secret sauce they use was flavoursome and delicious.
The chips with the Sichuan pepper salt were a good portion size and had a good kick of heat through the use of black pepper and were very moreish. The restaurant itself was well decorated and each table had a centrepiece light that lit up the centre of the table, making me think we were about to be beamed up by aliens to their spaceship!
Overall, the burgers here were tasty and filling, with perfectly cooked beef patties. The large portion of chips was enough for two adults to share and it was a very affordable meal. Burgers cost approximately $10-$13.90 and $5.50 for the large chips, which I think is very reasonable, especially as the ingredients are carefully chosen and sourced from local producers, whilst everything here is house-made, ensuring freshness and genuine quality.
Not only does Burger Project now have a restaurant in Circular Quay, you can also find this chain at the MLC Centre, Macquarie Centre, World Square Centre and Bondi Junction (Coming Soon) in Sydney as well as venturing out in Melbourne CBD.
Surrounded by McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks just footsteps away, you might think that Burger Project is going up against some stiff competition from some global names, especially as it is tucked away upstairs in The Gateway Centre. However, for a quality burger with a world-class view then Burger Project is a must-visit restaurant and really is in a league of its own.
I for one, will definitely be back for more.