Grill’d – $$ – 8/10
Healthy Burgers – Vegan/Vegetarian menu options
241 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW, 2010
We hadn’t eaten out once, since our arrival to Australia on the 8th, but it was Christmas, which meant we had an excuse to pig out. Burgers are my go-to for a cheat meal, and I was craving some bun fun. I consider myself a bit of a burger snob, and enjoy trying out the weirdest combination of toppings on the patty.
It was boxing day, so we weren’t expecting much to be open, and we were right. We wandered down Oxford Street in Darlinghurst, and the first open burger joint we spotted was Grill’d. The sub heading ‘Healthy Burgers‘ drew our attention, and we both nodded in agreement that this was probably the best option, considering all we’d had for the last 24 hours was alcohol and Freddo’s.
We walked in and were greeted by a friendly chap, Dominic, who handed us a menu and advised that we would need to order at the bar. With so much to offer, it took a few minutes to peruse the different options. They cater for any dietary need – vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, paleo – you name it, they have a burger for it.
I’m none of the above so I chose the ‘Almighty‘ (Grass fed lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish & herbed mayo) with a seeded bun and Ally chose the ‘Moroccan Lamb’ (Grass fed lean lamb, roasted peppers, tzatziki, salad & relish) with a wholewheat bun, and we shared a side of ‘Famous Grill’d Chips’ which would have been a good portion size for one person. The burgers cost $14 each and the chips were $5.50.
After paying for the meals, Dominic gave us 2 bottle caps and explained they were tokens to put in one of the 3 local charity boxes, each token counting as a ‘vote’ for a good cause. From the sale of burgers, Grill’d puts $500 towards these 3 charities, the one with the most votes gets $300, and the other two get $100 each. I’m not sure if the charities change every so often, but the ones available at the time of our visit were: Make-A-Wish, The HIV Book Project, and City of Sydney Basketball Association. Great idea, and great causes.
The service was top notch, food was served within 5 minutes of ordering, by our super friendly waitress, Ella. Ella came back twice to check the food was up to our expectations, and took a while to chat with us about our travel plans. Dominic also came over to ask which charities we’d voted for, and gave us a bit more information about them.
Down to business: The burgers were photogenic, held neatly together by a wooden skewer. and the first bite created a flavour explosion on my palette. The beef patty was juicy, cooked medium rare so slightly pink, and the bacon was crispy, cooked to perfection. The bun however was slightly dry, and bordering on stale. It didn’t add any flavour, nor did it absorb much of the juice. The burger as a whole reminded me of a home-made one, using good quality ingredients, and the chef had taken the time to ensure the presentation was on point. The salad was fresh, and added to the juiciness, and the beets gave the interior a bright purple tinge.
The fries were thick cut and seasoned, with a crunchy outer shell and a fluffy centre. They went perfectly with the Chipotle Mayo dip ($1) which had a thick texture and light kick. Considering it’s a ‘healthy’ burger, I still felt relatively sluggish after the meal, but that’s to be expected with even the healthiest of burgers, and the feeling didn’t linger.
Overall it was a great experience, made even better by the staff. The food was awesome and I’ll be back here again to try something else from the menu.