Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Restaurant Review: Grease Monkey

I really like a hamburger, but S loves one. He rates a place on their ability to create the perfect patty, with appropriate juiciness, good accompaniments and a balanced bun. If there is a burger on the menu, you can pretty much guarantee that is what he is having. So when my Instagram feed began to fill up with pictures of burgers from the new kid on the block, Grease Monkey, I knew we had to give it a go.

Grease Monkey is the latest addition to Lonsdale Street in Braddon. I used to work in Braddon when it was home to a bunch of dodgy takeaway joints, saved only by the pizza at Debacle. I remember the excitement when Zamberros opened there. These days however it is filled with quirky, innovative and original eateries. Grease Monkey joins the throng with a very specific menu, there are burgers, a few sides (chips, coleslaw, mash and gravy) and fried chicken - think American burger joint.

The fitout has had a lot of write ups and after being there I can see why. They have managed to retain the feel of the old mechanic's shop that used to be on the site while also creating a funky, buzzy space. We sat inside at the bar and I have to say the bar stools are a little short. We are tall and sitting there the bar was at chest height so you wouldn't want to be much shorter. I think the outside courtyard will be a big hit when the warm weather returns.

Grease Monkey burgers are traditional American burgers. Yes they have a vegetarian burger but I wouldn't class these as "gourmet" burgers, the like of Brodburger or Grill'd, they are much more of what pops into my mind when I think of a traditional burger. We actually commented that this was a McDonalds burger done right. I don't mean that to sound at all derogatory, what I mean is that with their slightly sweet bun, pickles, special sauce, and fresh ingredients they have the balance that McDonalds spent so long perfecting but with fresh, flavorful, tasty ingredients.

In the interests of a good review we should have each ordered a different burger but in the interests of what we wanted to eat, we both got a "full service" - beef patty, bacon, egg, cheese, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, onion, GM ketchup - $17. I had mine minus the pineapple and onion, S had his minus the beetroot. The GM ketchup is their own special sauce, a mayonnaisey, mustardy take on ketchup that is finger licken good.

We found the burgers to be a good size, they filled you up without stuffing yourself silly. I always feel too full when I finish a Brodburger or London Burger Bar burger - not that I ever don't finish them. The burgers came with chips that had a great seasoning on them and they disappeared very quickly, I loved them.

Service was good, it was only a 15 minute wait for our meals and the place was pretty full. We overheard someone say that they did 240kg of beef on their first day, so they have managed to get the kitchen up and functioning really well remarkably fast. It was busy and we were lucky to score seats but we noticed that patrons turned over fairly quickly (the fast service no doubt helps) so the wait for a table shouldn't be too long.

Overall we really enjoyed our burgers and would happily come back again if friends wanted to but probably wouldn't go out of our way to get there. But if you like a good, traditional burger then I would say, you will be well satisfied by Grease Monkey.

Grease Monkey
19 Lonsdale Street (cnr Lonsdale St and Elouera St)

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