Chur Burger, Surry Hills

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I have fond memories of many a finger-licking cheeseburger consumed on our annual family road trips up the coast when I was little. I was always a cheeseburger-happy-meal child, relishing the sweet tomato sauce, tasty mustard and flecks of onion which sandwiched together my flat cheeseburger, in all it's greasy goodness.

Then as I grew older, no more were those messy cheeseburgers, with their bright yellow cheese and iconic soft brown buns, as our trips became less frequent and my tastebuds searched for flavours of a different kind. Now the humble burger is back in business. In fact, it has been for some time now, and it doesn't look like it's going to be disappearing again.

Chur is a word you'd use to express an appreciation of, or enthusiasm about, something. You feel like a burger? Chur. Want about some fries with that? Chur. Okay, maybe that's now exactly how it might be used, but you get the idea. This hip and hot burger restaurant, on a relatively quiet section of Albion Street in Surry Hills, encompasses all there is to love about the humble burger, offered at humble prices, too.

It's a burger lover's haven. There is a high chance that your eyes will be drawn to more than just one burger on the menu, whether it be classic beef, leaner grilled chicken, sweet pulled pork or spiced chickpea. Feeling more like fish and chips? There's a burger for that, too, crumbed and served with classic lemon mayo. And if you're not a burger lover, there are other menu items which are begging to be ordered, whether it be a nostalgic Milo milkshake or the also on-trend Korean fried chicken wings.

Burgers come out fast, and turnover is quick, which helps when the restaurant gets busy on weekends. Alluding to the casual ease of the burger as a fast, wallet-friendly foodstuff, orders are placed at the bar counter, and you are able to sit back on stools or facing out to the street as you watch the kitchen work the grills and place impossibly mouth-watering, golden burgers on the kitchen counter top, ready to be taken to ravenous patrons.

Grilled beef, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle ($10)

The beef burger comes on a golden, sparsely sesame-topped, toasted brioche bun boasting a thick grilled beef patty, melted cheese, delicate pickle ribbons and an oozy mustard mayonnaise. The cheese is melted just so that it reaches translucency, adding a subtle but not overwhelming cheesy factor, complemented by the folds of pickle and thick smears of creamy mayonnaise. 

Cross-section of the beef burger

You can tell they care about their burgers here. Upon ordering, we are asked whether we'd like the patty medium rare or well done; opt for medium-rare for a juicy, pink interior. They also kindly responded to our request for a beef burger with just the patty and cheese for the picky eater in our group (although not so much picky as having a lesser developed palette ;)). The mustard infused mayo is perfect for those who enjoy the hot tang of mustard without it being too overwhelming. 

Szechuan Calamari w/ garlic and lime, sour cream and jalapeno ($12)

The special on the day we visited was the Szechuan Calamari burger, sandwiched with garlic, lime, sour cream and jalapeno. It's light and hot, reminiscent of that old favourite Chinese go-to of salt and pepper squid, with large wedges of lightly battered calamari peeping out among a forest of shredded iceberg lettuce and slices of jalapeno. The calamari is golden and easy to bite into, although it doesn't quite leave Dad with the same full-bellied satisfaction as the beef burger.

Crumbed fish fillet, pickled cucumber, lemon mayo, chilli ($10)

The crumbed fish burger features fingers of deep, golden white fish which take the fish finger to a whole new status. Pickled cucumber, slaw, lemon mayo and dill provide the perfect cushion for these flavour of the sea, although not as tasty as the beef burger. This is a lighter option which would be the most likely result if the humble burger and classic fish and chips were ever to have a child.

Cross-section of the fish burger

Chips with chilli salt ($6)

Thick, wedge-chips are fluffy and moorish, the chilli salt dusting the outer to lend only a light tingle to the lips, rather than a hot fire, adding flavour rather than heat.

Served casually on light, tin-like plates atop a sheet of playful spotty paper, the burgers at Chur Burger are well worth the short wait and cheap price. Of all the burgers, the beef burger was our favourite, with it's classic flavour combination and extravagant aesthetics. It's a far cry from those old fast food burgers of my youth, a modern Australian take on the all-American cheeseburger, without the bright yellow cheese and old pickles. 

Unlike other burger eateries in Sydney, which offer somewhat denser, thinner, sweeter brown buns often served wrapped in paper, Chur utilises fluffier, thicker brioche buns, which carry the piling of fillings well and make for a more attractive burger. With the eatery's popularity and susceptibility to attract large crowds during peak time, make the effort to visit for an early lunch or dinner to avoid the wait and enjoy a more relaxed, quiet meal. It's all part of the eye-pleasing spectacle which just makes you want to enjoy their burgers more than just once, given the affordable price. With their newest store just recently opened in the Wintergarden food court near Wynyard in Sydney's CBD, there's no reason not to get your hands on one of these delicious burgers. 


Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

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