Chur Burger started out as a back alley, bootleg burger operation behind Warren Turnbull’s Albion Street Kitchen. Then disaster struck with a fire. That was bad. But it meant that Chur Burger could go legit. That was good. In fact the appeal of their ten-buck burgers has been so great that Chur Burger has expanded their operation, firing up a second set of grills above the London Hotel in Paddington – with a third venue set to open in Manly any day now.
If the walls could talk the second storey of the London Hotel would mostly tell tales of body shots at 21st birthdays. But now Miss Piggy, Fat Albert, and Mr T paste ups, neon bar lights and Ska covers of the Police and Beatles tell a different story.
The menu here is an abridged version of the one in Surry Hills but the key elements are the same: six burgers, four milkshakes, sides and extra bacon, patties and cheese if you like to supersize. In a nod to Turnbull’s native New Zealand, they do a Bloody Maori that adds a shot of cucumber juice to the smoky Bloody Mary mix for that fresh morning campfire flavour. There are also bottles of Waha kiwifruit habanero, Hot Samoan Boys and Kaitaia Fire chilli pepper sauce from across the ditch.
The beef burger is a simple affair with a thick patty that’s closer to well done than the medium/rare Chur states on the menu. Big ups for the layer of sliced pickles and properly melted cheese but a good squeeze of tomato sauce is needed to make it a fair fight between tomato jam and mayo mustard. Luckily it’s an all-out condiment party on every table. Do order the salted sweet potato fries but be prepared to share, they’re a far more substantial snack than their pale cousins.
Go hard with house-made coffee tequila, rein things in with 150 Lashes pale ale or go family-friendly with a shake. We have been long time fans of the Chur Burger vanilla shake densely speckled with Heilala vanilla seeds, but the Milo shake – heavy on the Milo - may just be the malty temptress that gets us to betray our former milky friend.
Prime positions here are by one of the open bay windows - the ones with the padded denim banquettes are even better. Or if you are heading to the SCG they do take away.
The burgers aren’t quite as good as the original but Chur Burger The Second is a fun spot for a cheap dinner in a suburb light on for low-key eats. Go forth, Chur Burger, and multiply.