So here’s the goss: Danno’s used to be THE place to go to for burgers. Hulking, juicy, thick, saucy burgers. These burgers were made by Burger Josh – yes, a man so devoted to his craft that burgers have just become his identity – and they were truly a work of art to behold.
Then one day, Burger Josh and Danno’s decided that they didn’t love each other anymore and part ways. And the diners, like me, were left inbetween feeling like the product of a broken home. After all, who’s side do you pick when mommy and daddy break up?
Better still, what do you do when mommy finds another man to replace daddy. WHAT THEN?! ?????
Organic Breakfast Trifle, Coconut Milk, Chia Seed, Mango, Yoghurt, Mixed Berries, $16
Thinly veiled analogies aside, Danno’s is back with a new menu and a new chef, ready to reclaim (or retain?) the love of the dining public. The new menu is created by Chef Ashraf Saleh, who brings with him middle eastern influences and years of restaurant experience.
Egyptian Poached Eggs, Bastourma, Za’atar, Kale, Sweet Potato Croquet, $17
So how does the food stack up? Well, it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, really. One gives pretty, upscale, cafe-type food, and the other, gritty, sexy, voluptuous burgers.
No, you’re saying it wrong. Gotta add a growl to your voice and say it again:
Heirloom Tomato and Beetroot Salad
Anyhoo, Danno’s new menu is indeed pretty. Very photogenic in a Covergirl ad sorta way. Not exactly edgy in terms of favour profile or culinary creativity, but that might not have been what Chef Ashraf might have been aiming for.
The Organic Breakfast Trifle, $16, was a chia pudding with a riot of fresh fruit and compote over the top. It was silky and comforting, with light, fresh notes of the summer fruits keeping it from being stodgy.
On the savoury front, Egyptian Poached Eggs, Bastourma, Za’atar, Kale, Sweet Potato Croquet, $17 was well, interesting. The individual elements on the plate – and there were many – were okay, but didn’t come together into anything remarkable. Massive amounts of beetroot and radish made it all visually stunning, but pretty only gets you so far.
But of course, you are really waiting for me to compare apples with apples. Danno’s indeed has a burger on the menu, and yes, we ate it.
EAT ALL THE FOOD.
The Titanic was aptly named, because well, look at it. Here, I even have a shot of Chef Ashraf holding it, for comparison.
As he set down the plate, Chef Ashraf made very sure to tell us that he felt that his burger was full of flavour, and there was no need for it to be dripping with sauce. No need to be OTT, you know, gotta keep it simple.
Well, um, I dont’t really know how to put this, but it needs more sauce. *hides face behind hands* The fried chicken was flavourful enough, but not juicy enough to combat the natural dryness that is bread. And what sauce it had, mind you, had a lovely thousand-island-type tang, but I needed more. Way more.
The fries thst it came with though? A+. Hints of sumac and spice brought the humble fry to life, and I just kept picking at it, even though I should’ve stopped eating 10 minutes ago.
I think that the new menu reslly shows a lot of promise, though I kind of question putting a burger on so soon after the divorce. Salt in the wound man, salt in the wound. It might take s bit of time for the new chef and evolving menu to find their footing, but from what I’ve seen, it shouldn’t take too long for the taste of the food to match the expectation that the presentation gives.
Wasn’t there something about judging a book by its cover?