There has been much debate about the best burgers in Sydney, but I think that there’s no denying that Burgers by Josh is absolutely killing it right now. After making social media waves as the head chef (and burger genius) of Danno’s, Josh has now branched out on his own, serving up Sydney’s favourite American import (well, besides Doughnuts, One Direction and…nevermind) to the hungry masses.
We stop by to start 2016 with a bang! Burger-style, of course. ??
J Burger, $14
Wagyu, American Cheese, Westmont Picklerey Pickles, fresh sliced tomatoes, iceberg, onion, J sauce
The Colonel, $15
Southern fried free range chicken breast, American cheese, Mississippi Mayo, iceberg, fresh sliced tomato
Jurassic Fries, $10
Twice fried beer battered chips, Primo sauce, Liquid cheese
Josh proves that he’s first and foremost, a chef – expertly working the grills and the pass all by himself, while about 40 people (by my estimation) placed their orders one right after the other. The open kitchen (no where to hide, here!) exuded a sense of calm and cool, as Josh methodically worked through all the orders with his team of two.
The result? Utter deliciousness, even if they weren’t the most photogenic (I doubt he had time to worry about presentation!).
On the burger front, we started with the J Burger: presumably named after Josh himself, this had a Wagyu patty, American Cheese, Westmont Picklerey Pickles, fresh sliced tomatoes, iceberg, onion, J sauce between soft sesame seed buns. Simple and straightforward, this held all the flavours of your classic burger, but on steroids. The patty was expertly cooked to a medium rare, and together with the melted cheese, pickles, tomato, lettuce, onion, and sauce, it created the most delicious slip’n’slide ever.
The Colonel was a cheeky take on a chicken burger, with Southern fried chicken breast, American cheese, Mississippi Mayo, iceberg and fresh sliced tomato. I’m not the biggest chicken burger fan at the best of times, but this was a really good mix of tender chicken, fresh vegetables and tangy sauce. Personally, it wasn’t as well constructed as the J Burger – the uneven shape of the thick chicken breast meant that some bites had chicken, some bites didn’t, and some bites threatened to slide the whole piece out the other side – but the more you ate, the more you figured out how to hold the burger. It just takes some practice, and no one is complaining about any excuse to have more burger.
As a side, The Jurassic Fries could also just be a meal unto itself. Twice fried beer battered chips are topped with Primo sauce and liquid cheese for an unctuous pile of super crispy chips with melty bits. The only complaint? Not enough sauce for my liking – I like it with there’s a river of sauce going down my mountain of chips. Cause it’s like, um, nature, you know?
I’ve heard plenty about issues with the service before – from orders getting forgotten to burgers being served cold – but I think it’s ironed out now. There was still a bit of a wait, since everyone ordered at once, but if he managed to get everything out hot and correctly, then I don’t see how there would be an issue moving forward.
Value for money:
I was very lucky to be invited to eat at Burgers by Josh, but at the $15-20 mark usually, I think the burgers are skating the edge of reasonable and pricey. In a volume sense, only the Primo pays homage to his humongous burgers of days gone past, but I think on the whole the food is well made enough to justify both the price AND the dedicated trip out to North Sydney. Just.
Located in an ex-bar, I really enjoyed the clear sight into the kitchen, where you can watch Josh work his magic. There’s a great graffiti/burger aesthetic to it, that makes it feel that much more street. I love the tattoo style branding, and it’s that same attitude that’s reflected in the food. Love it.
I know I sound like an ungrateful bitch, but I really regret not ordering the Infamous Primo. Having had the Godzilla tower of sauce, meat and onion rings before, I thought I’d be reasonable and give the other menu items a try.
WHY, WHY DID I NOT LISTEN TO MY BELLY???
Everything was still delicious, but don’t make the same mistake as me. Order the damn Primo, because it’s “infamous” for a reason – it’s damned good.
Josh will be at The Upper Deck at Greenwood Plaza till the end of January. You can find out more about where he’ll be next by following him on Facebook here.
Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Burgers by Josh.
Burgers by Josh
The Upper Deck, Greenwood Plaza
36 Blue Street, North Sydney, NSW