What's the lowdown?
Neil Perry is bringing his burgers to Brisbane. Opening at 11am in the new Southpoint precinct on Friday, February 17, the store will be Perry's first original venue in Queensland and the eighth Burger Project in Australia.
The Rockpool chef's fast-casual joint serves burgers, fries, shakes, sundaes and a small selection of beer and wine. It's an uncluttered, natural-light-filled space that seats 60 diners inside and 30 outdoors.
"I had a look at McDonald's and those sorts places and identified what makes them work and what makes them efficient," says Perry, who will be on deck to flip burgers at the opening.
"Then it was just a matter of putting great produce over the top, which those guys seem to forget to do. It's not rocket science."
The Burger Project 'Classic'. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Why should I care?
It's all about the meat. Unlike other fast-casual burger joints, Burger Project staff mince and hand-form patties daily using a half-and-half mixture of chuck steak and brisket.
"When we first started making burgers I used a patty-making machine, but it created an inferior product," says Perry. "The butchers can say what they like, but it just wasn't as good. The hand-made patties are juicier. More tender."
Perry also has a long-standing relationship with Cape Grim Beef in Tasmania; a collection of farmers responsible for some of the highest quality grass-fed gear you can get your mouth around. "You would swear some of it's wagyu it's so marbled," he says.
A taste of the menu at Burger Project, Southpoint. Photo: Callan Boys
What looks good on the menu?
There are nine burgers for 100 per cent Cape Grim beef good times including the Classic ($8.90) with onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce; the beetroot-ified Aussie ($10.90); and The Bacon Project ($13.90) featuring pickles, cheese, onion and "loads of bacon".
Non-beef-eaters are catered for with a trio of chicken katsu burgers and the Magic Mushroom ($10.50) starring a thick hunk of crumbed, confit mushie. Meanwhile, The Bounty Hunter ($6) might be the highlight of the desserts; with vanilla bean ice-cream, Valrhona chocolate sauce, toasted coconut and crushed meringue.
Burger Project's Bounty Hunter. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Anything else I need to know?
Breakfast! A morning menu launches on February 20 and consists of straight-up brekkie classics including a bacon and egg roll, a mushroom and egg roll, a BLT and freshly squeezed OJ.
Burger Project will also be the first venue in Brisbane to use coffee from Melbourne-based boutique roaster Market Lane.
"[Market Lane] owner Fleur Studd is a brilliant sourcer of beans and it's just beautiful, fruit-driven, modern coffee," says Perry. "And when you have that coffee poured over our hand-churned soft-serve, you've got an affogato to die for. It'll be the best affogato in Brisbane."
Perry has plans to open several more Burger Projects in Queensland over the next two years. The second Brisbane store is on target to launch late March in the CBD near the corner of Edward and Charlotte streets.
Double-cheese, fries and a shake, please. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Open daily 8am-9pm. (Breakfast menu starts February 20.)
271 Grey Street South Brisbane, burgerproject.com