Chur Burger

48 Albion Street, Surry Hills, NSW

Churburger in Surry Hills.good food under $30 18th of july 2013photo: Jacky Ghossein
Fast and furious: Chur Burger in Surry Hills. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

Joanna Savill

It's a sign of the times when a two-hat restaurant (Assiette) turns into a two-hundred-buns-a-service burger joint. Chef Warren Turnbull still can't quite believe it. He's about the only thing that looks familiar in this starkly lit, fast-and-furious fast-food diner since a fire earlier this year wrecked his plans to run it as a mid-range restaurant called Albion Street Kitchen.

Chur Burger had started life in ASK's back lane with the kind of cult following back-lane burger bars seem to attract.

When the fire damage was repaired, Turnbull figured it might just be simpler to forget fine dining and focus on burgers. It seems to have paid off.

Churburger in Albion Street, Surry Hills.Pork Burger.17th July 2013.Photo: Steven Siewert
Burger urger: Pulled pork is a popular option. Photo: Steven Siewert

The trick with burgers is the bun. The filling needs to combine meat (or the spicy chickpea patty, which gets a tick from the non-meat-eating twentysomething daughter) with some good, contrasting condiments and salad-y bits. But it can't go all squishy and collapse. So the bun is crucial in keeping things together. The Chur Burger bun is a good cross between soft and just slightly crusty-dry, with a shiny, sesame-seeded top and that yellowy brioche crumb that seems to be a mandatory feature of the humble hamburger circa 2013.

Pulled pork is everywhere in 2013, too, so you'll find it on a Chur Burger bun, with a red cabbage slaw and a gently aniseedy fennel mayo. No one's complaining, mind you. Pulled pork is a trend we're unlikely to tire of.

Miso brisket is the beef equivalent of pulled pork, served with lovely fresh chilli and pickles on a soft tortilla (when we went) - although apparently it has traded up to a soft taco shell. The spiced chickpea burger comes with grated beetroot and honey-sweetened labne (a yoghurt-y soured Lebanese curd).

There are snacks (such as the miso brisket tacos), burgers (as above) and ''Bigger'' - a Cajun-blackened wedge of salmon, say, with a green onion salsa. And there are beers and milkshakes and rather lethal sweet potato fries, not to mention the crisp-edged macadamia tart with whiskey-ish ice-cream.

The most fun about this place - apart from watching Turnbull and his crew slaving over the open grill and counting the burger baskets piling up - is its cross-cultural component. Turnbull, you see, is from New Zealand and he's quite happy to impart a few lessons in the lingo. (Or should that be lungo?). Practise ordering ''chups and drunks'' (it's on the website) and learn to say ''chur'' a lot. It's New Zilland for ''cool'' or ''sweet'' or even ''thanks''. So, chur, bro. And see you next time.

Do … come down early or late, it gets really full, really fast.

Don't … linger or expect Assiette-style dishes.

Dish … Pulled pork burger with red slaw and fennel mayo.

Vibe … Surry Hills families, teens, students and twentysomethings. And burger lovers from all over.

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48 Albion Street, Surry Hills, NSW

  • Cuisine - American (US)
  • Prices - Burgers $10, snacks $10, ''Bigger'' $20, desserts $10.
  • Features - Cheap and cheerful
  • Chef(s) - Warren Turnbull
  • Owners - Warren Turnbull
  • Author - Joanna Savill
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4 comments so far

  • I liked this place better when it was in the back lane.

    surry hills
    Date and time
    July 23, 2013, 12:15PM
  • We came to this pace for a burger from the CBD, it wasn't that packed but were told it would be 30min wait! WTF? It's a burger joint fella's - 10 mins tops ...

    Date and time
    July 23, 2013, 1:00PM
    • Wow. Chur Bru! One of the best burgers have ever eaten, and they are ALL $10!!!! apparently the lamb is the best but I tried cheese burger and pulled pork burger and both were perfect. Full compliment of sauces on the table spicy to mild tobasco's, even a Habenaro one I've haven't tried before and of-course tom and BBQ.
      First time I went they had been eaten out of food I couldn't even get food let alone a table, which I only took as a good sign
      Firstly good fresh food is limited- proof good quality control is in place, this is not fast good trash grade f meat- limited stock is inevitable.
      Secondly its proves it so good everyone wants a piece-
      So I returned again until I got a table and I've been thinking of the food daily until I return again.

      Advice; avoid the lunch rush go before or after lunch. If its your first time and your with friends, order as many different burgers you can and get the burgers cut in half to share so you can try them all and find your favourite. Be aware the milkshake costs $8, its good but I don't think a milkshake is worth $8. Try an L & P instead....

      To comment above about the wait for the food, the explanation is simple, some good things can't be rushed. A compromise on time is a compromise on quality. If you want to wait and average time go to an average burger place.

      Dazzle the food king
      Date and time
      December 22, 2013, 12:41PM
  • such a hipster reply @hipster. Try eating the food, it's totes amazeballs. Chur

    Date and time
    July 23, 2013, 1:16PM

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