Well-structured: The Burger Shed takes pride in the architecture of their burgers. Photo: Fiona Morris
You can argue all you like about the necessity of cheese or beetroot or condiments, but there's just one measure by which I judge a good burger: its architecture.
A 15-centimetre-high burger might photograph well but, when it comes to the actual eating, there's only one way for its contents to go: sideways. And that's detrimental to both dignity and satiety.
There's thoughtfulness behind the menu at the Burger Shed. That's not a surprise: the creative brains behind it belong to Justin North. He helped launch the posh-burger trend in Sydney when he started selling wagyu burgers to city businessmen out of Plan B, next to his restaurant Becasse, and then had crowds flocking to Westfield Sydney after he launched Charlie & Co.
Something to get your hands around: The Shed Burger. Photo: Fiona Morris
North has put the collapse of his Becasse group behind him and teamed up with Burger Shed's owner Tim Jolley to bring good burgers to the lower north shore.
The Burger Shed has been fitted out to look a bit like a shed, but this is Mosman, so it's a clean, chic shed, with white cladding, pale exposed brick and tin lamps hanging from a ladder suspended from the ceiling. There's seating for about 20 and the staff are unhurried and friendly.
The menu offers four types of burger (beef, lamb, chicken and portobello mushroom) and two choices for the burger-averse: fish tacos and a chicken tortilla. There's a focus on good ingredients, with the back of the menu dedicated to the Shed's ''rules'', including ''local and daily'' ingredients and the proclamation that ''the happier the cow, the happier the customer''. The patties are all gluten free and gluten-free buns are available.
The Shed Burger is made with a grass-fed Angus and full-blood wagyu patty, which is juicy and charred, if a little well done, on a soft, glossy sesame bun with melted cheddar, tomato relish, lettuce and aioli. At $12, it's several dollars cheaper than similar burgers across the city. (It can be boosted with double cheese for an extra $1.50, or bacon for $3.) An $8 ''snack'' version is perfect for those on a pocket-money budget.
The Federation Burger is made with ground lamb (provenance: Riverina) with mustard, pickled beetroot and caramelised onion, while the vegetarian Producer's Burger features grilled portobello mushroom with haloumi and salsa verde. The burgers are built beautifully, very savoury, a balance of soft and crunchy and crisp. The fish tacos, meanwhile, are very good, with firm, tender, white battered fish with crunchy shredded cabbage, hot sauce and Mexican cream (similar to sour cream) on a soft flour tortilla.
Side orders are short but enticing: the pick is the cob of blackened corn, buttered and sprinkled with red chilli flakes and salt. ''Old-school'' coleslaw is good but lacks a bit of crunch. The truffle and parmesan fries are excellent, the truffle oil used on the fries sparingly and parmesan shaved over fluffy golden chips.
There's boutique beer by the bottle and a few reds and whites by the glass, while kids will love the fresh sodas, or the shakes that can double as dessert: salted caramel, strawberry vanilla cheesecake or Zokoko chocolate fudge. And something you won't find at other burger joints: a delicate vanilla-flecked Pepe Saya buttermilk panna cotta with strawberry and mandarin compote.
Shed Burger, fish tacos, barbecue corn with chilli salt butter, salted caramel shake.
Three stars (out of five)
- 02 8021 9262
- Cuisine - Contemporary
- Prices - Burgers $12, sides $4-$6, dessert $8.
- Features - Cheap and cheerful
- Chef(s) - Justin North
- Owners - Tim Jolley
- Opening Hours - Sun-Wed, 11.30am-8pm; Thu-Sat, 11.30am-9pm.
- Author - Georgia Waters