The Burger Shed

914 Military Road, Mosman, NSW

All Details
Well-structured: The Burger Shed takes pride in the architecture of their burgers.
Well-structured: The Burger Shed takes pride in the architecture of their burgers. Photo: Fiona Morris

Georgia Waters

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.
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.

Recommended dishes

Shed Burger, fish tacos, barbecue corn with chilli salt butter, salted caramel shake.

Score

Three stars (out of five)

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914 Military Road, Mosman, NSW

  • 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
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7 comments so far

  • If the burgers are anything like Charlie & Co they can keep them.

    The new kid on the block to beat in Sydney is Churburger.

    Commenter
    steve
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    August 24, 2013, 4:59PM
  • looks like north finally learned his lesson well - the days of ostrich skin tables are well behind sydney. all the best to him for this new venture!

    Commenter
    LB
    Location
    tokyo
    Date and time
    August 24, 2013, 7:06PM
  • The mark of a good burger? It's called Fergburger, and found in Queenstown, NZ.

    Commenter
    John357
    Location
    Date and time
    August 26, 2013, 4:36PM
  • #burgerfridays on instagram!

    Commenter
    Cheats
    Location
    Date and time
    August 26, 2013, 4:43PM
  • mayonaise/aioli .. seriously. any burger that cheats using this flavour delivery through non burger fat is just freakin kidding themselves. im not a wagyu fan but would take that over these hoax burgers. froth and bubble . why not just get a mix of chuck and brisket etc.. youre paying an arm and a leg for it, at least get something decent.

    Commenter
    adam
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    August 26, 2013, 5:13PM
  • Hmm. Originally hailing from Canada, having lived for a number of years in the US of A, and having devoured metric tonnes of these things, my approach to what constitutes a good burger is a bit different. That's to be expected though, as every country and region has their own norm for what a burger is.

    To me it's all down to the fundamentals of it: good meat and a good bun. Chuck is my preference as it has the best meat to fat ratio. Seasoned with salt and pepper. That's it. Nothing else. I don't want cumin, or garlic, or pieces of onion in my patty.

    As for the bun: it needs to hold its shape, yet give away cleanly when you bite into it. I don't want my bun toasted so it cuts my gums. I don't want an onion roll. I want a plain ol' bun.

    As for toppings.....ketchup, mayo, onion, tomato, crispy bacon, and a slice of cheddar.

    That to me sums up a pure, good old fashioned burger

    That said, I don't mind a fried egg on it every now and then. But if I'm looking to judge a place on whether it makes a good burger, I always look at the basics!

    Commenter
    bob
    Location
    Date and time
    August 26, 2013, 6:42PM
  • Ate here last week and it was very inconsistent. We got 2 burgers and 2 truffle fries. My wifes serve of fries had no Parmesan on it at all but her lamb burger was good while my fries were amazing but my beef burger was revolting. I stopped at 12 pieces of gristle (Apparently it's a $1 per piece of gristle!) and threw half the burger away. Very disappointed in a simple meal of burger and fries that cost $36 and would never eat here again.

    Commenter
    Gristly Adams
    Location
    Mosman
    Date and time
    August 27, 2013, 9:04AM

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