Canberra's new burger joint Mookie opening in Civic

Jil Hogan
Jade Hart-Hedges and Rhiannon Paddick, managers at Mookie.
Jade Hart-Hedges and Rhiannon Paddick, managers at Mookie. Photo: Jamila Toderas

What does it take to make the perfect burger? After tasting more than 500 of them all of the world, Jaye Min believes they've come pretty close to creating it.

Mookie is the new American burger joint with a Japanese twist opening soon on Genge Street in Civic.

After spending a bit of time in Los Angeles last year, owner Jaye Min decided he wanted to open a burger joint back home in Canberra.

"We just fell in love with American burgers, the simplicity, and the straightforward and fresh ingredients that they do, and they're just the right size," he said.

With a good childhood friend by his side, Min spent 45 days trekking across the USA tasting burgers. They visited Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Las Vegas, eating four times a day and trying three or four burgers at a time (walking more than 40,000 steps a day to offset the calories).

Min wanted to do a burger with something a bit extra, so flew to Japan and tasted his way around there too.

Once back in Australia, Min got cracking on perfecting his own burger, starting with the patty.

The beef burgers are made using a combination of three quality cuts of beef, minced in-store daily to a very specific coarseness - "we tried kilos and kilos of meat at all different sized grinds, to within the half a millimetre".

Meat is then hand massaged for 15 to 20 minutes with a secret seasoning.


Buns are baked locally, and the housemade sauce is a secret but, "reminds you of a childhood homemade beef burger sauce but a lot creamier and rich".

The southern fried chicken burger is covered in a secret coating, and they're also keen to keep vegetarians and vegans happy with a cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom burger, and a tofu burger with a hoisin sauce that "tastes a bit like an omelette but without the eggs".

You can also mix and match between the burgers to make your own creation.

Mookie will also serve shakes, which fall somewhere between a milkshake and thickshake in terms of consistency, with flavours including red velvet, peanut butter miso and matcha.

For dessert, there's five frozen custard concretes, which come as picture-perfect as an acai bowl, but are unfortunately far less healthy.

The 'geisha' concrete comes with vanilla frozen custard mixed with New York cheesecake, topped with fresh strawberry and watermelon and crushed pistachios. Or for the more chocolate-inclined, there's one with Oreos and Tim Tams.

A little birdy also tells us there's a secret menu. Just ask nicely.

Mookie is opening in August. 4/21 Genge St, Canberra