Jus Burgers, Northbridge
In the past year or so, gourmet burger bars have been sprouting up around Perth. Among them is Jus Burgers ("Jus" comes from owner Justin Bell's name), proudly Western Australian and serving up burgers made with local produce.
I was really looking forward to finally eating at Jus Burgers at last, as I love a good burger. Their Northbridge store, which opened earlier this year, is their latest. They have two other stores in Leederville and Subiaco with a fourth due to open in a couple of months in Fremantle.
Jus Burgers in Northbridge is just a short walk from the Perth train station, on William Street between Roe and James Streets .Just look out for the orange and black signs and the brick walls decorated with graffiti-style artwork.
Inside, it's quite a small space, narrow and deceptively long, with tables and stools lining the wall. As an IKEA fan, I couldn't help noticing the IKEA plum blossom lamps on the ceiling. We sat right at the back, past the pot plants hanging from a metal grid.
While your tastebuds are tantalised, there is plenty for your eyes to enjoy and explore, with street art and scribbles adorning the walls. Among it all, a tribute to one of Western Australia's favourite sons, the late actor Heath Ledger.
We ordered the lemon juice (AU$6.50), served icy cold and freshly made with locally grown lemons from Serpentine. We loved it but be warned - it's lemon juice, not lemonade - it's very tart! There are other tasty fresh juices on the menu made from locally grown fruit if you don't like lemon, including fresh OJ made from oranges also from Serpentine, and cloudy apple juice made with locally grown Granny Smiths from Pickering Brook. Jac fell in love with the lemon juice and said she'll order it again on our next visit; I want to try the cloudy apple juice.
We shared a serve of onion rings (AU$5), which arrived ahead of the burgers. The onion rings were pretty spectacular and I'll make this bold declaration: they are the best onion rings I've ever eaten.
The chunky onion rings were deep-fried to order, covered in a seasoned crispy coating and served piping hot. I was too greedy to wait for them to cool down - I ate them with the tips of my fingers and the tips of my teeth!
The onion rings came with creamy house-made aioli.
Inside the toothsome golden coating was sweet perfectly cooked onion.
I know it's a burger bar, but I'd go back just for the onion rings. I've been dreaming about them ever since. I hope you can imagine their awesome crunch from these pictures.
Not long after the onion rings, our burgers arrived, each served stabbed through the centre with a steak knife. The knife comes in very handy if you prefer to cut your burger in half for easier handling/biting. Personally, I like the challenge presented by a burger that looks too big to bite! I will usually attempt to attack a burger whole, face first, Man v Food style. If the burger looks too big to bite, Jac will cut hers in half. What about you?
Jac ordered the Organic Beef Burger (AU$15), made with char grilled organic grass-fed beef from the Blackwood Valley. All Jus burgers come with fresh lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion, house-made aioli and tomato relish, but the Organic Beef burger also includes any other two toppings, so Jac chose her favourite beef accompaniment - creamed horseradish, and cheddar cheese. She was very happy with her burger.
I ordered the Pommy Burger (AU$13), made with char grilled Amelia Park beef, cheddar and back bacon. I ordered my burger in a Meal Deal (+$5), which came nicely presented on a wooden chopping block with chips or salad (I chose chips), green tomato pickle and slaw.
The chips were OK but nowhere as impressive as the onion rings! The creamy slaw and sweet and sour green tomato pickle were tasty sides to my burger. The soft chunky green tomato pickle made a great dipping sauce for the chips. The house-made aioli seemed to be everywhere: a dipping sauce for onion rings, in my burger, and the dressing for the slaw.
The burgers didn't look very big, but they were each generously filled with a juicy beef pattie topped with melted cheese (mine had an extra layer of deliciousness, bacon), lots of sauce/relish and plenty of salad. We both thought our burgers were very light on the Spanish onion though, and would've been happy to have a few more slices.
I'm not usually much of a beef eater, so when I do eat it, I want it to be excellent. The beef patties are hand-formed and seasoned only with salt and pepper so you can enjoy the full flavour of char grilled beef. Combined in my Pommy with cheese and bacon, I was in heaven.
The burger buns, bread rolls made by Turkish Bakery in Vic Park, were a good choice - they held together very well and didn't fall apart despite the all the sauces and juices, yet they weren't too bready. A gluten-free bun is also available for $1 extra.
A kids' burger mini meal deal is available - called the Grommit, it includes a smaller burger, chips, salad and tomato sauce (AU$8). For an extra couple of dollars your lucky kid gets ice cream too, which sounds pretty good to me! Can adults add ice cream to a full-sized Meal Deal? :)
You can help yourself to tomato and BBQ sauces or grab extra cutlery if you need it. I usually like chips with tomato sauce but the aioli from the onion rings and the green tomato pickle provided plenty of dipping sauce for my chips.
Right at the back of the restaurant is the kids' corner. On the back wall, animations play on a big video screen, mesmerising adults and kids alike.
Jus Burgers was Western Australia's first restaurant to commit to using only WA food ingredients as part of the Buy West Eat Best program, which supports the WA food industry. When you buy food with the Buy West Eat West label you know it's been grown, farmed, fished or produced in Western Australia. I like to support local producers whenever possible so it's great to be able to do that by eating a tasty burger.
If beef isn't your thing, there are chicken, lamb, kangaroo, boerwors, fish and vegetarian burgers too. They have a no freezer policy (well, except for the ice cream) and all burgers are prepared fresh to order. We could definitely taste the freshness.
Our Jus burgers were deliciously juicy, a good size and perfect ratio of meat to not-too-bready bread - but the onion rings were stunning and stole the show. The staff were smiley and friendly. We'll be back. I'll have no hesitation in taking any of our interstate or overseas visitors to Jus Burgers for tasty true WA burgers and of course, amazing show-stopping onion rings.
Other stores in Subiaco and Leederville.
Opening hours (all stores)
Sunday and Monday 12pm to 9pm
Tuesday to Saturday 11.30am to 10pm
BYO $2 corkage p/person
The Food Pornographer and Jac dined compliments of Jus Burgers Northbridge.