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Published December 3rd 2018
Burgers, Fries, Dumplings, Noodles
It's early in the evening and the sun is low in the sky. Golden light, filtered through translucent blinds, casts lengthening shadows across wooden tables, chairs and stools.
The indoor skate park is empty; a cavernous atrium silent apart from the usual sounds of a gym relaxing. The relieved staccato groan of a wooden ramp. The creak of a swing, disturbed by an imagined breeze. The startled, echoing ping of a metal fence cooling in the evening.
The menu is an interesting mix of the expected and unexpected. Smashed patty beef burgers the "Boneburger, " "The Double Boneburger" and a "Classic Cheeseburger" sit alongside less familiar offerings including Chicken Karaage and "Shenzhen Chook" burgers. For those looking for meal options other than burgers, there is a selection of bowls and noodles.
The sides are similar in character; steak fries, sweet potato fries are juxtaposed with chilli cheese potato gems, fried pickles, Korean fried chicken, steamed dumplings, "Loaded AB Peking Duck Fries" and "Bang Bang Chicken Wings."
Loaded AB Peking Duck Fries with Sweet Potato Fries and Chicken Karaage in the background
The burgers are delicious. Perhaps in some ways more Shake Shack than In-N-Out in character, the beef is flavoursome and juicy with charred, smoky notes from a crisped crust. The lettuce and tomatoes are fresh, the toasted bun crunchy yet soft, pillowy, airy and yielding.
The Peking Duck fries remind me of certain breakfasts cobbled together from fridge and freezer in my bleary-eyed student days - crispy chips mixed with shredded duck upon which has been placed a fried egg, lashed with a tangy, creamy, spicy sauce. There is a savoury combination of meaty, salty notes against the golden crunch of the chips; the richness of the dressing and fried egg contrasted with the piquant sour of pickled red onions, with the mild sweetness of sesame seeds. It works.
It's situated on 221 Marion Road Marleston, with hours at the time of writing listed as 8am to 8pm 6 days a week (closed Monday). Prices run between $8 (Classic Cheeseburger) to $15 (Full Aussie Burger), with sides under $10. If you're heading to or from the airport or in the area looking for a solid burger and fries with a kick and a twist on the usual offerings, a stop at Boneshaker Cafe may satisfy that craving perfectly.