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Burgerlab 3194 has opened its doors in Mentone in the place of the former Java Cafe, bringing a casual burger joint to the block and a menu that is clear on the conscience.
Moving in with a mission "to provide diners with a relaxed casual atmosphere where they can enjoy local, organic, free-range and certifiably sustainable food," you'll find just that on the menu, as well as gluten free options, all made from locally sourced produce supplied by the likes of Cannings Free Range Butchers, Skull Island Certified Sustainable Tiger Prawns and Lievito Bakery. While there are only seven burgers on the menu, including one for kids, you can also enjoy a beer, cider or glass of wine, which is a nice bonus, as well as wings or ribs, along with sides of slaw, mixed salad, a range of dipping sauces and chips either beer-battered or triple-cooked (or both, as we did).
Burgerlab 3194 opened for dinner on Sunday 15 March and we went in for lunch the next day. There were obviously some teething issues, with some menu items not available for the first day and conversations among staff that should probably have been out of earshot of customers, but the service overall was good and we got the impression new staff were doing their best to learn the ropes quickly and be accommodating.
Between us, we ordered a buttermilk free-range chicken burger ($10.50), veggie burger ($9.50), kids burger ($5.50), both kinds of chips with chipotle mayo and aioli, a milkshake (kid's size not available for kids) and small take-away coffee (seriously small, but well brewed). The burgers were all delicious, filled with great flavours, beautifully cooked and served within a good time of ordering. The chips were a little bit disappointing; not fries nor fat chips, but something in-between. We would go for just the beer-battered chips next time, which were a bit more flavoursome than the triple-cooked.
The invention of co-creators chef Lochie Greig-Moore and Anthony Pinzone, owner of Beaumaris's Aunty Betty's (formerly Kicko), Burgerlab 3194 proffers just a small menu but does what's on it pretty well. Although it's not yet in a position to really rival the likes of Grill'd - the only other licensed burger boutique nearby - it looks to be popular with the after school crowd and caters well for it, with a schoolies burger offered only between the hours of 3pm and 5pm for just $6.50.
Burgerlab 3194 has both indoor and outdoor undercover dining spaces and is open seven days a week until late. Drop by and try your pick of the seven burgers on offer (walk-ins welcome), or order take-away and enjoy your comfort food from the comfort of your own couch.
Been there and tried this or that? Share your feedback in the comments.
The shopfront and outdoor seating at Burgerlab 3194.
Why? For a burger, chips and a clear conscience, try Burgerlab 3194, now open in Mentone. This casual café/restaurant offers a range of certified organic, free-range and sustainably grown food, as well as beer, wine, cider and the usual drinks.