Burgers & frozen custards in the heart of the city
Have you tried Canberra's newest burger joint, Mookie yet? This popular eatery opened in July 2017, with customers lined up down the street to try their new burgers, sides and desserts. Mookie is an interesting combination of American and Japanese influences, derived by the owners' trips to America and Japan in the quest to try a wide variety of burger inspirations. The decor is Japanese, but the menu is all American, with six burgers to choose from (including two vegetarian and a gluten-free), side dishes such as potato gems and a delicious range of frozen custard "concretes" for dessert.
As a burger-lover, I have personally been waiting for Mookie to be open for a few months, to ensure that all of the kinks of a new business have been ironed out and we could enjoy the full Mookie experience. On a leisurely Sunday in the city, our family ventured inside the colourful, neon eatery to see what Mookie was all about - and we were more than happy with what we discovered...
Burgers, sides and frozen custard concretes at Mookie
When you first walk in, the high ceiling, neon lights and colourful decor grab your attention straight away, with your eye travelling upwards to the moving squares and red lights near the ceiling. The effect is impressive and unlike any other burger restaurant in Canberra, with its futuristic, modern vibe and "Tokyo-feel". The counter where you order is literally straight in the front door, with a large menu on the wall to the left.
As we waited in line to order, we watched as the finished meals were attractively arranged on each tray and then buzzers were activated to let people know they were ready. The ordering process was easy, with the staff providing exceptional customer service with a smile. Although first impressions were excellent, Mookie is an unusual combination to watch - it has the tray system of a fast food burger joint, however with style and a cutting-edge interior. While standing at the counter watching the meals getting prepared, it builds the anticipation about what will be on the tray when your own buzzer sounds...
Modern interior and outside tables along the tree-lined street
Our family ordered the Mookie Burger which is "100% pure grass fed black angus beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese & mookie sauce"($11). This burger was the stand-out on the tray that we could have easily eaten again and again! The soft bun, medium-rare patty, fresh vegetables, raw onion and flavoursome sauce made it full of tang and punch. When we ordered, the friendly lady behind the counter made a point of telling us that the onion would be raw, not cooked, on our occasion - however this may not be the case every time. Although it isn't as big as a Brodburger, for example, it still packs in the flavour.
Mookie Burger - 100% pure grass fed black angus beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese & mookie sauce ($11)
We also ordered the Crispy Chicken Burger which is "Southern Fried Chicken, lettuce, tomato & chili mayo (mild)" ($11). Before we arrived, we had read that the chicken burger had 32 different spices in the crumb, so we expected it to be spicy, however the chilli mayonnaise was too hot for our tastes and we couldn't finish it - however other people on other tables seemed to have no trouble in doing so. The menu described the chilli mayonnaise as "mild" - but proceed with caution! This one is ideal for those who love their burgers hot!
Crispy Chicken Burger - Southern Fried Chicken, lettuce, tomato & chili mayo - mild ($11)
Our young daughter, who isn't a big fan of burgers in general, had lunch prior to visiting Mookie and so she tried a Rainbow Crush concrete for dessert - which was "Vanilla frozen custard, Fruit Loops, Oreo, rainbow sprinkles & sour rainbows topped with cream" ($7.50). The sour rainbow lolly was devoured first and then when she got down to the frozen custard under the cream she was more than happy to find Oreo cookies broken up inside it. It was given the double thumbs up - when she eventually looked up to tell us!
If you love a good burger joint which is casual, but with a modern twist, then check out what Mookie has to offer in the middle of the city. We enjoyed our visit to this American and Japanese fusion eatery - the service, the food and the novelty of the whole experience kept us intrigued all the way through. If we went back again it would be for the Mookie Burger, the delicious concretes and to also try the milkshakes and sweet potato fries - which seemed to be a locals favourite on everyone's table.
With Mookie open until 9pm every night (and 9:30pm between Thursday and Saturday), it would also be an ideal dinner destination before a night on the town or a movie at Dendy Cinemas nearby. Or alternatively, pop in for a sneaky concrete for dessert - or more than one, if you have the room!
Which one would you choose? Apple Pie, Peanut Butter and Banana, Bingo, Geisha or create your own! Image: Mookie Facebook