Guest Post by That Girl.
I love burgers. I especially love trying new burgers. If I hear about a burger that will supposedly make my tastebuds go full Pharrell, it goes onto the burger list until such a time when I can finally cross it off, no matter the distance I have to travel or the weeks, months or years I have to wait. This is how a decade has passed and I’m still waiting for an In-N-Out burger.
Dan Hong’s cheeseburger had been on the list, ever since The Da and I first tried to eat Sydney in early 2012 (when we were young and naïve and thought it could be done in less than a week). Unfortunately, as we’d calorie-packed our schedule rather tight, we didn’t have time to visit erstwhile Merivale joint, Lotus, and I thought I’d missed my chance when they closed not too long after. Fear not, for the Merivale giants opened another restaurant in its place and permanently placed Dan’s famous cheeseburger on The Fish Shop’s menu. Apparently, it’s just that good.
Still, it took me more than two years after that to finally get around to meeting it, face to burger. Of course, on the day of our date, the only time I could get to Potts Point was in the two-hour block jammed in-between my post-lunch snack and my degustation dinner. (No one can say I’m not dedicated to honing my craft…mmm, Kraft!) And it was already taking at least an hour to get there, on foot and full stomach. Likely, it was the Skinny Gods attempting to sway me from my gluttonous path, to do the right thing by my waistband and simply wait for my eight-course evening meal (it in itself already frowned upon by those judgemental bony deities), to save me from the diabeetus down the track.
So of course, I pushed on in the way I never do at the gym.
The Fish Shop is like a big, bright hole in the wall – which, frankly, is the best kind of wall-hole really – half-beach shack, half-fish and chippery. Funnily enough, fish motifs can be found aplenty here.
Naturally, I claimed the octopus, so as to not be one with the crowd.
Individuality is my burden to bear.
Individuality is my burden to bear.
As previously agreed upon, one cheeseburger was ordered to share, although The Om almost caved at the crumbed fish, bacon and chilli burger also on the menu. It was, however, too late for the Moreton bay bug roll, which had caught our greedy little eyes when we sat down, and so it had to be ordered too. It appeared to be the size of my fist, I rationalised; it would almost be like not eating a second item at all! The Skinny Gods jutted their pointy chins out at me in disgust.
Moreton bay bug roll – $12.50
My fist, while almost hilariously tiny, was packed with flavour from first to second (and last) bite. Fresh and zingy, with the creamy mayo bringing out the sweetness of the flesh, it made for a good appetiser. And then I tried the Moreton bay bug roll. HAHA JOKES.
Dan’s cheeseburger came with some great chips, and great chips as an accompaniment are too few and far between. These were lovely things, all thick-cut, crunchy and well-seasoned. Good chips pave the way for great burgers, but great chips can elevate good burgers.
Dan’s famous cheeseburger – $18
And this cheeseburger? It was a good burger. The parade of flavours and seasonings rolled on here and delivered a tasty, rare beef patty, slapped together with some bacon, pickles, caramelised onions, tasty cheese, sauce and mayo, in a soft bun. It wasn’t the product of some gastronomical experiment, nor did it boast of fancy ingredients – it was simply all the elements of a burger done well. For the sake of nit-picking, the bun didn’t hold up until the end, becoming a tad soggy for the last few bites. Not soggy enough for me to leave it to die on the plate though, mind you. The Skinny Gods licked their cracked, lipid-deficient lips in envy.
TL;DR – Would Dan’s famous cheeseburger warrant another visit to The Fish Shop? Probably. If I can still fit into my pants.