Another Gourmet Burger Joint? Phat Burger in Farrer

by The Editor

Remember the old days before gourmet tacos, when it seemed designer burger joints were all the rage?  Whether it was Brodburger, London Grill or the emerging Grill’d franchise, the ‘nouveau with the lot‘ was popping up everywhere.  And still, they come…

One particular outlet recently caught our eye thanks to its stylish website and unlikely location in the southern suburb of Farrer. Not accustom to moving out outside of the European tree-lined streets of the inner North and South, we made an effort to cross Hindmarsh Drive and see what Phat Burger had on offer.


On a bleak and cold Saturday we arrived at the Farrer shops. The cluster of businesses nearby included a bottle shop and a dog washing business somewhat humorously called ‘Shampooch’. The building itself is one of those brown bricked, brown tiled monstrosisties so often seen around Tuggeranong and Belconnen – the type that resemble giant, old Pizza Hut restaurants. The dark bitumen and distinct lack of any landscaing creates a bleak visage, and not the sort of hip and groovy location promoted by Phat Burger’s website. Unperturbed (and hungry) we made ou way across the carpark to the cafe’s entry.


Entering, the cafe feels somewhat sparse with harsh surfaces presenting a noisy, clattery atmosphere. A couple with a small child was already seated at one of the tables, the arrangement which looked very much like part of an outdoor cafe setting. Around the walls promotional posters for various theatre and entertainment events constituted decor and decoration. A nice touch was fresh cut flowers in small glass jars on each table.  Similarly a few potted plants hug the vertical surfaces, working hard to soften the jarring interior. Having taking all this in we found ourselves a seat and perused the menu.

The Burger

We decided on Brunch Burgers.  Initially we thought of taking on the Ultimate Farrer Special ($13.95 – two homemade beef patties, free range egg, tasty cheese, bacon, tomato, beetroot, pineapple, caramelised onions and lettuce and sauce), however we were warned off it by the owner who admitted it was ridiculously large. Certainly she had perceived we were not a collection of long haul truck drivers or 22 year old elite athletes capable of consuming a meal Elvis would be find challenging. We settled on the Brunch Burger with the Works ($11.95 – one patty, no egg, bacon or pineapple) and were glad we did – especially after our host showed us this photo.

Here’s our Breakfast Burger. It’s still serious, but nothing compared to the monstrosity that is the Ultimate Farrer Special.

Having spun the plate a few times in order to determine the correct angle for attack, we hoisted the burger to our mouth, pinkies working overtime and bit in. This was no ordinary gourmet burger.  In fact, it was not a gourmet burger at all.  This was old skool: dripping with juice and filled with the ingredients you would find at the local ‘greasy spoon’.  In fact most of those ingredients were spread over our faces while the juices tracked directly for our sleeves.  This was serious, sensual eating.  A truce was drawn on commenting on other diners’ mess.  We on equal footing.

The result?

Well, this was certainly one of the tastiest burgers we have had in a long time.  It filled us to bursting point, but along the way brought back memories of special treats on summer holidays.  The ingredients are fresh, the patties handmade, and the bread is as good as you’ll get at Brodburger and the like.  For those on the Southside it’s worth grabbing yourself a takeaway when you’re feeling naughty, or even dining in (if your dog is getting washed).