A burger is not a jigsaw. A burger is not a cross-stitch. A burger is not a game of Dance Dance Revolution.
When a dude sets out to create a burger, he isn’t trying to adhere as tightly to the standard as possible. He isn’t working from a blueprint. He’s creating a pure expression of his desires. The burger he makes tells you all about him. The burger betrays the man.
Bilby is down-to-earth, practical, with an appreciation for quality produce. Burger Bistro is sleek, with a taste for the best-sourced ingredients and absolutely no sense of humour. Alfred just woke up somewhere. He isn’t sure where. But he needs a beer and he needs his meat. He isn’t sure where he left his pants.
Novembar is a freaking nut.
I would like to think that if I went mad and bought a neighbourhood fish-and-chippery, it would look something similar to the TEMPLE OF AWESOME that we encountered only a few nights ago.
Pictures of ridiculous burgers adorn the windows. On one wall a long poster lists, Top Gear- style, the brave boys and girls who have tried to best the Hot Face & Runny Nose II burger and their times. The names in red successfully completed the burger in less than ten minutes. The names in black did not.
Some of this man’s creations- calling them “novelty burgers” would be the height of injustice- defy belief. The 7Bs, for example, features 100 beef patties, the number of the nearest emergency room and a moment silently contemplating that this is what your life has come to. You could garnish this burger with ANOTHER BURGER and only add to the beef patty count by 1%.
But I hear consternation from the back row. You’re smirking. You’re saying how ironic it is that having lambasted Jus Burgers for lack of restraint and balance, I now praise the eccentricity of the underdog Novembars where the same flaws are a source of pride.
Well allow me to retort. To your imaginary objections.
Firstly, that’s not what FRICKEN IRONY MEANS. It’s not even HYPOCRISY. What is is- is INCONSISTENT. Like your FACE. That should be wedged in a dictionary looking up the definition of IRONY.
And secondly, it’s not even particularly inconsistent. It all comes down to intentions and expectations. Jus intends to use their hefty asking price to make the best burger possible with premium ingredients in funky-yet-serious surrounds. Going there, I expect to be impressed by the burger as a dish and by the harmony of flavours. Novembar’s intends to use its meagre asking price to be as ridiculous as possible in a neighbourhood fish and chips shop. Going there, I had no goddamn idea what to expect.
This is not a googled image- this is real. They make it. It's on their facebook page.
Trying to choose a burger here is such great fun. Partly because of the wacky burgers and partly because you have, for the most part, no description but the name.
I don't know how I passed over the Fat Boy, but I did. This is the Fat Boy:
I am not making this shit up.
This burger is listed on the menu as $28.
The way this burger works is that you pay by the minute. $1 per minute, to be exact.
And yes, that poster does end with the line, "Who Will Pays More Or Less Than $28.50?"
I also passed over the Red Face & Runny Nose burger. If you finish that one in under 10 minutes it's free. And you get a certificate. But I could go on all night.
I ended up with the Star 2011 burger, while Chris in a moment of pure inspiration chose the Fried Prawns Burger. Mine was essentially a burger-with-the-lot, comprising egg, cheese, bacon, patty, tomato, lettuce. This all was encased in possibly the most awesome star-shaped bun we have yet encountered on the Odyssey. Not too thick, chewy and solid, it provided one of the best bases we'd seen. The homemade beef patty was also extremely tasty, though not particularly seasoned. The remainder of the ingredients were standard chip-shop fare, and a spiced tomato sauce/relish rounded off the ensemble.
Was this a symphony of complex flavours? No. Was it simple, tasty and just a little wacky? Absolutely.
Keep reading. Nothing exciting here. Bog-standard chips. Chicken salt. Tomato Sauce.
Pretty good, to be honest. $6.50 to $9.50 is about right for these burgers, and you have the option of spending more if you're into the self-harm kinda thing. Chips added a couple of dollars on top, and we got out of there with burgers, chips and drinks for about $30 for the two of us.
Devestatingly though, the BYO we'd been lead to believe existed... didn't. And a Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout would have just....damn.
If Novembar's made tasteless, bland burgers, I would still recommend a visit. I haven't had so much fun just looking around a burger joint before. But the burgers aren't tasteless and bland. They aren't life-changing, but at these prices and in this setting, they don't need to be. Unless you order the 7Bs. That's life-changing. Get your affairs in order.
And it should be mentioned, we went the entire experience without once seeing the word, "aioli". The world should have more surprises like that.
Burger (/10) 5
Chips (/5) 2
Value (/5) 3
Awesomeness Bonus 2
Overall (/20) 12
Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for future reviews. We love getting feedback and we now have plenty of scope to continue the search. Next up will be Betty's Cafe in Innaloo. A restart of the famous (and defunct) Retro Betty's, we're curious to see if a place tucked away in a cinema complex has what it takes to match it with the big players.
Novembar's can be found in Dianella on 4 Bayley St. Tell the owner we sent you. He wont have a clue what you're talking about.
Thanks to Novembar's for most of the photos used in this review.