Though I’ve been having doubts about food blogging, I can assure you the eating has not stopped. That pesky reluctance to blog, well it evaporated as soon as I ate my first Short Order burger. It was a burger so good, I had a moment. Drop those average burgers now, people, and get your butt to Short Order Burgers.
Before you get too excited, Short Order grills on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only. Soft, brioche-y buns that are airy, almost like an Asian style bread with a shiny lick of glaze and sesame seeds sandwiches each burger. The bread is so soft, the moment you hold the burger it squashes down. The grass fed beef is thick, cooked pink and fresh to order, with little nubbly bits that catch on the grill. The pickles are sharp. There are two types of cheese melted on every patty – elastic American and smoked mozzarella. Then there are the onions that are caramelised and slathered in barbecue sauce. And – candied bacon. Yes, candied bacon. All of the above graces the BBQ bacon cheeseburger, which may or may not be my requested last-meal-on-earth. And if you’re wondering why the photos are of the same burger, yes I ordered it twice.
Topped off with French fries served with sriracha aioli and a can of root beer, this is a seriously good feed. The burgers are pricey, but they satisfy that junk food niche for a burger that juggles savoury, meaty and sweet. If there are vegos reading this, there’s a mushroom burger on the menu, so you’re good.
These guys are so popular that there’s always a risk of selling out, so get there early. Seating is in short supply, however everything is served in takeaway boxes for portability. Also, look out for donuts by The Banker in kooky flavours like double peanut butter.
Short Order Burgers | 1 James Street, Fremantle
Thu, Fri & Sat from 6pm
I never thought I’d miss a landscape this much. It’s been 4 months since, yet the clouds, peaks and faraway glaciers still capture my imagination. We set out early from Queenstown for the four hour drive. We’d heard all sorts about it – the danger, the scenery – they’re all true. But what we could not prepare for was the magnificence. The photos do the drive – surely one of the best in the world – no justice at all. It’s difficult to portray scale in such gigantic and dramatic proportions. (For example, the tiny boat in the last photo is a two storey ferry…)
The drive after Te Anau is epic where the road whips between shallow, pebbly rivers and dense state forest. The golden Eglinton Valley stretches before us and for the first time we see our destination of purple hazed mountains, like a painting come to life. The road slowly ascends into the steep Hollyford Valley. Cloud cover hides most of the peaks but below we can hear a whisper of the raging Hollyford River. It’s an awesome sight, preparing us for the bleak contrast of the Homer Tunnel. Within a rising claw of grey rock, overhanging ice and waterfalls, the tunnel punches through the Darran mountains, exiting at the one of the best views I am convinced I will ever see in my life – the Cleddeau Valley. Wisps of clouds linger by the sheer cliff faces, coalescing into a ceiling of cotton candy. The air feels wet; the valley walls weep rivulets, the product of the previous night’s rainfall.
The drive from Queenstown is a long one so we chose to stay overnight on the sound. The Sound is spectacular with snow dusted mountains of over a thousand metres (they look small in the photos!) diving into the dark water. The Milford Mariner docks overnight in a bay shadowed by the Pembroke glacier and we watch the sun set over the sound. The way light plays here is unusual, you can literally see the sun retreat, replaced by dark shadows heralding the night.
Real Journey’s Milford Mariner
There are many day trips to Milford Sound but to make the most of the drive, I recommend doing the overnight cruise. (Simply put, you’ll want to do the opposite of the tour buses that reach a peak at around midday.) Watching the sunrise and sunset with no other boats on the water is a breathtaking experience. The boat is comfy – like all boats the cabins are small – but most of the time is spent on deck. Two activity options, a tender craft or kayaking means it’s a busy day until after dinner.