flipside burger bar – wembley
As we drove through the Wembley reaches of Cambridge St, it’s certain this area of Perth has come a long way. As the ‘backwater’ of Subi, parts of Wembley hark back to the simpler days of backyard cricket, corner shops and The Wonder Years. But the recent roadworks have unexpectedly pepped Cambridge St out of retirement status, edging the area to take position as the retro sister of Subi.
With the stalwarts of Royal Shalimar (to date, makes the BEST butter chicken I have ever tasted), Bouchon Bistro, Hero’s Pizza and the (in)famous food forum, the area punches above its weight for culinary offerings. There have been a couple of additions to the strip, one being an outlet of Lawley’s bakery and the other, is Flipside Burger Bar, our lunch destination.
Quite sedate from the outside and neutral (more natural than minimal) inside, the burger bar has an easy going neighborhood feel about it. A bench by a light filled window and a wide communal table dictate the seating options and the simplistic formula works. Staffed by the young and hip, orders are taken at the counter off the laminate menus on the wall. Patrons sit down and enjoy the sunlight streaming in, engaging in people-watching or reading the various reading materials.
Ironically that day, the paper’s front page was dedicated to Matt Preston’s verdict on the best burger in Perth. Unfortunately the accolade was not given to Flipside but to the oldie (and goodie?), Alfred’s. Anyway I digress. Flipside’s humble quiet atmosphere with patrons marinating in the requisite bbq aroma, makes it a nice place, with no pretentious music, loud staff or showy patrons. Hence, we spent a good amount of time here for lunch, reading the Sunday Times liftouts (they’re the only bits I read – I chuck out the actual newspaper…) and soaking up the precious sunshine.
Within the foretold wait of 10 minutes, our freshly cooked burgers arrived. Deftly stabbed with a skewer, my bf’s Red Hot burger looked a bit small but it was deceptively so. It was in fact packed with fresh ingredients and would satisfy most appetites. The burgers here are constructed ‘upside down’ (if there is a convention for building burgers, it defied the usual meat-on-the-bottom structure adopted by most), with the foot of the bun smeared with free range mayo, with fresh crunchy salad topped by a beef pattie and flourished with hot chilli jam. According to the bf’s opinion, it was hot (translation: very spicy for the average joe!) but did not lose any semblance of taste despite the burn factor. The chilli jam was sticky and runny from the heat, making the burger messy to eat, but I think that’s all part of the fun of having a burger. It’s a thumbs up for the Red Hot.
My Blue Train looked petitely splendid. The first detail I noticed was the bread – a round topped bun – was toasted to crisp perfection, giving texture to the burger as well as preventing the bread turning soggy. A tad more blue cheese would have helped, as the texture and taste of the cheese lost out to the hearty beef pattie and the sweet tomato relish. The beef patty was dotted with herbs, juicy and slightly pink, fresh off the bbq. No cardboard-like patties here! I struggled to finish my burger, relishing the bits of blue cheese and beef from what remained.
The side order of thick cut chips were brilliant (how could anybody have burgers without chips – sacrilege!). The chunky, crusty potato bricks and aioli make the perfect pair. The garlicky, creamy aioli was so good, I could almost not care about the garlic breath. It’s certainly wise to share this aioli with your dining partners, hence the halitosis is communal and may somehow slip under the olfactory radar.
It’s really hard to fault Flipside but just possibly, it needs an injection of culture to liven up the place. For example – the Grill’d burger bar chain in Melbourne channels its urban hip vibes very well. I guess Flipside lacks identity. Half the fun of eating a burger is where you eat it. The simple decor lets the food speak for itself and it’s on the right track but Flipside could really be a hot spot if they added a bit of oomph to the mix.
– 14.5 beef patties out of 20 –
Up’s: Love the sunny disposition and quiet location. Well built burgers and tasty combinations.
Down’s: Hard to fault – maybe it’s a bit sterile.
Flipside Burger Bar, 294 Cambridge St (corner of Nanson St), Wembley WA 6014
T: (08) 9287 2288
Tuesday – Wednesday 5.30 – 9
Thursday – Friday 12 – 2.30, 5.30 – 9
Saturday – Sunday 12 – 9
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