Taking Down the Bully at Tuck Shop Take Away
Tuck Shop Take Away is a burger zenith in Melbourne that delivers world class burgers with a bad boy school theme. There's a touch of nostalgia here in Caulfield North, with old school desks and chairs, world maps, and retro milkshakes served in glass bottles, as well as immense pride in constructing burgers for the masses. It's a burger house for the people, but the touch here is anything but common.
Clinton and Karina Serex are foodie royalty having cooked at Fat Duck for Heston Blumenthal, then in the kitchens at World 50 Best Attica and Vue De Monde; top fine dining restaurants. From World's 50 Best restaurants to world class burgers the mindset is excellence and flair. Clinton wanted a place he could call his own and have control over the process.
Clinton and Karina Serex went from World's 50 Best fine dining to world class burgers in their own burger joint...
Tuck Shop Take Away does a roaring trade, often selling out of its burgers.
Here at Tuck Shop Take Away there are outstanding burgers for the everyday; The Minor and The Major burgers, as well as the Veggie Burger, attract rave reviews. Then there's The Bully.
In our quest for burgers we heard about secret menu item, The Bully. Proud of the design of this burger, Clinton told The World Loves Melbourne that The Bully was his "labour of love". He describes how often he is frustrated with burgers that lack spice or heat or kick. He wanted something classic but with right amount of heat, "without blowing your socks off".
If you visit Tuck Shop Take Away you have to mention The Bully by name; if you only say "Secret burger please" they'll pretend they don't know what you're talking about.
The Bully burger is a double; and features double beef patty, double cheese, bacon, jalapeños and Sriracha hot sauce, all inside a milk brioche bun. The meat patty is a special blend made up daily from some of the best grass fed beef in the world from Victoria's Gippsland. With perfect char the meat is a high note. Light seasoning only takes place on the grill. Of course the meat is perfectly juicy and pink inside.
Clinton wouldn't tell us the exact make up of the meat cuts other than the source being some of the world's best beef. And we are told it's 100% beef, nothing else added.
The cheese and bacon are high quality (Otway free range bacon); the bacon crispy and the cheese delightfully oozing all over the patties. Adding to the experience are the jalapenos and the Sriracha hot sauce; as Clinton describes as a warming heat that creeps up on you.
Clinton explains to The World Loves Melbourne how he believes lightly toasting a fresh milk brioche bun brings out the best in the bun in terms of freshness, balance and slight crunch. Not toasting the bun, he says, gives the burger a different personality, where you can have a cold bun and a warm burger that is at odds.
The Bully is a "bad boy" in a good way with a superbly balanced juicy flavoursome burger and it all comes together as a sweet harmony. As Clinton says, many burger joints get a few elements right but it's a challenge to get all elements right all the time (which Tuckshop Takeaway does). Freshness is paramount as they only make a certain number of burgers a day and are often sold out by 8pm by design.
The Tomato sauce here is house made and is made out the back every morning; as is the mayo - all adding to the superior burger experience. As Clinton says, "we are fine dining chefs who are used to making everything from scratch with quality ingredients."
In our interview with Ben Shewry, Ben told The World Loves Melbourne that he loves to dine at Tuck Shop Take Away; high praise indeed.
Clinton scolds us for taking a poor social media photo of his wife on a previous visit. Not to be repeated. He also tells us of his own schoolyard days and suspensions and canings. Which brings us to the chips here, which are referred to as "cuts" in line with this bad boy schoolyard theme. (We believe "cuts" are now outlawed.) The hand cuts chips (or "cuts") are some of the best we've eaten (South Australian Desiree potatoes) as thrice cooked with skins on for a true potato taste.
The World Loves Melbourne loves the Sodas (old school Ginger), Shakes (the Fantale comes with Fantale wrapper on top), and the Minor Burger (all pictured below).
The Bully burger is more grammar school than elemental tech, but its has it's street appeal. Office workers to suits to tradies enjoy the superb secret burger The Bully. We left on a burger high; the warming goodness of The Bully and its world class meat and ingredients, cooked to absolute perfection.