8bit - Melbourne best burger?
8bit is surely in contention for best burger in Melbourne, located just off the main drag of Footscray. The World Loves Melbourne considers a great burger to be about the whole experience not just marks on the individual parts or ingredients. As an experience 8bit kicks burger butt. The flavours of the burgers are magnificent and the elements are in harmony, with no ingredient over dominating. Although the meat patty remains the hero as it should. Word had been spreading fast in the foodie community about these burgers, but it was while enjoying a burger tour of Adelaide I met burger joint owners there who had travelled to Melbourne to check out the wonders of 8bit. Rather compelling.
Everyone has their burger preference and that's to be respected. We at The World Loves Melbourne enjoy classic American style burgers. A thrill has been to travel to California several times and visit the In-N-Out Burger phenomenon, where the burgers are large, juicy and high quality (no artificial processing and super freshness). 8bit reminds us so much of In-N-Out! And I'm wondering how many others feel the same way?
Footscray is a culinary hub for a wide range of cuisines. It's better known for its Asian and African expressions, but now add the mighty burger to the scene. 8bit is an obvious play on 80s video games, with their marketing pointing to retro pop culture. When you order your burger you receive an 80s video games figurine. Super Mario figures like Mario and Luigi adorn the burger menu (see below). And you can play free video arcade games out the back of the restaurant. The website is wild, just like an 80s video gaming scene.
8bit is the masterstroke of Shayne McCallum (Captain Melville, also known for burgers), Alan Sam (Captain Melville) and Long Tran. Kudos guys. The team in the kitchen was impressive in their working together and their customer service. They will call you by name (rather than by say order no. 83). One of the staff came out the back to see me to ask which blog I was from, with my photo taking causing attention. Normally I ask permission to take photos, but when you drive across town to get to 8bit, you are prepared to take your chances.
Like many burger joints 8bit offers attractive burger selections, sides and drinks. Only 8bit does it better than most. Check out the large open kitchen where staff are well drilled in expertly constructing the delicious burgers consistently. Perch yourself along the counter on a colurful stool, at the tables or even in the booths.
Burger options range from the standard 8bit with cheese featuringBeef, Tomato, Lettuce,Red onion, Pickles,Mustard, Cheese, 8BIT sauce, or the Afterburner featuring Beef, Tomato, Red onion, Lettuce, Cheese, Chilli sauce, Jalapeños, Chipotle mayo. Other options include Golden Axe as a chicken option with Crispy fried chicken, Cheese, Sriracha mayo, Slaw, or the healthier mushroom option of Crumbed Portobello mushroom, Cheese, Tomato, Red onion, Green tomato relish, Lettuce, 8BIT sauce.
The names of the burgers are also a nod to 80s video games, notably Golden Axe, 1 Up Mushroom Burger, Double Dragon and The Altered Beast. The Altered Beast features Beef, Bacon, Cheese, Grilled onions, Lettuce, 8BIT sauce, BBQ sauce.
These burgers offer an exceptional range, but then there's the Double Dragon... The Double Dragon is the zenith, a burger featuring Double beef, Double cheese, Double bacon, Pickles, Mustard, Lettuce, 8BIT sauce.
We ordered 2 of the 8bit with cheese and a Double Dragon, all with a large serve of beer battered fries with mayo. Other sides include potato gems, crispy onion rings, chilli cheese fries and cheese and bacon fries. The World Loves Melbourne loves the packaging, in cardboard boxes with greaseprooof paper. The way they are packaged makes them easier to eat...
This burger is so good it's addictive. I couldn't put it down. It all comes together. The bun was soft and perfect, and interestingly not part of the Melbourne obsession with brioche. The meat is perfectly char grilled and smoky. The pickles crisp. The sauce compelling. Not too much lettuce. The cheese melted into the meat.
Here's my selection. The 8bit and cheese is a great burger in the classic style.
Locals love 8bit but we contend it's worth the drive across town for these burgers. It speaks volumes when customers converge when the doors open at 11am, including a few tradies in their gear.
The World Loves Melbourne would love to try more of the burgers, as well as the hot dogs (also nostalgic video game names such as Fatal Fury, 1942 and Wonder Boy). The milkshakes look tempting, including the ever popular salted caramel milkshake.
The 8bit wallpaper on the exterior of the building is starting to peel, giving the joint a grungy look. But what's inside is burger gold. Please guys, open up in the CBD and the eastern suburbs. 8bit is a revelation and can punch with the big boys. Highly recommended.