Published on August 18th, 2013 | by Magnus Reviewman0
Review 12 – Buttys
What came first: the chicken or the egg? More importantly, what came first: the word butt meaning a person’s rear end or butty as in slang for a sandwich/roll? One thing’s for sure, the food from Buttys, as in the Perth-based burger van, definitely belongs in your front end ASAP.
If you’ve read my burger roundup, you’ll know that there was probably only one item that was a true back to basics burger: the CRAM from Alfred’s Kitchen. One of the commenters, a gentleman named Josh, recommended another eatery with two simplified takes on “meat and two bread”, so I obliged. My relationship with Buttys began.
By a back to basics burger I mean that the concoctions in question don’t mess about with exotic ingredients like chorizo, pesto, mozzarella and that sort of fancy stuff. In fact, there are only two burgers on the menu (along with chips, slow cooked beef and soup).
The two burgers, the slow cooked rib burger and the double cheeseburger ($10 apiece), are no more or less than bread, beef, sauce, bacon, cheese, salad and bread, in that order. Unlike your garden variety fast food joint though, these burgers aren’t made by a production line of unenthusiastic, underpaid workers before being left out to dry like neglected washing. They’re prepared fresh to order. And you can tell.
Let’s start from the top… and the bottom. The bread for me is the most undervalued component of the burger. More often than not you’ll get a standard burger bun, much like those you’ll find in your local supermarket. If you’re lucky, it’ll be topped with sesame seeds. If you’ve won lotto, you might get one that’s been toasted and topped with sesame seeds. But the best burgers give a shit about the bun. Rockpool make their brioche buns in house with near perfect symmetry and presentation. Jus drizzle theirs with quality oil, salt them and flame grill them for a welcome smoky hit.
Buttys have gone with an indulgent brioche-style bun. It’s pillowy soft, buttery and shiny, and most importantly has a decent dash of sweetness that balances out the flavours of the filling. It’s delicious. Gram for gram, I’m sure it’s probably one of the least healthy buns on the market. But if you were going for health, you’d be eating chia seeds topped with psyllium husk wrapped in lettuce.
Speaking of lettuce, it’s in the cheeseburger. And with it comes tomato. In the rib burger you’ll find a slaw with a selection of julienned vegies. Big deal? Not really. But like I said, this is prepared fresh, which gives advantages over fast food in terms of flavour, but in particular texture. Fresh ingredients means flavours are distinct, and vegetables haven’t been broken down by meat juice and sauce. You get a real zingy taste and lively crunch, before you get to the real meat of the burger… the meat of the burger.
In the cheeseburger, you get a pair of beef patties. In the rib burger, you get a hunk of slow-cooked beef rib meat.
The patties are back-to-basics, for sure. They’re nicely seasoned, but besides that have little else going on. However, since they’re exquisitely moist and bursting with flavour, you won’t be left wanting.
The rib meat is melt in the mouth stuff; it literally falls apart without you really having to put in much chewing effort. The “crust” of the meat, created when the piece is fried to order, is where most of the flavour is concentrated. It’s sensational – next level stuff.
In both cases, the flavour is enhanced by the cheese and the sauce (on the rib burger that sauce is built into the slaw). The sauce is some kind of mayonnaise-based blend, a superbly balanced combo of saltiness, creaminess and spiciness. It’s powerful, but not overly so, and ties everything together very nicely indeed.
And like every Mario has his Luigi, every burger has its fries. Buttys’ entry into the chip ring ($5) has enough going on to make you portly like said Italian plumbers in record time, but they’re disgustingly delightful to feast on, in ways that are unlike many other fries. Rather than focusing on crispy texture, Buttys have opted to make their fries as rich as possible by slathering them with some kind of paprika/chilli mayo, melted cheese and caramelised onions. They’re more gooey than crispy, but they’re serious business nonetheless.
The price, if you’re to go the full chip, burger and drink combo, comes in at around $17-18. That’s a good few dollars cheaper than Grill’d, Jus, Flipside and other mid to high-end joints. Compared to the Golden Arches, Hungry Jack’s and the like, it’s fairly expensive, but in terms of quality, it leaves the cheapskates in the dust. Importantly, I think it can match many of the more basic offerings at more expensive competitors, at a cheaper price point.
So overall? Buttys is a winner. To sum it up, it’s extraordinarily ordinary food. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here, but the wheels you’ll roll into your mouth do the job at least as well as the competition, and come in at a pretty competitive price. Speaking of wheels, Buttys is a van, so head to their website, Facebook or Twitter to find out when they’ll be near you. Then get in your wheels and head down for a burger bonanza.
9 butts out of 10.