Monday, March 22, 2010


Everyone loves to eat burgers right?

Like me, maybe for most people their first experience of eating a burger was a happy meal at McDonalds when they were a kid. And then the second burger that you ever ate was also from McDonalds and so this pattern continues throughout your childhood and into your teens.

As a kid I loved eating McDonalds and as an adult I always question why? I attribute this to the fact that I just didn’t know better, I was young, innocent and I was sucked in by the promotion toy. I think this is why children are not allowed to vote and they have to wait until you are 18. Kids just don’t think very logically about what they eat. As a kid, like most kids, I didn’t like eating vegetables very much and now as an adult I love my veges. If you can’t make good decisions on what you eat, how can you make good decisions about what party to vote for? Not that all adults are very smart about their eating choices either...maybe from now on we can measure the intelligence of the voting populace by what they choose to eat. Before entering the voting booth, people should be asked where they like to buy their burgers from. If you say that you like to eat burgers from McDonalds then you can be dismissed as a donkey vote. A donkey vote refers to the practice of numbering the candidates' boxes sequentially from top to bottom of the ballot-paper, rather than taking the time to number the candidates in the voter's own thought-out order of preference.

So anyway…then for some reason I stopped eating burgers at McDonalds for a few years. This coincided with my new found adversity to all fast food restaurants as I entered onto my adulthood and started uni, and become anti-fast food and anti a whole bunch of other things too. I was anti-mobile for a while...

Then I started going out a lot and eating out more, and I found back my love for a burger…but this time it’s a real burger. Burgers that you don’t buy from some commercial franchise but somewhere small and quaint like Flipside Burgers in North Fremantle before you see a gig at Mojos, or Jus Burgers in Leederville before you see a movie at Luna. Places where it’s all about the food rather than a mass production of products at the lowest possible cost. Burgers which are not packed into a sugary bun but use real bread or sometimes sourdough bread (yum!). Burgers which costs 2-3 times more than what you would pay for at McDonalds but worth every cent (this price includes the fact that your burger was not made from some pimple faced pubescent teen who you hope have washed their hands…actually this aspect of the burger is priceless!).

I guess I am appearing all bias against McDonalds now, so to be fair and not all one-sided, I have a confession to make. Yes, as an adult I have eaten at McDonalds, it was a few years ago (when I was a poor arse uni student and it was the only place that serves food pass 10pm in the city of Perth) and it reaffirmed why one shouldn’t eat a burger there. The fact is, the burgers at McDonalds just don’t taste very good in comparison to what you can get at other little burger joints around town. As an adult, one has a little more dosh to throw around and invest in a better quality product.

I like eating burgers but like kebabs they can be a challenge to eat. It’s a delicate balancing act to bite into a burger and minimize the exit of the filling out the other end and onto your lap. It can be a messy affair. Some burgers are jammed packed with so much goodness that it is not possible for you to fit your whole mouth around it.

The good thing, however, is that burgers are one of those foods which is socially acceptable to eat with your hands! I think this is the only way that you can manage eating a burger and avoid it going all over your lap. Imagine holding up a burger with chopsticks or eating it with a knife and fork - you are meant to eat all elements of the burger together, not separately (don’t let it become meat and three veges on a plate with the buttered bun as a precursor).  Eating with your hands also feels liberating, like you are getting back to your roots, this is how humans first ate millions of years ago - with their hands. Cavemen did not have knives or forks, and certainly not chopsticks!

But you can’t eat with your hands all the time, people will look at you funny…but the only way to eat a burger is with your hands. Try to eat it with a knife and fork, and people will look at you funny.

On Sunday I had a burger at Novembar's for the first time. I have heard some urban legends about this place, that it serves the hottest and most deadliest burger known to man which no one can ever finish and you can get a $1000 which contains 100 beef patties. Is this for real?...actually these are not at all urban legends but true stories.

The menu states “the World’s Most Exciting & Craziest Burgers” and it was certainly the most interesting burger menu I have ever come across.

(Broken Heart and Fat Boy Burger - 7 beef patties, bacon, egg and cheese!)

I went for a classic, I ordered the hamburger. Considering that I had so many other interesting burgers to choose from, it may appear like a boring option. But there is method is madness or I should say method in my boringness. I felt that if any burger joint wants me to come back, if they can get the basics right than I will be back for more, it’s that simple.

So was I served a good hamburger? 

Between a bun I had a beef patty, tomato, lettuce and some tomato sauce. It was a pretty basic hamburger. I have to say that it’s not the best burger I have eaten but it is quite tasty.  The beef patty was flavoursome, it is obvious that Minh makes the patties himself as there are ingredients in it which separate it from your standard beef patty, it contains spring onions (!). At $6.70 it was also good value for money. I give this hamburger 7.5 out of 10.

Novembar isn’t just about the burgers though, I think was makes this place special and gets people coming back is Minh – he is a spirit and quite a character. He’s very friendly and loves to share stories about people eating his death burgers. His burgers have become a phenomenon, people travel from afar to take on his burger challenges. 

  • Eat the red faced and runny nosed burger (hottest burger ever!) within 10 minutes and it’s yours for free.
  • Get a free burger, small chips and drink if you can gulp in down in 8 minutes using chopsticks.
  • Can you take a burger with 11 patties in 11 minutes? It’s a 911 Mars Attack.
  • Or have the bottomless burger for $0 as long as you agree to pull off your pants and go for a run down the street.
(The bottomlesss burger)

Are you having trouble deciding? You can roll a dice on the condition that you have to order whatever comes up.

I think it’s great when you see someone who loves and is passionate about their work. As I was waiting for my friends to come I overheard a conversation that Minh was having with another customer. She said “I’ve read so much about you on the internet. So you used to work at the Hyatt” Minh replied “Yeah, but like working here, it’s more fun”. Who else can say that they have fun at work?

I will definitely be back, next time I will order the ‘hamburger with the lot’ and then I will work my way up. 

Novembar's Cafe & Takeaway on Urbanspoon


  1. I was going to make a burger post too!

    I will always hold a torch for Mcdonalds cheeseburgers. I don't know what it is? probably the childhood thing.

    If I ever come home I'll be trying the fat boy.

  2. Apparently only 3 out of 10 people finish the Fat Boy. It's a huge burger!

    What kind of burger joints so they have in France? I think you should definitely do a burger post.

  3. They have only 1 chain of fast food here and its called Quick burger. They do a lot of homemade style burgers in some places and there is an American diner in Paris that does American food, ran by Americans made by Americans. I have never been there but I might try it out, I hear good things.
    I will post my burger thing now.

    I reckon I could eat the fat boy. Sometimes I used to buy 2 cheeseburgers and stack them on top of each other...hmm but 7 patties look hard. Maybe its a 2 person job or 3.

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