In Karachi's ever-growing restaurant scene, food joints are doing their best to serve up the most unique offerings, full of fancy ingredients and an explosion of flavours like no other.
But sometimes, we get tired of all the flavour-bedazzle and want classic, clean cut flavours. Example? The perfect cheeseburger.
There's no shortage of burger joints in Karachi and they all have signature dish; be it stuffed gouda or roast beef or the monster triple patty meant for two. Seriously, you shouldn't have that on your own.
Aussie Burger Company opened in January with the promise of selling delicious burgers and we made our way there to see if we'll find what we're looking for.
Where to go
Aussie is located on Khayaban-e-Nishat, next to Lebanese restaurant, Zaatar.
Our first reaction when entering the place was pleasantly surprised, because it was a full-fledged restaurant and not a hole in the wall like many small time eateries that open up in DHA, especially burger joints.
No shade to those places, but there are times we really wouldn't mind a comfortable spacious set-up where you could talk and sit for a while and not just dine and dash.
When to go
The resto is open from 12:30 PM to 01:00 AM.
What to order
We came here for one thing and one thing only: burgers. That said, of course it wouldn't be fair to Aussie if we didn't check out a variety of items so we helped ourselves to some of their appetisers as we waited for the big reveal.
Owner Azan Raja was eager to help us out and we appreciated the guidance.
The buffalo chicken strips at the eatery are tender and juicy and they do not go light on the buffalo sauce, which is why it was odd that they served a dip with the dish. We’re guessing the kids in the group would enjoy them the most.
The loaded fries were a hit at the table and are great for snacking. We were really impressed with Aussie's beef chilli, which had the right texture and kick.
I’m usually wary of loaded fries as they can easily be an overload of mush but what with them being served fresh and having the correct portion of cheese, chilli and toppings, these were just right.
The onion rings were the least favourite on the table although that's not to say they weren't enjoyed. Despite loving the crunch, we just wish the onion slices were a bit thicker and juicier as their own taste got lost in the batter.
The BBQ chicken wings are the choice for anyone wanting that sweet note with a smokey hit. This dish is a messy one but what else do you expect with saucy wings?
So far, so good! We enjoyed our starters with some of Aussie's drinks like the strawberry lemonade and the 50/50 which is half lemonade and half iced tea. This was the favourite drink on the table and a great combo with their food.
Now, on to the real test. Considering we'd been reading mixed reviews, we were incredibly curious about what we'll be sinking our teeth into.
And then came Aussie's Old School burger and all our worries melted away, the same way their potato flour buns melted away in our mouths in each bite. A classic cheese burger with a spot-on balance of flavours, fresh and crunchy veggies and an excellent smashed beef patty; the bun to ingredient ratio was also just near perfect.
The Old School - aptly named - hit all the right notes and reminded us of the flavour we didn't even know we were looking for. A colleague praised it as "If Shake Shack and Five Guys had a baby," which owner Azan was happy to hear. In a way that was the goal for him, also a fan of both the franchises.
Moving on to the Outback burger; this is much more heavy duty than the Old School, with a garlic aioli, jalapenos and grilled mushrooms all enhancing the flavour profile.
All of Aussies' burgers have freshly baked buns from potato flour - made in house - which are very airy, light and let the smashed patty be the star.
The Aussie chicken is one for the chicken lovers. Not being the biggest fan of chicken sandwiches, we enjoyed the taste but after that Old School, we doubt we'll be ordering this.
The Hellfire chicken is similar to the Aussie chicken but with what the resto calls, a spicy glaze. The glaze is kind of likee buffalo sauce, having that spice profile and tang.
We noticed hot dogs on the menu and decided to give one a shot. After all, hot dogs were huge this Karachi Eat and just might be one of the food trends of 2020. Azan encouraged our idea, recommending the chilli cheese dog.
Another shout-out to Aussie for getting their beef chilli down to a tee! We really hope that the they introduce it as a side on its own because we'd happily enjoy a bowl.
The hot dog itself is served in the same potato flour based bun and has imported sausages. The melt-in-your-mouth bun once again did its magic and I can't wait to return to try their other variants of hot dog.
We ended the meal with Aussie's frozen custards. When the dessert was served at our table, it was met with confusion. It looks like gelato. Digging our spoon in, it felt like gelato. And once we ate it, it was gelato-ish.
"But it's called custard," I think out loudly, to which Azan, pointing at the term 'frozen', explained that the treat is cooked before it's frozen, hence the extra density and bouncy texture.
This is a heavy dessert for sure. We loved the chocolate brownie custard which does not skimp on the brownie at all. It didn't just taste like your regular milk chocolate. The oreo cheesecake was a hit at our table as well.
The special during the time we went was the blueberry, which was a lot sweeter than we'd expected it to be. With berry flavour, we like a bit of tart to cut through the sweet.
We also tried one of Aussie's shakes which is a blended form of their frozen custard and understood why it felt heavier than usual shakes. The best thing though was that the heaviness didn't feel disgusting but rather extremely filling (in a good way!).
And if you're sharing dessert with a few friends - which you should - a good note to end the meal.
Damage on the pocket
Appetisers from Aussie range from Rs155 - Rs445 while burgers start from Rs475 and can go all the way up to Rs845 depending on your order and extra additions. The custards, currently their only desserts are either Rs275 or Rs295.
While Aussie Burger Company has a wide array of burgers on their menu, it's their simplicity to detail in their basic flavours that really won us over.
If you get your basics right, your biggest competition is yourself. I'll happily return for their Old School and pair it up with some 50/50 for a satisfying meal.