The Scoop: The Coming Of The Black Burger

Above the far-flung city scape of the Valley, Elixir Rooftop Bar is an escape from Brunswick Street and Chinatown Malls. While cocktails are their specialty, it is the menu that is a hidden delight. Their ribs dish is quite incredible. Meat drips from the bone like edible lava, enveloped by the biting mayonnaise of coleslaw within a whirlpool of gravy, escorted by a toasted baguette to sop up that gravy pool. Cue Rib Desire. Now. The menu continues to stun the senses, offering tapas – such as smoked salmon bruschetta, grilled pumpkin and goat’s feta salad or sliders – perfectly suited to the cocktail and wine list.

And with Elixir expanding their opening hours to Wednesday evenings, a new addition to the menu sees the coming of the black burger. There are no 50 shades of grey here: it’s black or white. In a burger on a bun. With sweet potato chips. Across the years, the burger has now been transformed into an epicurean’s delight or skilled manual worker’s relish. In a city where gourmet burgers are the standard, an establishment can reflect their entire modi operandorum – just from a dish that serves up a bun, salad and meat patty.

Toiling behind the stoves of Elixir stands Chef Lee O’Neill, and he’s certainly devised a way to create burgers that compliments the bar – while standing out from the crowd. Given the popularity of beer-swilling beef-burger outlets within the heart of Fortitude Valley, attracting attention needs a bit more thought than usual.

Using a malt brioche base, Lee takes a fine carbon powder of ground charcoal and adds it to the dough (yes, the burgers are made from scratch), giving the black burger that distinctive not-white colour. Charcoal is the world’s oldest remedy for detoxing, as an antidote for drugs and poisons, helping with digestion, heart health and anti-aging. So the burger is not only helping us with our hangovers, but making sure we age well too. The patty is a lamb burger – which he minces on the premises, using a ratio of 70% lamb shoulder to 30% lamb shank to really boost that lamb flavours. Cumin, coriander, turmeric and hints of chilli and garlic are added to the patty for flavour. As a non-lamb lover, the burger is quite succulent to taste; the boldness of the meaty goodness well balanced by the sweetness of the beetroot, haloumi and spinach, tomato, lettuce and black garlic and mint yoghurt. There truly is nothing quite like it in the Valley.

For those who are more into their chicken rather than their lamb, the white burger is a great alternative, offering chicken breast, pancetta, buffalo mozzarella, tomato, rocket and roasted red pepper sauce on a brioche bun. And just because you eat one over the other, doesn’t make you racist. It makes you culturally diverse.

Or, if you’re on a date or sharing with a friend, swapping one half for the other just makes eating more fun. Add the crunch of curly thin sweet potato chips, while sipping at a Stone & Wood Pale Ale, crisp white Sav or Southside cocktail as the sunsets around you with twilight creeping in; and getting through the week with this Hump Day Happiness has never looked so fine.

Elixir Wednesdays
From 4pm, every Wednesday
Elixir Rooftop Bar646 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
FREE ENTRY with 18+ Photo ID required

Photographer: Lady Lex

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