A CRUSTY black bun holds together Chimek’s staple burger.
It looks burnt, I think.
I almost expect a mouthful of ash biting into the month-old eatery’s “famous” charcoal beef burger ($10).
Chewing, brow furrowed, I concentrate on picking out distinct flavours—salty beef, mushrooms, cheese and a unique creaminess.
Nibbling at the bread alone, I taste nothing extraordinary. Huh, I say as my face relaxes. Well, what do you know—it’s not that strange after all.
I turn to social media and discover chefs at the Fremantle Markets stall have mixed charcoal dust into their dough, stained their aioli with squid ink and added balsamic vinegar to the onion jam.
The dark substances ooze down my chin and trickle on to a styrofoam plate, forming separate pools of oil and juice. The burger is so delicious I don’t mind being a bit messy and risking a spill on my white shirt to finish it off.
“I’ll have one, too!” I yell to a colleague fetching extra serviettes.
Work buddies David and Matthew are polishing off their own meals: the sticky pork and cranberry burger, and Korean dak gang jeong chicken (each $10).
David has the latter. “This is really good,” he says as he employs a chunky chip to soak up a sticky, sweet and somewhat spicy sauce.
At the front of Chimek, Matthew spies a woman taking her first bite from the blackened burger, her body sashaying as if in tune with the markets’ live Latin music.
Street food will do that to you, I muse. The goings-on in the bustling markets add to the experience and gustation.
I give the food a 10 out of 11. Next time, we’ll try a butter beer float ($5) and Chimek’s chicken platter ($50) which feeds eight—or six very hungry people. “Please allow an hour notice before ordering,” a disclaimer on the menu reads, under a photo of a big paper box filled with piles of chips and chicken.
by EMMIE DOWLING
Chimek Chicken + Beer
Stall 104A Fremantle
Markets | Open Fridays, weekends and public holidays