“THE best burgers in town,” a friend eagerly boasts before we reach Short Order Burger Co’s base at The Mantle.
It’s a bold statement that intensifies my hunger.
We arrive at the Fremantle eatery about 8pm on a Friday night without notice—there’s no need to book.
The three-month-old pop-up burger joint is on the eastern side of the labyrinthine building, a space shared by Latin American tapas restaurant Don Tapa & Alter Ego and the pizzeria Magna Pizza.
The eatery reminds me of an American burger shop as well as the fictional cartoon, Bob’s Burgers—but Short Order has more style.
There’s a grill and fryer for chips—plain and simple enough. But there’s funky music, and mood lighting illuminates the dimly lit room as well as a long cement bench, stretching around from the front counter.
There are also a few tables of four and six as well as a long communal trestle table.
I get the BBQ bacon cheeseburger ($14) which comes with a brioche bun, smoked mozzarella, American cheddar, caramelized onion, SOB sauce (this is, “sausage, onion and bacon” sauce, says Google), aioli, pickles and maple-candied bacon.
True to its name “Order Short”, food comes out quickly and my high expectations are satisfied with one bite.
A perfect matrimony of flavours seduce my tastebuds—I can tell how much love and care has gone into it.
The brioche bun does it for me. And it did for the owner, too. Simon Kony opened his shop after finding a local baker with perfect buns.
“I won’t go into too much detail, I can’t give away all my secrets,” Mr Kony says. “Let’s just say that once I was able to source my burger buns locally was the day I decided to open my pop-up.”
Friends have the “fiery SOB” ($14) and a quad burger—four grass-fed beef patties with lashings of condiments, towering at about 15cm.
We sit at the communal table and learn a valuable lesson: bring beers because the bars aren’t open for burger eaters.
Luckily, a mate knows one of the crews already tucking in, so we break bread with them and they share their stubbies.
Also on the menu is a mushroom burger ($13), and just a few weeks ago the “hella good” mac and cheese bacon burger made an appearance—a double whammy of carbohydrates.
Thanks to a joint venture with The Banker cafe on High Street, doughnuts of different flavours each week are on offer every Friday and Saturday.
Searching through Instagram photos, doughnut flavours have included choc brownie, and pecan and cherry pies.
by EMMIE DOWLING
Short Order Burger Co,
The Mantle, 1 James Street, Fremantle
Open Friday at 7pm and
Saturday from 6pm. Hoping to open on more nights and for Sunday brunch.