HIGHWAY BURGER and my stomach seemed destined never to meet.
Anytime I went to the Canning Bridge eatery it was shut or I couldn’t get a parking spot.
On Tuesday, I double-checked the opening times on Facebook and headed there for lunch, only to be met by a sign saying the premises was closed and they were now operating out of Clancy’s next door.
Stomach rumbling, I ventured into the fish-and-chip pub, grabbed a menu from the counter and took a seat near the window.
There were eight burgers on offer including a heart-shuddering triple cheeseburger ($27), a “Roadkill” burger with a smashed beef patty and buttermilk fried chicken ($29.50) and a vegan burger with smoked beetroot quinoa patty, shallots and vegan peri mayo ($23).
Clancy’s was pretty busy on a sunny Tuesday lunchtime with suits from surrounding businesses coming down for a hearty feed.
A group of men behind me were deep in discussion about KPIs, zoom calls and how their boss was an utter moron.
It could have been worse – they could have been discussing the WAGatha Christie ‘scandal’.
I noticed that a lot of punters we’re eating burgers, so Clancy’s decision to team-up with Highway looks like it has been a success.
There seems to be a growing trend for small food operators to share the kitchen of a bigger, more well-established outlet and sell their produce from there.
It’s a win-win for both parties with the small operator saving on ballooning rent and utility bills, and the hosts getting more foot traffic.
It wasn’t long before the smiley and gregarious waitress was back with my No Man’s Land burger ($24).
It was nicely presented with the black sesame bun and glistening fillet of buttermilk chicken accompanied by a pile of thick, crinkle cut chips.
Don’t worry my meal wasn’t burnt, it was a charcoal bun, which I had never tried before.
It had a deep, intense smoky flavour that contrasted nicely with the sweet-and-sticky glaze on the chicken.
The fillet was nicely cooked and had a satisfying crunchy batter, while the pickled ginger, kimchi slaw, lettuce and Korean mayo, conjured an exotic and slightly spicy mix of flavours.
It was a tasty and sticky odyssey of a burger.
The accompanying crinkle cut chips were top notch and it was nice to get a chunky alternative to the ubiquitous size-zero french fry.
Across the table my young son was engrossed in his colouring-in book, kindly provided by the staff, and in red crayon he had scrawled “KPI” above a fat alien’s head.
He was soon tucking into this Highway Cheeseburger ($17 lunch special) with smashed beef patty, brioche bun, cheese, dill pickles, pickled shallots and salad.
Unfortunately there was no kids burgers on offer, so he couldn’t finish the giant offering, but he wolfed down half of it with no complaints and especially loved the crunchy chips.
I had a taste and can confirm it was a solid cheeseburger with plenty of flavour from the smashed beef patty, which are all the rage these days (balls of ground beef pressed or smashed into the grill to create extra browning while trapping in the juices).
So was Highway Burger worth the wait? Well, it was definitely above average without hitting the heights of my favourite burger bars in Perth.
An added bonus – being situated in Clancy’s means you can now enjoy a pint and some live music with your burger, but with my Herald KPIs in mind, I sipped a large sparkling water instead.
903 Canning Highway, Applecross
(Clancy’s Fish Pub)
by STEPHEN POLLOCK