American burgers and vegan are words rarely put side by side. Soul Burger hopes to change that.
Nestled amongst traditional oriental flavours that line The Spot in Randwick lies something quite unconventional. Soul Burger is out to revolutionise Sydney’s bustling burger market. However, the franchise, with a second store located in Glebe, is planning to reshape the dude food trend without an animal product in sight. With low hanging light bulbs and larger than life vegan burgers, Soul Burger is the brick hole in the wall screaming for attention.
As the crowd builds for a weekday lunch, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you have stumbled into a Newtown bar on a Friday night. The urban sounds bounce off the exposed rooftop beams to create a chilled nightlife ambience.
Take a seat around one of the wooden picnic tables or high-tables with bar stools and share in the surprise of a meat-free burger.
It’s difficult to miss Soul Burger founder Amit Tewari’s inventive plant based burgers on the short menu. With an extensive list of extras and sides and twelve different burger options, there is something for every meat-eater willing to explore the vegan way of life.
We go big. Choosing the American Badass ($16) and Pulled Pork ($14) Burgers. The American Badass is stuffed with delights for any fast-food lover. Bursting with a hash brown, onion wrings, caramelised onions and a duo of sauces, you must make no mistake, vegan does not equate to a health kick. Comparable to slightly underdone mincemeat, the “beef” patty lacks the juiciness of an everyday burger and is slightly wet in texture. The concoction of extravagant extras more than overcompensate for the sidelined staple.
Choosing to let the BBQ and creamy chipotle aioli twang speak for themselves, the gluten free pulled pork inspired burger doesn’t hide its true vegan colours. Preferring to pull jackfruit over pork, the burger’s BBQ spice can be combatted by adding a guacamole extra, a predictable compliment to the aioli. The unnecessary decision to add a pickle to the dish overpowered the intended flavour balance by cancelling out the neutral tasting veggie slaw. Choose your add-ons wisely! The BBQ flavoured jackfruit replacement is crunchy, but for the meat-eaters it doesn’t serve as a natural replacement to slow cooked pork.
Soaking up the sauce of your chosen burger, the doughy bun is fluffy, rivalling that of any quality bakery. Stamped with a grill sear, it is the perfect addition to the visual experience. Any issues you have by forgoing meat will be blown away by excessive presentation. As ingredients gloriously escape in every direction, each burger is barely held together by a steak knife.
Even if your stomach is feeling a little cramped with plant-bred goodness, how could you resist the Kumar Fries (large $7)? The crunchy outer layer sprinkled with sea salt hides an oozy sweet potato filling. Creamy and varying in size, you will almost forget to add the accompanying aioli.
Every meal needs a drink. Although a schooner of Young Henry’s Larger ($7) or a Corona ($8) are tempting, order a Coconut Shake ($7) and release your inner child. Fusing coconut milk with freshly made coconut ice cream, the shake goes down a treat. Coconut proves to be the lighter and more subtle companion for your chosen flavouring. The strawberry coconut shake will add some fruity sweetness to your vegan experience.
Stroll into Soul Burger at anytime day or night and you will skip your next meal for sure. A considerable bang for your affordable buck, Soul Burger ensures that its vegan ethos in no way extinguishes the exorbitance we have come to expect from American-inspired burgers.
49 Perouse Road, Randwick
Open Mon-Fri: 12.30pm-3.30pm, 5pm-9.30pm; Sat: 12pm-9.30pm; Sun: 12pm-8.30pm