I have to admit, I was hesitant to try Burger Wave. It’s been over a year now since I left my home in Sydney. I’d walked past Burger Wave restaurants many times (the brand has franchises in Navigli, Colonne, San Marco, Arco della Pace, Isola and Porta Romana) but have always avoided going inside.
My avoidance wasn’t simply for fear of disappointment, though that weighed on my mind too. It was that all of their restaurants look like the set to a ‘Men at Work’ music video clip. I just couldn’t be sure that all the surfing paraphernalia and Indigenous-inspired dot paintings that adorn Burger Wave’s walls were the result of clueless stereotyping, or whether it was just cheeky Australian self-deprecation.
The only way to find out if Burger Wave was authentic or not was to see if they made a good old fashioned burger ‘with the lot’. An Australian ‘milk bar’ burger.
Aussie burgers are a salty, sweet, savory flavour bomb. They hit just about every sense on your palate without discrimination. How? With toppings. Lots of toppings. Toppings that shouldn’t work together, but trust me, they do. We’re talking beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, pickled beetroot, pineapple and fried egg. All on the same bun.
So how does Burger Waves’ burgers stack up? Are they ridgy-didge, dinky-di, true-blue Australian burgers – or merely Italian imposters?
I’m as surprised as anyone to say that their ‘Ripper’ burger is the real deal. An actual Aussie burger in the heart of metropolitan Milan. Not just that, it’s a damn sight better than a true ‘milk bar’ burger, which can probably be attributed to Burger Wave’s use of Black Angus mince in their patties instead of god-knows-what used in the original.
Also worthy of mention is Burger Wave’s collection of Aussie beers. While 5€ might seem a bit steep for a stubby (Aussie for a small squat bottle of beer) of Victoria Bitter, it just wouldn’t feel right washing down the Ripper burger with anything else.
While the décor at Burger Wave might be taking the piss, the burgers are dead serious.