Got plans today? If not, we have just the thing for you. This Sunday, Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter will play host to every foodie’s dream: The Burger Expo.
The Burger Expo will bring together six of Sydney and Melbourne’s best burger joints for a day of finger licking flavour. The Expo is hosted by Tropicool and The Burger Collective - Australia’s number one app for finding the best burgers in town. With over 900 venues to choose from, including holes in the walls, city favourites and inter-state institutions, the Expo’s line-up will be one you won’t want to forget.
This year’s festival unites some of the very best venues Australia’s capitals have to offer. Representing Sydney are Loaded by BL, Happy Ending Burgers, Burger Point and Burger Head, plus Mondaze from Brisbane, and Monroes from Melbourne. If that isn’t enough to make you salivate, then sink your teeth into this: LA burger guru and host of The Burger Show, Alvin Cailan, is also joining the festival. In addition to bringing his world-famous concept EggSlut down under, Alvin is also collaborating with the Aussie venues to take their creations to the next level. Sign me up.
While The Burger Expo is a new direction for The Burger Collective, there’s no doubt it’ll be just as popular. After a successful couple of years online, The Burger Collective thought it was time to bring their concept to the real world – and Sydney is just the place to do it. NSW’s capital is often regarded as having the best burgers in the world, with numerous awards and accolades piling up locals’ favourite burger houses. Gee Özgen’s venues, Mister Gee Burger Truck and Happy Ending Burgers, are two of these local favourites, and the truck was recently awarded the title of Best Burger in the Inner West. When I asked Özgen why the calibre of burgers in Sydney is so high, he did not falter.
“It’s very simple,” says Özgen. “As Aussies, we take on things and we perfect them.”
While each burger houses’ creations are different, what’s consistent is the determination they share to be creative and elevate their offering above the rest. There’s a benchmark in burger world, and Aussies are quite happy to keep raising it, ensuring they’re differentiating themselves from everything else on the market.
“We have our own style of doing burgers and coming up with some really cool ideas,” says Özgen. “Taking the humble burger – what you create is just amazing.”
Happy Ending Burgers has perfected their own style, and they’re bringing crowd favourites to the Expo. Deep Fried Friends is their most popular fried chicken burger and is made with their fried thigh fillets, drizzled with kaya butter – a South East Asian toast spread – and topped with plain mayo, house-pickles and American cheese. Simple, creative, and bloody delicious. They’re also bringing a beef burger which consists of a short ribbed dry aged patty, caramelised onion, house-pickled zucchinis and their famous pineapple and jalapeno relish. Özgen definitely has his own style of burgers, and Sydney is very happy to indulge.
Joining the food line up at The Burger Expo are a range of events for the punter to enjoy and there really is something for everyone. In addition to live music there will be barefoot lawn bows, a PlayStation 4 FIFA Zone, TABASCO® sauce's chilli competition and a culinary tasting activity.
When I ask Özgen about the rising love of soul food in Australia he says it’s a comfort thing. We live in an era of casual dining, where even top chefs are coming back to basics, finding ways to make their food more accessible. Casual eats are all about comfort, a reasonable price point and a lowkey atmosphere, and The Burger Expo is a celebration of all three. “People just want to go somewhere, pick up something and just smash it,” says Özgen. If you see me there tomorrow, I’ll be doing exactly that.