The World is full of mass produced burgers, but there’s only one Buddhalicious Burger so far.
They offer a tasty range of amazing Japanese inspired burgers along with the expected great coffee and less expected beer, sake and wine to make the whole experience of eating there more of an izakaya style experience than a burger bar one.
Sure, you can sample Buddhalicious Burgers on Uber Eats etc, but as COVID-19 restrictions ease if you’re in the Neutral Bay hood get on down and check them out soon with a beer or sake and chill.
Partners Ari Kondo from Japan and Aussie born half Japanese Kenta Tanaka came up with the name as a fusion of Buddha and delcious, if you didn’t work that out already.
Ari came out from Japan to Australia in 1999. He used to work in various restaurants, and then his own Yakitori Bar. Then he got to manage a Sushi Train, before opening his own in 2002.
But Ari has loved burgers since he was a kid. So all the while he was doing sushi he was thinking to open a burger shop one day.
Then he was introduced to Kenta, and as soon he knew that Kenta was a chef, Ari asked him if he was interested in opening “the best burger shop in Sydney” together.
How could Kenta say no? He quit his job that day and joined Ari to open the burger shop.
Kenta is actually already known to Australians from his stint as the ‘Fuji Kid’ in Fuji Film ads.
“We could have named it ‘Fuji Burger’ maybe” he says with a laugh.
But they talked long and hard about the concept of the burger shop. It had to be something seriously special.
The concept of Buddhilicious Burger was as a ‘one and only’ burger, which people can eat at their shop. It has to have special buns, the best meat and the other ingredients had to complement it perfectly.
Of course it had to have a hint of Japan, so they used wasabi and the colour of Beni-shoga (pickled ginger). Like a lot of Japanese food, it is not only tasty but also beautiful.
They also have a rice burger, perfect for those who prefer or can’t eat bread for dieteray reasons. The rice burgers are very popular now.
Last year they had a successful pop-up shop at the Cherry Blossom Fair in Auburn.
“The long queues really excited us” says Ari. “It was proof we are heading in the right direction.”
“The meat is very special too” Ari continues, “we use 100% Wagyu minced beef with not too much fat – it has a delicious melt in the mouth flavour. The burger become perfect together with our smokey sauce and condiments.”
Of course ever since slightly larger rivals Maccas launched McCafé any burger joint has to offer decent coffee. The Buddhalicious boys didn’t settle for just any – the offer Merlo Coffee, normally only found on the Gold Coast. After numerous visits they persuaded Merlo to let them offer it at their Nuetral Bay burger restaurant.
But apart from great coffee they also offer beer, wine and Japanese whisky and sake. It’s izakaya burgers plus in our book. For city workers returning on ferries and/or buses hopping off and enjoying dinner with a couple of drinks is a pretty relaxed way to finish your working day.
Knock off early and take advantage of their Happy Hours with 20% off all Alcoholic Drinks Tuesday to Sunday 3pm until 5pm.
If you are not into beef burgers don’t worry, they have a great range from beef to chicken to vegetarian – the Tofu & Edamame Bean Burger with BBQ Rub Tofu, Edamame & Basil Sauce, Truss Tomato, Lotus Root Chips, & Mix Baby Leaf is pretty awesome – to an amazing crunchy Prawn Katsu rice burger (available with black or white rice).
The Buddhalicious Burger is going forward non-stop as they continue to create more unique menus. Ari and Kenta are hoping that their hamburgers will be in every city of Australia. We recommend eating in, but you can also order – check the menu here