“We went to ARGO” has universally been met with a blank look as it seems that most people are not aware of this place. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing by spreading the word though, as I kind of like the awareness that I know where it is and so many others don’t. I will therefore leave it up to you to find out where it is *cough* Victoria Square *cough* and push on with the review.
Venue and Service
ARGO is in essence a modern café, seemingly perfect for the inner city dwellers and workers, as well as the weekend lycra loving peddle pushing brigade*. They have an extensive menu, especially their breakfast menu which covers a multitude of very different options, all of which sound amazing and most far removed from your ‘typical’ eggs and bacon arrangement. A very strong mental note was made to come back here to sample some of this in the near future. Oh, and the coffee smelt amazing (and they have siphon!).
The service was excellent. The staff were all particularly bright and welcoming, and they all genuinely seemed to be enjoying their day and what they were doing. While it might not seem like much, this does of course make a difference.
And a special mention must be made of the light bulbs. Amazing in their size and complexity – they are worth the price of admission just to check it out (and its free to enter….but that isn’t what I am getting at exactly!). Just check them out if you are there. Very cool.
However, for all this, can they make a decent burger? Well…..
Despite carrying the moniker of a a ‘kufta’, the meat portion was amazingly clean in it’s flavour and not brimming with spices. It had a good beef flavour and was of good proportion to eat and to the burger overall.
However – again – it was overcooked. It was well done, and as such by the end was becoming a bit of a chew-athon to get through. That might be overstating things a bit, but it was getting noticeably dry. Pity, but not a complete loss.
Roll and Fillings
Perhaps the highlight of the whole thing was the roll. Yes, you might think this means that the rest of it was rubbish, as how good can a roll be? However, it was just so fresh and flavoursome, but still light and not getting in the way of everything else. Simplicity, but damn near perfect for what it was there to do.
The balance of the fillings for the ARGO Special consisted of a fried egg, sautéed mushroom, char grilled capsicum, swiss cheese, baby spinach leaves, ARGO relish and bbq sauce. As you might expect, it did have a somewhat mediteranian feel to it, mainly because of the mushroom and the capsicum. It did raise the question at the time – does capsicum have any place on a burger?
On this, you are all welcome to your own opinion, but for creating a light and tasty lunch burger, the fillings worked quite nicely. Indeed, you could have pulled the meat off it and still very much enjoyed this as everything worked together well. Everything could be tasted, and nothing felt particularly out of place.
One small thing though – while I could be wrong, the bbq sauce did have a Masterfoods/Fountain sort of feel to it. When you have many other better options around – Beerenberg perhaps? – this was a small let down.
We went with a side of chips with garlic aioli on the side. The chips could have been done fractionally longer, they looked a bit anaemic and didn’t quite have that snap crunch that it the signature of a perfect example. However the aioli was excellent and overall was still very enjoyable.
The burger was 11.0000 (yes, that’s from the menu) and the fries 4.5000. The sizes were very decent – the chips were more than enough to share between two and the burger was a substantial lunch proposition. Decent indeed.
Having never set foot inside the place before, despite walking past a huge number of times, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The venue itself exuded a cool and modern vibe. This was embodied by the staff and the service they provided, which was excellent. The menu is interesting and – again – modern, with some twists on many traditional items and a vast selection of things to drool over hungrily while you make up your mind.
The burger itself, sadly, didn’t quite measure up to the bar set by it’s surrounding. It was by no mean bad, and given everything else I really really wanted to love it. I tried to will myself to find it amazing, silently coaxing my taste buds to explode in rapturous applause at what I was pushing in their direction. Sadly, a generous but somewhat restrained ovation was all that it received.
But if you take nothing else away from this then try and look at it this way. I highly recommend you go to ARGO and check it out. While I haven’t tried anything else, I have a feeling you wouldn’t come away disappointed regardless of your selection. And they do make a decent burger for a good price.
*Note – I am not having a go at bike riders at all! Purely for illustrative/journalistic purposes. They really must love lycra though (and seeing others wearing it).