Burger Challenge at Red Jaffa – Hobart, Tasmania

It was a sad day when we heard that Red Jaffa had changed hands. We knew times had been tough, but they kept surviving on the back of their great food. Unfortunately we won’t have a chance to try the new venue and the kudos we’ve given them no longer holds weight. Are the burgers as good as they used to be? Who knows. Try them and let us know!

If I was to say ‘Sunderland Street’, what would be the first thing to come to mind?


Xtreme Gym and human growth hormones?

Car bodies in front yards?

Dead bodies in front yards*?

Fair enough, nothing unusual there.

But how about burgers….?

A few years ago, the team that I work for had to relocate from our salubrious digs in Maria Street to the slightly more tawdry, semi-industrial area of Moonah. Initially filled with trepidation and more than a little bit of concern for my personal well being, after my first lunch at Red Jaffa I came away a changed man!

Catering to the numerous blue collar factories, work shops and retail outlets wedged between Derwent Park Road and Main Road (Moonah’s armpit…?), Red Jaffa looks like any another takeaway shop, albeit with a bright red frontage! So when I walked through it’s sliding door for the very first time I was more than a little surprised to be confronted with a bain-marie chock-a-block full of burgers that looked very appealing to both the eye and stomach!

For a second I really did think I was in Hawaii…

Surely it was all a ruse? Just like those dodgy red lights they use at Woollies to stop your steak looking like a weary piece of shoe leather..??

But no! As I peered through the glass it was pretty obvious that these burgers were both fresh (no cling wrap in sight), and jam-packed with some very tasty looking ingredients!

Yeah, yeah, sure it looks good, but it must taste like rubbish right? Perhaps you’d like some beef with that grease…?

Definitely not!! The first mouthful was absolutely divine! A juicy home-made beef patty, caramelised onions (that’s ‘fried’ for those that live north of Creek Road), fried egg complete with warm, gooey yolk, crunchy bacon fresh off the grill, topped off with a slice of melted cheese, tomato slices, crunchy lettuce and tomato sauce.

And just to top it off, even with all these ingredients it was still edible straight out of the hands!

How good does that patty look?!!

Was it the lowest of expectations that made this burger taste so good, and leave such a mark on my taste buds? Definitely not. The fact that I’ve been back there at least once every couple of months and found that they consistently deliver a quality product every single time goes to show that these guys are the real deal! (their chips are pretty awesome as well!)

So in short, get yourself down to Sunderland Street and wrap your chops around one of these bad boys. You won’t regret it!

Taste – 5/5
Patty – 5/5
Bun – 4/5
Ingredients – 5/5
Condiments – 4/5
Presentation – 4/5
Stuffable – Yes
Value – 5/5

Overall – 4.5/5

Update 4 Sep ’13: After revealing my identity to the lovely Marie and Angelo (I hope I got your names right…my memory is shocking!), I had a fantastic chat regarding Red Jaffa. I think it’s worth me clarifying that opening hours are between 6am and 3pm, so don’t leave your burger fix too late! 12 noon is the ideal time if you want one that’s just come off the grill.

The other thing worth mentioning is their incredibly proactive response to the single negative piece feedback that was received in response to this blog entry over on Facebook and one of the Tasmanian food forums. In particular, there had been some concerns voiced regarding the quality of the buns that they were using (not something I had noticed, but everyone obviously has different taste buds!). These two took it on themselves to try a new variety and the feedback has been tremendously positive from their patrons ever since. I tried one today and was just as impressed as I was with the original. Version 2.0 is a little bit flatter to my eyes, with a slightly firmer crust (still soft though) and a more ‘homely’ flavour. Full credit to these guys for taking the critique on board and taking positive action!

Burger Challenge Round-up

After three rounds of the inaugural Tasmanian Burger Challenge, we have Red Jaffa and Budgie Smugglers in a tie for first place, with Burger Got Soul trailing in their dust.

Obviously BGS is a much more refined dining experience and their burgers do look more appealing to the eye, but for sheer taste and value you can’t go past either Red Jaffa or Budgie Smugglers!

So what’s next?

After receiving a number of recommendations I’ve decided to pay Chrome Cafe on Liverpool Street a visit. Unfortunately the review is going to have to wait until I get back from Cambodia, but in the meantime there’ll be plenty of other blog entries to keep you satisfied 🙂

Until next time!

*Very unlikely, but I chuckled when I wrote it…so it stays.