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A Giant Arcade Game-Themed Burger Bar Is Coming to Vivid This Year

Just what you've always wanted: a bar with Mary's burgers and video games.
By Imogen Baker
May 18, 2016
By Imogen Baker
May 18, 2016

Vivid Sydney is very nearly upon us and just when we thought it couldn't get any better — what with the lights and Bjork, Spike Jonze, Bon Iver and House of Cards creator Beau Willimon all coming out this year — they go and blow our wee minds by announcing this year's food hub, an all-star Sydney burger bar themed like a vintage arcade game.

The pop-up, named 8Bits+Bytes, is a collaboration between local creative studios Motti+Smith and Paper Moose. They've got Sydney burg royalty on board to battle it out to get their name to the top of the leaderboard. Coming in to bat will be legends Mary's, Milk Bar by Café Ish, Pub Life Kitchen, Surry Hills' Bangbang Cafe, and Sammy's Burger Bar. Prepare your body.

Aesthetics-wise, the pop-up will be styled to look like the inside of an 8bit arcade game with giant pixelated trees, burgers and storm clouds. A huge LED light wall (three metres tall by 30 metres long) will tell the tragic, pixelated tale of a burger's adventures through life. Be sure to play before you eat though, because the gaming is all interactive (hello motion tracking gaming technology).

But onto the meat of the matter: the burgers. Each burg bigwig is in competition with the others to win your heart (and your vote) with a burger they've created especially for the occasion. Votes will be cast by hashtag across social media (as democratic elections have always been done), and will be tallied in real time on a digital scoreboard.


So what's going to be on offer? Glad you asked. Mary's will be cooking up a Pac Man Burger, a tame twist on their classic with grass-fed beef, triple cheese, Mary's BBQ Sauce and onion rings. Café Ish has teamed up with the guys from The Jugernauts to create the Double Dragon: a milk bun filled with a double wagyu beef patty, double American cheddar, kimchi, green oak lettuce, miso sauce, seaweed, aioli and a milk bun (is your mouth watering yet?). Also teaming up with the food blog are Bangbang, who has designed the HACKRoulette (a cheeseburger topped with chilli con carne, more cheese and umami sauce served with a shot of pickle juice), and Sammy's Burger Bar on the Polish Pounder, a medium custom ground beef patty, cheese, sauerkraut, Polish slab bacon, horseradish mustard sauce and a dill pickle on a toasted brioche bun. Pub Life Kitchen have yet to announce their menu, but we're sure it will be just as enticing — there's some stiff competition after all.

To be a fair judge, you will have to try all the burgers — perhaps several times each, and perhaps while playing motion tracking video games. Just to be fair. After all, you decide who wins, although what they win is unclear at this point...but really, at the end of the day, if we're stuffed full of burgers, don't we all win?

8Bits+Bytes will pop-up at Martin Place for the entirety of Vivid Sydney from May 27 - June 18. For more info on the festival, visit their website

Published on May 18, 2016 by Imogen Baker
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