Five Points Burgers
A three-hatted chef has turned to medium-rare burgers with liquefied cheese.
Named after a notoriously bad-ass New York neighbourhood, Five Points brings some serious American attitude to the Sydney burger scene. This translates to soft, glossy Brasserie milk buns, liquefied cheese, American mustard, salty pickles and medium-rare patties cooked smash-style on the grill.
Consulting chef on Five Points is Sydney's renowned Tomislav Martinovic of three-hatted Tomislav fame, who gained his experience under Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck. Now just imagine what this guy can do with a meat sandwich.
Named after New York boroughs, the short and sweet menu has just four burger offerings. The Bronx ($12.50) features a heavily charred beef patty which manages to stay soft and pink within. Cooked on top is a double layer of liquid cheese, followed by smoky bacon, iceberg lettuce for freshness and crunch, pickles and sweet onion jam. There is plenty of sauce to keep it moist, both tomato and mustard, but it's not so lubricated that there's an avalanche of filling. The wide Brasserie milk bun also offers great coverage, so it's easy to handle and the whole operation is structurally sound.
The Manhattan ($10) is a pared-back version, minus the bacon and onion jam, which, on my part, are sorely missed. Queens ($11) is the house chicken burger, filled with grilled chicken breast and all the extras plus a gherkin mayo and a tangy homemade tomato and chilli salsa which lend a Portuguese flavour. For the vegos, there's Staten Island ($9.50), which adopts a giant Portobello mushroom slathered in tzatziki with marinated peppers, much like an antipasto sandwich.
The beer battered chips ($4) are the thick and salty kind, with a crisp outer layer and fluffy, soft potato on the inside. The milkshakes ($6) aren't an afterthought either. Available in vanilla bean, salted caramel and chocolate and made from house syrups, they are perfectly creamy, frothy and ice-cold; exemplary on all accounts.
Located in a funky, industrial set-up in North Sydney, Five Points has been drawing commitment-testing lines every day. The cruellest part is that these game-changing burgers are only open weekdays at lunch times. Now tell me, what's the point of that?
Correction 15/04/2015: An earlier version of this article said that Tomislav Martinovic was the head chef behind Five Points. In fact he is a consulting chef.