Colonel Light Hotel – Light Hotel Burger

Next venue for 2013 was lined up, and so it was off to the west side of the city to visit the Colonel Light Hotel. How will this long-standing and recently renovated venue deliver on the burger front?

Light Hotel burger

Situated on the picturesque light square, the colonel light has a very much old school pub feel to it. While it has been renovated, there has been no attempt to really get away from all of it’s heritage which given the building, would be impossible anyhow. It feels more like a country pub than something in the centre of a capital city – although that would probably be a different story on a Friday or Saturday night no doubt.

The staff did their job. No criticism at all, it was just that we really didn’t have much to do with them. They weren’t exactly exuding welcoming warmth, but they were not in any way rude either. So somewhere in the middle, which is entirely acceptable.

From the Menu
Light Hotel Burger – Beef patty, smokey bacon, fried egg, cheese, caramelised onion, tomato, lettuce, aioli & tomato relish. Served with chips. $15-

The Burger
Meat Patty
The patty was quite large in overall dimensions, was of a course grind, well seasoned and flavoured with herbs, while still maintaining a good beef flavour. It had been cooked well done, as always, but it was just moist enough to not be an issue.

As per the menu, there were all the usual suspects on board. The bacon was tasty and nicely cooked, the egg yolk was almost runny and the onion was….caramelized. The tomato and lettuce was fresh, the aioli was creamy and the cheese was just a basic cheddar slice but it was serviceable. The tomato relish was especially notable – it was rich, nicely sweet and a bit spicy – and really helped to fill out the whole flavour profile.

The roll was again a huge issue. On the back of Saracens Hotel, upon viewing this roll there were suspicions that things were going awry. It was rather anemic looking – it looked like it hadn’t quite been cooked through properly. It was a brioche style roll, which seems to be a growing trend around the place. This is always a strange choice for a burger as it is a little cakey in its texture, can be a bit dense and isn’t pliable.

3 bites and its history
3 bites and its history

The second photo shows what happened after just 3 bites. How did this happen? This is my breakdown (pardon the pun) of what went wrong:

  1. Brioche style roll – and refer to its qualities above.
  2. Not cut evenly so the top was about 3x size of the bottom
  3. Not very wide so didn’t contain the fillings
  4. Sauce and tomato placed on the bottom part of the bun (ie the thin bit) which is a lot of moisture
  5. The burger was large in height, so trying to squish it down – and keep the fillings in – lead to inevitable tearing the roll, and what you see there.

I ended up eating it with a knife and fork….

There were chips. They were ok. Nothing else to add on that.

$15 was the asking price for all this carnage and opportunity to use their cutlery instead of your hands. Pretty decent in general terms, if you overlook the obvious annoyance and lack of brilliance in any particular way.

So to get the obvious out of the way, the roll was really irritating and entirely spoilt the entire thing. A burger is meant to be the bringing together of a collection of flavours and being able to experience them all together. The roll doesn’t have to be mind blowing to do a good job, it just need to not get in the way. So having to eat this with a knife and fork….yeah. Not impressed.

Moving past this, the actual things in the burger were decent enough. It was a little burger by numbers, as in there is nothing that really made this unique to the Light Hotel. But everything was tasty, especially the relish actually, and the value at $15 was reasonable.

Overall though – the roll (again) spoilt the whole thing. It wasn’t a complete loss but its really impossible to give it a particularly good score. Flawed, workman like, but no better.

Score – 6

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