It's winter still here in Perth but somehow the rain and clouds have gone away and all that's left is a magnificent blue sky.
Since I've been stuck in the house for over a week living off soups and yoghurt while my wisdom teeth heal, the sunshine is the perfect excuse to get out. And because of it's locality to my place, Hillary's is the perfect destination.
Jeremy and I set out with grumbly tummies and big smiles while we basked in the warmth of being outdoors. But in the back of our minds we knew we were limited in options since I'm not up to my normal eating speed and am chewing like a mouse with mainly my front teeth (my love of food has made this whole healing process incredibly drawn out).
Since everywhere was completely packed out, we settled on FAB which we've eaten at before and been relatively satisfied. It's a smaller, less known burger franchise than your Grill'd, Jus Burgers etc. But the serving sizes are huge and when you're as hungry as we were, that sounds pretty good.
I knew sides would be achievable so while Jeremy perused the burger selection, I settled on the onion rings and fries with aioli dipping sauce.
We started off our meals with drinks - me with an orange juice ($5) and Jeremy with a chocolate thick shake ($5.50). My orange juice was pretty disappointing; straight from a generic bottle it was sour and lacklustre in orange flavour. While I know not all eateries will offer you fresh orange juice, for $5 I was expecting much, much more.
Jeremy's chocolate shake was a different story though. It was thick and frothy and had a nice creamy lump of icecream in the glass. Yum, yum I definitely wish I'd ordered one for myself!
The shared serve of chips ($5) we ordered came out first, quite a while before any of the other food. But that was okay because I needed the head start with my nibbling motions. They tasted really great, crunchy but still retaining some starchiness. The aioli ($2) was one of the best I've had - creamy and packed full of garlic. It's a decent size serving too which was great for us both to pick at.
Fries with aioli
While we waited for the rest of our food, we enjoyed the paper tablecloths and the provided markers. Our drawing styles are quite different (mine being very cartoonish and Jeremy actually having talent), but it was a nice way to pass the time. I wonder if FAB staff appreciated my comments on the paper when I said that it smelt delicious and I was devastated my jaw wasn't working properly...
Condiments and colouring in
Finally Jeremy's burger arrived and it was a beast!
It's called the 'Elvis' burger ($21.95). It comes with two 100% Butterfield beef patties, salad, mayonnaise, relish and any three toppings or sauces of your choosing. He went for a portabello mushroom, avocado and blue cheese. I was completely surprised he managed to condense this down enough to actually bite into it.
From first bite sauce and juice from the meat or the mushroom gushed everywhere. To be honest it was a little off-putting. The bun is toasted which gives it a nice crunch but isn't enough of a textural variety when compared to the other ingredients inside. It's a lot of soft and creamy items without anything crunchy or sweet to counter the taste.
In Jeremy's words, it was nice but he's had better. And about halfway through he's had to put the increasingly soggy bun down on the plate to use knife and fork to complete it. But somehow he still manages to complete it and I'm pretty impressed with the effort since the thing was epic in proportions.
My Cajun onion rings ($3) arrived not long after Jeremy's started tucking into his burger. They actually take me a little by surprise. I was expecting them to be smaller and less mammoth looking.
Their taste is nice but they're much too big. The batter is heavy and while the spice blend is enjoyable they're like a meal in themselves. Not great for me at this point given my limited chewing range. But even Jeremy's taken a couple and agreed with me that there's too much batter and the rings are too big. However on the plus side they aren't overly greasy like so many places and they retain their crunch all the way through.
Cajun onion rings
FAB at Hillary's was basically as expected. Nothing over the top and nothing fancy or really that impressive. The tastes are simple but there's not really any wow factor in what they do. The staff and service was great, but the price was actually quite staggering (over $40) for what we got. While I can't really say awful things, I can say I do prefer some of the other burger places a bit more.