Tree of Us, Richmond

12/23/2015 , , 0 Comments

Tree of Us is a small burger joint/cafe in Richmond on Church St, on the tram 78/79 line or a five minute walk from the tram 109 line. The cafe prides itself on 'Sustainable sourced burgers and coffee everyday', and also has a good range of breakfast dishes to choose from. All burgers at Tree of Us are served on a noisettes brioche bun, and the beef patties served pink, so you'll have to tell them if you want it to be well cooked.

The cafe is actually a lot smaller than I thought - for some reason I was under the impression that it was a really large burger joint, so was quite surprised when I walked in. The cafe itself has a really cosy and simple design, with posters adorning the walls and 80s music playing in the background. This contrasts to most burger places I've been to, with upbeat music and a busy, bustling atmsophere. Tree of Us has a more relaxed environment, and although there were constant streams of people coming in and out, it never got super busy or crowded.

The place is obviously most well known for its burgers, but there's also a good range of breakfast dishes that's served all day. What I thought was great about the menu items was that they all had quirky names reflecting the theme of trees as per the name of the cafe. The burgers are called Tree Burgers, and there's also sliders/mini burgers cleverly named as Bonsai Burgers, and for sides of chips or onion rings, Twigs. Salads are referred to as Greenhouse, and the kid's menu Sprouts. There are also two dessert style burgers, in the Fruits of the Tree section. My friend and I both went with burgers; the Treehouse Burger with a side of onion rings ($11 + $4), and the Treehouse and Sweet Pea bonsai burgers ($6 each).

The treehouse burger consists of a beef chuck patty, lettuce, relish, mayo and a dill pickle. This was a really enjoyable burger with the perfect combination of flavours and textures that went really well together. The patty was extremely juicy with great flavours, and the relish has a slight sweetness to it; it was actually a bit like a tomato salsa like you'd have with nachos. There was just the right ratio of lettuce to patty to balance out the heavier flavours, and the brioche bun was perfect - slightly toasted for a bit of a crunch, with a subtle sweetness to it. The pickle finished the burger off nicely with its acidity.

The onion rings that I ordered to go with the burger were also really great, with an extremely thin and crispy batter. The onion rings themselves were very flavoursome as the batter had salt and rosemary on it, though it also came with aioli on the side. The onion rings did get a bit oily and heavy by the end, but were very delicious nonetheless.

My friend went with the two bonsai burgers, one of which was the same as the big treehouse burger I ordered, and the other was the Sweet Pea burger. This is a vegetarian burger, made up of a spiced sweet potato and chick pea patty (hence the name Sweet Pea) with a beet relish, caramlised onions, mayo, tomato and lettuce. The patty has good natural flavours but was a little bland, even though the menu stated that the patty was spiced. The caramelised onions and mayo did give it some flavour, but in general it felt like the burger had too much emphasis on its natural flavours, and didn't add enough seasoning. It was still quite enjoyable, and would be a great option for vegetarians.

I was really surprised at how affordable the burgers were, as a lot of burger places charge a fair bit more for the same portion. The burger was just right to make you feel satisfied but not bloated, and didn't really need that much water/a drink to help wash it down. The only slight downside with my experience here was that no one came to serve us when we came in, and we just went up to the counter ourselves and got the menus and sat down. We also weren't sure if we had to go up to order, or just pay at the end (maybe we were just a little impatient, as eventually one of the guys came to take our order!). I really enjoyed the burgers here, and would definitely come back again to try some of the other burgers on the menu. One thing that was also really cool about Tree of Us is their little burger loyalty cards - most cafes may have a loyalty card for the coffee, but here they have cards for both the coffee and the burgers - every tenth one is for free, which give you even more incentive to go back.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8.5/10
Price: 8.5/10

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