Originally published on Broadsheet.
A new Greek local that pays homage to the man who opened Australia’s first milk bar.
“We’re a bit of a shock to the people of Oakleigh,” says co-owner Michael Koutroulis.
Maybe it’s because Mick Adams’ Burger Bar is the first burger joint on Portman Street in Oakleigh’s food precinct. Amid trusted Greek eateries Vanilla, Nikos Quality Cakes and Orexi, Mick Adams’ has a lot to prove.
The restaurant is named after Joachim Tavlaridis (who later adopted his Anglo moniker), the Greek immigrant who opened Australia’s first milk bar in Sydney, 1932.
“After Mick travelled to America, he wanted to bring the concept of the liquor store down under, without the alcohol. We’re trying to do the same thing, bringing something new to Oakleigh,” Koutroulis says.
Koutroulis owns Mick Adams’ with his uncle, Theo Raptis (they’re the same duo behind behind Santoni Pizza in Hawthorn). The pair has encompassed what it means to be Greek through their burgers.
In Greek tradition children are named after family members; here it’s the burgers.
If you want a bite of the head chef’s brother-in-law, order the Spicy Jorge. Koutroulis’ dad? That’s the Petey Sweetie. Or for a taste of Koutroulis’ brother, ask for Anthony the Greek – pulled lamb with pickled cucumbers, olive pesto, lettuce, feta cheese and mint yoghurt – it’s the restaurant’s signature.
The shop has modernised the KFC burger, creating its own Kostaki Fried Chicken – spicy fried chicken with avocado, chilli jam, radish and coriander.
So your burger doesn’t get lonely, there are truffle parmesan chips and chilli-cheese fries on offer. The restaurant also makes fresh Nutella-filled bombolini.
Designed by Breathe Architecture (Chez Dre, Transformer, Captain Melville), the long 60-seater eatery is relaxed – a place you can take your family or friends and indulge in some Greek-American-Australian creations.
“By the time summer comes, another 15 seats will be available outside,” Koutroulis says. The outdoor mall may be the perfect setting to indulge in a Hawthorn Brew (on tap) or a butterscotch milkshake before you are taken over by a post-burger carb coma.
Mick Adams’ Burger Bar
38 Portman Street, Oakleigh
(03) 9563 0331
Image credit: Linsey Rendell