Big J’s Takeaways
I knew that Big J’s must be something different than your average burger bar when colleague May-Lee Wong mentioned that she wanted to check this place out, too! Yes, this is a takeaway, but there are a couple of tables available to eat in, so I figured that Big J’s qualified for a review.
First, set your GPS and trust it to take you to an obscure location in suburban Mt Wellington. Big J’s is located in a small strip shop development in a quiet residential street. This hasn’t stopped it from having a steady stream of customers and a large fan-base on its Facebook site.
What sets Big J’s apart is the owner/chef’s approach to burgers as “real food”. There are the usual Bacon and Egg Burgers, toasted sandwiches and deep fried food items, but the burger menu also includes burgers with freshly sauteed mushrooms, marinated rump steak, marinated chicken breast and fresh fish burgers.
Every week Big J’s has a featured burger, a wrap and a hot dog and the information is posted on its Facebook site. This week was on a chili theme using Fire Dragon Chillies. I knew that my husband and daughter would not try this out but I boldly ordered the Special Mango Chicken Burger with Bacon, Chillies, Mango Salsa and Camembert. My husband ordered the plain marinated Chicken Breast and Bacon burger ($7) while our daughter was perfectly catered for with the Big J’s Kiddie Burger ($3) – “no Yuk stuff”!
We also ordered a side of fries ($2) with a choice of salt (!) and the battered homemade onion rings (6/$2.50). Although I was tempted, we passed on the homemade cheesecake ($4) and the homemade fruit trifle ($3.50). There were also pottles of coconut raw fish ($5.50), smokey potato and bacon salad ($3) and surimi pasta salads ($3) in the cooler.
Our order was well wrapped for our journey home although our daughter did scoff her burger in the car. It ticked all her boxes in that it was only the burger, cheese, tomato sauce and the bun.
Once we unwrapped our order we could see that Big J’s burgers are, well, big! The Chicken and Bacon Burger was a chicken breast that had been well cooked and a large piece of bacon, along with lettuce, tomato, fried onions, aioli and sauce. My husband was satisfied with the burger although due to the size of it and all the sauces, it did start to fall apart in his hands.
I should have listened to the friendly warning of the chef regarding the chilli heat of the Special Chicken Burger. The chillies were so hot that even though I scraped off many of them, the burger was still too hot for me to eat. Such a shame!
The onion rings were the real thing with a light batter coating and the chips were OK – I would have preferred both the onion rings and the chips to have been a little crispier. That is just my preference.
If we lived a little closer, I would happily return to try one of the prime beef burgers ($5-$8) or the fish burger ($7.50-$8.50) with fresh battered fish and homemade tartare sauce. Or we could return to stock our freezer with their homemade lasagne tray or homemade cottage pie tray ($13 or 2/$24).
Big J’s offers quality takeaway food made with pride – check out their Facebook site for the week’s specials and then make a visit. But watch out for those chillies!