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Pubs hop to the hot cross buns challenge

Pubs and bars across Sydney are getting into the Easter hot cross bun spirit this year. And what do you get when you combine pub with hot cross buns?

Why, a hot cross bun burger of course.

According to Good Food, light banter between two chefs on Instagram, the online photo-sharing service, has set off a challenge which pubs and bars across Sydney are taking up during Easter.

Mitchell Davis was the head chef at the Landmark Hotel in Eastwood when the 2013 Pub Food Guide included it in its list of top five burgers in the state. She recalled how Jamie Thomas from the Drink ‘N’ Dine group was posting burger images on Instagram and tagging her in them, saying he would get her for the top five burger award.

“We had a bit of a banter and I thought, “righto kind sir” and suggested a challenge. Last year when I was at the Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen (in Chippendale) I did a hot cross bun burger at Easter time. It was a Moroccan chicken burger and we sold a whole stack of them. So I said, “well, why not do a Hot Cross Bun Burger Challenge?”’, she said.

 “The rule is basically to come up with a burger that has to be on the menu and sold to the general public over Easter. And, you know, just go nuts with it. It’s great, what started off as a gentleman’s bet has spiralled out of control. All sorts of things are being made. My baker is making me bigger hot cross buns just for this.”

Pubs and bars have already started putting their spin on burger variations. Davis’s The Dolphin Hotel in Surry Hills has come up with the ‘Hot Cross Burn’ with Angus beef patty, pork-stuffed battered jalapenos, cheddar and habanero hot sauce.

North Sydney’s Commodore Hotel has a ‘Hot Cross Bunny’ made of beer-braised rabbit, crumbed Portobello mushroom, streaky bacon and a Creole mustard sauce. And then there is The General Gordon in Sydenham which has the ‘Hot X General’, with pulled pork, apple fritter, slaw and harissa mayonnaise.

According to Thomas, Adam Cremorne at the Abercrombie has devised a burger called ‘The Last Supper’. It’s a hot cross bun with a double patty, pulled barbecue beef brisket, cheese fondue sauce, deep-fried pickles, lettuce, tomato, mustard and ketchup.

“It’s basically the burger you’d eat if it was your last meal,” Thomas said.

If this is a burger competition, naturally there has got to be a winner. But no one knows exactly how this will be decided.

“I dunno. You can’t tell by sales because some pubs are just naturally busier than others. Unless someone comes round and eats at them all?” Davis suggested.

Blue Gum's Ben Varela on the other hand has a pub crawl in mind.

“Go round to each other’s pubs and have a taste?”

The hot cross bun burgers will be posted on Instagram under the #hotxchallenge tag.

Image source: Good Food

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