Changz Canteen, Elsternwick

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By Mantis Kane  @Uflava


Changz – the name sounds distinctly oriental doesn’t it? When someone recommended them I wondered if this was the burger scene’s latest incarnation, a new slant – Asian burgers.

Seemed plausible. Why not? After all, Melbourne went through its burger saturation point a few years back, then carried on regardless. Much like house music, burgers aren’t going away; impervious to eulogies, predictions and death threats, continuing to spawn like stubborn bacteria.

In St Kilda alone, the spectrum of burger joints varies from fine dining patties to roadkill served between dry baps.

Changz has pitched itself at the more desirable end, in fact they’re hovering around the summit. Owners Tom and Joshua are two likely lads who have sculpted a business model around Star Wars, hip hop, branding irons, hot sauce and fabulous burgers.

Branding irons…? Let me explain.

When a market is overrun with competition, you need something that stands out, something above-and-beyond your core business. The Changz branding iron came into existence to burn the logo onto their wooden hot sauce holders – a neat, eye-catching gimmick that transmits all the brand touch-points: heat, smoke and no-nonsense indulgence. Footage is plastered over their Instagram and Facebook for your viewing.

After meeting the guys, I do however get the feeling it’s only a matter of time before the Changz branding iron get its true christening. Picture the scene: a few too many after-work beers, high spirits, laddish goading, bums exposed – the air thick with sizzling human skin. Ouch.

But don’t let me deter you. The boys are very personable, their customers shown a welcoming warm hand rather than a red hot reach-around.  And better still, are their burgers.

One in particular has been on speed dial since I visited. The Truffle & Mushroom Double Cheesey – it’s stuff of beauty. Well, not exactly beauty – more a big handsome juicy beast that reeks of truffles – like Matt Preston, minus the cravat.

Don’t be confused with the title, underneath the delicately fried enochi mushrooms are two unapologetic meat patties. Vegetarians retreat. It tastes unique – very rich, sweet and meaty, with the truffle undulating – all in one mouthful. Magic.

I tried to enquire what was in the sauce, but Tom (head chef and creator) wouldn’t divulge. It was so good I considered torturing the information out of him, using his own branding iron to negotiate with. But this was our first meeting, it’d have been extremely poor etiquette on my part. I settled for a locally brewed beer and some pork fries.

Next month, I’ll print the recipe, and a picture of his freshly branded buns.


Address: 256 Glen Eira Rd, Elsternwick VIC 3185







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