The search for the perfect burger is about as close to a literal interpretation of “local flavour” as one can get. Fortunately, in Perth one does not have to travel too far, unless one does not live deep in the eastern corridor, in which case one does. But, it’s well worth the kilometres on the clock to make the trek to Alfred’s Kitchen, on James Street in Guildford.

The kitchen. The legend.
The kitchen. The legend.

Alfred’s has been in operation since 1946, first out of a small caravan and later moving to its current bricks-and-mortar premises. An unassuming building, Alfred’s is truly a well kept local secret, but still one that apparently plenty of people share. Reports of large crowds abound, and my dining companion, who was responsible for this introduction into the world of Alfred’s, assures me that you can sometimes expect to wait a couple of hours for your order. However, if my Hamburger with Cheese and Bacon ($10.20) was to be believed, it is well worth the wait. We were lucky enough to arrive fairly early, so the wait wasn’t any more than a few minutes, and when our order number, “EM FORTY SEVEN!” echoed across the quiet streetscape, I grew excited.

I admit to a little initial skepticism – I’ve eaten a lot of burgers in my time, and many have been contenders for best burger ever. However, after the first mouthful, Alfred’s immediately shot into my top 5. This burger tasted just like those we used to eat at home when I was a little kid – the power of nostalgia knows no bounds. The amount of cheese was perfect, and it melted in that perfect way that brings out the flavour but doesn’t turn it into an elastic band of facial cleanliness ruination. The hamburger patty itself was also spot on – mince not too finely ground so you can really feel like you’re eating more than just a Whopper. The salad was fresh and crisp, there wasn’t too much sauce, and the bacon didn’t overpower. All in all, this is what a good burger should be. Not something at risk of exploding the moment you take a bite out of it, but nor was it something lacking substance. As for value, well, I was more than happy with the price and product received – having paid more in the past for a smaller return I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the burger and amount of contents within.

In terms of a broader experience of local flavour, it doesn’t get more local than a beaten up Mitsubishi Lancer driving by with “the bird” hanging out of the window – ah, those laconic Aussies. But if you can get past this brazen flouting of societal standards, I’d highly recommend a trip out to Alfred’s Kitchen. They have over 40 combinations of burger, so there’s guaranteed to be something for you.

Alfred’s Kitchen
Cnr Meadow St & James St
Guildford WA 6055

Open 7 days
Sun to Wed – 5pm to 12 Midnight
Thursday – 5pm to 1am
Friday to Saturday – 5pm to 3am

Inspired by The Daily Post’s prompt, Local Flavor.