In Short: Inferno Grill’s fantastic location is right in the heart of Maroubra with ample parking nearby. Its American diner-style menu, with ice-cream, and mind blowing thick-shakes are the perfect treat, but their burgers are truly worth the journey, no visit is complete without one.
For many years I have been coming to Maroubra in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Its beach is long and inviting, and seldom overly crowded as many other eastern suburbs beaches can get. Mahon Pool on the northern end can be an exciting place to be when the swell is up. There’s a real relaxed, family friendly vibe to the suburb. Less than 5 minutes from the beach on Anzac Parade is Inferno Grill. Opened in December 2013, designed and owned by two brothers, Michael and Anthony Parzakonis. The diner is fitted with dark wood custom-made tables, solid black circular lamp shades, with vintage posters of classic cars and retro themed vignettes of Maroubra hanging on the wall.
With years of experience in running cafe’s, including Chicane in the CBD and Altitude Espresso in Mascot, the menu is innovative and quite alluring. The alluring bit, is just few paragraphs down, trust me! We had the opportunity to sit down with Anthony and talk to him about Inferno Grill and what brought him to Maroubra. He saw the site as an opportunity to have an eatery on the busy Anzac Parade, with lots of foot traffic passing by. Anthony and Michael split managing the restaurant with a one-day-on, one-day-off approach, and in talking to Anthony he is all about work life balance, which many of us aspire to. What I learned about Anthony was his passion for food. There’s an excitement when he talks about his menu and when presenting food to his customers. He also takes time to talk to his customers and engage with them. He’s traveled extensively and draws on that when designing the menu. Little innovations like maple glazed bacon, or fried pita bread and crumbed mozzarella really does elevate each of the dishes that contain these ingredients and techniques.
Anthony has pedigree with making coffee, so I ask him to do his thing and make me up a flat white. Served in a latte style glass, it’s handsome to look at. Robust flavours at first, with a creamy finish, it’s all a coffee should be. There are small pangs of acidity, but in no way does it tend towards bitterness.
Feeling nostalgic from time spent in North Carolina and Texas, and visits to diners in those states, I am compelled to pick out a thick shake to complement our food choices. I have a soft spot with anything related, so the Choc Peanut is an easy choice. The familiar flavours of chocolate and peanut combined with milk makes this a rich, sweet yet slightly salty milk shake that is both sweet and savoury at the same time. It doesn’t get too pasty, and I love the flavour of the roasted peanuts that is prominent with each sip.
To start off our food adventure at Inferno Grill we go with the Greek Nachos. I am blown away with the delicious pita bread, seasoned with oregano, fried ’til crispy golden brown and cut into long triangles. It seems so simple, I wonder, why didn’t I think of that? It’s the out-of-the-square approach that allows this dish to transcend most other nacho dishes. It’s topped with red onions, fresh salsa, feta and home make tzatziki sauce and a whole lot of delicious tender pulled beef that has been slow cooked for 6 hours. To describe these nachos, phrases like “finger licking good” and “nacho heaven” would come to mind.
Inferno Grill are renowned for their burgers. From beef to chicken and even a veggie burger, they have it all covered on the burger front. But these are not your ordinary burgers. Inferno Grill’s burgers are usually so full of ingredients, it would need to be held together by a skewer running through the middle of the burger! But size aside, the flavours of these burgers are out of this world good!
Take for example, The Boss Hogg burger. If you are a beef burger lover, this is the burger that may sit above all others. With two beef patties, double bacon, crumbed mozzarella, topped with Inferno Grill’s signature Big Yakk sauce, relish and pickles, this is a burger lover’s dream come true. The beef patty is rich and juicy, and the bacon nicely cooked with a maple glaze to give it an additional contrast of sweetness.
What makes this burger stand out though, is the huge square of crumbed mozzarella sitting in between the patties, which means this burger needs to be eaten hot, within seconds of it arriving at your table. The reason being, when you cut into the burger with the knife, the melted mozzarella cheese will ooze out of its crumbed shell, coating the knife and burger with cheesy goodness. Sounds heavenly and decadent? That’s because it is just that. This burger is definitely da boss!
If it’s a chicken burger you are after, one of Inferno Burger’s signature is The Clucking Pig. In case you are wondering why a chicken burger has pig in its name, its because crispy fried pieces of chicken, seasoned with Inferno Grill’s own secret herb and spices, are paired with maple glazed bacon and complemented with coleslaw, chilli and aioli. Speaking of chilli, this burger packs a punch that creeps up on you gradually, but in a good way. It’s another epic burger with a ton of flavour.
All of Inferno Grill’s burgers are made with a bun that is a cross between a Turkish pide and Italian ciabatta. While soft milk buns are all the rage at the moment, Inferno Grill experimented and accounted for the fact that all of Inferno Grill’s burgers usually have sauces to complement the meat, hence they opted for a bread that is soft yet still able to keep its form, despite being stacked with ingredients.
For a little extra, you can turn your individual burger meal into a combo by choosing from onion rings, thick cut chips or salad, and a can of soda or water. Inferno Grill has a large selection of salads to choose from and you can hardly go wrong with a side of thick cut chips, but if you are up for something different, I would highly recommend Inferno Grill’s onion rings as they are some of the best I have tasted, outside of America! Crunchy, crispy, golden batter coated around rings of seasoned onion, it was so good that I even managed to convince little Coco and Viner Sammi, who doesn’t usually like onions, to try it and she actually asked me for seconds!
If burgers aren’t your thing, and you’ve worked up an appetite, then it has to be the Greek Tasting Plate. It’s a real spread with lamb souvlaki, calamari, grilled haloumi cheese, Greek salad, fresh salsa, pita bread, and rosemary chips. It’s a generous serving of food with every element perfectly cooked. Souvlaki are tender pieces of marinated meat with a nice level of spice, and acidity of lemon cleansing the palate. Calamari, like the onion rings, are crispy and golden. The accompaniments all add up to a stomach filling, energy infusing and supremely satisfying meal.
We only skimmed the surface of the menu. We really appreciated the Mediterranean flavours and the chilli in some of the dishes. With BBQ chooks, salads, standout burgers, fish, including healthy grilled options and even home made ice creams for dessert, Inferno Grill is one stop that you should definitely make on the way back from the beach. It’s open late, so even if you’re reading this of an evening and the clock is showing 8pm, no problems, you have ’til 10pm to get to Maroubra to get a feed at Inferno Grill!
*Coco and Vine dined as guests of Ompty Media and Inferno Grill