Review: Master Tom’s Espresso Burger Bar, Albert Street (Brisbane, Australia)

On our way to the Riverside Markets at the Gardens (reviewed that experience here), my husband and I happened to chance upon Master Tom’s. After looking at the menu, we agreed to come back here for lunch once we were done checking out the Riverside Markets. Guess we should’ve looked up the reviews on this place before making that decision.

Street view of Master Tom's Espresso Burger Bar

What initially caught my attention was the interesting cabana-style outdoor seating, as well as the choice of colour and furnishings that gave off a chill beach vibe. It seemed like a nice cosy cafe, with some sofa seats lining the outside area along the street. In addition, the prices on the menu were pretty reasonable.

Street view of Master Tom's Espresso Burger Bar

Seating area at Master Tom's Espresso Burger Bar

It was the food that was their weakest link. We both ordered a burger each, one with chicken and one with beef. I had never tasted a beef patty so bland and flavourless as the one I had here, and the house sauce on it didn’t help at all (in fact, I wasn’t sure what was in that house sauce but it tasted weird and confusing). As I mentioned in an earlier review of Betty’s Burgers (whose burgers are phenomenal, read about it here), I think that it’s really hard to make a burger taste bad. But eating here has sinced changed my opinion on that.

The chicken was also not seasoned well enough, though it did taste slightly better than my beef patty. The flavours here all seemed very hesitant and unclear, as if the chefs didn’t put much thought into what exactly they wanted their food to taste like.

Chicken and beef burgers at Master Tom's Espresso Burger Bar

My overall rating of the experience: 2 out of 5 stars. Besides the affordable prices, everything else was really unimpressive. The food was the most lacking aspect of this experience, it was pretty much a let’s-get-this-over-and-done-with type of meal. Because of how the food tasted, I couldn’t really enjoy the chill ambience the cafe had to offer. All I was thinking about was where else we could grab some yummier bites to make up for this unappetizing lunch. Maybe this place would be suitable if you’re looking for something quick and cheap, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it.

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