Lunch @ Lounge/Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Service is almost non existent at this restaurant… when my mate D and I arrived, we were a bit lost because there was a worker at the bar who didn’t bother to greet or even look at us, so we just seated ourselves. Ordering is at the front counter and a staff member just comes out, places your plate on the table and leaves, that’s it. No communication. In addition, the parma I had was mediocre at best (I wouldn’t mind trying the “kickass burger”, which has received rave reviews). The only attractive aspect of Lounge/Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen that could possibly convince me to come back is the ridiculously chill environment of the restaurant. It definitely lives up to its name “Lounge” ahah. The venue is spacious, rustic and just a great place to socialise and have a beer with your mates. Other than that, it’s pretty average.

Chicken Parma ($10 on Mondays, original price is $20.50) – Parma with house-made slaw and crinkle cut fries.
Every component was very lacklustre and just down right uninspiring. Nothing excited my taste-buds… the parma was dry and it was very difficult to cut into with my knife. I’m pretty sure the fries are just the typical McCain frozen crinkle cuts or something of the like, and the slaw tasted like cabbage mixed with mayonnaise. No love and care were seen that day (lol). Even though I only paid $10, I expected the parma to be at least a tad better than this. I wouldn’t pay $10 again for this dish, let alone $20.50. Very disappointing meal.

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3.5/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 3.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – not worth it
Service – not sure how to judge… there wasn’t a service?
Atmosphere – chill, social, relaxed
Overall experience – 3.5/10

Interested?
Lounge/Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen (American)
243 Swanston St, Melbourne (CBD)
(03) 9663 2916
Open Monday to Friday 12PM-10PM, Saturday & Sunday 2PM-10PM
http://gloriaswanstons.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/gloriaswanstonskitchen
Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

 

From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Dinner @ Burger Culture

Burger Culture is a great local place to pop in when you’re around the area on a nice warm day. They have great tasting burgers and lovely tables and chairs that will make you feel like you’re at home. Though I’ll be honest, the staff were quite mundane and didn’t really open up to the customers.

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Chips w/ dipping sauces ($5) – thick cut chips ($4) sprinkled w/ crushed salt and rosemary served with culture mayo & chilli mayo dipping sauces ($0.50c each)
Chips were mediocre. The smaller sized chips had a great crunch, but the longer chips could’ve been cooked for longer in my opinion. The chips also needed a tad more salt and rosemary for the flavours to really come alive. The dipping sauces had a thicker consistency than the usual creamy sauces… which I didn’t mind that much. It just made it harder to really dip the chips in, so I would’ve preferred a more creamier texture. The flavours of the mayo dips were the standard mayo with a few added spices, nothing unique or memorable.

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6.5/10

A.T’s meal:
‘The Spartan’ Beef Culture Burger ($9.50) – lean beef, roasted capsicum, fetta cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, tzatziki, kalamata olives, & tomato relish in a wholemeal bun

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My meal:
‘New Yorker’ Beef Culture burger ($9) – 
lean beef, caramelised onions, swiss cheese, tomato lettuce, tomato relish & culture mayo in a wholemeal bun
The meat was cooked well and I liked how all the ingredients tasted together. Standard burger which tasted great, one thing I would say is that it would’ve been much better if the dip was creamier because I found that the burger was quite dry. I’m really impressed on how they assembled the burger as everything was stacked carefully on top of each other and it was cleaner and easier to eat.

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8/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 7.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – cheap
Service – 5/10
Atmosphere – casual, beachy/local diner
Overall experience – 7/10

Interested?
Burger Culture (American/Burgers)
3 Cole Street, Williamstown
(03) 9397 7156
Open Monday to Sunday
http://www.burgerculture.com.au/
http://www.facebook.com/burger.culture
Burger Culture on Urbanspoon

Have a happy new year everyone!
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Lunch @ Laurie Dee’s

A.T and I decided to stop by Laurie Dee’s for lunch after my induction for a volunteer job at Pacific Epping (a place very far away from my home and where I would never imagine visiting, let alone working… but so glad I do now!). One of the best discoveries to date! Such a casual and quiet environment, Laurie Dee’s is a mix between an American diner and a fast food chain. I think the travel distance in those early mornings have now become well worth it when I know burgers as good as these are waiting for me at the end of the day.
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Chilli Cheese Fries ($8.95) – shoestring fries w/ Laurie Dee’s special seasoning and topped w/ mild beef chilli, cheese sauce and salsa fresca.
Both A.T and I agreed that the fries were tasty but also pretty average as well (and overpriced in my view, they were more expensive than the burger!). We both hoped for something spicier… it is called ‘Chilli’ Cheese Fries for a reason. I did enjoy the flavours and freshness of the ingredients blended together and found the shoestring cut of fries much easier and more addictive to eat than a thicker cut, so great choice of fries on their part!

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7.5/10

The Laurie Dee Burger (single patty $7.95) – angus beef minced patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, Special D sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles & tomato relish.
A.T (who ordered the same burger) – when asked to review the burger, A.T thought it was appropriate and relevant to quote Marshall from How I Met Your Mother and also said that it was the best burger he has tasted to date.
TwT (me) – I would arguably agree… but at the same time, I haven’t tried many burgers in my lifetime. This juicy, sloppy, wholesome burger was just oozing of fatty goodness (though the only downfall was the oil, which kept dripping down the burger… it was one messy feast). Salty and tenderly cooked meat minced on the day, an added sour flavour and crisp of the pickles, the freshness of the tomato and lettuce, tying together with Laurie Dee’s genius combination of tomato relish and their creamy special D sauce which was special indeed. This bad boy was wrong for me in every way but tasted oh so right. A complete upgraded version of a typical American fast food burger, The Laurie Dee is great value for your buck! Definitely coming back very soon… I am already craving.

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9/10

Frozen Vanilla Bean Custard (single cup $2.95) – what a terrible way to end such an amazing meal. Their frozen custard just tasted like… well frozen custard. I could not taste the vanilla bean at all, it was just awfully sweet and milky. Very very sickening, both of us could only finish half of our cups and that was pushing it (we tried so hard to get through it, we really did). The only thing I liked was the ice-creamy texture.

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5/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 8/10
Price (based on food quality) – very reasonable
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – casual, diner/fast food
Overall experience – 8/10

Interested?
Laurie Dee’s (American/Burgers)
Shop RE 03 Urban Diner, Pacific Epping Plaza, Epping
(03) 9408 0196
Open Monday 11AM – 5PM, Tuesday to Thursday 11AM – 9PM, Friday & Saturday 11AM – 10PM, Sunday 11AM – 8PM
Accepts Card
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laurie-Dees/211821058881980
Laurie Dees on Urbanspoon

From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Dinner @ Phat Brats

A.T and I decided to eat at Phat Brats because he has always wanted to go back after trying it once some time ago. Phat Brats has high ceilings and brick walls, emitting a casual and rustic feel. The worker was patient, friendly and very helpful with the menu. The food is quite average, but definitely worth a try if you’re around the area and in the mood for fast food that isn’t your typical Maccas or KFC.
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Chilli Fries (regular – $8.50) – fries with spicy beef, chilli sauce, sour cream, spring onion and additional cheese (+$1). 7.5/10
Chilli fries were quite tasty and great to snack on in between conversations. The fries were similar to schnitz chips; they were flat and wide, creating a nice crunchiness and the right amount of potato inside so it wasn’t sickening. The sauces, cheese and the beef mixed well especially with this particular cut of fries. 
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Chilli Dog ($9.90) – wagyu beef sausage, spicy beef, cheesy sauce, chilli sauce and spring onion in wholemeal bread.  6.5/10
The Chilli Dog was very boring, there wasn’t anything in the hot dog that stood out and made it memorable. Everything was rather average (though the meat was nicely cooked, quite soft and not dry at all!) and there wasn’t enough spice for that extra kick.
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The Phat Brat ($9.90) – bratwurst sausage, pulled pork, BBQ sauce and apple slaw in wholemeal bread. 7.5/10
The bread roll wasn’t stale but it wasn’t entirely soft and fresh either… just mediocre. The fillings they chose for The Phat Brat creates a great combination though! The sausage was meaty and tender, slaw added texture and moisture with the added BBQ sauce, matching well with the soft pulled pork. The slaw was the hero of the dish for me, without it, The Phat Brat would’ve been very plain. 
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T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 7/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – rustic, casual
Overall experience – 7.5/10

Interested?
Phat Brats (American, Hot Dogs)
320 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9419 5526
Open Monday to Thursday, & Sunday 12PM – 12AM, Friday & Saturday 12PM – 3.30AM
http://phatbrats.com.au/
Phat Brats on Urbanspoon