Trunk Bar and Restaurant – 275 Exhibition St, Melbourne

Posted: May 31, 2014 in Burger Hunt
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Another Friday night, another burger hunt, this time with Jo and Damo. Trunk Bar and Restaurant is a place that has come up in conversations with friends on a number of occasions – it’s been recommended to me by at least three people, so the choice of venue for this weeks burger was a pretty easy one. Located in the CBD on the corner of Little Lonsdale st and Exhibition st, Trunk Bar and Restaurant is really two venues. You have a more upscale restaurant inside the old synagogue building that date’s back to the 1850’s, and then the “Diner” which is located outside under a huge tree. Apparently, Trunk is also home to Melbourne biggest beer Garden – which is a good thing as the place was packed when Jo and I arrived at 6:30pm. Thankfully we managed to snag a table out the front right under a heat lamp and protected by umbrellas (It rained a little bit so we were thankful for the protection).


The Diner menu is an American inspired offering, with options such as chilli cheese dogs, Mac and Cheese and Ribs just to name a few. I dutifully ignored all of these and focused solely on the burger options. Jo decided to jump ship and went for the BBQ wings and the Chilli cheese fries – Faithful Damo stayed the course, and we both ordered burgers. Now when it comes to Burgers, Trunk have this choose your own adventure vibe going on. You have the choice of the standard burger which is described on the menu as – 175gram Fresh Ground Wagyu beef, grilled brioche, baby cos lettuce, thick cut tomato & house-made pickles – $10 but no sides and no cheese. (We ordered the Mac and Cheese with Bacon to go with it – very good!!) You can also supersize the burger which is double everything ($19). You then choose your cheese should you so desire it ($1.50), and extras such as bacon, caramelised onion etc… ($2.50). I decided that I was hungry so I went the supersize option, with monterey jack cheese, bacon and caramelised onions. My reaction when they brought out the burger was a little bit Steve Irwinesque – “Crikey she’s a beauty” would be an apt description. The thing towered over the plate – clearly impossible to eat unless you have the ability to dislocate your jaw…

The interesting thing about the Burger apart from the size is that Burger comes somewhat unassembled – by that I mean that the salad items and sauces are all on the side – so the burger that arrived was just the meats, cheese and caramelised onion in the bun.

If you wanted sauce , the salad items, pickle etc… you have to assemble that yourself. For ease of eating I removed the top patty and ate that separately, I added the lettuce and pickle (Which was really good), and started from there. I’ve got to say, that by not going with any condiments to start with, you really give the patty nowhere to hide – and boy am I glad.
I mean, sometimes you just have to let the beef do the talking – no fancy sauces, not crazy condiments – just good quality Beef. That’s what the burgers at Trunk are all about. Possibly the best beef patty I’ve had so far on the burger hunt. It was juicy and beefy, perfectly cooked, pink in the middle. You knew that this was top quality beef, no filler, no spices to hide behind, just grade A beef.

About halfway though Damo convinced me to try some of the spicy Habanero sauce with the burger – why I listen to this guy I will never know. This is the same friend who when we were in year 10 decided that it would be “fun” if we brought the hottest chilli from the supermarket and then ate them whole. I recall he told me just before we put them in our mouths, “It’s fine I’ve done it before – you’ll experience some mild discomfort at most – make sure you chew the seeds…” Mild discomfort! How about lava like heat for an hour – running home to mum screaming, every breath like the fires hell kind of discomfort and you get about 10% of the picture. Anyway, so I put some of the Habanero sauce on my burger, not bad, but damn spicy… But really, these burgers don’t need fancy sauces, the quality of the meat and the smokey notes from the bacon, the sweetness from the onions, the creamy cheese and the sharpness from the pickle, the freshness from the salad all combine to make one hell of a burger. My one gripe was probably the bun – in this case you get a lightly toasted Brioche, but it’s a little on the sweet and cakey side, which just didn’t work as well with the really beefy patty, perhaps if I’d added a BBQ sauce it might have worked. Honestly though, I’m just being overly critical. Anyway, do yourself a favour and go and get one next time you are in the area – I’d give this burger an 8.5.

Trunk Diner on Urbanspoon

  1. wow. now I feel sick. Do try out New york Burger Minute

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