Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Melbourne eats: Belle's Diner

It had been too long since my last visit to Melbourne so when a long weekend opportunity came up, I grabbed my bags and headed south for a few days of eating, drinking and generally taking in Melbourne.

So much has changed in the space of a few years in the Melbourne drinking and dining scene that I found myself at a bit of a loss as to how to prioritise restaurants and bars to visit. In the end, it ended up being mostly an Urbanspoon and GPS-driven adventure with a few pre-organised targets thrown in.

Belle's Diner, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Belle's Diner in Fitzroy was a social media find as I was easily enticed by the retro 1950s styled images and feel of the diner on funky Gertrude Street.

It was like moths to the bulb-lit 'diner' sign after a few drinks and bar hopping in the Melbourne CBD, and we ordered ambitiously with our not-entirely-sober eyes.

Salted caramel milkshake
I have pretty limited experience with salted caramel milkshakes so I can easily say that the one at Belle’s Diner was the best I've had to date.

A perfect balance of salt and caramel with just a hint of burnt toffee flavour, this glass of creamy, frothy milk was enough to keep me happy for the rest of the night.

Crispy Southern fried chicken with slaw
We ordered three mains between two of us (martinis make eating ambitions loftier, it seems) including, unsurprisingly, a fried chicken dish to deal with the earlier alcohol.

The Southern fried chicken comprised various cuts on the bone in a fresh, golden spiced batter, a bit dry in places but pretty darn awesome overall.

It was served with a house barbeque-ish sauce and red cabbage coleslaw that seemed unseasoned and undressed, somewhat detracting from the chicken and dish overall.

Corn fritters
I would have thought corn fritters to be more of a breakfast offering, but here they were at 10.30pm. The fritters themselves were completely forgettable with more floury dough than corn kernels, and a thick white sauce for the main flavouring.

Meanwhile the salad the fritters were served with came with extremely unripe, inedible cubes of avocado among the leaves, radishes and tomato.

Dinerr burger
The Dinerr burger was an epic, towering construction, spiked in place with a skewer. The burger's beef patty was certainly tasty with a good fat ratio, although it a little dry for being completely cooked through.

Playing stacks-on were melted cheese on the pattie, a fried egg, bacon, grilled pineapple ring, lettuce and sauce. On the whole, it was a tasty if not difficult to eat burger which would have been an ideal booze-soaker - had we not had two other mains on the table.

It might have been an off night but it seems there's a bit of retro style over substance at Belle's Diner - mostly forgiven with that salted caramel milkshake, though. More Melbourne eats posts to come.

Belle's Diner on Urbanspoon


Missy Piggy said...

I love Melbourne. There was a 10 year period where I didn't visit at all and now we seem to go every year (or twice a year even). Love the cafes/restaurants...and this place looks yum!

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

i would've been happy even if the salted caramel milkshake was the star of the place!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Salted caramel milkshake and a burger? Sounds like a perfect dinner!

Vivian - vxdollface said...

At least half the dishes were good! Shame about the fritter though :(

Tina said...

Hi Miss Piggy - Yes, I hope it's not as long between Melbourne drinks next time.

Hi Tina - Yup, should have stopped there ;)

Hi Lorraine - It was probably more like our supper... :D

Hi Vivian - Yeah, fritters like that put me off fritters altogether :/


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