Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lunch at The Merrywell


The Merrywell
Corner of Clarendon St & Crown Riverside
Southbank, VIC 3006
Ph: (03) 9292-7468
Website

Last week I attended a fun bloggers' lunch at The Merrywell in Crown. Located on the Clarendon street side of the complex, and boasting some pretty sweet river and city views, The Merrywell is a big venue, with its two storeys housing a restaurant, burger bar, rooftop terrace and bar.


Both menus (upstairs: restaurant, downstairs: burger bar) focus on that style of hearty American comfort food that seems so popular in Melbourne right now - you know, burgers, fries, sandwiches, fried chicken and waffles, lobster rolls, buffalo wings...  This reminds me: I need to get some fried chicken and waffles in my life!

We were treated to a selection of food and drinks from the Downstairs Burger Bar menu, starting with some rather massive floats!

Spiders! From front to back:
Cherry Coke Float - Vanilla ice-cream, cherries - $7
The Merrywell Spider - Root beer, vanilla ice-cream - $7
Wake Up -  4 Pines stout, Espresso ice-cream - $12
These floats took me right back to my childhood. (Secret shame: I used to love those massive Blue Heaven Ice-Cream sodas from Pancake Parlour!) You can add vodka to the non-alcoholic ones for $5, but I thought that my Cherry Coke Float, with its masses of whipped cream, was already decadent enough for a Friday arvo! I don't normally go for cherry coke, but I really liked this float - it didn't taste like medicine or Dr Pepper at all. Win!  Fellow blogger I-Hua let me have a sip of her aptly titled Wake Up float, which contained stout and espresso ice-cream. Woah - delicious but really intense stuff. Strictly for grown-ups!

First up, foodwise, were three salads: Ceasar, Greek and Mexican Cobb.
Left to right: Caesar Salad, Greek Salad, Mexican Cobb Salad
With the exception of the Greek salad, (which intriguingly, contained dried figs), these were quite crisp, clean salads, which provided a welcome refreshing contrast to the heavy burgers.

And speaking of burgers... like most people on the table, I chose the Merrywell burger: a classic beef burger with lettuce, cheese, pickles, caramelised onion, tomato and a "special sauce". I thought the paper wrappers were quite cute, again tapping into a feeling of nostalgia with me.
The Merrywell - Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions, Tomato, Special Sauce, Bacon, Fries - $20
I soon realised, however, that the papers weren't just for aesthetic purposes, but practical ones too! The burger was super juicy and the paper helped to hold everything together.

It was such a tasty burger! I loved the juicy patty, the salty bacon, the sweet onions - it was all good! The only negative thing I can say is that the burger was so juicy that the bun got a bit soaked and it was tricky to eat (hence the need for the paper wrapper). Yes, my hands smelled of burger for the rest of the day, but it was so worth it.

Non-beef eater I-Hua didn't seem to have any such issues with her chicken burger though!
K.F. Club - Chicken, Bacon, Cheddar, Tomato, Mayo - $15
Also on the table were baskets of onion rings. I am a committed potato lover and never order onion rings myself, but I think I'd be able to make an exception for these. Crisp, hot, salty: they were good onion rings.
Onion Rings - $5

And not that we really needed more food at this point, but out came a huge platter of fish tacos!
Fish tacos - $14 each
I was pretty full, but bravely persevered and tried a fish taco, sharing it with one of the gang from the Bar Amigo blog. I wasn't particularly wowed by the taco - the tortilla didn't have that distinctive masa de maíz flavour that I love, and the fish itself was a bit mealy. It's not something I'd order myself.

And finally, desserts.  The Merrywell's shtick is that they serve their desserts in jars, and we got to try three of their range.
Lamington Trifle - $10
I really liked the lamington trifle, much more than I expected to! In amongst little cubes of moist lamington were a vanilla custard, whipped cream, a berry sauce, and strawberries. It was a lovely combination of flavours, and I loved the pop of the fresh berries. Definitely want to steal this idea for a future dinner party! 

Chai Creme Brulee - $10
The chai "crème brûlée" was a smooth custard infused with spicy chai flavours, and topped with a crackly disc of dark chocolate. I must admit it wasn't really my thing, but the chai-loving bloggers at my table really enjoyed it.

Chocolate Mousse - $10
The final dessert we tried was the chocolate mousse, which was very impressive.  It was incredibly smooth and creamy, intensely chocolatey but not too heavy. I loved it!
Chocolate Mousse
Needless to say I was absolutely stuffed after this massive lunch - I literally ate a bowl of lettuce for dinner, hehe. It was a fun afternoon, and it was really nice to catch up with bloggers and meet some new ones. Thanks to the team at The Merrywell and Chef Grant MacPherson for a great lunch!

Sarah dined as a guest of The Merrywell.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

Iron Chef Shellie said...

This place looks fantastic! I was busy scoffing myself at Melba instead. I think I'll have to drag the bf down here.. but burgers or fish tacos!... and dessert... zomg!

Kristine said...

OMG I am working at an exhibition near crown this weekend and my co-workers kept talking about this place- the penny just dropped that this is what they meant, as i read this! i am now uber excited to try it. thanks sarah! YAY!

cara waters said...

I went to the Merrywell recently and wasn't impressed. I didn't order a burger and perhaps that was my mistake = like you I thought the fish tacos were disappointing and the ribs and fried chicken I ordered were also a let down.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wow that burger looks fabulous! Pure burger porn :P I love floats too :)

Sarah said...

Shellie - Mmm.. I love Melba So much good eating there! Definitely go for a burger when you go to Merrywell, yum!

Kirstine - Enjoy! I think you'll love it. :)

Cara - Shame you didn't like it. I definitely think the burgers were better than the tacos! Thanks for the heads up about the fried chicken... I was thinking of going back for fried chicken and waffles, but might just stick to burgers!

Lorraine - Thanks! So messy to eat but so delicious! I used to make floats when I was a kid, I love the melty ice-cream! :)

xox Sarah

Ashley said...

Phwoar, your close up shot of the burger is mouthwatering! Yummyumm.... :D