Was on Chapel Street this Sunday just gone (yesterday) and had slightly more time than usual for lunch so I went with a friend to Soda Rock on the corner of Toorak and Chapel.
I know we didn’t have all that much time but we thought we had enough time to sit to eat our burgers, we had just on 30 minutes from when we walked in the doors till when we had to leave. It was 2.30 it the afternoon and things didn’t look busy, not that the place was empty, just that there were empty tables.
We sat at our table and quickly read the menu and put them down so it was apparent we were ready to order. This worked and we put in our simple order of a burger and coke each.
25 minutes left on the clock.
Our drinks promptly arrived and the classic 60’s service of the offered straw from the retro straw dispenser was cute.
20 minutes remaining.
I wasn’t all that thirsty so it took me about 10 minutes to drink the coke. But we hadn’t yet received our burgers. The burger isn’t a long process to prepare, I could see the well laid out burger ingredients all pre cut.
10 minutes remaining.
We resolve that we will give them another 2 minutes to serve our meals. If that isn’t sufficient time, 17 minutes to prepare a burger is too much, we’ll ask for them to go. This prompts a discussion of what are the essential qualities of an American Dinner that should be emulated. We both think that Dinners should be about quick seated meals, hrm..
I mean the place is very well presented, there is plenty of chrome molded into apropriate shapes and the bench seats in the booths really do look the part. There is even a little antique jukebox controller at the end of each booth proclaiming $1 – 2 plays. The silly Elvis statue and such do convince you that your in a 2000’s era tribute to the 50’s Dinner, why can’t they just try and convince you that your in the 1950’s?
More on those bench seats in the booths, they looked good, but they weren’t very comfortable. They were much too deep and the one I was using wasn’t firmly attached to the seat, so it slid forward as I slid into the seat. Enough of the distractions of the venue, its now time to get onto the burgers right?
8 minutes remaining.
We get up and ask for our burgers to be take away and pay for them at the register.
5 minutes remaining.
We start to get close to the point where we really need to be walking back to the tournament, but we know we can get away with missing a few minutes of deck construction.
2 minutes remaining.
Finally they give us our burgers in a bag and we start to quickly walk back to the tournament venue. I had ordered the Big Bopper (aka w/ the lot). I was expecting something decent as they were advertising them selves as “Melbourne’s ORIGINAL and BEST 100% BEEF BURGERS”. Unfortunately I was disappointed.
Two prime areas the burger fell down on: Firstly it was using a cheap sugary bun. This just doesn’t cut the mustard for a quality burger. I mean this was a $10 burger but it was using a bun barely better than McD’s. It just isn’t good enough. My eating companion pointed out that maybe that style of bun is authentic for the 50’s dinner, but I’d rather eat a burger that taste good.
Call me crazy.
Secondly the burger was taller than it was wide. I never agree with that shape, it was roughly 8cm wide and 13cm tall. That just makes the burger hard to get your jaws around.
For positive points, they were using good quality ingredients (other than the bun). So finally the score:
0.0 – No Burger :(
0.5 – McDonalds Cheese Burger
1.0 – Big Mac
1.5 – KFC Filler
2.0 – Any burger at Hungry Jacks
2.5 – Hogs Breath Cafe (Canberra Central)
3.0 – La Monicas (Mornington)
3.5 – Soda Rock
4.0 – Average Fish and Chips shop burger
5.0 – Good Fish and Chip shop burger
7.0 – BBNT burger
8.5 – Urban Burger
8.5 – Trims Cafe, McCrae
9.0 – Grill’d
Does anyone have any recommendations of Good Burgers?