Where: 273 Exhibition St Melbourne
When: Mon-Fri 7.30am-4pm, Weekends 8am-4pm
Contact: (03) 9663 7994
Payment: EFTPOS and CC
If Trunk Bar and Restaurant is too fancy pants for you, then you’ll dig its stingy little sibling; Trunk Diner. The philosophy behind the Diner is “food that people really love to eat”, meaning all that comfort stuff with none of the stuffiness. Even the Diner’s construction; a semi-permanent structure with plastic sheets for walls, appears to shake off the fancy frills of Trunk Restaurant just centimetres away. There’s a Mexican slant to the food and décor with a short quesadilla menu and a bucket of various hot sauces on each table. The cuisine even dabbles in Deep South with Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings ($12) and Waffles ($11) but brings it all home with imaginative vego options and Melbournite favourites like pulled pork and Wagyu beef burgers.
The clientele are mostly city-workers, who appreciate the fast service and reasonable prices. On a weekday morning during breakfast peak hour, we got our meals quickly, only our second coffee orders lagged behind. That said, they didn’t charge us for them. The staff were great and looked like they were enjoying themselves too, a good indicator of a quality place here to stay.
Scrambled eggs with bacon ($11)
So for breakfast we had classic, scrambled eggs with bacon ($11) and the Gluten-free Brookfarm muesli with poached pears and vanilla yoghurt ($7). The eggs were creamy and hot and the bacon had char-grilled stripes and plenty of fleshy parts (less fatty ones). Serves weren’t gut-busting weekend breaky-style but they weren’t too small either. Generally I got the impression that all the meals were practical and simple. The muesli was more than I could finish, and when I had eaten all of the yogurt on top I was offered more by the waiter. I would say that because the poached pears, yogurt and muesli were all sweetened, it was bordering on sickly sweet. A tangy yogurt or less sugary poached fruit would’ve perfected it.
Trunk Diner serves St Ali coffee, which is alright, but they use large cups so my cappuccino was milkier than I liked. While the coffee is a standard $3.50 the prices on the menu are cheap enough for regulars to eat here everyday and with far better quality than the cafés at the bottom of anyone’s office buildings. I don’t think much of the Diner’s plastic sheet walls, but they do have plenty of heaters and I’m sure it would be great in the height of summer. Next time I need an affordable feed with a smile I’ll be at Trunk Diner.
Brookfarm muesli with poached pears and vanilla yoghurt ($7)