Grand Trailer Park Taverna Melbourne is one of the latest places to open in Melbourne that offers up the very on trend American “dirty food”. There have been a lot of these sorts of places opening up over the past year and with claims of “one of Melbourne’s best burgers” being repeated around town I thought I’d best get myself into the CBD to make up my own mind.
Housed in the space that used to be home to 1980s suburban themed Chinese restaurant “Happy Palace”, co-owner Josh Lefers has ditched the concept which never really took off and, with a not too overly drastic overhaul has converted the place into a indoors meets out doors East coast trailer park themed interior. The purposefully unfinished, raw and confused appearance shouldn’t work but it does, setting the scene for a chilled out, fun spot.
Food wise, Dani Zeini (formerly of Dandenong Pavilion) has created a simple one page menu. 9 burgers (with some rather interesting names), 6 desserts and 4 sides are complimented by a variety of alcoholic drinks including the enticing “spiked milkshakes” – Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Salted Caramel and Maple Bacon anyone?
“KSA” Burger ($13.50)
As regular readers of The City Lane know, I think that the best way to judge a place that professes to have great burgers is to get the “standard” one as it allows for an even playing ground.
The KSA is Grand Trailer Park Taverna’s version of the classic American hamburger. It’s an Australian beef patty with American cheddar cheese, tomato, butter lettuce, special burger sauce and American mustard on a lightly toasted brioche bun. What does KSA stand for? Well I can confirm is that it doesn’t stand for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Korea Science Academy, Kingsford-Smith Airport or Kosher Supervision of America. My friends and I asked and were told that KSA actually stands for “Kick Some Ass”.
What was my verdict on the KSA? Well I don’t think it’s Melbourne’s best burger – I still think that crown stays with the Raph from Beatbox Kitchen. There’s no doubt however that the KSA is a very good burger. The ingredients were well proportioned, it was very tasty and not too greasy. The burger was let down somewhat by the toasted bun which I thought was a bit too toasted – sacrificing softness for crunch. All in all though, a great burger that I’d happily eat again.
Potato Mac & Cheese Croquette ($4.20)
I really liked the potato mac & cheese croquette. The photo doesn’t really show the scale of this thing but it was a lot bigger than anyone at my table had anticipated. There was a lot of golden crunchy texture and the mac & cheese has a really good texture to it. It could have done with some more seasoning in my opinion (perhaps some pieces of the crispy bacon that’s on offer as a side?) but all in all I enjoyed it.
Nutella Waffle Stack ($9.00)
The Nutella waffle stack was really good. It consisted of waffles filled with Nutella parfait, whipped cream, fresh strawberries and Nutella sauce. The waffles were dense and crispy on the outside while soft on the inside and the parfait had a really nice smooth texture to it. All the ingredients came together really well and… well Nutella, need I say more?
There’s also an option that swaps out the Nutella for a peanut butter parfiat and salted caramel sauce.
It was the talk of Melbourne’s best burgers that lured me inside Grand Trailer Park Taverna and while that claim is a subjective one, there’s no doubting that the KSA at least is a great burger and a welcome addition to Melbourne’s scene. The sides and desserts were pretty decent too. On the drinks front there were a few issues around availability of a few items and warm beers/wines but as with any new place there will insatiably be some hiccups. Service was friendly and the atmosphere fun and lively – couple that with the tasty food and I’m sure I’ll be back.
…Also, I’ve heard murmurings that if you go up to order and ask for the “CB2 Guilty Pleasure”, which isn’t on the menu, that a rather amazing burger comes your way. Just don’t tell anyone that I let you in on the secret.
Grand Trailer Park Taverna
87 Bourke Street
Tue – Sat: 11:30am to 11:00pm