Trunk Diner in Melbourne’s CBD is set up in the spacious courtyard of Trunk restaurant, and has a completely different menu and feel to the restaurant itself. The staff are very hipster and it’s all very “on trend”. There is, however there’s none of the attitude that usually comes with this and the service is friendly, fun, casual and efficient.
I really like the courtyard, and have been here on a few occasions for a drink, but never for food. It’s a great spot, and you can either sit at a table, or on a stool where you can watch the world go by on Exhibition street.
The menu at Trunk Diner is a mash up of the recent Mexican and “Dude Food” trends and features “the food people really love to eat” – cue burgers, hot dogs, kebabs, fried chicken, waffles, popcorn, nachos etc. There is also a selection of 20 rotating salads for those looking for something on the healthier side.
“CHILLI CHEESE DOG” Hotdog with ground Wagyu chilli con carne & cheddar cheese ($12.00)
This hotdog was really tasty. A standard soft hotdog roll filled with a tasty sausage and just the right amount of mine and cheese. The guacamole was $2 extra but I think was required to balance out the other flavours.
“EL GRINGO” Hotdog with jalapeño salsa & fresh mex cheese ($12.00)
My friend was quite happy with his choice, however he was expecting the jalapeño salsa to have more of a spicy kick than it did.
Onion Rings ($8.00)
The onion rings were disappointing. There wasn’t much flavour to them, and they were very doughy. We ate 2 each before deciding that it wasn’t worth finishing them. Less batter and a touch longer in the fryer would be a good start at improving them.
Chilli Cheese Fries ($9.00)
These were better than the onion rings, but still disappointing. The saltiness of the fries, mince and cheese combined was too much. I would suggest that the fries themselves do no need to be salted here. I’m also not convinced that pure cheddar is the right cheese to use here, and it doesn’t have that stringyness that you want when eating cheese fries. I would think that a 75% cheddar/25% mozzarella blend would work better.
A range of hotsauces on offer, including the ubiquitous El Yucateco green and red sauces from Mexico, which are always a welcome addition to a meal such as this.
Locally brewed Doss Blockos beer. Named after a group of underground brewers who squatted in the East Village in New York in the 1990s, and packaged in a paper bag, it’s all very hipster. Personally, I don’t care, as long as the beer is good – while nothing spectacular, Doss Blockos is a very sessionable lager and a good default option.
As a place to chill out and enjoy a drink, I still rate the courtyard at Trunk Diner highly and will happily return, however the hit and miss nature of the food means I won’t be rushing back to eat there. One look at the menu shows that it is, in my opinion, an example of trying to do too much. The ingredients are all quality, and the highlights, such as the hotdogs, were great. I think that a more focused menu would be a great place to start.
275 Exhibition Street
Mon – Fri: 7:00am to 10:00pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00am to 10:00pm