I’ve been to this conveniently located Crown establishment a few times with Macca and the divine Ms M. The rainbow arches glow welcomingly from next to the Yarra, reminiscent of a high-end, grown-up Golden Arches.
And the food doesn’t disappoint. My favourite quality about their burgers is their bun. Their damper buns are soft and pillowy, just right density and consistency to catch all the amazing beef juices and sauce. Of all the hipster burger joints (Huxtaburger, Bottom End…the list goes on) the bun at the Merrywell stands out because it’s thick and sturdy and won’t disintegrate into a mush of wet cardboard underneath the sizeable beef pattie. In comparison, though the burgers at the other bars have their own highlights (spicy toppings, brioche bun) I must say the bun at the Merrywell is hard to beat (but easy to eat!).
And did I mention that their beef pattie is thick and juicy and served slightly pink in the middle? It’s hard to find these days, with the over-commercialisation of the humble burger and concerns about food safety. It’s so juicy that the first bite will literally leave you reaching for the tissues to mop up all that deliciousness running between your fingers.
On our last excursion to the bar, Ms M and I had a burger each, cocktails, and fries and onion rings to share. The blowout? $70. Yep, that’s pretty good value for a tasty, filling meal for two at the touristy end of town. Incidentally, the fries and rings were fried crispy and golden, just enough for that great crunch but not gum-stabbingly sharp. And seasoned spot on.
Speaking of cocktails, I have to get a word in about their alcoholic milkshakes, oh seriously are they good! They’re rich and creamy but with a slight zingy after kick. It’s like being a kid at the local milk bar but with the nice light buzz that you get from tipsy-ness on a sunny Melbourne Saturday. No better feeling!
The interior also alludes to a relaxed but on trend burger bar, US style with high backed chairs and cosy wooden tables. The cute little red baskets that the burgers/fries/rings come in are also reminiscent of the States. There’s an area of couches and sofas but we’ve always opted for the semi-outside area with open windows where you can stare out into the Yarra and ponder all the passing tourists.
Ms M and I have also dined for dinner at their upstairs establishment. The food was high quality, and the warm ambience created by the gentle candlelight bouncing off the glossy interiors is represented on the menu by a slight increase in price. My only searing memory of the night was that the BBQ pork ribs came with a sizeable triangular slice of fresh watermelon. Refreshing but for my Anglo-Australian palate, somewhat bizarre.
Overall, my preference is to “slum it” with the trendy, hipster bar downstairs but for a special romantic occasion, upstairs would be the go.
Live long and love food!
Overall TB percentage: 77.5%, rising star!