Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pepper Lunch, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

One lunchtime, we headed out to Pepper Lunch, which had recently (ie, in the past few months) opened.  I think we were all intrigued with trying this place, since previously it was this crappy motorcycle shop (which none of us had ever set foot inside).

Upon entering, I was kinda bamboozled.... a bit of sensory overload was happening to me.  You order at the counter, which has a fast food sort of set up and vibe – which was something I wasn’t expecting.   Despite having ordered many a McValue meal in my life, I was struggling to make sense of the menu at PL.   In summary, on offer, are deconstructed ‘burgers’ (without the bun) and a range of donburi.  In the end, I just bit the metaphorical bullet and placed my order and trusted that I’d get something tasty.

From what we could gather, PL is a fast-foodish Japanese chain.  The food looks interesting as most of the dishes came out on a sizzling plate which had a paper barrier/border/wrapping(?) surrounding it.  The food came out quite quickly and I think pretty much all of the dishes come with a dusting of ground white pepper.  

First up was Snooze's salmon teriyaki.....wasn’t overcooked and was very light.   She thought it was a good option compared with the other heavier options.  Having said that Snooze would like to go back and try one of the others.

Chewy's dish was a chicken steak w rice and miso soup.  The meal didn't make much of an impression on him.  But the words that come to mind when he thinks about PL are “vapid” and “unremarkable”.

I wasn't sure what the Lawyer's dish was called, but it was some sort of beef w rice and corn. The Lawyer liked his dish.  He succinctly summarises it as the dish “doing its job”.  Simple, filling and reasonable.  He liked how the rice developed a nice crust from the hot plate – similar to bibimbap.

Big Fil got the Hitokuchi cut w chips.  His recollection is that it was more fun than good and that the cut of meat felt cheap (despite paying a bit more for it).  Similar to Chewy, Big Fil thought that while there was nothing particularly wrong with it he would have described it as mediocre.  He noted that the chips were better than the meat.

I got the cheeseburger w egg, fries and miso soup.  A sizzling beef patty and egg and veg that finishes cooking at your table.  I quite enjoyed the novelty of the cheeseburger.  I give it points as it’s comes sans bun, which makes it gluten free.  The beef patty was reasonably sized and I would say that it’s of a similar quality to a beef patty at Maccas.  There wasn’t any gristle but it was a tad lumpy in texture.  I liked the mild warmth from the white pepper – I think most dishes could do with a sprinkle of white pepper (as opposed to black pepper) before they’re served.  I loved cooking the egg and having the cheese melt all over the beef patty.  I then especially loved dunking the fries into this gooey eggy, cheesy, beefy mess.....Mmm Mmm Mmm!  In fact, I craved eating this in the days that followed this lunch.  Grease-wise, I’d rate this is as just a wee healthier than a Big Mac.

Food – 6.5
Ambience – 7
Service – 7
Price – 7

Okay, so our reactions were a bit mixed.  This ain’t gourmet but it is fun, trashy, and therein lies its appeal (to me at least!).  I’d much prefer to go to PL than any of the fast food chains, and would definitely go again in the colder months when I need something hot and comforting.  And hell, sometimes we just need to eat something that’s just plain wrong! 

Pricewise it was pretty good and is competitive with its fast food chain competitors and also some of the other eateries nearby – I mean, you could do a lot worse.

The only downside is that because almost everything comes served on a hot plate, you leave with your hair and clothes smelling like you’ve been cooking in the kitchen the whole time.

Pepper Lunch
309-311 Elizabeth St
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: 9078 6388

Pepper Lunch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...