Saturday, June 29, 2013

Trunk Diner, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

Ah, Trunk Diner.  I had high hopes for Trunk Diner.  I liked the cute exterior of the building and I was very much looking forward to eating the buttermilk fried chicken wings for lunch.

So for a mid-week team lunch, we headed out early to Trunk Diner.  Knowing that it might be a bit tricky to get a table that's big enough for us (our number of dining folk was 10, which would grow to 12 diners during the course of the meal) and that they didn't take bookings, we got there early and arrived at 12pm.

There the first impression that Trunk Diner gave would be so bad that we collectively couldn't forgive or forget the service... or rather, the lack of service.  And why's that, you ask?

One: it was mid-week.

Two: we arrived early and there weren't that many diners already eating there.

Three: we ask for table(s) that would accommodate us all.  They pushed together two round tables that would normally seat four people per table.  What large group of diners would want to sit at two, small round tables?  George Costanza knows what I'm talking about.

Four: I asked if we could have the five small square tables that were situated along the left side of the restaurant, which at the time were all unoccupied.

Five: the waiter said no, but he said that he would check w the manager.

Six: manager says no.  I asked why not.  The answer was "we just don't want to give those tables to you."  PATHETIC.  Absolutely pathetic.  What moronic manager/restaurateur purposively decides to p*ss off a large group of diners for non-existent small pairs of diners??

So, we squished ourselves up at the two rounds tables.  After that appalling start, the food didn't help try to overturn that bad first impression.

The general feedback from the team was that the food, at best, was ho hum, and at worst, bland, bland and more bland.

Here are some of the dishes we ordered.

Ms B got the 'un cut' salad and added poached chicken.  Roast pumpkin, spinach, peas, beens, corn, pearl barley, fetta and almonds w a lemon dressing.  It didn't look terribly impressive to me.

I got the buttermilk chicken wings. This was a very big let down.  I was imagining golden, crispy chicken wings, all salty, may be a bit spicy w some paprika/chilli flakes, and finger-licking good.  What I got were these dull looking wings, with dry meat and utter blandness.  I'm assuming that the kitchen forgot to season the wings... there was no flavour on the skin or the meat. Plus, I doubt whether they actually used buttermilk for the chicken, as buttermilk should make the meat tender... the meat here was dry, dry and more dry. Thank goodness the table has two bottles of quite good BBQ sauce and tomato chutney - they helped give this dish some life. The potato salad looked promising, but suffered from the lack of seasoning - especially the potatoes.  I ate all the tender veg except the wierd yellow potato cubes.

Mr S and Mr U both went for the baguettes.  One got the Cuban baguette w pulled pork, ham, gruyere and pickles.  The other got the poached chicken w Romesco, roast toms and basil.  Mr S wasn't impressed with the fact that while the baguette was warm from being toasted, the ingredients were still cold.

While Mr U described his dish as "bland mush".  Mr U also didn't like how the food were served directly on the plastic trays.  While we get that TD is going for the American diner look/feel, having to eat your food off a plastic tray that has multiple scratches/scores from past diners using their forks and knives isn't exactly an appetising thought.

Mr H got the portabello mushroom, roast corn, feta and fontina quesadilla.

Most of the ladies got the Wagyu burger which came w a brioche bun, cos lettuce, toms and pickles.  I think this and Ms U's diner dog were the better dishes on offer.

Ms U got the chilli cheese dog.  A wagyu dog w chilli con carne and cheddar on top.  She thought the dog was of a good quality and was pretty happy with her choice.  Although, she would have preferred the chilli con carne to be a bit more chilli.

We also got some fries for the table.

Food - 6
Service - 5
Ambience - 6.5
Price - 7

I'm not mincing words here. Trunk Diner is crap service with bland food.  Price-wise it's reasonable - and that's the only good point about this place. Never again.

Have a gander at Big Fil's review of Trunk Diner back in Oct 2011.

Trunk Diner
275 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 9663 7994

Trunk Diner on Urbanspoon

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