Saturday, July 13, 2013

Markos Schnitzels, Moorabbin by Big Fil

We came across Marko’s the same way the food writers in The Age apparently did, complements of its ridiculously high approval rating on Urbanspoon. Despite it being on our side of town it’s no surprise we hadn’t known about it by other means, as it’s located in the middle of a mainly industrial area and from the outside looks like a pretty typical suburban sandwich bar. But, having paid it a visit did we think it lived up to others' glowing reviews? The answer is a qualified yes.

The first thing which strikes you about this place is just how popular it is. Even on a Saturday when most of the nearby businesses were closed the stream of customers was constant. This led to service that was at times a little frantic but always friendly and helpful, even with Marko’s newbies like ourselves.

When you look at the menu up on the wall it’s pretty obvious this place is all about the schnitzels. If you're after a schnitzel roll like us you pick the type of schnitzel (in our case paprika and garlic), wait for it to arrive fresh from the deep fryer, then pick the salads and sauces you want. In our case that meant the shredded carrot, beetroot, coleslaw, hommus and tahina. For a deep fried schnitzel this was good, the meat tender and juicy, the salads fresh and flavoursome. What it shows is that if you're willing to take a bit of care you can make a much superior product even with something like the common schnitzel. The only slight let down, neither of us liked the bread much, which we found overly heavy and distracted a bit from the great meat and salads.

We also ordered the falafel in pita bread, which both Snooze and I agreed was even better than the schnitzel roll. Flavoursome and moist falafel combined with the same salads as the schnitzel roll plus the zingy acid of a zucchini salad, it was everything you want a vegetarian roll to be. While I could never imagine going fully vegetarian, if other vegetarian rolls came with this much flavour it would make it a much more palatable option.

Seeing crinkle cut chips sitting in the drainer I had to order a serve of those as well. Crisp on the outside and still fluffy in the middle, These guys know their way around the deep fryer.

So why would I give this place only a qualified yes? Well, as mentioned above, the bread on the roll put both of us off a bit. And while the schnitzel and falafel rolls here are at least as good as any others I’ve tried in town, it felt more like a superior version of the familiar than any culinary revelation. That being said, if I lived in the area I could well imagine the quality and convenience would see me eating here more than I should, and it’s a no brainer if hunger pangs strike while in the area.

Superior schnitzel rolls served efficiently by staff that obviously care about providing as good as an experience as they can. Even the inside, which in decor is pretty much sandwich bar standard, seemed a cleaner and nicer place to eat than most. Very much the local hero sort of place.

Food – 8
Ambience – 6.5
Service – 7.5
Price – 8

2/159 Chesterville Road
Moorabbin VIC 3189
Tel: (03) 9555 3228

Marko's Schnitzel on Urbanspoon

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