Part of the Dude food revolution sweeping Melbourne over the last few years, Gloria Swanston’s offers respectable and filling food at a decent price in an unpretentious environment. It’s not fine dining but for a tenner or so you can leave well fed and content, with generous serves of American Diner style food.
As I understand it Gloria Swanston’s is more of a drinking establishment in the evening, and at lunchtime definitely has more of a club than restaurant feel to it. A stage or raised area at the back, tables well spread out rather than trying to maximise the number of diners and a groovy disco ball certainly give it a different atmosphere to most of the other Swanston Street eating options.
My biggest mistake during our visit, based on the prices expecting entrée size serves and ordering three dishes to share with Ms Ruby Grapefruit. It was also partly that there were a number of dishes which I was interested in trying. The consequence though was that we were left struggling to finish what we had ordered, not being able to complete our serve of the nachos.
Best dish of the day were the beef sliders. These miniature beef hamburgers, which have become a bit of an in thing over the last few months, had nothing which brought the ‘wow’ factor but the patty was flavoursome, juicy with just a touch of pink in the middle, and came with some crunchy crinkle cut chips (CCCCs).
The pork ribs were a bit of a mixed bag. As the daily ten dollar special I was expecting just to receive a single rib, or maybe two small ones, rather than the three we were presented with. The meat was extremely tender, falling off the bone with just a bit of pressure from the fork rather than cutting with the knife. Unfortunately though both of us thought that the ribs were just a little tasteless, not having that luscious smoky flavour we were hoping for, or even that rich slightly sweet porky flavour.
Final dish tried was the blue corn chip nachos, something you don’t see that often. Served with guacamole, sour cream and cheese, other than the different colouring to the chips this did come across as fairly generic, a little disappointing and the only dish which I’d probably not order again. In particular Ms Grapefruit commented she found the guacamole disappointing, neither citrusy and zingy, or light and fresh. It was probably not helped by the particularly cold day, which caused our melted cheese to solidify quickly into a fairly solid lump.
If you’re not expecting The Ritz Gloria Swanston’s is good value fun, and the perfect spot for one of our Work Team lunches with some fairly unadventurous diners. Everyone will be able to find something they are familiar with, that is non-challenging and perfectly acceptable quality. A good place to go when you don’t feel like fast food but also don’t want to break the bank.
Food – 7
Ambience – 7.5
Service – 7
Price – 7.5
243 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9663 2916