The Palace Hotel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Palace Hotel – 505 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Beef burger
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much

The Palace Hotel has done what most places don’t: down-scaled the fancy. What was once a rather slow paced gastropub that catered to empty nesters with a a disposable income has now become a chilled out, pet friendly local. Proprietors Jess, Pratty and Dan welcome everyone down for a low-key night whenever you’re in the mood for a Draught and can’t be bothered cooking. There mascot and pet, Billy the Staffy can be seen running around getting up to mischief, but he’s only looking for a pat and isn’t one to say no to a dropped chip. Although less fancy than before, their menu still offers some on-trend dishes like pulled pork and buffalo wings but there is still the option of a traditional pie and classic parma. We went for the Beef burger that came on seeded bun with a beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese with a side of pickles and French fries.

“The venue is barely recognisable from it’s previous existence and I can sense the current owners are trying to turn it back into a classic local pub. To the naked eye there was nothing fancy or experimental about the burger, with everything being your stock standard burger ingredients. That is, until you bit into the extremely thick, spicy, chilli flaked beef patty. It felt out of place and dwarfed all other flavours, and due to the size, had been cooked for a while leaving parts of it really dry. Highlight of the night was getting to meet and pat the local resident dog, Billy.”
“Visually this burger looked to have each of my boxes checked. The bun was fluffy, the melted cheese looked amazing on the pattie and the mustard with the pickle looked to keep everything balanced. Just like my disappointment on Christmas day when my parents decided to buy me encyclopedia Britannica instead of the Lego Police Station I wanted, that same level of disappointment came rushing back when biting into that pattie. Like my parents that year the chef chose to do something different from normal convention. In his case he tried to distinguish the burger by what I call “misusing beef” by making it super dense and sticking a whole heap of unnecessary ingredients like chilli and mustard seeds. And just like I told my parents back then, I repeated the words again to my fellow diners on this occasion, “Can we return it?”. Unfortunately in my case I had pretty much consumed half of the burger and would feel a bit awkward returning it at that point, but the pain and disappointment was there folks. I would like to try this burger again when (or if) the powers at be change their recipe, I think there is huge untapped potential here. Shoestring fries were awesome.”
“Now, at first glance this looked pretty good. It had everything I really like in a burger, down to the side of pickles and French fries. That first spicy bite raised my eyebrows and made me say “Wow”. I was not expecting any spice to it all. The patty was finely minced, it had little bit of fat and plenty of spice. It wasn’t the kind of spice that burnt though – far from it. It was just that it was the dominating flavour in the burger. It took over any, saltiness or beefy goodness that the patty had to offer. And for 20 bucks you’re getting screwed. This burger has so much potential here too. K.I.S.S.”
The Palace Hotel on Urbanspoon

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