Grand Trailer Park Taverna

Grand Trailer Park Tavern - Melbourne

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – Melbourne

Grand Trailer Park Taverna is a spin off from the ‘Dandenong Pavillion’ restaurant with a focus on their renowned beef burger. It recently opened in the city and the burgers are mouth-wateringly (is that a word?) delicious.

Grand Trailer Park Taverna - Caravan

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – Caravan

The venue is a large open space with lots of park benches and open caravan booths (all indoor). Cute setup. There are crumpled paper menus scattered across the bar (trailer park style). You order at the bar, take a number and find somewhere to sit.

Grand Trailer Park Taverna - Outdoor area

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – Outdoor area

We sat outside in the sunshine with the beautiful city view.

Grand Trailer Park Taverna - KSA burger

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – KSA burger minus the salad

We got the KSA burger (the dpavillon celebrity burger), which has a premium Aussie beef patty, cheddar cheese, tomato, butter lettuce, special burger sauce & American mustard on a toasted brioche bun. The actual burger (like the meat patty) is a real star. It’s grilled and juicy, just overall really tasty.

Grand Trailer Park Taverna - Francis Underwood burger

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – Francis Underwood burger

We also got the Francis Underwood burger, which is basically the same as the classic KSA burger but with a bonus mac and cheese croquette sandwiched in. Yum! The toasty brioche bun was buttery and had sesame seeds sprinkled on top, delish. The meat was juicy, the cheese was melty and the lettuce and tomato were fresh. The mac and cheese just made it that extra bit more indulgent and the sauces brought it all together. It was fantastic.

They also have a mushroom burger if you don’t feel like meat. And if you don’t feel like bread, you can order a no carb protein style burger, where they give you a lettuce bun in place of the bread (saw pics on instagram) and also you could probs request to have mac and cheese croquettes in place of the bun (also seen on instagram). Hmm not for me though, I like buttery buns and I cannot lie, these other burgers can’t deny. Hehe. Next time I’ll be getting the Atomic burger. It sounds amazing. It’s a beef pattie, cheddar cheese, chilli cheese kransky, crispy bacon, BBQ sauce and truffle cayenne mayo on brioche. Yum! All the burgers sound amazing!

Grand Trailer Park Taverna - Hand cut chips

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – Hand cut chips

The hand-cut chips are delicious. They’re more soft than crunchy, sort of like roasted potatoes hand cut into chips and then sprinkled with sea salt flakes. Yum!

Grand Trailer Park Taverna - Kinder Surprise Milkshake

Grand Trailer Park Taverna – Kinder Surprise Milkshake

They have four awesome spiked milkshakes. We got the Kinder Surprise shake, and oh my it was so good. It was spiked with Frangelico and Baileys and it was super delicious. Definitely up there in my list of top milkshakes. It had an actual kinder surprise on top (yay) and the milkshake was amazing. They also do a Maker’s Mark bourbon, salted caramel, maple bacon shake, a marshmallow, blue-haven, vanilla vodka shake and a peanut butter and jelly shake with Captain Morgan’s Rum. Yum, yum and yum!

On the menu there is a range of desserts that I wanted to try (bananrama, wizz fizz ice-cream etc) but that double carb burger really stole all of my stomach space. I saw the chocolate waffle stack get placed on the table next to us. It looked so good. It was like a dessert burger. It was Nutella parfait, fresh cream and strawberries sandwiched between two house-made waffles drizzled with Nutella sauce. You can also get the waffle stack with peanut butter parfait and caramel sauce. Yum! Maybe next time.

The décor is cute, the staff is really nice and the burgers are great. A perfect place to hang out with your mates for a burger and some bevvies.

I heart Grand Trailer Park Taverna!

Olives x

Grand Trailer Park Taverna
Address: 87 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9972 3699
Trading Hours: Tue–Sat: 11.30am til late (closed Mondays & Sundays)



Grand Trailer Park Taverna on Urbanspoon



8bit - Footscray.

8bit – Footscray.

8bit is a burger joint inspired by 8bit games. At the counter they had a Mario stuffed toy, an old Nintendo control, a space invader tips jar and a one up mushroom figurine. A whole lot of nostalgia was going on. Then they had an American inspired menu with a range of burgers, franks, fries, soft serves and milkshakes. The reminiscence mixed with awesome food really makes this place a winner.

8bit - Venue.

8bit – Venue.

The staff wore overalls, with the straps crossed at the back (Mario styles) and the girl at the counter was wearing awesome 8-bit pixel framed glasses. They all fit in with the theme. They had an open kitchen which was tiled with lots of squares just like 8bit games and had little tetris squares of colour which sort of looked like little hearts.

8bit - Princess Peach.

8bit – Princess Peach.

The burgers are named after games like double dragon, golden axe & altered beast. The mushroom burger is called the 1 up mushroom burger (very cute). The table numbers were characters from games, made out of those plastic beads that you iron to stick together. We got princess peach but they had all different ones. I saw astroboy, sonic and even yoda floating around.

8bit - 8bit burger w cheese.

<yum> 8bit – 8bit burger w cheese </yum>

I ordered the 8 bit with cheese, which was a juicy beef patty with tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles, mustard, 8BIT sauce (which was like a tasty tangy tomato sauce) with melted cheese encased in a soft toasted buttery brioche bun. It was a good-sized burger and each bite was so tasty. It was full of flavour. It was delicious!

8bit - Golden Axe burger.

<yum> 8bit – Golden Axe burger </yum>

We also got the Golden axe, which had crispy fried chicken, cheese, sriracha mayo & slaw. That was yummy too. It had a big fillet of crispy chicken and went well with the brioche bun. They also had a range of hot dog options. I want to try the fatal fury, which is like a chilli cheese dog.

8bit - 8bit burger and beer battered fries.

<yum> 8bit – 8bit burger and beer battered fries </yum>

As a side they had beer battered fries, onion rings and ye good ol’ potato gems aka tater tots. I do miss those little clouds of potato goodness.

8bit - Cheese and bacon fries.

<yum> 8bit – Cheese and bacon fries. YUM! </yum>

We ordered the cheese and bacon fries. Wow! These were so delicious I couldn’t believe how good they were. I’d suggest you order these fries with your burger. You won’t be disappointed. They were thick cut beer battered fries with cheese sauce, big chunky bits of bacon and fresh spring onions. They were delicious!! They also had chilli cheese fries and loaded fries, which I’m confident would be yummy too.

8bit - Strawberry cheesecake soft serve.

<yum> 8bit – Strawberry cheesecake soft serve </yum>

The soft serve of the day was strawberry cheesecake. It was soft, smooth and creamy and tasted just like a strawberry cheesecake. The flavour was spot on and the texture was just perfect. We loved the strawberry cheesecake soft serve so much that we ordered the strawberry cheesecake milkshake as well.

8bit - Strawberry cheesecake milkshake.

<yum> 8bit – Strawberry cheesecake milkshake </yum>

The strawberry cheesecake milkshake was delicious! The milk shake was thick, more like a thick-shake, which is what I prefer. And they even put biscuit crumbs in the milkshake and on top. It was so yum I wanted to try all the flavours. They had salted caramel, peanut butter and a chocolate bar shake.

This place brought back memories. It made me remember the days when I was inseparable from my SNES (16-bit same same). And also reminded me how much I love the simplicity of a classic burger, fries and milkshake (3-hit combo).

The staff were really friendly and informed us before we ordered that it might take 45mins for our meals to be ready because it was really busy, which is nice. It was worth the wait. the food is delicious and the diner style restaurant creates a cool and casual environment to catch up with friends and grab a byte to eat.

I heart 8bit!

Olives x

Address: 8 Droop Street, Footscray, VIC 3011
Phone: 03 9687 8838
Trading Hours: Mon – Sun: 11am – 11pm

8bit. on Urbanspoon

Top Paddock

Top Paddock - Venue.

Top Paddock – Venue.

At Top Paddock the menu is centered on using the finest ingredients and sourcing local produce to use in their meals. You can see the love that has gone into the preparation and presentation of the dishes. The ingredients are treated with respect and everything on the plate compliments the dish. They’ve used recycled materials in their décor where they can. If you look closely in the photo above in the bottom left you can see the tops of the stools are made out of recycled parking signs. So I suggest you park your toosh onto one of these chairs and get eating.

Top Paddock - Fresh QLD soft-shell mud crab roll with a fennel & dill salad & lime mayonnaise in a brioche bun.

Top Paddock – Fresh QLD soft-shell mud crab roll.

My friend ordered the fresh QLD soft-shell mud crab roll with a fennel & dill salad & lime mayonnaise in a brioche bun. The crab was battered and had a nice crunch. The buttery brioche complimented the creamy crab and the zing from the lime in the mayo gave it a real freshness. It was delicious!

Top Paddock - Top Paddock: Chorizo, pickled onion, peppers, basil, bacon, Adelaide green tomatoes, poached eggs and relish on toast.

Top Paddock – Big Breakfast.

I could smell the delicious aromas when my meal arrived. I ordered the Top paddock, which was a big breakfast with style. It had chorizo, pickled onion, peppers, basil, bacon, Adelaide green tomatoes, poached eggs & relish on toast. It had a really great balance, the pickled onions were sweet, the bacon was the salty component, the peppers had crunch, the basil was fried and the eggs were perfectly poached and runny when you cut into them. The relish was rich and tomatoey and went with everything on the plate. Each element tasted delicious individually and when you mixed it together it was even better.

What caught my eye was the tomatoes. They were green. They looked like tomatoes, they tasted like tomatoes but they were green. Green eggs and ham I’ve heard of, but green tomatoes and bacon, I have not, I like them a lot, I would eat them here or there, I would eat them anywhere (just to clarify, I was trying to be Dr. Suess in that last sentence).

Top Paddock - Blueberry and ricotta hotcake with berries, organic maple, seeds and double cream.

Top Paddock – Blueberry and ricotta hotcake.

We ordered the blueberry and ricotta hotcake with berries, organic maple, seeds and double cream. It was amazing! It was light and fluffy and warm and melted in your mouth. The top of the hotcake was golden and crispy around the edges. Yum! Yum! Yum! Inside the hotcake there were little pops of blueberries and little pockets of ricotta. There was bits of the hotcake that had absorbed the maple mmm extra sweetness. There was a quenelle of double cream on top to eat with each bite and seeds and flowers scattered across the hotcake. It looked spectacular and tasted incredible. It was really delicious! At first we were really full after out savoury dishes and didn’t think we could eat much of the hotcake. After one bite of that hotcake I felt like I could eat 10 of them. My tastebuds took over and demanded that my stomach make room for this heavenly hotcake.

Top Paddock - Earl Grey Donuts w freeze dried raspberry and mandarin.

Top Paddock – Earl Grey Donuts w freeze dried raspberry and mandarin.

They had some interesting baked yummies at the counter. They had these mouth watering donuts which had earl grey brewed icing w freeze dried raspberry and mandarin.

Top Paddock - Eclarons (half eclair half macaron).

Top Paddock – Eclarons (half eclair, half macaron…strange little fellas).

They also had some hybrid desserts like the half cheesecake, half brownie, chocolate cheesecake brownies. And the eclarons which have the powers of an éclair and a macaron combined into one. What the yum? Definitely first time I’ve seen one of those. The eclarons were filled with passionfruit curd and chocolate ganache. I was way too full to eat that strange looking fella at the time but in hindsight I should have taken it home to eat later. Ah wells I’ll just have to go back again very soon.

I enjoyed the food it looked fantastic and each meal was cooked with love. It’s definitely a place you want to make your local. It’s got a great open atmosphere and good service. Weekends can get very busy though so you might have to wait a little for a table but it will definitely be worth the wait.

I heart Top Paddock!

Olives x

Top Paddock
Address: 658 Church Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 9429 4332
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun: 8am-4pm

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon


Shizuku - Street view.

Shizuku – Street view.

We had heard the legend of the ramen burger, the tale of a burger with no bun. According to the story, the bun is replaced with golden patties made entirely out of egg noodles. We had seen and eaten them only in our imaginations and we knew in our heart it was our duty, nay, our destiny, to try these ramen burgers for ourselves. Plus it was dinner time so this all worked out swimmingly.

Shizuku - Ramen burger w miso soup.

Shizuku – Ramen burger w miso soup.

The first ramen burger in Melbourne was created at Shizuku, so that’s where we went. There were two options. Both of which are served with a bowl of miso soup (an especially delicious miso btw). I ordered the candied pork belly with plum and prune sauce and kewpie mayo which was amazing.

Shizuku - Ramen burger w candied pork belly.

Shizuku – Ramen burger w candied pork belly.

My brother ordered the veg option, the miso-glazed eggplant with sweet miso jam. Both were yum. The ramen is packed tight to form the patty so you loose the bounciness of the noodle. I imagined the outer part of the ramen patty to be crispier and softer towards the center but the whole patty was the same soft texture throughout. It was still really yummy though and its fun to eat a bowl of noodles in a hand held motion.

Shizuku - Ramen burger w miso glazed eggplant.

Shizuku – Ramen burger w miso glazed eggplant.

We tried the chargrilled rolled pork belly which was absolutely delicious. It looked amazing and tasted even better. The thin slices of pork and julienned cucumber made the dish delicate. It was topped with cha shu sauce (sort of like Chinese char siu) which made the dish stand out with the simple and stunning flavours.

Shizuku - Chargrilled rolled pork belly.

Shizuku – Chargrilled rolled pork belly w cha shu.

The Hiroshima crumbed oysters were also delicious. Piping hot oysters, crumbed with panko, deep-fried then placed back in their individual shells, oh so cute. They sat beside a fresh salad with kewpie mayo and a dark sweet sauce (I think it was oyster sauce –which would seem fitting). Or it could be the same sauce as in the ramen burger, the plum and prune. Either way, the point i’m making is the sauce was yummy.

Shizuku - Hiroshima crumbed oysters.

Shizuku – Hiroshima crumbed oysters.

The wasabi prawns were incredible. So delicious! We got the wasabi mayo on the side because my mum feared that it would be too hot but it wasn’t. It was just right. The prawns were cooked perfectly, the tempura batter was light and fluffy, and the wasabi-mayo ratio was perfection. I loved these so much.

Shizuku - Wasabi prawns.

Shizuku – Wasabi prawns.

To finish our meal we had the green tea ice cream with a Japanese black sugar fusion melt (which tasted like molasses), dusted with soy bean powder. It tasted just like green tea. The black sugar melt was a little bitter but it was a refreshing finish to our meal.

Shizuku - Green tea ice-cream.

Shizuku – Green tea ice-cream.

They had heaps of really interesting and imaginative dishes on the menu but we couldn’t order everything and we had already eaten to our stomachs capacity. I definitely want to go back. They had these cheesy nori snacks on the menu which was tasty cheese wrapped in seaweed, deep fried and sprinkled w seven-spice chilli. Sounds interesting huh. They also have caramalised lotus salad, karaage popcorn chicken with secret batter and a range of gyozas yum!

Shizuku - Decor.

Shizuku – Decor – Pretty lights that look like beautiful flowers.

The décor was simple and stylish. The lights looked like lots of cables emerging from the ceiling with these crafty designer lights hanging from the cables. They looked like beautiful flowers.

I heart Shizuku!

Olives x

Address: 309 Victoria Street, Abbotsford
Phone: 03 9995 8180
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun: 11.30am-2.30pm (Lunch), 5.30pm-til late (Dinner)

Shizuku on Urbanspoon

Zombie Burger

Zombie Burger - insides.

Zombie Burger – insides.

I love zombies, that is, until they emerge from the ground in real life and try to eat my brains. But no I feel for them, they are just dead hungry and are doing what they have to, to satisfy their innate hunger for ‘brains’.  After a week of trying to diet by excluding carbs entirely, I adopted similar characteristics that of a zombie. I was weak, miserable and walked around lifeless muttering “Mrgh Grains”.  I completely understand the distraught desperation for food. But then who doesn’t love zombies and who doesn’t love grains burgers? Put these two things together and out pops a great restaurant.

Zombie Burger - Zombie wall.

Zombie Burger – Zombie Wall.

Zombie burger is a zombie themed burger joint that opened a few weeks ago. They support local produce and source their ingredients from Australian farmers. In celebration of Melbourne’s first ZomCon (zombie convention) held today, the recent announcement of Marvel and George A. Romero (dawn of the dead) teaming up to make a new comic ‘Empire of the dead,’ and season 4 of The Walking Dead starting next week, I thought it apt to blog about Zombie Burger.

Zombie Burger - street view

Zombie Burger – Street View.

It’s a little place off Ackland Street with zombies hand painted on the walls. The tables are dark green metal barrels, the kind of barrel you shoot in a video game and it blows up, leading multiple zombies to their demise.  It gave the place a cool military feel, sticking to the zombie theme. The rubbish bin had hand prints of blood smeared down the side, which I hoped was part of the atmosphere and not an indication of a recent brawl the night before (relax it wasn’t real blood).

Zombie Burger

Zombie Burger – Zombie Burger.

The burgers were delicious. I got the Zombie Burger. The brioche bun seems to be all the rage with burgers these days and it makes sense, it definitely works. The sweetness of the toasted brioche compliments the fire-grilled grass-fed beef. The beer caramelized onions were to DIE for (super sweet, really tasty and melt in your mouth).  Then there was American cheese, dill pickle, vine-ripened tomatoes, oakleaf lettuce with American mustard, ZB ketchup, and ZB signature mayo. It was a little messy, but delicious none the less.

Zombie Burger - Potato chips and cauliflower fritts.

Zombie Burger – Potato chips and cauliflower fritts.

The crunchy golden deep fried cauliflower fritts were yummy. They were an awesome substitute for fries and they sort of look like brains. The fries are good too. I got the garlic aioli to dip them in, which was super creamy but overly salty.

They have some really delicious vegie options too. ‘Shroom of the dead’ is basically the zombie burger (without the beef of course) instead featuring a porcini-infused whole fire-grilled Portobello mushroom. Yum! And the ‘Don Zombie’ burger has a parmesan-crusted pan-fried eggplant stack with melted provolone cheese, fresh basil, ZB roasted capsicum salsa and crisp iceberg lettuce on a toasted brioche bun. Double yum! I hear the Boomstick burger is a favourite.

If zombies are coming to make delicious burgers then bring on the zombie apocalypse!

Olives x

Zombie Burger
Address: 5 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda. VIC
Phone: 03 9537 1118
Trading Hours: Tues-Wed & Sun: 11.30am-9.30pm Thurs-Sat: 11.30-late (closed Mondays)

Zombie Burger on Urbanspoon



Huxtaburger – Melbourne – City store

Huxtaburger is a burger joint with a strong focus on good quality burgers. Hot beef and cold beer. The Smith Street store in Fitzroy is well known for their amazing burgers but they recently opened a city store in Melbourne and people are going crazy. I wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean how good could these burgers really be?

Huxtaburger and crinkle cut chips

Huxtaburger and crinkle cut chips.

It could and was the best burger I have ever eaten. Prior to my first huxtaburger, burgers were just burgers, average and unmemorable.  But as I ate this burger, it made a significant change on the way I viewed and dismissed burgers in the past. I found myself critiquing the burger true masterchef style commenting on its texture, acidity and balance of flavours.

All of the ingredients are fresh and of high quality and when put together make a perfectly balanced burger that is insanely delicious.  The huxtaburger pattie is made from good quality beef (Moondarra grass-fed wagyu). Then there is tomato sauce (burgers 101), creamy mayonnaise, mustard, cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, fresh tomato and crunchy pickled cucumbers sandwiched amid a buttery brioche bun. Perfection! It takes a genius to create a seemingly simple burger with such a great depth of flavour. Amazing!

Huxtaburger Mmm

Mmm Huxtaburger.

It’s a little hard to find this place, but you can come through the food court entrance off Collins street or through Fulham Place off Flinders Lane. After business hours you will need to enter through the alley, you’ll see the neon sign alternating red (hot beef) and blue (cold beer). The city store is like a little american dinner with stools around the outside of the room with partitions to section off your eating space.

Huxtaburger diner

Huxtaburger Melbourne – Dining area.

The first time I tried a huxtaburger we got the burgers takeaway and ate them on the run on our way to the Regent theatre. After I ate my first huxtaburger it left me with a delicious buttery burgery aftertaste and I wanted nothing more than another one right that moment. Unfortunately at that point it was too far to go back and order a few more (or a few hundred more) before the show. I had to work with what I had, so I tried to eat my boyfriends huxtaburger. He was almost finished (so I only got one bite) then I moved on to eat my mums huxtaburger, I think with all the ‘just one more bites’ I ended up eating half of her burger (she’s so nice). Sometimes I can be a big greedy piglet and this was one of those times but I blame the burger for being so delicious! Forget the theatre, this burger deserved a standing ovation.

I went back the next day to make sure the burger I tried the night before wasn’t just one of those dreams that felt like it was real. I got a freshie and ate it at the diner, this time not in a rush and as remembered it was divine. It tasted almost identical to the last one I had eaten.

Gormet traveller shares the recipe for the Classic Huxtaburger for those keen to attempt the huxtaburger at home. Do try this a t home. Tip: Make these homemade huxtas for your friends (preferably friends that have never tried huxtaburger) then bathe in their praise as they wolf down their burger and lather you in adoring comments about your exceptional cooking skills.


Max loves Huxtaburger beef patties.

My frenchie Max and I love the classic Huxtaburger but they also have a vegetarian option, tofu burger with sesame soy mayo…sounds yum and a jalapeno and sriracha mayo if you like it hot. Definitely handy to have one in the city now so I can pop down there on my lunch break.

I heart Huxtaburger!

Olives x

Address: Fulham Place off Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9417 MEAT (03 9417 6328)
Trading Hours:  Monday – Saturday 11.30am-10pm. Not open Sunday

Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

The McWhopper…

It all started one cold starry night when my friend and I were feeling a wee bit peckish. This late night food adventure sparked an unusual hankering for a Hungry Jacks ‘Whopper burger’. Unfortunately the time of night forbade my craving.

Knowing that all Hungry Jacks outlets were closed made me want a whopper even more. There was however a Macdonald’s close by. Their trading hours met our needs but their burger options did not.

So then I was thinking if Lewis Carrol can think of six impossible things before breakfast, surely I can think of one impossible burger before sunrise. And I did.

Ta da…introducing the Mc Whopper Burger! (with cheese if you prefer).

So we drafted a master plan on how to replicate the Hungry Jacks ‘whopper burger’ at McDonald’s. We weighed up the differences the whopper had against the most similar McDonald’s burger, the QP.

Whopper                            Quarter Pounder
Sesame seed bun                   Sesame seed Bun
Beef Pattie                              Beef Pattie
Onion                                      Onion
Pickles                                     Pickles
Tomato Sauce                        Tomato Sauce

So we did the math and ordered a Quarter Pounder with extra mayo, tomato and lettuce AKA The Mc Whopper. Crisis averted! Satisfied with our attempt to recreate a whopper, home we went with big smiles on our faces.

The satisfaction came from our proud efforts to attain a whopper at a forbidden time more than the taste of the burger itself. It may have soothed the bitter craving for a whopper but by no means did it look, taste or feel like a proper Whopper.

They do make the whopper burgers better at Hungry Jacks, but then of course they do. You can’t copy the exact product from another store and expect it to be better than the original. (not pointing the finger at anyone in particular Coles). So not to compare the two, the McWhopper was delicious in its own rights and the situation certainly appeased our craving. Success! All in all a good night.

What I learnt from this grand burger expedition was that when you allow yourself to think outside the box, you also allow yourself the power to make the impossible, possible.

Olives x