Buns were fun in Mer­ry­well’s diner days, but now up­stairs is ded­i­cated to some­thing a lit­tle more ur­bane, com­bin­ing views, booze and glo­be­trot­ting cui­sine.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - Crown River­walk, South­bank. crown­mel­bourne.com.au


MER­RY­WELL be­gan life in 2012 as Crown’s good-time Amer­i­can diner, sling­ing burg­ers, beers and wings over two lev­els like it was the Su­per Bowl ev­ery day of the week.

You can still get your dude-food fill at the burger bar down­stairs, but re­cently the up­stairs has been re­born as the more re­fined Mer­ry­well Bar and Din­ing.

Mod botan­i­cal mu­rals now adorn the walls, there’s a cosy din­ing room and a fab ter­race for TGIF sun­down drinks, like the breezy 5 Star Spritzer of vanilla vodka, bub­bles, pas­sion­fruit, pineap­ple and lime.

Daniel Wil­son, co-founder of the Huxtaburger chain and also helped pi­o­neer the cool-colling­wood din­ing wave with Huxtable, has been busy flip­ping the menu, de­sign­ing a new share-style of­fer­ing across a global gamut of cuisines.

Open with rice-pa­per rolls pack­ing poached chicken and heady with gin­ger, co­rian­der and mint, or maybe tiles of sweet char siu pork with hoisin, cu­cum­ber and peanuts be­tween springy bao. Then flit to Mex­ico for a su­per-fresh dice of tuna tartare to load onto tor­tilla chips along with guac spiked with tequila you can prop­erly taste.

By now our ta­ble for two is heav­ing with food and our wait­ress has for­got­ten her vow to stag­ger dishes, so it’s un­der the heat lamp for our last two.

The DIY lamb sou­vlaki doesn’t sur­vive the re­heat, the meat’s tex­ture now more nuked than wood-grilled. The Korean Bolog­nese, how­ever, emerges not only un­scathed but as dish of the day. It’s a knock­out bowl of com­fort – grass-fed beef slow-cooked with gar­lic, gin­ger, soy and mirin, and fin­ished with rice noo­dles, funky kim­chi, earthy shimeji mush­rooms and fine strands of dried chilli. So good.

Fin­ish with the re­fresh­ing man­darin pavlova with toasted co­conut, and re­gret noth­ing.

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