I decided to visit Parlour Diner in Windsor as part of my quest to verify and/or find the best burger in Melbourne. Beatbox is still at the top of my list, with Royce Hotel’s The Amberoom, Huxtaburger and Mr. Burger following. Collin’s Kitchen was also pretty good but they have since departed the list. When I visited N’Shry in 2011 when they first topped Burger Adventure’s list, I was underwhelmed but have not returned since, despite many recommendations by friends. Rockpool felt overrated and expensive and The Merrywell and Danny’s was just another burger.
So, Parlour had a lot to live up to, coming in third on Burger Adventure’s 2012 list. The restaurant is small, but nicely decorated in a rock-and-roll kinda way, with seating both indoors and out. I ordered a Bloody Mary (marie?), due to my other quest to find the best Bloody Mary in Melbourne, and The Captain which is the Parlour Burger (8oz beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese, pickles) plus egg, bacon and sweet onions ($12) with a side of Parlour Curly Fries ($5) WEWT! I was also able to try the ‘Dressed’ Lobster and Shrimp ‘Po Boy’ with slaw and chimichurri salsa ($18) and Jalapeno Poppers with paprika avocado dip ($12).
My burger came along stacked HIGH and impressive (it needed a skewer to hold it all up), unfortunately I don’t think the tasted wow’d me as much as the look. It was all good enough to eat, the patty was juicy and the egg burst and added to the cheese and onion flavour, but I don’t think I’d return.
The curly fries were great, as was the aioli, but the order got lost somehow so when they finally came out they were on the house which was very generous of Parlour.
The lobster and shrimp poboy was probably a lot nicer than my burger, but despite this, didn’t live up to what Gumbo Kitchen/Po’Boy Quarter can do. The shrimp tasted slightly dry and overdone and there wasn’t enough sauce on the bun.
The jalapeno poppers were strange, though thinking back I’m not sure what else I expected – they were essentially a full jalapeno chilli in fried batter, so don’t get these unless you like a bit of spice. The paprika avocado dip was the best part of this dish, and there was plenty of it in the dish.
The bloody mary was pretty darn tasty, with just enough spice and a nice tomato base. I will rank it third after Naked for Satan’s Bloody Satan (thick tomato juice, their chilli vodka and a big ass celery-stick tree, with plump olives and cucumber to finish – it drinks like a meal) and Eau de Vie’s The Earnest (which comes in a cute as tomato tin, with pickled onions on a swizzle stick).
TL;DR There are better burger joints out there, even on Chapel St itself.