Hot Asian Buns, Massive Wieners, Phat Brats, lovingly prepared balls…
Turned on? You should be. Melbourne’s new string of specialty eateries are not just being cheeky with their words for the fun of it, they genuinely want to produce food that is gastronomically orgasmic. And they’ve succeeded!
The Meatball and Wine Bar, at 135 Flinders Lane, uses only locally sourced meat and veggies (vegetarians don’t despair, there are vege balls too!) Although dishes revolve almost solely around their coveted balls, the menu-poring process is still quite all-consuming! You must decide which sauce; red (Italian tomato), white (creamy) or green (salsa verde) to pair with your balls, as well as something complementary for them to ‘sit on’. You can pop ‘em on a bun, or opt for a slider, if you’re feeling all-American. To throw your decision-making further, there’s also an array of tempting sides – my pick was the mushies with taleggio and thyme, then mozzarella plates, charcuterie boards and beef jerky slices to boot. It’s extensive, yet simple: quality meats prepared modestly and accompanied with minimal hoo-ha, just the way balls ought to be!
Now we’ve covered their companions, time to test some wieners. Massive Wieners in Prahran, where their standard measures in at a foot-long, is probably a good place to start. Or there’s Phat Brats, in Fitzroy, also serving up delectable dogs. These guys pride themselves on using meat sourced from local regions ‘weaning’ out all the non-fussed junk-foodies to make way for queues of true wiener fanatics. It’s pretty much hot-dogs and fries, but which hot-dog and which fries to choose? With thirteen different dogs and six different plates of fries on the menu, the brat-pack is left spoilt for choice.
At Massive Wieners, it’s more size that matters, and while you can choose from the 3” Little Pecker, 6” Average Joe, if you’re going to, don’t pussy out on the 12” Massive Wiener! It’s the title star behind this little nook’s rise to fame.
Back in the CBD, it’s less about wieners and more about buns, hot Asian ones. At Bao Now, 119 Hardware Street, the buns are certainly hot, and traditionally Asian, but the fillings can take you anywhere from New Orleans to Mexico, with flavours such as Buffalo Chicken and Spicy Pork. Wonderbau is new on the A’Beckett block, but they are also promising to steam up your lunchtime breaks with slightly fancified traditional bau fillings such as egg, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage and roast pork belly – and all at under $5, these buns are cheap and easy too!
It’s about doing one thing and doing it well. It’s about making food sexy, because let’s face it, sex sells. Nigella knows it, now you know it too. Get your tasty buns down to these steamy joints and realize it first-hand.