Charlie & Co. Burgers | Raan Kan Eang
Charlie & Co. Burgers
Level 3, Store 60
287 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 8609 8136
I confess I’m starting to enjoy blogging using iPhone photos instead of lugging my big camera around. Silly enough, it tends to make me feel as if the ‘stakes are not as high’… and it corresponds with this #nofilter approach to just saying what’s in my mind without prior thought (sometimes to rather comical and outcomes). But bottom line is, it makes blogging a bit more fun once again.
This visit to Charlie & Co. happened during the holiday period around Christmas last year when all the CBD brunch spots I wanted to luxuriate at were shut for Christmas. Knowing that there were many (still open) options within Melbourne Emporium, we braved the holiday crowds and had a simple lunch there before we joined the shopping fray.
Charlie’s Fish Fingers Burger 12.5
Battered fish fingers, cheese, garden leaves & tartare sauce
Unfortunately the chicken burger (which sounded delicious) wasn’t available that afternoonm so Fatbee got the fish burger instead. The photo doesn’t give you a sense of scale, but it was a large burger. Taste-wise it was alright but on the dry side, perhaps more sauce (or dressing?) would’ve helped.
True Blue Aussie Burger 14.5
Wagyu patty, bacon, egg, cheese, tomato, beetroot, pineapple, caramelised onion, garden leaves, aioli & BBQ sauce
I love my beetroot and pineapple with my burgers, hence this choice. Once again it was a pretty hefty serve, meaning I had to eat it ‘deconstructed’ because my mouth just can open that wide… hah! As delicious as this looked, I found the meat patty itself on the salty and dense side, making it taste like an a large, squashed and over-seasoned meatball. So Wagyu or not, the patty did not hit the mark for me as I’d prefer it a lot juicier and with less seasonings so as to enjoy the quality of the beef.
We had our meal with Fatbees’s favourite accompaniment to burgers – onion rings. While it came crisp and hot, he wasn’t that enthused by it. Perhaps we should’ve tried the parmesan and truffle fries.
While we have heard good things about Charlie & Co. Burgers, our visit did not quite hit the mark for us that day. But I suppose it’s just a matter of personal taste… we just prefer our burgers drippier and juicier.
Raan Kan Eang
417-419 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
The good thing about Christmas and New Year period is you get to try new places because your old favourites (like Rose Garden BBQ Shop) are closed. The bad thing is your experiences at the new spots may not necessarily correlate with how the place usually is, because service and staffing at most restaurants tends to be a bit pared-down during this festive season (my workplace included!). We had quite a few bad meals during this period and in retrospect, if work wasn’t so mind-numbingly busy, I should’ve made the effort to cook at home.
Either way, we decided to try this Thai eatery just a few doors down from Rose Garden. It used to be called Rim Thang Thai, but it’s now a subshoot of Thai Culinary, a pretty yummy Thai eating spot just a short stroll away.
Thai spicy boat noodle $8.50
Perhaps they were short staffed because of the holidays, but service was incredibly slow that day, and Fatbee’s boat noodles arrived way ahead of my dish. Worse yet, it was only after his noodles arrived that the waittress came apologising that my own choice of noodles (the Kway Jub) wasn’t available. So by the time my dinner arrived, Fatbee had finished his meal, which is a pet peeve of mine… not having our food arrive at the same time.
Quibbles aside, the boat noodles here was a very unusual dish. It had a lot of sweetness and a very musky (almost smelly) aftertaste to it. I hear it’s the pigs blood that’s classically added to this particular dish, so while we appreciated that it’s possibly authentic here, it was a touch too strong for us to enjoy. We’d previously had the boat noodles at Jinda Thai and it was a lot more edible there… nice and beefy-brothy without that strong almost offal-like smell to it.
Sukhothai Noodle $8.50
My alternative noodle dish of choice was just a hastily picked item from the menu. It turned out to be a mix bag of fish cake, sliced pork and meatballs in a rice noodle soup.
My dish was a lot easier to eat because the soup didn’t have that unusual aftertaste. All that said, I found the soup very strongly seasoned with sweetness and sourness.
I think a proper visit to this place is needed before a call can be made, with us ordering the less adventurous one-dish rice items on the menu – which is what we’d normally get at Thai Culinary. But based on our experience with the soup noodles here (and in previous trips to Bangkok), I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not that big a fan of Thai-style noodle soups… mainly because of the hefty presence of sweetness in the soups. I prefer my soups more nuanced, or spicier.
This post sort of ends the long one and a half month spell after my Bhutan trip where I had absolutely no mood to cook. What changed it all was when Fakegf invited me to a homecooked meal at her place – she cooked hae mee (prawn noodle soup), and it was so damn delicious and cleansing (compared to the oily, salty food outside) that it made me start cooking at home again. I’m so glad I have friends that help inspire me back to the correct pathways of life.