We are not big eaters of classic fast food; I’m talking burgers, pizza, kebabs and the like. Ultimately I prefer much more refined dining but let’s be honest, one simply cannot afford to do that every weekend. At least not on my income. So when we both got a craving for junk, we decided to head to our local V Burger Bar excited about our naughty treat. Last year our initial attempts at visiting this popular place resulted in us being diverted over to Pancho’s Mexican Villa due to a lack of gluten free buns. Now that was some night…..sloppy microwaved food, blistering burns and a scathing retaliation from a fan (or owner) in the wake of my review; the Pancho’s post has certainly become infamous!
We stopped in at The Balmoral for a couple of pre-dinner drinks and bumped into some old friends that we hadn’t seen for a long time. As we chatted away a local band called Retriofit set up in full view of our tables and started playing some funky acoustic covers. After some time our friends departed to make their own dinner reservations leaving us sitting alone together. We were both in such a fabulous mood so we took the opportunity of using some interesting mood lighting to take portraits of each other with Gordon my SLR (yes, I named my camera!)
After several rounds of drinks and photos my post-run hunger started to climax and was accompanied by some rather unladylike noises erupting from deep in my stomach. We skipped across the road to V Burger Bar nearly drooling in anticipation. I had already called ahead to make sure they had gluten free buns in stock.
After briefly scanning their menu my not-so-sober eyes saw the words “fried egg, beetroot, cheese and bacon” and without giving it one more second of thought my decision was made. I vaguely remember the Boy making some comment about how enormous my burger choice was but in my hunger and excitement I didn’t really register or pay much attention. I was quite disappointed to hear that all the sides on their menu are not gluten free but we ordered a serve of their beer battered chips for the Boy anyway.
Our burgers came out in super quick time and we tucked into them immediately. I observed that my F.B.A. (Full Blooded Aussie) burger had a significant amount of extra height in comparison to the Boy’s Blue Mushie burger choice. I actually struggled to get both by hands around it let alone my mouth! As the Boy finished his burger he started to make wise cracks about my eyes being much bigger than my stomach as I was only half way through mine. Thankfully earlier in the day I had run 12 kilometres around the river at a cracking good pace so like a horse being whipped into action I successfully polished off all of my delicious juicy burger! It was faultless!
The Boy really enjoyed his Blue Mushie too. He was surprised how well the burger held together and didn’t crumble or fall apart in his hands. He loved the hint of blue cheese with earthy undertones of the mushrooms and the succulent perfectly cooked meat patty. The chips were less impressive, they lacked the expected crunch of beer battered chips and needed extra seasoning.
Despite feeling like I was literally going to explode I needed something sweet on my palate to end the night. I had recently read about Taro Taro on WenY Wonders Why and was desperate to check it out. I have always LOVED Asian desserts however there isn’t a great amount of options available here in Perth. Given that Taro Taro is a mere ten minutes’ walk from our front door I had high hopes it would be awesome.
It was getting quite late and much of the bustle of the café strip had started to die off however at Taro Taro it was absolutely packed full of customers. We shuffled into the brightly lit store and felt like we had been transported into another world! Despite being such a fan of Asian desserts I have to be honest, I haven’t got to try nearly as many as I would like. This was my first experience trying herbal jelly and taro.
If you are not familiar with Taiwanese desserts the menu can be a little confusing, so to simplify things for ourselves we ordered the Taro Taro Signature Herbal Jelly ice which contained herbal ice, dark black folds of herbal jelly, balls of sweet potato, sago and taro and lots and lots of sugar. Underneath all the intense sweetness, the flavours were quite soft and delicate and the texture of each type of ball was slightly different ranging from jelly like to nearly chewy. I honestly really enjoyed it but I realise it probably isn’t for every Westerner’s palate.
As we sat outside on a park beach we watched more and more cars turned up full of hungry customers all looking for their taro hit. Such a hive of activity in sleepy Vic Park! We will definitely return again but this time I might be brave enough to create my own dessert of the custom menu.www.thebalmoral.com.au/ Price: $$$ (Entrees $7-23, Mains $22-35, accepts Entertainment Card) V Burger Bar 12/910 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park 6101 | (08) 9355 3702 | www.vburgerbar.com.au/ Price: $$ ($10-15 burgers, accepts Entertainment Card) Food: 7/10 (excellent burgers need to be accompanied by excellent chips) Service: 3/5 (functional and no fuss) Ambience: 3/5 (it’s a burger bar……I don’t expect it to be cosy!) Total: 13/20 Taro Taro Shop 2/ 393 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park 6100 | (08) 9361 0098 | https://www.facebook.com/TaroTaroTaiwan Price: $ ($10-15 desserts) Food: 4/5 (if you love your Asian dessert worth a try!) Service: 4/5 (very efficient considering how busy they are) Ambience: 2/5 (bright white and gleaming) Drinks: 4/5 (good range of teas and other Taiwanese drinks) Total: 15.5/20