16 March, 2008

Lounge Bar

243 Swanston St, CBD; 03 9663 2916

Lounge is an excellent value stop-off in the middle of the city, particularly if you're after something other than noodles. Every day they offer a $10 lunch special, featuring a set dish and a glass of beer, wine or soft drink. During the week their lunch menu is augmented by various other $10 plates (sans drink).

Lounge is a well-integrated space, with the quirkily kitted-out bar and cafe downstairs - spherical drop lights weave through tree branches and 'flocked' isn't a strong enough adjective for the wallpaper - and a club upstairs. It also offers exhibition space and supports a record label and literary journal.

Our special of the day was a spicy beef salad.It came served on a mound of fresh and tangy vegetables, with olive tapenade dotted around the plate. It performed above expectation. For $10 I had no high hopes from the meat, but it was in fact quite tender and had been handled well to retain its tenderness in the warm salad. It was an amply sized serve as well.

SG's choice of chicken of chargrilled chicken breast didn't come off the specials menu.The serving was hefty, but the chicken meat was delicate. As if three chunks of chicken weren't enough, they rested upon a rosemary rosti. The carbohydrates were offset by a refreshing apple and avocado salsa. I agree, there are a lot of flavours going on here, but there are yet more to come. The white blob in the middle is a chorizo marscapone. It didn't compute for me on the menu, and it didn't blend well for me as a flavour combination either. That huge plate of meat, textures and taste experimentation was $17.50.


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