OSCAR COOPER

MELBOURNE

Most people head to Oscar Coopers for breakfast but as our day began with a domestic flight and a bag of nuts we turned our attention to their lunch menu hoping it would make up for us missing our favourite meal of the day. It’s obvious from just walking into the restaurant that Oscar Cooper is very social place. A large table runs through the middle of the room encouraging communal dining and the staff made you feel every bit as much of a local as the guy who walked in behind us to have his second meal of the day at the same place. The first thing that caught our eye was the ‘Jaffle Wall” above the roaring fireplace. There were so many amazing flavours and combinations that we briefly wondered if we would even get to the actual menu! Eventually we decided on the Chorizo, Creamed Corn & Manchego Jaffle to share and it was so good that one of us couldn’t help but eat it too quickly and suffer 3rd degree burns as a result. Next up were the Southern Fried Chicken Sliders, the Wagyu burger, the Wasabi Crusted Calamari and fries upon fries upon fries. DEMOLISHED…all of it! We ordered for three and proudly only left a few stray chippies. Take that breakfast, we didn’t need you after all! So with a food coma upon us, it was time to reflect. What were the highlights and what we avoid if we went, if anything. Drum roll please. Burgers, calamari, sliders and jaffles are commonplace on lunch menus these days but it’s what makes them different that sets the good guys apart from the unsavoury chaps. The fried chicken in the sliders were topped with a bacon jam – deep and smoky in flavour with a nice hit of spice. These were the perfect companions to the Hawaiian Beers we were swigging! The burger was very simple (apart from being wagyu) and there were no visible frills. The difference with this burger was how it was chargrilled. You could literally smell the caramelisation as it hit the table and when we both took our first bite, there was simultaneous nod of approval and a little quiet time followed to pay respect to the perfectly cooked patty. The standout for us both had to be the Calamari. Perfectly cooked, tender with a wasabi crust adding texture and a chilli & lemon mayo that brought the salad into play. Well balanced and generous, this is the dish we would head back for. So it’s time for a siesta and no doubt dreams of breakfast, yes breakfast! I take it back, we do need and want you in our lives! Next time we are in Melbourne we’ll be on the doorstep of Oscar Cooper when their milk arrives.

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