Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest
Lounge on Swanston Street doesn’t have quite as nostalgic memories for me, as it did others on the table (I was busy rivalling Whitney Houston at karaoke with my friends in that era of my life), but I do recall one or two visits, with sticky floors, dim lights and fuzzy memories.
Although the lights are still dim, Lounge Kitchen is surprisingly bringing a bit of class, and a whole lot of flavour to this familiar haunt.
When I visited, they were looking to feed an army, we were stuffed, so I’m just going to highlight a couple of my favourite dishes from the ‘feasting’ we had (hard to call it a tasting!)
Always do yourself a favour and start your evening (or day?) with a mojito.
I couldn’t stop picking away at the moreish Patatas bravas all night!
I also couldn’t get enough of the parmesan herb crusted eggplant chips with honey and blue cheese sauce. Oh my god. These are everything. Great big thick meaty cut strips of eggplant, perfectly crusted with that gorgeously strong blue cheese sauce is absolutely everything I want all the time. That sauce ain’t for the lighthearted!
Much of the group was hanging out for the Thai sticky beef short ribs, which delivered, with a dark and shiny glaze, these beauties slipped off the bone cleanly and melted in the mouth. Not too rich though with the help of a bit of chilli and lime mixed through there though.
How can you not love a mac and triple cheese with black truffle crumb? It smelt amazing reaching the table, truffle wafting up into your face, and was so creamy and cheesy. Happy sighs. Happy sighs.
We also enjoyed well proportioned sliders, rich yet fresh eggplant san choi bao (sorry Lounge Kitchen, refuse to spell it your way!) and ginger and prawn steamed dumplings, a nice diversion from some of the fried and heavier dishes.
But really, the piece de resistance (for me anyway) was the salted caramel popcorn panna cotta. Oh lordy. What a beauty! Topped with crunchy caramel popcorn, the panacea itself was anything but crunchy, wobbly, creamy and delightfully decadent. It’s one of those desserts you’ll get and say “I shouldn’t finish all of this by myself”, but believe me…you will!
I don’t think Lounge Kitchen will ever completely lose it’s ‘dive bar’-esque appeal, but that’s all in it’s personality. It’s just brightened it up with some good food with Asian-inspired flavours. This is definitely the kind of food I want to be eating while I’m drinking…or just in for a cheap meal, have you checked out their $9 lunch menu yet? Such a bargain!
243 Swanston Street