249 Little Lonsdale Street
Corporate lunches for $15 including soft drink, and an extra $2 for wine or beer? Like moths to a flame we work colleagues were drawn to Father’s Office, particularly as the American influenced menu looked interesting. This is a tale of two visits – one that went very very smoothly, and one that betrayed a little cracking at the seams.
The place is the old Match Bar in QV, tricked up and outfitted with a frankly rather strange 1930s/70s mash-up – all silver and old time photos. According to my research it’s owned by the same people who own Cho Gao or “Asian Beer Cafe” in Melbourne Central.
The first time we went, we rocked up as a relatively large group (6 or 7) and were seated at the long tables in the restaurant area. Food was ordered and did take a while to come out, but when it did – oh boy!
The philly steak sandwich came with grilled scotch fillet (oh so juicy and tender, and so much of it!), onions, cheese, pickles, relish and jalapenos – as well as a copious amount of french fries and some moreish garlic aioli in a cute little jar. It was a large – scratch that, a huge serving, but I devoured it all. And spent the rest of the Friday afternoon in a benign haze of digestion, but that’s another story.
Everyone else liked their meals so much we were back the next Friday to repeat the meal. However this time, it was a little different – we weren’t allowed in the restaurant area because they had a ‘booking’ – I noted around 40 seats remained vacant the entire 1.5 hours we were there, but okay.
So we ate in the bar area, and there were about eight of us. Three people received the wrong meals, although to Father’s Office’s credit they took them back immediately, made them the right ones, AND offered them a free drink while they waited, so that was good service and fine by us.
Definitely when they get busier the meals get a little more slapped together – three of our table got the Man Burger, which has a copious amount of ingredients: black angus beef patty, two pieces of swiss cheese, a fried egg, lettuce, a bacon rasher, chipotle mayo and mustard, and depending on whether you were lucky or not, the advertised chips inside the burger. I’m not sure how essential they are, but they were missed by certain members of the party!
The buffalo chicken burger comes with a blue cheese dressing, and is quite spicy according to the person who ordered it. I’m not sure how authentic the buffalo marinade is, but give it a try and see if you like it.
All the burgers are served on a brioche bun, which some people found too sweet and others enjoyed. I think I would have liked it on a more savoury burger, but I tried the pork belly burger, which had dijonnaise, apple and pear compote, and lettuce, which was already very sweet. However, it was a pork belly burger! With crackling! Oh my god I’m eating crackling in a burger! Yum! Aaaaand… cue the Friday afternoon nodding off at my desk – two weeks in a row. Sorry bosses.
I don’t think I’d order the burger again though, as it was just too sweet and there was an element of self-hatred chowing down on the pork belly as it was reaaaaaally fatty. Plus, it didn’t really match the awesomeness of the philly steak sanga from the week before.
In short – I’d come here and eat again, but perhaps in a smaller group. And maybe we’d phone ahead, and book a table, so we’re not eating off our knees. There’s more on the menu I’d like to try – and there’s a philly steak sandwich I’d like to repeat.
The well respected Burger Adventure went to try out the Man Burger and found it all a little bit too much; Eat and Be Merry did a work lunch there as well and liked it like we did (and also managed to order a crumbed and deep fried camembert, what the! I didn’t see that on the menu when I went, but dayumn… I would have had to think about ordering it…arteries be damned!).