Friday, November 5, 2010

walrus, springvale

Place: Walrus
Physical: 20/28 Queens Avenue, Springvale (across the road from the railway line)

Walrus has an awesome name and is, despite its shitty location, very popular. What you see from the train, going past, looks kind of grotty, but inside it's not too bad: a bit dated but clean. The service is polite and efficient. A bonus at this price point.

Walrus has, at least at lunchtime, its price factor as a major plus. Most dishes on the menu--and obviously we're not talking about the live seafood or barbecued suckling pig or whatever here--come in at less than ten bucks a pop, at least at lunchtime. And, too, they throw in some compilimentary soup (assorted vegetables and stock bones in a salty broth). The soup is medicore but, really, fuck, it's free.

I was promised that Walrus' pork was among the best in Melbourne. The person who promised me that is not to be trusted again. It's just not that good. It's not bad. For the eight dollar asking price, again, yes--eight dollars--I was happy with my salty, juicy, but not too greasy, barbecued pork. It was okay. But, and maybe this is because I had such a good experience yesterday with pork, it just didn't taste like pig. Maybe it's the cooking method and maybe it's, too, the marinade and all the salt, but it didn't taste piggy enough to qualify, in my books, as pork. Pork tastes like pork, always. But good pork is pork that tastes piggy. Piggy taste is beautiful. Piggy taste doesn't necessarily require expensive-as-all-fuck black pig--it can be attained, by a skilled cook, from decent quality standard stuff. But no, Walrus' barbecue pork didn't rate, in my books.

At the same time, though, there's that little thing about the eight dollar price tag. Let's face it, what can you get for eight dollars? A meal at KFC or McDonald's and that's about all. You can't buy even a burger at Grill'd. A lot of places in Springvale, even, will give you a mediocre 'rice meal' or some mediocre dumplings floating in, depending on your wont, either salty, starch-laden water or grease or, if you're especially lucky, both. So. Yeah. If you have eight bucks in your pocket and you're in Springvale and you're hungry and it's lunchtime, you could do worse. Too, Walrus has a fucking cool name.

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