Arena Cafe right next to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne is an unusual establishment for something that is designed for a quick, pre-event meal.
It is an eclectic but confusing attempt at a classy dining experience, yet you have to go up and order your food and drinks at the counter.
While there is nothing wrong with this, the “boutique” pizzas and gourmet pastas do not really fit in with the pub ordering system.
For this reason, it was with great trepidation that I ordered the $26 beef burger and chips. Considering some of the best burgers I have had at burger bars around Melbourne go for anywhere between $10 and $20 dollars at the top end, it had to be an amazing burger to warrant such a hefty price tag.
Sadly, it did not even come close. The only commendable item was the bun. Light and crumbly sourdough it had a delicious wood fired taste.
The patty was more like a tightly packed rissole. Aside from the large, rock hard piece of gristle I got in mine, it was dry and fairly bland.
The salad was standard- there was plenty of it and it was fresh.
The sauce also tasted like it was out of a bottle, there was nothing bad about it, but it was not memorable.
Put simply, there is no way I would recommend paying $26 for this meal. If this was an $8 burger at a BBQ I would be more than happy with it, but for the price you could get two burgers from a whole host of better burger joints around Melbourne.
Melbourne VIC 3000