Dude food is the latest trend in the food world and has hit the sunny shores of Perth with The Merrywell at Crown Perth. While I write this treat I am listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA because the food that was rolling out took me back to College life and the American dream… hamburgers and hot dogs. My last blog was about hot dogs (the aussie breed) so it’s fitting that I continue with this theme and celebrate the dude food trend. The definition for dude food from the dictionary of me is any morsels of food with high fat content that you eat with your hands and make a mess with. Think hot dogs topped with chilli corn carne, wagu beef hamburgers with pickles in them, fancy quesadilla triangles, lamb chops with a chilli rub and mint jelly and my personal favourite deep fried cheese cubes. The Merrywell is a concept born in the USA and is the brainchild of King of Casual, Sammy D and his mate Grant MacPherson. Both have over 50 years of experience in the restaurant industry including stints in the casino capital of the world, Las Vegas (well technically Macau has taken over but Las Vegas is Las Vegas…what happens there stays there except in this case with these chefs bringing their knowledge from Las Vegas to Australia). These 2 chefs have delivered The Merrywell concept first to Crown in Melbourne and now Perth is able to feast on dude food. I was lucky enough to attend the launch party with an open bar and a continuous flow of food as the menu was shown off to the Perthonalities in attendance. My advice for future punters going to The Merrywell, go with an empty stomach and an open mind. Do not think of calories, fat content, sugar, weight, heart attacks or anything health related. The day you eat at The Merrywell should not be the first day of your detox and is not for those on a mission to lose weight. No The Merrywell is for people who want a taste of the USA in their backyard. Especially with Perth being the most isolated city in the world, it’s easier just to drive to Crown Perth then get on a jet plane to Las Vegas for these indulgent treats. So what’s my take on the food that I ate at the launch. The dish of the day goes to the wagyu burger, succulent meat cooked medium with a fantastic pickle surprise inside. Other highlights was the lamb chop cooked to perfection at medium with a nice pink inside. Another favourite was the deep fried cheese, who thought cheese could taste better but that melty goodness really is magic. The lobster roll and the barramundi wings failed to hit the mark for me. The sauce of the barramundi wings in particular was quite grainy and overpowered the fish. Give me bdubs anyday (see Treat 24 for futher explanation). In terms of dessert the Polish donuts made no sense to me but I still ate it. I’m not going to lie, I prefer Krispy Kremes over that. THe desserts in shot glasses were very rich. The rice pudding I barely could eat a spoonful and the chocolate was very decadent and thick so I managed to eat a couple more mouthfuls. The puzzling thing for me was the food we were eating didn’t in my opinion match the interior. The decor is very similar to the Brisbane Hotel and the Boulevard with it’s dark walls, wooden features, artistic wine display and huge bar area. The food however is closer to Tony Roma’s style, very casual and almost dinerish (yes dinerish is a word as of now). Then again this is Perth afterall so you aren’t paying USA prices and a fancy decor automatically jack up the prices. I will have to go to The Merrywell again and test out this theory to see if this dude food gives you bang for your buck. I also want to try their ribs. I have a feeling though when I am craving the USA, The Merrywell might be a new place I will visit besides Tony Romas unless of course I win lotto and buy a private jet and fly to the USA willy nilly. Don’t let this negitude fool you. I am so excited that Perth is getting developments like The Merrywell and I was very impressed with the renovations of Crown Perth. I am well and truly on the Perth bandwagon, there is a lot to be excited about and dude food is just one of them.
THE FOOD JOURNEY