Pepper Lunch

309-311 Elizabeth St
Melbourne, VIC 
Pepper Lunch opened its doors a year or so ago, and I was excited until I realised that it was a chain restaurant. But then I thought: how bad could meat sizzling on a hotplate be?
Pepper Lunch definitely has a bit of a fast food feel – you order at the counter, sit down with your number, and the food is brought out to you after a bit. Then again, with 216 (I think) restaurants in a multitude of countries, plus Japanese efficiency, it’d be hard for it to feel too organic. 
One Bite Cut Wagyu ($14.8)
Jaz didn’t joke around, ordering the fanciest One Bite Cut Wagyu($14.8). The meat was suitably marbeled, and developed a nice charred taste to it as it cooked on the hot plate (which comes out at a blistering 260 degrees!)
Hamburger and Chicken ($13)
Ethan had the Hamburger and Chicken ($13), which is exactly what it sounded like. I had a bite of his chicken and it was tender and lightly peppered, but nothing noteworthy.
Hitokuchi Cut ($11)
I wanted beef with a bit of bite, so I had a plate of the Hitokuchi Cut($11). This was noticeably different to the wagyu (as you would hope), being tougher and leaner, but satisfyingly beefy with a couple of good chews. 
Double Hamburger ($12.5)
Last but not least, Chris ordered the Double Hamburger ($12.5), which consisted of two cut up beef patties being fattened up by pats of butter, and a sunny side up egg. The pieces of ground beef were soft and peppery, no more and no less than what I expected.
Now in case none of you noticed (like me), our dishes didn’t actually come with any rice, which was a bummer, considering how much we had paid for them. We ended up having to order some Rice ($3) on the side just so we had enough to eat, but the meat and veggies did end up tasting a lot better mixed in with rice and a generous splash of garlic soy sauce.
Pepper Rice is a very, very run-of-the-mill restaurant. The food is passable but nothing special, and the prices are quite high for a restaurant and fast food hybrid. With my curiosity sated, I shan’t be coming back.
Rating: 11.5/20 – peppered out.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. And how long a piece of string is.

Pepper Lunch Elizabeth on Urbanspoon

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1 Comment

  • Reply Anonymous 16/10/2013 at 2:40 pm

    Pepper lunch is actually a fast food restaurant than a Japanese restaurant. Next time try the sukiyaki chicken or the rice menus, much more worthed!

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