Soda Rock Diner

257 Toorak Rd
South Yarra, VIC 3141
I have a secret, dirty fascination. I am a bit ashamed to admit it but, greasy, disgusting American diner food has always held a sort of magnetism for me, even as every healthy cell in my body screams NO.  So when the line at Two Birds One Stone was way too long for the tiny timeframe we had, we walked 3 minutes around the corner to Soda Rock Diner without too much regret. 
Soda Rock Diner has been on the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street for 19 years. So whilst it still retains its retro vibe with the plastic booths and rock’n’roll memorabilia, it also has a distinctly dilapidated quality about it. 
Hubcap ($8.95)
Our Hubcap($8.95), the basic burger, was rather miniature, and that’s not even by American standards. Taste-wise, it’s exactly  what you’d expect at McDonalds; that’s to say, the flavour of the burger is held up by entirely by the copious usage of sauce, with barely any beefiness to it at all. 
Chilli Fries ($9.95)
The Chilli Fries ($9.95), on the other hand, were lovely. Thick, golden steak fries soaked up the smoky flavours of the splat of chilli con carne, and the strands of cheese on top stretched out as you pulled each chip away from the pile. 
We didn’t dislike the food at Soda Rock, but it was nothing to shout about either. The chilli fries were good, but the atmosphere was rather depressing, and the entire diner just had an overall feel of being past its prime.
Rating: 11/20 – stuck in the 50s.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

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  • Reply Charlie 25/10/2013 at 4:35 pm

    Agreed, it’s a disappointment. As an American I much prefer Huxtaburger. ;) We found Soda Rock to be dirty, the juke box and I heard the bathroom was scary! Though didn’t go myself, if that’s what’s presented to patrons just imagine what the kitchen must be like! Have you tried Misty’s Diner? I heard it’s better – and cleaner.

    • Reply ming 28/10/2013 at 6:19 am

      Hi charlie, thanks for dropping by! I have to agree with you entire on Huxtaburger, it’s probably my favourite in all of Melbourne :D I’ve yet to try misty’s diner, but I’ve heard good things about it as well. I’m just not sure when I can justify eating so many calories in one go!

  • Reply Eatandbemerrycrew 26/10/2013 at 1:35 am

    I am with you regarding the burgers versus the chilli fries. And that it used to be better a few years ago than now, when the staff would come out and dance a silly dance every time shake your tail feather came on.

    My regular visits here are not motivated by the food however, as you failed to mention this is one of the few places in town that still has a (actually two) pinball machine!


    • Reply ming 28/10/2013 at 6:20 am

      Hi Fil! My friend was actually just telling me the same thing – she said that soda rock diner was much better when she was in high school a few years ago. And maybe I ought to give the pinball machines a go! Aren’t there any floating around arcades in Melbourne?

  • Reply Sally Li 28/10/2013 at 4:23 am

    i really wanted to visit, but everytime when I walked past it looked empty and outdated.

    • Reply ming 28/10/2013 at 6:18 am

      That’s exactly how we felt! I wouldn’t bother visiting to be honest, the food is average and the entire place is quite dilapidated :(

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