The Merrywell

Clarendon Street & Crown Riverside
Southbank, VIC 

Apparently burgers are romantic. Chris and I spent Valentine’s Day scoffing burgers at Grill’d, and we would have been stuffing our gobs with some American-styled burgers from The Merrywell for our 1000 day anniversary, if it hadn’t been for a series of unfortunate events (HAH) that led us to a quiet dinner at Mocha Jo’s instead.
Located right at the far end of Crown near the exhibition center, Merrywell is positively buzzing and bumping from as early as 6pm on a Friday night. After all, how can a bar serving delicious, fatty TGIF food served downstairs, and a fancier but equally as sinful menu upstairs, go wrong? Especially when wrapped in the irresistibly vibrant glow of Southbank at dusk.
Like all things Crown, even the most casual restaurants in the complex have a streak of opulence to them. Merrywell fits in perfectly, its casual Americano diner vibe melding smoothly with the swanky bar fit-out and lofty ceilings.
The two story restaurant just begged for some beautiful hanging lights, and the interior designers granted that wish, making the dining room look like a scene from the movie Tangled.
Dark, moody and seductive. So far so good, Chris and I were enthralled by Merrywell. My camera not so much, and most of my photos turned out to be complete rubbish. I actually debated not putting them up but in the end I thought, what the hippogriff, I didn’t spend 15 minutes taking photos just for the food to get cold, so I may as well. 
Cherry Coke Float ($7)
American diner dates, where two teenagers share a milkshake and gaze into each other’s eyes, have always held some sort of fascination for me. So of course we ordered a Cherry Coke Float ($7), a towering confection piled high with whipped cream (full fat, of course), complete with a cherry on top. And it was so that I found out that sharing a milkshake isn’t romantic at all. It ended up as a competition where we each try and drink as much as we can before the bottom of the glass is seen. I blame the drink for being so delicious, creamy yet refreshing with a healthy serve of cherry syrup in the coke. If you want to see an actual picture, head to Peach Water; her photos are so good that you can actually see the bubbles rising out of the soda.
K.I.S.S. ($13)
The K.I.S.S. ($13) was the basic burger garnished with cheddar, onion, pickles and ketchup. And despite not having had McDonalds for the better part of 10 years, this tasted exactly like a McDonalds cheeseburger, if they used actual ingredients. The beef patty was so thick and juicy that everything else became an afterthought, though I did love the melted cheddar and tangy pickles.
K.F Club Sandwich ($15)
None of the other burgers really caught my fancy, so I ordered the K.F. Club Sandwich ($15). Three guesses which franchise this burger-sandwich resembles. The K.F. Club isn’t as punchy as the robust and greasy K.I.S.S. burger, but it’s more flavoursome, if that makes sense. The fried chicken, bacon and melted cheddar cheese was a salty, crunchy and creamy treat between two buns, though it was a little dry, and I would have preferred the salad (tomato and lettuce) to be a little less perfunctory. And here’s a better picture by Ms I-Hua.
Onion Rings ($5)
I can never say no to a side of Onion Rings ($5), and these were almost identical to the kind served at yet another fast food franchise. They smelt fantastic, but I personally prefer my onion rings to have a lighter, tempura-styled batter to allow the sweetness of the onion to show.
Chocolate Mousse ($5)
Have you ever eaten Nutella straight from the jar? That exactly what eating the Chocolate Mousse ($5) felt like. It is as thick and as chocolaty as sin, though it felt a little odd to be eating dessert from a bubble tea cup. I think if you pay the premium for eating upstairs, the mousse gets served in a cute jar with whipped cream on top instead, as shown by I’m so hungree.
What was surprising about Merrywell is that I enjoyed the overall experience more than the food. After the rave review by The Burger Adventure, I was expecting some sort of little death when I bit into the burger. In reality it was no more, and no less than the greasiest of fast food gone gourmet. But there’s just something undeniably attractive about a diner-date with all the glitz and glamour of Southbank on a Friday night. If Merrywell is anything, it’s a fun place to be.
And as a sort-of apology for the awful photos, here are some other, nicer snaps I took that night.
Rating: 13.5/20 – americano.

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