Gasometer II: It Came From Budapest

When buzz hit the interwebs that Gasometer had changed its menu from its previous American soul food focus to one that sought inspiration from Eastern European cuisine, there was consternation from quite a few quarters. Where were we to get KFC-style fake chicken burgers from now? But one must not complain too much before ascertaining whether the replacement vittles are up to the same standard (and frankly I’m okay with any changes as long as those fabulous Gasometer chips stay on the menu). So, before a visit to the drive-in one chilly Sunday night, Muffin, Rob and I went on an investigatory visit.

Muffin ordered the goulash, a big expansive bowl of stew that looked terribly comforting on such a chilly night. But what I ended up coveting most was her pretzel. With fluffy, buttery dough and a soft crust flecked with crystals of sea salt, this generously sized pretzel was served with a brightly coloured mustard butter. While the mustard butter was delish, I was so impressed by the pretzel itself that I kept forgetting about condiments, and urged by Muffin just kept enjoying the texture and slightly sour flavours free of accompaniments.

I couldn’t turn away from the idea of a vegan schnitzel, which came served with a huge mound of creamy mashed potato and roasted baby carrots, beans and tiny beets. This was ridiculously impressive. The schnitz itself was all crumbed, herbed crispness on the outside, moist mock-chicken on the inside, pretty much my perfect vision of a schnitzel. The accompaniments were also of a high standard, the mashed potato constantly begging you to eat more of it with its creamy, buttery consistency, the beans and baby carrots sweet and permeated with that charred flavour that roasting imparts. And I’d never had roasted beetroot before, but those baby beets were irrepressibly more-ish.

I also completely ignored how large the serves normally are at the Gaso, and somehow thought that I was going to be able to fit in a serving of chips with aioli as well. While the chips here are still the height of potato-y joy, crispy and fluffy and crunchy, even with input from both Muffin and Rob I couldn’t finish them all. The SHAME!

Rob had… a burger. It was a meat burger, it came with chips, and Rob liked it, but that’s all either of us can remember about it. I mean, Rob has a terrible memory anyway, but I am now suffering from the sheer food-blogging shame of not remembering to take notes, or failing to interrogate Rob immediately after ingestion, I AM SORRY INTERNET.

The Gaso, thankfully, is still the king of vego pub meals whether their focus is on either side of the Atlantic pond. The three of us were quite comprehensively stuffed by the time we managed to totter onto our feet and head off for our drive-in adventure (which caused me to have nightmares about skeezy Matthew McConaughey for weeks, thanks Steven Soderbergh).

Gasometer

484 Smith Street, Collingwood

Ph: 9417 5538

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