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Turret Cafe Ballarat Revisited- Lunch treat- Sliders, Lamb Tagine, coffee & cake!

After our first trip to the turret, and watching all the mouth watering looking meals float effortlessly past our noses, propelled by the light footed and very suave staff at the turret cafe, we vowed to come back again next time we were in the area to try out the sumptuous and tempting lunchtime menu.

After agonizing over the menu for a while, and craning our necks to catch a glimpse of the day’s popular meals, we finally ordered.

It can be a little difficult to catch the eye of the staff when it’s busy, but that’s perfectly understandable. Wrestling with the cash register, and what looked like cantankerous old ladies pushing for a split bill on their table can take some time and patience.

Staff are polite and efficient, and the meals came out pretty quickly.

I wenWP_20170809_13_16_51_Pro (1)t with the lime, slaw and pulled pork slider burger special, as depicted alongside.

The brioche buns are really, really good- probably made fresh on site, and the burgers as a set, make up a pretty substantial meal, as one would expect, for around $25! I certainly didn’t feel hungry afterward.

What was saddening was that while the first slider burger bun was great.. the second and third seemed a bit bland and boring afterward- just a lack of variety I’m afraid. That, and I’d forgotten why I have not ordered a pulled pork bun for ages-

I’ve never been super-duper impressed by pulled pork. Bit of a gimmicky hipster Melbourne thing, and I was all porked out a few years ago as a result in the CBD. 🙁

That said, with 3 buns, 3 different sauces or variations would have been a nice touch.

Quite an ordering mistake on my behalf… what caught my eye immediately was the Moroccan lamb Tagine with almonds, but the lass wanted that, so I deferred to her and chose something else.

Yum! the Moroccan Lamb Tagine was absolutely delicious! great mix of spices, nice slow cooked lamb, and crispy almonds on top.WP_20170809_13_16_46_Pro (1)

We actually fought over the dish a little bit- fork for fork it was that good!

Spicy, delicious, hearty! underneath was a very nice cous cous, with little raisins and suchlike mixed in.

Either way, it was a great dish both of us woudl order again anytime!




WP_20170809_13_46_02_Pro (1)Despite feeling full, I still wanted the full experience, because the cake was that good last time!

This time around, I went with the macadamia lemon pie!

Ohyesss! delicious!

The cake was that tempting, we demolished half of it before the photo was taken (sorry folks!)

Probably not as special as the croissant raspberry chocolate cake sampled last visit… but totally up there as a very special treat!


There were still cakes to try, and menu items to sample, so we made another decree we would return again the following month!

Burger Brothers & chookas charcoal chicken Howitt street wendouree ballarat + gellato

I droppWP_20170824_14_20_27_Proed into burger brothers & chookas charcoal chicken at Howitt street wendouree for a quick, and hopefully good value lunchtime feed.  The food I ordered was competent, fresh, and tasty enough, but I wasn’t blown away- for the price I expected a bit more- Sadly, the “big brother” burger turned out to be more like a bland accountant or conservative public servant type, not a bad boy that plays in a band, rides motorbikes, and hoons about in his terminally unregistered commodore, outrunning police on a regular basis.

The shop is a tidy looking place, but to be honest, the decor needs some creative flair- with a bit of effort, it could be made to look a bot more interesting than what appears to be a bog standard retail shop with a few counters, tables and a kitchen plonked in round the back- sadly, its got a a bit of a sterile, generic aWP_20170824_14_20_30_Prond impersonal feel.

The owners & staff appear to be Mediterranean, probably Greek, with what looks like multiple generations of the family working the counters and kitchens, and milling in and out of the shop at various points. A few more family photos of years gone by and other more personal touches would go a long way in brightening the place up and  giving it some soul. – You see that sort of thing in ethnic foodshops almost universally around Australia, and it gives a homely air to the establishment.


The “big brother” burger I ordered came out quickly, was tasty, with a nice big bun, and decent salad, fresh tomato… perfect bacon & egg… overall a very competent burger, but it wasn’t mindblowingly awesome, or unique in any real way.- for the price of $11, plus extra for the chips, I kind of expected a bit more than boring. Maybe some special sauce to zing it up a bit at least?

WP_20170824_14_29_33_ProThe big let down was the fact that the meat pattie was bland as cardboard- typical Aussie or maccas american style, when at other Greek shops, they usually do something interesting with it, adding spices, bacon, onions or other vegetables to make it juicier and more interesting, similar to my own burger recipe , which I unashamedly nicked the core of from Nshry in port melbourne.

Possibly my fault for choosing the menu item at the very top, but I did expect that it would be a flagship burger that would have some sort of wow factor.

Other favourite places in town, such as I lover burgers & kebabs and round the way really have the formula down pat- instant MMMMM! factor, and they both offer something a bit uniquely different.

Burger Brothers & chooks’s charcoal chicken also stocks famous Triano’s Gelato- I’m yet to give it a go, but it certainly looks pretty good! The charcoal chicken offering or other burgers on the menu may also be worth a raz.


Ballarat Burger Cart- @ Peel and little bridge street Street Coles & woolworths

ballarat_hamburger_cart_BHC_peel_street_monolithicBallarat Hamburger Cart, or BHC is a huge food cart that materialises after dark every night in the Coles and Woolworths carpark on peel and little bridge street street in Ballarat central.

The monolothic sized caravan is towed in by a truck each evening, and is a bit of a Ballarat fast food institution, which stays open late at night to cater for the drunks and revellers as they spill out of the bars in the CBD.


Till the curry van opened up in town recently, and a few other enterprising cafes began doing late night food, this was one of the few places you could get a late night feed, apart from the other institution, the gravy spot on lydiard street

As its shutters open, all manner of Ballarattians that are die hard fans of the greasy treats the cart serves up crowd around and form a long line eagerly, spilling into the carpark, almost oblivious of the possible danger of being run over by the erratically accelerating youths in beaten up commodores and tired looking Japanese performance vehicles that congregate in the area.

On the menu are, as one would guess, Burgers, chips.. and a variety of iced donuts of all things.WP_20161115_21_32_24_Pro

Many a time I have passed this place while on my weekly supermarket trip, and had the misfortune of crossing downwind through the stomach churning, greasy fumes belching out of the rangehood extractors of the van, and utterly dismissed it as somewhere I would never go.

I mentioned the foul smell of the van to a work colleague one evening, and she looked at me with horror, like i had just insulted a national icon. for a moment, I thought I was about to be called the feared “UnAustralian”!

WP_20161115_21_42_06_ProShe described the burgers as “The best in Ballarat” and that they were “beautiful burgers” that had to be tried since I was a local now.

I looked at her quizzically, and asked her if this was a similar workplace induction story to asking the new apprentice to go buy a left handed screwdriver, except for me, it was food poisoning that I was fearing.

She went on to recommend the “Tradie Burger”, as it was probably substantial enough for a man of my size.
The next night, after knocking off work late, I certainly was starving, and I couldn’t be bothered cooking- so i moseyed across to the burger caravan for a closer look at that they had to offer.

Up close, the van seemed clean, tidy, professional and the serving staff were friendly and helpful.

I ordered the famously raved about tradie burger, and though it didn’t really look like much, it definitely was WP_20161115_21_43_21_Propretty decent. Best way to describe a BHC burger is that its very much an ‘Honest’ burger. it has exactly what is promised in it- meat, cheese, all the good stuff, very much UNLIKE mcdonalds, hungry jacks or any of those other horifficly tasteless offerings put out by chain stores. (maybe with the exception of the pricey Grill’d)

The only criticism is that there doesn’t seem to be any really uniquely tasty signature sauce in the burger that comes standard, which would make it really, really special.

The prices are quite reasonable and what you get is quality.

A lot of people seem to be ordering the lemon donuts- there is probably good reason for this, and on my next visit, ill be nabbing a sack of them to take home and gobble by the TV

They even do specials occasionally on their facebook page which are pretty excellent deals by the look of it.  .

Ballarat Hamburger Cart (BHC) SATURDAY SPECIAL (example)
$15- 2 hamburgers with the lot (meat, bacon, egg, tomato, lettuce, onion & sauce) +  6 donuts (jam, cinnamon or  lemon)

$25 2 hamburgers with the lot (meat, bacon, egg, tomato, lettuce, onion & sauce),
2 cheeseburgers (meat, cheese, lettuce, onion & sauce) & your choice between 1 tray of chips OR 6 donuts (jam, cinnamon or lemon)


Ballarat Hamburger Cart

Car Park 24 Little Bridge St, Ballarat Central VIC 3350


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