Lip Café is one ever busy little spot and a dear favourite amongst loyal locals for a very good reason. The next time you are in Ivanhoe, do yourself a favour and bypass the main strip of Upper Heidelberg Road and head straight to Lip Café. Located amongst a small shopping strip on Waterdale Road, this café is small in size but large in what it has to offer in delicious and high quality food and coffee.
Lip Café are usually open for breakfast and lunch, but recently they have been hosting ‘Burger Nights’ on Fridays from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. I came in one Friday night to try the burgers, as Lip is already a dear favourite spot of mine. I visited at about 6.30pm, there was no table service for Burger night, so you can take a look at the menu by the counter and order there. I am guessing this is the case because of the large amount of takeaway orders the kitchen was pumping out all night! Despite this, I found the service to be prompt and generally good.
I tried the ‘No.1’ (cheese burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, tomato sauce and mustard), the ‘No.2′ (double beef patty and cheese with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, tomato sauce and mustard), the ‘Pulled Pork’ (8 hour slow smoked pork mixed with barbeque sauce and coleslaw) and the ‘CFB’ (Vegetarian burger – corn and chickpea fritter with avocado, tomato salsa and chipotle sauce). I was pleasantly surprised to hear that all burgers are also made on house made brioche buns. We also ordered a large serving of chips of French fries to share and for drinks, I ordered a ‘Pineapple Fizz’ (a mixture of pineapple juice with soda, lemongrass, mint and ginger).
These burgers were the most non-greasy burgers I have ever eaten. They weren’t overly massive (excpept the No.2 was quite a large serving), but are the same size as you find at other gourmet burger bars around Melbourne, however they were on average a few dollars cheaper than other places ($11- 15 dollars as oppossed to $17 +). The No.1 and No.2 burgers tasted exceptionally fresh, there were no single overpowering flavour, they were just authentically tasty burgers where you could taste each of the fresh ingredients along with the perfectly medium cooked patties and the brioche buns were soft without being too overly buttery or oily. The Pulled Pork burger was wonderful also. The pork was heavenly tender and juicy. I particularly enjoyed the full flavoured, smoky barbeque sauce that brought back food memories of the barbeque dishes I had tried on my travels in the U.S. The Vegetarian burger was equally as delectable as its meaty counterparts. The corn fritters already features on Lip’s daily menu, so even if you miss out on attending one of the Burger nights, I can highly recommend the fritters! The spicy and zesty fIavour combination of the fritters, the salsa and the chipotle sauce is brilliant. I also like that the fritters are not overly fried or crispy, the consistency is more similar to a Japanese pancake. Even if you’re not a Vegetarian, you won’t be disappointed with these fritters, and I personally prefer them over Hammer and Tong’s ever popular vegetable fritters too!
I really enjoyed the Pineapple fizz. I usually don’t like super bubbly or fizzy drinks, but with the mixture of the juice with the soda, as well as the ginger, mint and lemongrass, the Pineapple Fizz was a perfectly refreshing and tangy beverage to accompany the filling burgers. Amongst this high level of amazing food (and drink!), I will say that the French fries were pretty average. I didn’t find them to be anything special. They were quite cheap ($3 for a small serve of $5 for a large) but I would recommend skipping the fries and if you still have room left over, order the dessert instead! I didn’t get to try the pie, but it looked pretty good!
Lip Café only has two burger nights left! TONIGHT, Friday 8th November and Friday, 15th November, 2013.
I already know I want to return before Friday Night Burger Nights are officially over, so make sure don’t miss out and head down to Lip Cafe tonight or next Friday night!
226 Waterdale Rd,
Monday – Saturday 8am – 4pm
Sunday 8am – 2pm
Friday 5.30pm – 8.30pm