Long gone are the days where the Chapel Street precinct is only recognised as a fashion destination. In fact, some of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne are located on this stretch (such as Mr Miyagi) and its now a go-to place for many up and coming eateries, bars and trendy joints. Despite the addition of new restaurants, the Windsor end of Chapel Street retains much of its colourful history and alongside quirky establishments you will find health food stores, vintage shops and possibly hidden bars if you’re lucky.
Now, fitting right in the scene is Parlour Diner, an American style diner located on the Windsor end of Chapel Street, open for both lunch and dinner. There’s no roller-skates here and with the exception of their chairs, the diner is quite limited in terms of 50’s style decor and booths. Instead, the interior resembles more of a modern American diner cross a local Windsor bar.
Parlour Diner serves up the classic American favourites including burgers and fried chicken and on top of that, also offers a creative spin to some of the burgers/sandwiches on the menu, such as the Asian pork slider (pulled pork) and Earth Burger (Tofu burger – vegetarian).
If you’re looking for an American diner, I highly recommend Parlour Diner. Not only does it get the basics right, but it also offers a little twist to some of the items on the menu. (It’s the thousand island dressing with chimichurri, you won’t be able to get enough of it!)
Snapple served up in a Mason Jar
Whilst the diner is licensed, there’s also some fantastic non-alcoholic drinks served here, including Snapple (American iced tea brand), Jarritos (Mexican soda brand) and several thick shakes with specials which change daily, such as the peanut butter chocolate, oreo and salted caramel. I had the salted caramel on a separate occasion and it was fantastic.
Onion rings ($5)
The onion rings here are deep fried in a pale ale batter and well seasoned with a side of chimichurri thousand island dressing. An excellent combination of flavours and so hard to resist ordering a second serving – the combination of chimichurri and thousand island is simply divine and really adds another element to the onion rings.
Blue ribbon crispy fried chicken (4 pieces $25), served with curly fries and salad
This is the point where I realised I had probably ordered too much. If you’re a big eater, I suppose you could go for 6 pieces ($30) but don’t say I didn’t warn you when I said the 4 piece option is quite substantial! The chicken was fried perfectly so whilst the coating was crisp and dry, the chicken itself was incredibly tender and succulent. Loved the curly fries too.
Cross section of The Captain: ‘Parlour Burger’ with Egg, Bacon and Sweet Onions ($16)
Also known as ‘The Lot’, The Captain burger consists of an 8oz (250gm) beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles plus the added extras. Overall, this was a delicious, flavoursome burger with toppings that all worked well together rather than dominating the patty. In particular, I loved the runny yolk and thick cut cheese, whilst the addition of thousand island dressing made the burger a little different than the ones I would usually eat. I personally would have preferred the beef patty to be slightly underdone but despite that, I would still order this burger again.
64 Chapel Street
Windsor VIC 3181
Open daily, opening hours vary