Trunk Bar and Restaurant

275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
03 9663 7994


  • Duck Cigars
  • Southern Fried Quail
  • Chicken Diavola
  • Char-Grilled Eye Fillet
  • 8 Hour Lamb Shoulder
  • Roasted Carrots
  • Sautéed Broccolini

The Good

It was off to a pleasant start with the Duck Cigars. Despite its simple presentation, these cigars were definitely something special. The incredibly delicate, crisp and flakey puff pastry held together an inner generously filled with confit duck. So tender and succulent, the slightly gamey flavour was well accompanied by a lovely chestnut and goats curd cream, adding a beautiful sweetness and richness.

The Chicken Diavola certainly wasn’t bad either. Fresh out of the oven, the roasted half chicken was spread front and centre across the entire plate. Surrounding it was a pool of rich tomato-based sauce mixed with an abundance of sweet peppers, fragrant rosemary and herby oregano. The chicken itself was well cooked, exhibiting a crispy skin with a good amount of charring offering a hint of crunchy bitterness throughout. Within, the protein was well-seasoned and juicy, though some bits could definitely be a tad more tender.

We also enjoyed the Char-Grilled Eye Fillet. The steak was done just as requested, a perfect medium. On top say a divine dollop of porcini butter adding a gorgeous depth in flavour and plenty of truffle fragrance. Digging into the tender and protein reveals a beautifully pink cross section, coupled with pleasant beef flavour and enhanced by the rich red wine jus. When served with some of the most amazing roast potatoes that were both crisp on the outside and fluffy within, this

Our sides week most definitely more than just an afterthought. The Roasted Carrots were stunning and delicious, offering incredible crunch and well contrasted by a bed of fluffy pilaf, plenty of crunchy almonds and a divine labneh. Our Sautéed Broccolini also impressed with its fresh, crispy stems and it’s light garlic and salt seasoning that allowed you to truly appreciate the freshness of the veggies.

The Mediocre

The Southern Fried Quail didn’t quite impress. Despite the lovely, crunchy crumbing, the batter was most certainly lacking in flavour. While the quail itself was tender and juicy, the entire dish was lacklustre and bland with the exception of the sweet chilli jam. Such a shame. Some seasoning in the batter would’ve made this an absolute winner.

The Bad

Unfortunately the 8 Hour Lamb Shoulder failed to impress. Our initial impressions of the incredibly dark, charred outer showed signs of overcooking. And as we cut open the lamb, the inner was equally dry and coarse, resulting in a tough and almost chewy sensation. This was definitely the most poorly executed lamb shoulder we’ve ever come across, and it’s unfortunate that we had to send it back.

The Verdict

Having expanded from the bustling Trunk Diner, Trunk Restaurant offers a slightly more upscale dining experience with pricing to match.

While overall still an enjoyable meal, it was unfortunate for us that the execution of our dishes were far from perfect. Though with this kind of price tag attached, we can’t say we weren’t just a little bit disappointed by the lack of finesse.

Would Penguin Eat Again?

At close to $50 a steak and $40 per main, the hit and miss execution is simply not acceptable. Taking into consideration the price, we can think of a plethora of eateries in just the CBD alone offering both better food, and value.

Penguineats was invited to dine at Trunk Restaurant.

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