Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe, CBD

12/23/2015 , , 0 Comments

Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe is located on Little Collins St off Elizabeth Street, and is easy to miss as it is quite small. Once my friend and I got to the place, we both realised we'd actually walked past it heaps of times before, but just never realised it was actually a cafe, or given any thought to take a closer look. The cafe itself is completely outdoors, with a decorated wooden archway entrance that leads to a bunch of small tables for two to four people. I really enjoyed my experience here, and would love to go back and try out some of their other foods.

The design of Chuckle Park is made to look like you're sitting in the garden, with the artificial grass and the wooden panel walls. My favourite decorations would have to be the jars that hang above the whole place, with small twinkling lights that remind me of fireflies in jars. Luckily, we went on a day that was nice and sunny, as there isn't actually a roof - it's completely outdoors. There was a nice atmosphere with music playing softly in the background, and I was surprised by how empty it was when I went about 12:30 on a weekday.

The food menu isn't very extensive - there's probably more drinks to choose from than food itself, which is understandable as it is a bar. All the items on the food menu did look quite delicious, and most had a Spanish theme to it. We decided on the Pulled Pork Roll ($10.50) and the Albondigas ($12), and also got a pot of green tea to share. The pot of green tea came on a wooden plate in a cute woollen tea cosy, and we were actually asked if we wanted some cold water for our tea, in case it was too hot to drink right away. This was a surprising yet pleasant gesture on the staff's part, as neither my friend or I had ever been asked this before - usually you just wait til it cools down a bit.

The pulled pork roll consisted of slow cooked spicy pulled pork, topped with cheese and walnut and a fennel and apple cabbage slaw. It was a big burger that was quite messy to eat - it too came on a wooden plate like the tea, but because the burger is round, it didn't fit quite well on it and bit of the pork and cabbage slaw kept falling out of my burger onto the actual table. The actual burger itself was quite good, with good textures from the cabbage slaw and walnut to contrast with the pulled pork, which was flavoursome and not too spicy. I would've liked to have more of the cabbage slaw though to balance out the heavy pork flavours, and the bun, although soft, did get a bit soggy towards the end.

Albondigas are spanish meatballs, and was served in a tomato based soup with several pieces of bread on the side. This was a very generous portion for the price paid, but it's quite a spicy dish so might not be to everyone's liking. I actually found the meatballs to be more spicy than my burger, and it would've been good if this had been stated on the menu - my friend decided on this dish because she can't really eat spicy food. To be fair, we probably could've researched what exactly Albondigas were and found it is usually served spicy. Apart from the heat factor, the meatballs were packed with flavour from the different spices, and there was a good amount of vegetables to balance it out, such as carrots, potatoes, zucchinis and onion, all well cooked so it was quite tender and soft. Initially we were surprised at how many slices of bread came with the dish, but this made much more sense after we tasted the meatballs and broth!

I was quite impressed with the service at Chuckle Park, with the friendly staff and efficient timing which we got our food - it wasn't even a ten minute wait. You do have to go up to the counter (that's been set in what looks like a trailer of sorts) to order, and you get a little rock with a number on it so the staff know which table to bring the food to. I would definitely recommend going for either food or drinks - it's opened from 12pm til 1am every day of the week.

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