When I think of a diner, I usually think of hamburgers and fries, eggs sunny-side up and bacon and malt vanilla milkshakes. The waitress is dressed in a pale pink dress and apron and little hat serving the greasy and tasty goods to a booth, with a white and red checked tablecloth and little plastic pepper and salt shakers adorning the table-top.

Box Diner in Fyshwick encompasses none of those things, except for the traditional booths (minus the kitsch tablecloths). In fact stepping into Box Diner is like walking into a refurbished, refreshed and sophisticated diner. The dark polished wooden floors and the dimly lit lights over the booths give it a retro, yet modern touch.

Box Diner opened up only in February of this year and have already accrued quite a following. The cuisine is casual, modern Australian and 50% of the products used are grown by the Box Diner owners themselves or sourced locally. They grow their own herbs and lettuce, use free-range eggs and have their own cattle.

The Box Beef Burger was presented to us and looked absolutely mouth-watering. The flame grilled beef was juicy and tender and the tomato relish packed a punch. Accompanied with cheddar cheese, beetroot, fresh tomato and lettuce, this was a mean burger. The burger was between a fresh, crusty burger bun and was one of those burgers where you have to open your mouth really wide to take a bite-full – my favourite!

The Box Chicken Burger was next to arrive and is just as delicious as it’s beefy friend. Seasoned chicken breast with creamy camembert, smoky bacon, avocado, tomato salsa, alfalfa, lettuce and ranch mayonnaise in between a burger bun = heaven in my mouth. The flavours all complemented each other perfectly and the smoky bacon gave it a kick.

Steering away from the burgers, a pasta dish was bought out. The beautifully colourful Fettucine Gambrel was perfectly presented and smelt
amazing. The al dente fettucine pasta was laden with seared prawns in a garlic and white wine sauce, tossed with fresh red peppers and shallots. The ratio of the creamy texture and the seared prawns is just right and if you love a little bit of seafood, you have to try this dish.

Following on with the seafood theme, the next dish presented to us was the Salt & Pepper Squid with a Light Chilli Citrus Salad. This dish was tender and crunchy, and is a delight for the taste buds. The squid has a light crispy coating and is warm and fresh and the chilli citrus salad is the perfect partner.

The two salads presented to us were the poached pear salad and the prawn Caesar salad. The poached pear salad was light and tangy with spinach, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. The spinach and Gorgonzola cheese go together very well and you can either order this as a side or a main. The prawn Caesar salad is a lot yummier than your average chicken Caesar salad. The dressing is creamy and the home-grown lettuce is crispy and crunchy. The prawns give it a subtle seafood flavour, but unfortunately it was a special for that day and is not permanently on the menu.

Just when our bellies were screaming out ‘no more food!’, dense, sweet raspberry friands are presented to us and we couldn’t possibly say no. The friand is the perfect ‘cherry on the cake’ to a belly-filling and mouth-watering lunch.

If you don’t have the luxury of time on your side for a relaxing sit-down lunch, all of the items on Box Diner can also be ordered as take-away. As far as diners go, Box Diner definitely steps up to the plate.

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Photography by Robbie Parker