An 'Easey's Burger', Melbourne Bitter tinny and a blue heaven doughnut. Photo: Jesse Marlow
Easey's has altitude but it doesn't boast postcard views. Close by, it's weedy empty blocks, dour commission flats and grey grids of streets. There is a slice of city skyline but Melbourne isn't showing her best side: she's more down-at-heel than Blue Steel.
None of that matters, though, because you're taking in the sights from a graffiti-covered train carriage plonked five storeys high. Anyway, a burger as big as your head is bound to take up most of your attention.
Collingwood's craziest restaurant is the brainchild of burger obsessive Jimmy Hurlston (@jimmysburgers on Instagram) and curator Jeremy Gaschk and it's about to head into its first summer.
Easey's overlooks Collingwood's grungy backstreets. Photo: Pat Scala
I don't know why sitting on a rooftop in a Texta-tagged train carriage is so thrilling but it absolutely is. Easey's is a friendly celebration of naughtiness and care-factor-zero: hip-hop, graffiti and stunningly unhealthy food are the heroes.
The burgers are feats of endurance rather than square meals. It's objectively not a good idea to put a double-fried beer-battered dim sim in a burger but that doesn't stop it happening here.
It's clearly unnecessary to whack a double-fried potato cake into the same burger, the 'Melbourne Madness', which also includes two beef patties, triple cheese and a bunch of sauces you may try to identify as they trickle down your arms. Oh and bacon, obviously.
Breakfast of champions: Frosties fried chicken and a deep-fried pop tart. Photo: Pat Scala
Diners are also encouraged to spec their own burgers: if you want five dimmies and six patties in your burger, they'll build it. Unhinging your jaw to eat it is your own problem.
The vegetarian "Your Mate" comes with a zucchini and potato roesti that's crisp on the outside and juicy – but not drippy – within. It's good but it feels wrong to eat vegetables here so you may want to chase it with hard liquor, or maybe a quadruple side of bacon.
Beyond burgers, there are desserts such as pop tarts (deep-fried, of course), which also pop up for breakfast, alongside chicken battered in Frosties flakes. Basically, if you feel more sprightly walking out than walking in then you really weren't trying.
The 'Melbourne Madness' burger. Photo: Pat Scala
It isn't all about the train ride. There's a rooftop deck, second floor function zone and, downstairs, a diner with tiny TVs glued to gridiron. Early in the evening, families flock and there's a bent-out-of-shape Macca's birthday party vibe. Later, it's bar hoppers and burger babes. Book online for a train seat and that gorgeously grungy view.
Rating: Three and a half stars (out of five)
- 03 9079 5942
- Cuisine - American (US)
- Prices - Breakfast $6-$9; burgers $8-$23; desserts $2.50-$4
- Features - Accepts bookings, Licensed, Outdoor seating, Views
- Owners - Jimmy Hurlston and Jeremy Gaschk
- Cards accepted - Mastercard, Visa, EFTPOS
- Opening Hours - Sun-Thu 9am-10pm; Fri-Sat 9am-11pm
- Author - Dani Valent