Restaurant Review: Gills Diner

Location: 360 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9670 7214
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 6/10
We had heard the praise lavished on Gills Diner from numerous sources and were excited about the food we would be receiving.
In true Melbourne style, Gills Diner is hidden in an alley way. In the midst of the bustling CBD, it is almost a sanctuary inside. Dimly lit, you forget it is the middle of the afternoon.  The menu is written with chalk on the boards. I found every item on the menu incredibly appealing. J and I both struggled, thinking about what we should get. We finally settled for the roast pork belly and a pie.
 Long Macchiato
 Beef and Burgundy Pie $22

The pie was at best, underwhelming. The side of chips and salad screamed of mediocrity and did little to distinguish this humble pie from any other I have tried.  Tolerable, though unexceptional, it was disappointing especially from a restaurant that has been the recipient of much accolade.
 Roast Pork Belly with lentils, apple and celery $32

The pork belly was cooked well. The crackling was amply salted and crunchy. The pork was tender and well seasoned. The apple brought some needed acidity to the dish that cut through the richness of the luxurious crackling. As a whole however, it was a simple dish that was executed reasonably well. It was good but not particularly impressive.  
From our experience, the hype surrounding Gills Diner is not entirely justified. Its recurring existence on The Age Good Food Guide Chef’s Hats list for instance, is questionable. The food is unobjectionable but certainly not phenomenal.

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