Footscray sure is an interesting area..
By day, it is a bustling, down under replica of downtain Saigon; replete with more Vietnamese bars, supermarkets and restaurants than you can shake a Banh Mi at.
By night however, it drops into a monochromatic urban jungle and then out of the blue, like a Goomba, up pops 8-Bit, Melbourne’s newest Huxtaburger clone to try to take a piece of out of the ever expanding market.
The fit-out is modern, clean and cosy.. Just a handful of tables + chairs and even fewer bar stools line the joint. Be prepared to wait, our visit was absolutely heaving and with a phone directory of take-away orders our wait was approximated at around 40 minutes.. Just enough time to grab a beer, and sit down with J and talk rubbish. Except we couldn’t sit down, because there were no vacant seats. That’s ok, because we just grabbed a beer and stood. Oh no, we couldn’t do that either – No liquor license. Maybe we can BYO? Nope, not an option either. Well poo. We didn’t feel like shooting the proverbial over a glass of Taro Milk, so we wandered the streets while we waited.
We couldn’t locate any liquor stores, and the only lady who wanted to help us owned a Vietnamese Supermarket. When we mentioned we were after beer, she motioned to the nearby alleyway. Not feeling adventurous, we decided to visit an empty restaurant and pickup a bottle of China’s finest (Read: Worst). At $5 though, whose complaining.
We decided to consume it in an nearby piazza, complete with public urinal and pokies venue. Geez we felt classy. This was possibly not 100% legal per-se, but just as food safety inspectors tend to avoid the area, so too on the evening did the local constabulary.
Anyway, realising the time, but not having heard anything from our server who we were told would call us when our order was ready, we decided to check in anyway as the time was nudging 9pm. For two men who’s metabolism rate sits only slightly below the speed of light, this was an eternity.
So then, you can imagine the look on J’s face when he spies our order on the counter that had been neglected long enough for the beer battered fries to turn into a a cold mess and the burger not far behind. Not content having waited almost an hour, we requested they jettison it and we waited around 10 minutes for a replacement.
Truth be told, I’m probably being a little negative in my review… But Let me tell you, the burger was awesome. The service (Or, more concisely, the lack thereof) was however truly disappointing.
I’m not 100% sure how they managed to bang out replacements in 10 minutes (The fries weren’t terribly hot either..Take that how you will) but you really can’t fault the way it was devised, constructed and displayed. I had the Altered Beast which comprised Beef, Bacon, Cheese, Grilled onions, Lettuce, 8BIT sauce, BBQ sauce and the addition of Jalapeño.
At $25 for the both of us (No drinks), there’s certainly value to be had in 8Bit. The burgers were great, very delicate flavours, creamy succulent patties and the brioche was good.
I’m not sure about the chips, they were not bad but i’m sure the only ‘beer batter’ was what was written on the side of the box they came in.
It’s hard to say whether I’d suggest making the hike out especially, and I’m not sure, of your own accord, how many of you will find yourselves out on the streets of Footscray at night. If you are though, or are local to the area, takeaway I’m assuming is where this place would excel. Give it a go.
Eat 8 Bit
8 Droop St, Footscray