9 August 2022

First Look: Melted bring their feel-good toastie goodness to Turner

| Michelle Taylor
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Umbrellas in Turner

Melted’s cool cafe umbrellas. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Melted’s second food truck has been operating in Turner for a month, making their delicious toasties easily accessible to lots more hungry Canberrans.

Their official name is Melted Toasted Sandwich Emporium – and it’s certainly risen to ’emporium’ status.

Toasties on offer this week are the Reuben, smoky brisket with three cheeses, a truffle and parmesan Mac and Cheese, and a mushroom toastie. And with lots of great ideas percolating, the menu rotates regularly.

Food truck

Today’s menu. Mmmm- brisket! Photo: Kazuri Photography

Two Alexes are behind Melted’s gooey deliciousness. And these two friends are not just slapping some basic ham and cheese between buttered bread and grilling it. They know their flavours and their ingredients.

Alex Royds notes that his business partner, Alex O’Brien, who runs the Fyshwick store, “is a mega fine dining chef and he’s worked in fine dining establishments across Canberra”.

When the two friends worked together at The Boat House, they would always eat toasties after service and talk about running a toastie van together.

In 2019, the Alex’s launched their original Melted shopfront at Fyshwick. Then came an onslaught of disasters: the bushfires, the awful hailstorm and the pandemic. Despite the obstacles, Alex says that they have felt very supported by locals. In fact, one of their regulars, the president of the Croatian club, offered them the rental of the van and a space to set it up with tables for diners right on site.

The classic (and very tasty) Reuben. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

On this day at 10 am, the space has not yet been kissed by the sun, so it is f-ree-zing. Tables with blankets invite diners to stay awhile, strings of lights crisscross overhead. You can get soup with your toastie or a cup of Redbrick Espresso coffee.

My brunch arrives.

These toasties are not about being massive, triple-decker heart-attack-inducing Instagrammables. They are the modest size that you would make at home. It’s what’s inside that matters most – therein lies the magic. Those inventive flavour mixes.

I bite into the Mushroom Toastie: brie, mushrooms and silverbeet with bechamel sauce. The first thing to mention is that the crunch-to-ooze ratio of this toastie is on point. Molten brie lava all garlicky from the sauteed mushrooms and silver beet. And the bechamel is inspired. You know how in winter, the cheese gets cold so quickly in a toastie, especially if you have to carry it back to work? Well, this scrumptious bechamel keeps the insides of the toastie all warm and creamy- toasty even.

Mushroom toastie

The Mushroom: full of brie, mushrooms, spinach and bechamel sauce. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

The Reuben is simple: pastrami, sauerkraut, seeded mustard and cheese. The ingredients from Balzinelli Smallgoods go together like peas and carrots and I feel like I am in New York!

You can choose from white bread, sourdough or even gluten-free bread for your toastie. For vegan foodies, Alex did a whole day of testing what vegan cheese works best for your toasties, so get over to Turner pronto and give him some love! Environmentally conscious, Alex says that if you bring your own cup, you pay less for your coffee.

Man outside a food van

Come say hi to Alex and grab a tasty lunch. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Melted is located at 68 McCaughey St in Turner.

It is open from 7 am to 2:30 pm Wednesday to Friday and from 8 am to 2:30 pm on weekends. Find out more at their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see their latest taste sensations.

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