We have joined a queue of expectant Canberrans waiting for a table to free up. We’re eager to have our first experience and taste of Milky Lane, which has just opened its doors in Braddon.
Since opening their original Bondi store back in 2016, the three mates behind this burger/shake/cocktail eatery have consistently created edgy, finger-on-the-pulse dishes that diners not only want to eat, but they want to photograph and share on their Instagram and Snapchat feeds.
Milky Lane fill their own social channels with snaps of impossibly overstuffed burgers oozing rivulets of melted cheese and sauce, gravity-defying mega shakes encrusted with crunchy toppings, and vibrant cocktail concoctions that you cannot stop looking at. This inventiveness, clever branding and social media savvy has skyrocketed Milky Lane high onto foodie and influencer bucket lists. And now, they have come to Canberra!
It’s an energy-sapping 38-degree day and right in the middle of Milky Lane’s peak lunch rush when we gratefully slide into our comfy booth inside.
Headlining their hip-hop theme, a neon light-feature shaped like a DJ’s turntable looms from the ceiling over the bar area, complete with retro headphones.
Suddenly, a power surge spikes and just like that, all of Lonsdale Street’s electricity goes down. This is the third blackout Milky Lane has experienced in the four days they have been open in Canberra!
Despite the turmoil the blackout will probably bring to the kitchen, the wait staff continue to offer warm and friendly service. A waiter bustles out bearing a tray loaded up with ice-cold shot glasses of complimentary Dolla $ign Spritzes to cool everyone down. So refreshing. So delicious.
Hannah, our waiter, knows the menu well. She tells us that they can make mocktail versions of most of the drinks on the left side of the cocktail menu. Yes please! Having a choice of multiple inventive mocktail options feels like a luxury.
While we wait, we overhear the man exclaiming to his waiter that his Chick Kanye was the best chicken burger he has ever had.
My daughter has ordered a mocktail version of the Bondi Sour. It comes out deliciously zingy and icy cold. The addition of egg white adds a creaminess to the drink, giving it a splendid foamy top.
Our Kevin Bacon arrives, just like Milky Lane’s Instagram photos: dripping in sauce.
The BBQ sauce is the nicest I have tasted this side of Texas, neither overpowering nor too sugary and with a hint of smokiness to it. The truffle aioli mellows and enhances that big BBQ sauce hit. Underneath all that sauce are two tender grilled Wagyu beef patties, some maple -smoked bacon, pickles, lots of cheese and caramelised onion. Although the sauce-to-meat ratio looks too much, this burger somehow works. Probably not first-date food, but boy, it’s delicious.
My mashed-potato-loving daughter is having conniptions over our loaded mash balls. They are oversized, so you really get a real hit of silky mashed potato under the crispy shell. The grated cheese and aioli brings it all together.
On our next visit, we will be looking Milky Lane’s desserts and mega shakes squarely in the face.
Milky Lane is located at Unit 3/21 Lonsdale St in Braddon.
It’s open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm from Sunday to Wednesday, and from 11:00 am to 12:00 am from Thursday to Saturday.