Lunch Review: Section 8
Australia is far from a perfect country. Sure, we have it better than most in the way of health care and weather, but there are more than a few dark spots in our history, current political climate and reputation abroad as common drunks.
However, I believe one area where we are furthest from perfection is in the humble land of hot dogs. Mention the word 'hot dog' and my conscious conjures up a memory of myself as a tiny tot, being handed a cocktail frankfurt by the gruff cheapskate butcher, taking one tentative bite and in that moment, then and there, learning the emotion that eventuated into my daily habit of swearing. I mean, what is a "hot dog", in the highly publicised Wendy's or service station version of the word? A flavourless "meat" (umbrella term) mixture, housed in an impenetrable plastic-y casing dyed a colour which can't exist in nature, bathed in lashings of tomato sauce and thrown between some sugary bread that would survive a nuclear fallout. There's no doubting that generally Australia does hot dogs wrong. Even our lovable Bunnings fundraising sausage sizzle doesn't really do much for me. Here is where Section 8 steps in, with their newest offering catering to the 9-5 city workers who want a little down time from the high rises. During spring, Section 8 have taken the feeble hot dog and sausage sizzle, combined their forces, coaxed it into maturity and let it smash through all of the broken dreams and stunted life plans of its predecessors.
The gourmet footlong hot dogs sell for a reasonable $12 each and are jam-packed in a choose-your-own-adventure style fashion. I'm not one for minimal, so after loading "the lot" onto the crusty, fresh baguette, I dove in from the top down. The first taste was the whole, tiny-in-every-way-but-taste green chillies that cleared an entire back catalogue of colds, followed by a sweet onion jam to balance the heat, salty baby gherkins, a creamy slathering of mustard and finally, the sausage, a spicy chorizo-style gourmet sausage that was moist, flavourful and sealed to perfection expertly by executive chef James Wilkonson of Baba in East Brunswick. His method of smoking the sausages while cooking them left an authentic barbeque taste with charred grilling lines that were a delight to bite. My lunch companion lost her way a tiny bit in the middle, and salvaged her hot dog seconds before the entire operation almost turned into emergency laundry service. Take a handful of serviettes and corporates beware (but you're not seriously going back to work, right?) And what's a long lunch without a little side of boozy? A glass of Redbank wine, right here from our home state and at an affordable $5 a glass ($22 for a bottle), is the perfect side to this freefall into Friday.
The Redbank Section 8 long lunch operates from 12pm-3pm every Friday at 27-29 Tattersalls Ln, Melbourne.