Review: Balwyn Canteen

Written by Matt Emmett.

With the weight of exams bearing down on me, and the joy of eating burgers a fading summer memory, Chloe and I decided, much like the recent rain, to end the (burger) drought in style by taking advantage of a sunny winter’s day and going to Balwyn Canteen.

My uni-related stress began to dissipate as soon as we arrived. We were greeted with menu items such as the Homer Simpson donut and the Try it or Diet, the latter being a burger with the typical brioche buns being substituted for donuts. Not being in the mood for anything sweet, I opted for the Deluxe, which boasts crispy fried buttermilk chicken, swiss cheese, coleslaw, jalapenos, and chipotle aioli. Chloe, with one eye on the Oreo thickshake, chose the Senior Burger, which packs a double beef patty, double cheese, pickles, mustard, ketchup, and Canteen sauce.

Where does one start with the Deluxe? The buns are sweet, the chicken is tender, and the sauce simmers on your tongue. The burger is well-crafted, sitting comfortably between hands and creating minimal spillage. There aren’t so many jalapenos that you’re reaching for the nearest jug of milk, and there isn’t so much coleslaw to make you question whether the burger is bland. Everything sits in perfect harmony.

The Senior Burger is another strong artery-clogging product of gustatory delight. The pickle ratio is strong, and the meat, cheese, pickles, mustard, and Canteen sauce make for a burger that tastes like a turbocharged McDonald’s Cheeseburger. Our only qualm? The buns were a tiny bit stale.

As for the Oreo thickshake, well, you need the aerobic capacity of an industrial vacuum cleaner to drink it. It truly is a thickshake, which is fantastic.


The Deluxe weighs in at $13.50, the Senior Burger comes in at $12.50, and the Oreo thickshake will cost you $9 (and one collapsed lung).


Small and busy, the restaurant itself feels cramped and hot. Best to order your food here to takeaway.

Dietary Requirements

There are some vegetarian options here, but no vegan options.


262 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn.

The Last Bite

The service is slow, but the wait is worth it. Ignore the Heart Foundation and risk a myocardial infarction for this.

Matt’s work appears in the Myth and Ethereal editions of WORDLY Magazine.

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