Having a ball

BEING a supporter of Scotland’s soccer team is an exercise in sadomasochism.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning we were dumped out the European Championships by Croatia, who beat us 3-1.

Once again we had failed to get past the group stage at a major championships.

By lunchtime I desperately needed some comfort food to cheer me up, so I headed to 3230 Smoke and Grill in Como.

Small, clean and bright, the eatery had bench seating and indie rock music pumping away in the background.

The floor-to-ceiling windows dished up a blurry vista of Canning Highway as cars and trucks sped by.

There was an amusing start to my meal when I ordered a junior chicken burger and chips ($12.50) – the man behind the counter explained I had to be under 13 to get one.

I explained the kids were in the car with mum, and I was getting a takeaway (I know I’m Scottish and like a bargain, but I’m not that tight).

The small menu had a nice range of beef and chicken burgers including a beef brisket number, Chimi Chicken, and a spicy beef with jalapeños.

There was also sides like smoky beans, Mac and Cheese, and coleslaw, as well as kids burgers. In a congested burger market, 3230’s point of difference is their smoked meat, cooked low and slow for extra flavour and tenderness.

It took them a while to make my food, so I presume a lot of things are done to order, which is commendable.

My wife’s Shred The Pig burger ($14.50) lived up to the hype.

“It’s crammed with succulent pulled pork and has a delicious sweet BBQ sauce,” she noted.

“They haven’t skimped on the meat, but there could have been a bit more coleslaw to balance the flavour.

“The bun is deliciously light and you can tell it’s a quality burger made with care.”

At the other end of the spectrum, my Chicken Maryland ($12.50) was a bit of a disaster – the meat on the huge chicken leg was dry as a stick and had been way overcooked.

Served on the bone, you would expect it to be succulent and tender, but it just tasted of nothing and I couldn’t finish it.

My meal was redeemed by a side of Mac and Cheese ($5 small).

I haven’t had macaroni cheese in years and this was a Proustian flashback to the family dinner table, where I savoured mum’s cheesy feast.

The macaroni was nicely cooked – a tad firm – with just the right amount of cheese and strength of flavour.

They didn’t try and reinvent the wheel with gourmet cheese made by celibate Monks in the South of France, and it was a comforting ode to bygone days.

My daughter’s junior chicken burger ($12.50) was the antithesis of my chicken Maryland – juicy, tender and succulent with a lovely mild mustard and rich ketchup.

It was a big slab of chook, worthy of an adult portion.

My son’s burger tasted lovely as well, with the American natural cheddar and brioche bun complementing the moist patty.

The kids’ meals came with fries and so did my Chicken Maryland. They were unbelievably crunchy and tasted like they had been twice-cooked, but unfortunately they were way over-seasoned.

3230’s burgers and Mac and Cheese were first class and eased the pain of another soccer mishap for Scotland.

3230 Smoke and Grill
262 Canning Highway, Como

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