Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
21. May, 2012
Seong-Lee Ang is a guy who really, really likes hot dogs and traveling. In that order. Seong-Lee reckons every time he goes to a new country he tries the local hot dogs, and whenever he has a dinner party sausage-in-the-bun invariably ends up on the menu. He’s chosen to combine his two passions in Melbourne’s newest, certainly smallest hot dog stand: Dognation.
Wedged in a tiny space on The Causeway (between Bourke St Mall and Lt Collins), Dognation serves up dogs from different nations, sort of like the UN of fast food. But the dogs aren’t differentiated by mere mustard or tom sauce.
Seong-Lee uses ingredients from each country to build his international dogs – the Tokyo Dog is wrapped in nori and topped with miso-infused mushrooms, wasabi and okonimiyaki sauce ($8.90). There’s the London Bangers and Mash, the Berlin Bratwurst and the Mexican Dog with chilli, beans and jalepenos. All dogs can be amped up with a sideo of potato mash and gravy ($2.90.)
But Ang wasn’t content with the filling – he wanted the buns right too. “There’s a lot of debate about bread-to-meat ratio so we did some market research. Most people want the bun crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, so we worked with Schwob’s Bakery to develop that.”
To complete the global doggin’ experience all the snags are hand made by Hansa Butchers, and finally there’s signature drinks from each country, including Bionade soft drink from Germany and Jarritos soda from Mexico.
I took a punt on the Tokyo Dog. The beef and pork sausage was generous and nicely seasoned, while the mix of flavours and textures not usually found in a bun – wasabi, nori, okinimiyaki – made for an experience as well as a meal. While I can’t say the bun blew me away with its hyper-engineered prowess it did the job and didn’t fall apart.
Ang has plans to give other nations the hot dog treatment – there’s talk of a Peking Duck Dog and Indian Curry dog in the works.
Seinfeld once said we should all learn from the cookie. Perhaps we can learn from the dog.
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