Friday, June 15, 2012

Dognation - Hot Dogs Of The World

There seems to be a slight explosion (can an explosion be slight?) of gourmet hot dog places around Melbourne. The latest in that list is Dognation, or as I keep misreading, Donation. It's a bit like Paris in the the Spring for me. Somehow my brain keeps misreading it.

My friends and I dined courtesy of Dognation.

On a fairly mild Melbourne's day (which meant we were all rugged up in scarves and had our umbrellas ready), myself, Agnes and a few other friends went to visit Dognation. When I was told it was a small place, I didn't expect this small. It is seriously a hole-in-the-wall style place. It's amazing how they can pump out these gourmet dogs. The logistics of getting things delivered and storing it would be quite hard. Own Seong-Lee told us that they get a delivery everyday from their and their specially designed bread. The bread comes in two varieties, white and multigrain. Seong-Lee said he worked with the baker to ensure the bread to sausage ratio is just right, so you get a bit of both with each mouthful. For me, I preferred the white bread much more as it was softer. The multigrain was a bit too filling for my liking and masked the sausage a tiny bit.

The hot dogs are based around countries of the world, with drinks to match. There is a bit of everything for everyone. On that day, we decided to try EVERYTHING. I'm a massive hot dog fan and wanted to sample them all.

The hot dogs available are:

Melbourne Dog - Aussie Beef and Tomato Relish Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Mustard, Onion, Cheese, Beetroot Relish $7.9

London 'Bangers & Mash' Dog - British Beef & Pork Sausage, Mashed Potato, Smashed Peas, Gravy $8.9

Mexico City Chilli Dog - Mexican Beef, Pork & Bean Sausage, Spicy Chilli Con Carne, Cheese, Jalapenos $8.9

Berlin Dog - German Bratwurst Sausage, Sauerkraut, Onion, German Mustard (Hot or Mild) $7.9

Tokyo Dog - Pork & Beef Sausage Wrapped in 'Nori' Seaweed, Miso-Infused Mushrooms, Wasabi Japanese Mayo, Okonomiyaki Sauce, 'Nori' Flakes $8.9

For me I, all the hot dogs were good, but of course some stand out amongst the others. The Melbourne Dog is a really nice mix of sausage with beetroot relish and sauce.

The London Dog is good, with the potato mash (made from real potatoes and is excellent) really good. The dog overall lacked a kick that I like, but apparently this dog sells super well on cold days. Wonder why?

The Mexico City Dog was my second favourite. The chilli con carne is really good and the whole thing works well. I'd love it to be even spicier.

The Berlin Dog was a solid performer with a classic combination of sauerkraut with Bratwurst and mustard. A tried and tested recipe for success.

Finally, the Tokyo Dog was the biggest surprise, and almost everyone's favourite. The mixture of the seaweed, wasabi mayo and okonomiyaki sauce made for a beautiful hot dog that tasted really different to anything else I've tried. A definite must-try I think.

As I mentioned, there are drinks from around the world to match the dogs. They were a really interesting selection and I hadn't heard of any of them. I got a guava soft drink, which was really nice.

The stall, as you can see, is super small so there is only seating for 4 people. If it's raining, there isn't any cover either. This is more a takeaway type stand rather than a sit down place. So drop by, grab a variety of hot dogs and eat them happily while you walk and drip sauce all over your shirt. It's the Melbourne way.

Dognation on Urbanspoon


  1. I really want to try the Tokyo Dog now - it seems like such an interesting hot dog!

  2. They ought to make a waxed (chinese) and kimchi dog too. Man, that just sounds so wrong!

  3. Great write-up! I really wanted to try the Melb dog too cause the beetroot relish sounded fantastic. I went there alone so could only share two dogs between SL and I haha... Can't wait to try out the rest, am sure they're just as nice. Fun times... Hey hey hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, catch you at Sichuan next week! =)

  4. This is how I rank them
    1. Melbourne Dog
    2. Mexico City Dog
    3. Tokyo Dog
    4. London Dog
    5. Berlin Dog
    can't wait for Peking Duck/Dog!

  5. Definitely want a Tokoyo dog. Saw Bourdain eat one on a show and have wanted on ever since! Glad there is one in town :)

  6. Sophie, the Tokyo Dog is definitely interesting and good.

    Michelle, some good ideas there, even if the names sound weird.

    Winston, thanks. Slowly eat through all the dogs. Great to meet you finally.

    Agnes, Donation of the World.

    Eliott, good ranking. I hope they do a Peking Dog too.

    Michele, you have to go try it out.