While I think that eating food you make yourself leads you to a healthier life, I do think you need to have the occasional meal away from home. Takeaway is great on a night you’re flat out busy or a night when you just need to recharge your batteries (getting pizza delivered is my hands down favourite on those nights).
But when you go out to a restaurant, that’s where the magic happens! The tastes, colours, and flavours of foods you eat at restaurants are different to what you have at home. And that’s what you need – some inspiration to help you improve.
How do you know you don’t like eggplant if you’ve only ever grilled it? Maybe you’ll love eggplant parmigiana and it’ll become a new favourite. Maybe you thought miso was an ant species but realised that it’s a great soup and flavour enhancer. How do you know? Cause a friend ordered it last week when you went out to dinner and she gave you a spoonful to try. Awesome, wasn’t it?
Going to restaurants was the way I opened my mind to new ideas and flavours. And Hunky Dory is one of those restaurants that I still turn to for inspiration. I’m not very adventurous with my fish and seafood choices so by going to Hunky Dory I can see which flavours are paired with what and also see how it’s cooked – all of which gives me ideas on how to replicate it at home.
But let me take a step back. What is Hunky Dory? It’s a chain of low to medium priced restaurants around Melbourne. The original store opened in Port Melbourne but they’ve recently expanded to other stores in other suburbs. They have a great combination of your local takeaway fish and chips as well as other meals. See the menu.
What I love is the $18 combo of grilled fish with one of 5 flavours on top with salad and chips or rice. You get 2 large basa fillets cooked with your choice of flavouring (I recommend the chermoula) with a huge pile of salad and a massive pile of chips. You can choose from Greek salad, garden salad or coleslaw or pay a bit extra to get one of the fancy salads (like quinoa).
I really love the chips at Hunky Dory. The are deep fried but they taste almost oven baked because they aren’t greasy at all. They’re crisp and crunchy and yummy. They’ll even serve them without salt if you ask nicely.
My hubby gets the same combo but he gets the fish, calamari and prawn version (cause I don’t cook calamari at home much so he enjoys it while he’s out). But they also have battered fish and chips just like your typical fish restaurant. There’s even potato scollops (aka potato cakes), fish sticks, prawn cutlets, and you can get oysters too.
I’ve been to Hunky Dory many times since I discovered them earlier this year, and I can say I’m always pleased with the food and the service is gold too. The restaurant is clean and I feel comfortable going at any time of the evening because I know I’ll get the same high quality of food whenever I go. I highly recommend you try them when you’re in Melbourne. I’m just sad there isn’t one in the city so I can get it for lunch while I’m at work!
So, even if you don’t have a Hunky Dory in your town, find a good restaurant and try a few new meals. Expand your tastes, ask the chef how they cooked it or snag a copy of the menu so you can remember the food and flavour combinations later (I do it all the time! Like in the photo below).
Which restaurant are you going to try? Or have you been to Hunky Dory too? What did you think?
Till next time.