Chasing a Plate were invited to dine as guests of Hunky Dory and House of Mouse
It’s 33 degrees, the cricket is on and everyone has decided it’s fish and chip Sunday. Hunky Dory is packed. There’s a wait for a table and the phone is ringing off the hook for takeaway orders. We arrive before the rush and manage to nab a table outside after ordering and paying at the counter. The fish of the day is dory and salads include slaw, a Greek salad and a broccoli and miso number.
Hunky Dory has recently expanded its menu to include burgers and wraps, superfood salads and ‘around the world’ plates which feature grilled fish with your choice of seasoning plus chips and salad or rice. Choose from ‘The Italian’, ‘The African’, ‘The Japanese’, ‘The Latino’ and ‘The Oriental’. We order ‘The African’ which sees the fish of the day grilled and sprinkled with chermoula spices and finished with a hint of lemon, a piece of battered dory and the salt and pepper calamari with chips and salad.
‘The African’ arrives first- two large fillets of dory, chips and a generous serve of Greek salad which is laden with feta and kalamata olives. The fish is deftly seasoned with a mix of cumin, paprika, onion, tumeric, cayenne and garlic, just the right amount so as not to overpower the delicate fish. We nibble on the chips whilst waiting for TBS’s calamari and fish. Fifteen minutes go by and we let our waiter know that we’re still waiting for the other half of our dinner. He apologises and heads to the kitchen to check on the order. There’s been a mix up and it shouldn’t be too long he tells us. Another fifteen minutes pass until the salt and pepper calamari and battered fish show up.
But it’s here where Hunky Dory redeems itself 100%. It’s what you hope will happen but hardly ever does when you have an experience like this. The manager appears at our table, apologises for the stuff-up and then gives us our money back*. It’s done with so little fuss that I can barely comprehend what’s happening. You’re probably thinking that they knew we were bloggers hence the refund but we paid with a gift voucher and they didn’t know when or which store we’d visit and we were sitting outside so our photography wasn’t too obvious. I like to think that it was damn good service on their part.
So, how is the food? The grilled fish is fresh and beautifully cooked and whilst its been sitting for a while the weather is warm so it hasn’t cooled down dramatically. I prefer my battered fish and chips a little more golden and with a bit more crunch but the fillet of dory is again cooked to perfection so no complaints there. The salad is well seasoned and the fresh, vibrant flavours balance out the abundance of fried food that we’ve opted for.
The salt and pepper calamari is pretty addictive. The calamari is tender and the salt and pepper seasoning is light but crispy. There’s more on the plate than we can finish (doesn’t often happen I can tell you!) We’re stuffed.
We can see why the place is heaving- fresh seafood, generous portions and brilliant service. Bravo Hunky Dory.
* After our meal we explained that we were bloggers and had paid with a voucher issued by Hunky Dory HQ and returned the money.
Good to know:
Battered fish of the day $6.50
The African $18.90 (few bucks more if you opt for the superfood salad)
Salt & Pepper calamari with chips and salad $17.20
135 Swan Street
Telephone +61 3 9427 9652
Open 7 days until late
Stores in South Yarra, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Highett, Moonee Ponds and Ringwood.
Photographs: Thomas Southam