They have created a new style of menu with the addition of their 'Sensational Salads' and 'Trim-A-Licious' options. Vegetarians are catered for and these dishes are symbolised with a green diamond and a white letter V whilst low gluten options available are marked LG.
With the new salads, there are some interesting combinations – Feta, Orange and Pear Salad; Spicy Cajun Crumbed Mushroom Salad; Beetroot & Bacon Salad; and more. But that's not all that is new. To the left of the page is a box with the heading 'Make Your Masterpiece'. This is where you can add extras and customise your salad, with items such as Pan-seared salmon or barramundi, garlic prawns and calamari rings, etc. It's innovative and a great idea. I haven't seen this elsewhere.
Apart from the salads, some of the other pages in the new hard-covered menu book (which looks stylish and impressive in itself) also have these Masterpiece boxes with different extras that go with the meals on the page. I'm loving that you can tailor-make and add your favourite bits and pieces.
The 'Trim-A-Licious' menu has also been carefully put together. Minimising kilojoules and calorie intake, at the same time it retains quality with fresh produce from local farms. It includes appetizers, salads, wraps, seafood, chicken and steaks with the word Lite at the end, plus a new dessert – Tutti Frutti Sundae. You don't have to forgo taste here either, with these new additions. Trimming does not have to equate to boring and their spicy options, also healthy and nutritional, will prove that.
Beloved classics have not gone by the wayside. The grill masters are still serving up their prime steaks and those loaded skins and Boss Hog Ribs cater to their fans. You can choose whether or not to try something new with your treasured dishes. It's all up to you.
My son and I shared some of our Hog-etiser entrees – his Hoggies Loaded Skins with bacon and cheese topped with sweet chilli sauce and my Cheesy Garlic and Herb Bread with a side Caesar salad. All were delicious with my son stating the bread was the best he ever had. It was good and those potato skins were amazing as well.
Other appetisers include platters – a Finger Food combo for two with chicken tenders, crumbed seafood, cheesy bacon garlic bread, honey mustard and tartare sauce; and the Amazing Grazing Antipasto for two with tomato bruschetta, garlic and herb bread, boccancini mozzarella, marinated olives, mini pickles, salami and basil pesta – as well as Crispy Crab Cakes and toasted Turkish bread.
For main course, my son chose El Grande Chicken – chicken breasts with cheese sauce, Mexicana salsa and sliced jalapenos paired with the signature tail fries. Well cooked and full of taste. He's not big on salads but decided to customise his meal with the Caesar salad from the new 'Sensational Salads' menu. Enjoyable as well.
I went with the slow cooked Thai-style Lamb Shank meal that included a bed of mash, carrots, corn and broccoli with a wonderful jus. The meat was so tender and tasty. I had the 'Lite' option of one shank instead of two shanks. One was plenty for me and I was wanting to leave room for dessert.
Alternative options to tantalise the taste buds include Pork Belly Pasta, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, the Byron Bay Chilli Beef Wrap, a Grilled Beef & Brie Burger and Cheesy Nachos. There's also a larger range of sauces to choose from now.
Our drinks throughout our meal included some sweet delights – Vodka and pineapple, a Strawberry and Mint Lemonade Mocktail and a Pine Lime Splice cocktail. All very nice. You can also get many different beers, wines and spirits to complement your food.
Dessert options are plentiful with everything from fondue to mud cake, sundaes, brulee and sticky date pudding. I chose the Rocky Road Sundae and got two spoons. We shared this finale to our lunch. Full of vanilla and strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and toasted coconut, chocolate mud cake, choc cherry pieces, marshmallows, choc fudge and strawberry sauces, and a chocolate-filled wafer – one word, delish.
Aside from the menu changes, this chain of restaurants is also shortening its name. They are dropping the 'Breath Cafe' at the end and going simply with Hog's, as many Australians already call it this anyway. Sounds good to me.
For those that haven't been to Hog's before, prices are pretty much the same with lunches from $9.90. Add on extras to 'Make your Masterpiece' are from $4.95. You can spend big here but you can also keep money in your pocket and still have a wonderful meal.
A shop is on hand as well for you to buy your Hogs' merchandise. They have hogs on key rings, hogs on T-shirts, hogs on can coolers, hogs on cups and caps for take away as keepsakes of your visit.
The Hog'spitality continues as always with friendly staff attending to your needs and the atmosphere is something to be soaked up. We dined at the North Parramatta location which we have been to a few times and we still find ourselves admiring the decor. All sorts of wonderful memorabilia adorn the interior of this restaurant from top to bottom and add to the Hogs' experience.
So trot down and see what all the grunt is about. You're sure to find something special.