A coffee a day keeps my friends near, spontaneity keeps my heart clear. I lack sometimes the steam, to pursue the never-ending dream.
Published October 10th 2012
Hunky Dory, exceptional food and service
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word "Hunky Dory" as "pretty satisfactory" but I would definitely declare that Hunky Dory, the Fish and Burger Bar at Clarendon Street as more than just satisfactory. It is simply exceptional.
Starting with its interior décor, the ocean blue menu boards and brightly lit salad and seafood bar, forms the perimeter of the open-concept kitchen. Besides a view of how the chefs are handling your fishes and burgers, the open concept seems to enliven the place with the dynamic interactions between the chefs, service staff and the customers that walk in.
Upon entrance into the restaurant, I could feel the energy of the place with the spontaneous shouts of welcome by the chefs. How they remain so energetic while dipping fishes in messy batter and throwing them into dangerously hot oil, I have no idea.
Robert, the supervisor of the place at Clarendon Street, engages his customers by going round the tables and personally asking them how they find the meal and he delights them with his twinkling eyes and witty humour. When asked by a patron where the washroom is, he pointed to the back and cheekily told her, "Just say my name, Robert, and you will get a good seat." Charming.
Hunky Dory has been voted the best fish and chips place in 2012 by NovaFM, a radio station in Melbourne. It is not surprising as they serve a good variety of different types of seafood and fishes in various styles. Their fried batter is light and does not leave you with a queasy stomach from the grease and their fishes are so fresh that you can almost taste the seawater in it.
They serve this colloquial dish with either the usual flake, which is the local gummy shark, or with other types of fish for the more discerning ones, such as Blue Grenadier, Barramundi, Dory and King George Whiting.
For the more health-conscious, there is a choice of grilled fish, for an additional $0.50. Interestingly, there is a wide selection of different marinate flavours to go with the grilled fish, such as The Caribbean (Topped with a mango, onion and coriander salsa), The Asian (An infusion of sweet soy, coriander, lemon grass, chilli and ginger) and The Spaniard (Topped with tomato, spanish onion, basil and a balsamic vinegarette). So, wherever your dream destination is, just close your eyes, take a bite and let the flavours take you there.
The prices here are reasonable as well. For a traditional fish and chips pack, which comes with a fillet and chips, it cost $9.20. If you are not in a "fishy" mood, try their salt and pepper calamari, which are fresh calamari (not those in the usual rings) lightly fried with salt and pepper or their prawn cutlets or seafood sticks. If you can only choose one, go for their salt and pepper calamari as I find that the most appetizing.