Having tried Hunky Dory in Port Melbourne once before, and feeling peckish on a Saturday arvo after wine tasting, we took a punt on the relatively new South Melbourne branch sited along Clarendon St.
The outfittings of the branch is typical, blue-white theme with ample seating at clean tables. A nice refrigerated display of various seafoods for order. And an ATM cash machine?! Right under the muted TV in the corner above the order station with FOXTEL? For a cash-only place, that’s really inappropriate I reckon.
The grilled calamari portions are huge here, and the packs seem like good value for money from what I observed from the other patrons. Fish- and price-wise, you can certainly have similar for less (about $2 less). Typical choices of flake, dory, barramundi and King George whiting priced between ~$6 – $8. The fish fillets are fresh and of good quality, also of decent sizes. However, I do find the batter lacking in several aspects. Firstly, the final fried layer is too thin. And with the steaming hot fish out of the oil, it gets soggy rather quickly, hastened by a slight application of lemon juice. The fried batter, while of good colour, tended to be too light and doesn’t add to the texture and overall enjoyment of the fish.
Chips are of a sizable serve in a basket, but alas, quality is average. Oh, and any sauces you want are charged extra (Tatare $2). We did get two serves of tomato ketchup in scallop shells with our chips though.
Overall, I was left not impressed, and I struggle to remember what I had thought of the Port Melbourne branch. Wouldn’t specifically want to go back, there are many other places in the vicinity for a bite and nibble.