Aunty Franklee, Hawthorn
Food: Silver Whiting, tumeric relish, chicken skewers, thunder tea rice, grilled “bakars’ beef short ribs, papaya icecream
Walking into Aunty Franklee I can’t decide if I’m in someone’s living room or I’m on holiday, but either way it’s lovely. With wicker chairs and pale turquoise walls it carries all those undertones of beach life with some well styled knickknacks placed around to give a restaurant with real character.
You’ll be greeted warmly, and swiftly. This small Hawthorn restaurant attracts an eclectic mix of diners, and it’s easy to see why – whether it’s the escape from the hustle and bustle of Glenferries Road, the affordable eats or the rare dishes, there really is reason for everyone to try it. While they offer B.Y.O. wine, we decided to sample one of their lagers from Burnley Brewing Co. We loved the maltiness and lightness of this beer and it was an ideal accompaniment to some of the delicate flavours we enjoyed.
We started our meal with the silver whiting and chicken skewers. The menu is structured so many dishes come in both an entree and main size, giving you plenty of options. The whiting are served (and eaten) whole, which was quite an unusual sensation when you first eat them, but I loved that they were served in this more traditional way. The fish itself had a gentle soft flavour, just lifted nicely by the accompanying dipping sauce.
The skewers were probably our favourite dish of the night. What initially struck us was the total contrast this dish had from the fish. They had a beautiful char on the skewers which undertone the gorgeous, sweet, sticky marinade which charms you on the first bite and makes you want to keep eating more. While the fish was reserved and light, these flavours were bold and striking and I’ll be ordering this with a side of blue rice next time I visit.
For mains we tried the thunder tea rice and the beef ribs. Again, I loved the traditionalism of the thunder tea rice. While being both gluten free and vegan (I opted for it without the shellfish) there was still lots of variety and tastes in the bowl. It’s accompanied by a tea-brewed fresh herb soup, which is poured over the dish in small amounts as you enjoy it. The soup had somewhat of a matcha flavour, and added both an extra dimension and a nice moistness to this enjoyable dish.
The beef ribs were served with a rich, nutty dipping sauce which perfectly complemented the soft ribs. The ribs themselves just fell off the bone and there was a hearty serve of meat. The blue tea rice just looks stunning with a soft coconut flavour, and was a great accompaniment. Finally, although stuffed, we managed to share a serve of the papaya ice cream which was just a nice refreshing way to finish off our dining experience.
Address: 64 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
Tue 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm
Wed 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm
Thu 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm
Fri 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm
Sat 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm
Sun 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm
Parking: There’s a free car park on nearby Roche Street, where we easily found a space in the evening.
Getting here on PT: It’s on the 75 tram route, alight at Hawthorn Station or it’s a 2 minute walk from Hawthorn Train Station.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Aunty Franklee, Hawthorn. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.