Food Tales – The Overview…
Food: Mixed Arancini, Mixed Bruschetta, Fried Fish Fillet, Khicjudi, Mixed Kebabs, Halwa, Chocolate Brownie
We love that Food Tales start with food from their history, that their parents made, and then mixed into this local Melbourne produce and ideas to create their delicious menu. For me, that’s what cooking is all about: combining history and traditions with influences around you to continuously evolve and create something new and different.
The restaurant itself is much cosier and warmer than it initially appears. While it’s brightly lit at the front the light mellows further back, and you feel world’s away from busy North Road. We loved the orange accents and Middle Eastern colour scheme of earthy tones throughout. Boasting a full liquor license it’s a great spot for a casual dinner. Owner Naveen will instantly make you feel welcome and is excited to share his yummy dishes with you.
The menu is a mix of Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a small, yet eclectic menu which works well for both sharing or ordering your own meals. While it’s difficult to slot Food Tales into an exact genre we were keen to try almost all the dishes on the menu – from the mainstream to the unusual. For entree we tried mixed bruschetta, arancini balls and the fried fish fillet.
The brushetta comes in a choice of traditional tomato and feta, shrimp, and Indian style with cheese, peppers and chilli flakes. We were able to try one of each and all came well loaded and full of colour. The traditional tomato and feta was simple, crisp and fresh, while the Indian style is more indulgent, loaded with melted cheese and a little spicy kick.
The arancini class again come in 3 different flavours: Mushroom and truffle oil, Mozzarella and Napolitano and Khicjudi (a recipe of lentils & rice). My favourite was the mushroom, which was pleasantly different and boasted a strong flavour from the truffle oil. The Mozzarella and Napolitano sticks close to the traditional Italian flavours of Arancini while the Khicjudi is an Indian comfort food dish, wrapped in an arancini disguise. They are a good size, and not too overwhelming for an entree – well worth sharing a set of these alongside whatever you order.
The crumbed fried fish fillet was a much larger entree, but it was very light so wasn’t overwhelming. It’s a generous portion, served with their delicious house made Kasundi (an asian mustard dip). The fish flaked apart easily, and I thought the choice of a light white fish was ideal for a entree. There’s a subtle spice to this dish, but this is more to add flavour than heat and it was a fab way to finish our first course.
For mains we tried a classic with the mixed kebab skewers and a traditional Indian dish the Khicjudi, which (other than our sample in the entree) we’d never tried before. The Khicjudi is packed with lots of flavours such as turmeric, ginger, and fennel. If you’re Indian this will make you think of home, and it’s a dish you’re going to want to travel to experience. For everyone else it’s the richness of Indian flavours blended together in a new way (well not new new, but new to Melbourne new). Again, it’s another dish that isn’t really spicy but is packed full of different tastes! Lee loved it with the barramundi whereas I preferred keeping it vegetarian with the eggplant. Either way it’s definitely one to try, and is likely to become Food Tales signature dish.
For the less adventurous the kebabs are a great choice. The chicken and lamb both have their own unique flavour. The chicken is so soft – soaked in yoghurt, it’s just mouthwatering and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed chicken that soft on a kebab. The flavours on the chicken are milder, whereas the richer lamb packs a little more of a punch. The lamb had a great char, and works so well with the tahini dip we enjoyed with it.
Finally we managed to squeeze in dessert – trying the house made brownie and the traditional halwa. The halwa was beautiful – sweet, moist and slightly spiced. They nailed this traditional Indian dessert and if you’ve been trying some of their signature dishes, this has to be the way to finish your meal. The brownie had a great texture, and it was a huge chocolatey treat, served with ice cream!
The multi-talented guys at Food Tales also do takeaway pizza and pasta dishes too (with free home delivery if you’re within 3km). There’s a huge range – again, as you’d expect, combining traditional and creative and from $13 for a large pizza they’re really affordable as well. We’ll definitely be sampling their pizzas soon so we’ll keep you updated with how they are!
Address: 636 North Road, Ormond
Mon 4pm to 10pm
Tue 4pm to 10pm
Wed 4pm to 10pm
Thu 4pm to 10pm
Fri 4pm to 10pm
Sat 4pm to 10pm
Sun 4pm to 10pm
Parking: Time it right and you’ll be able to jump into one of the few parking spaces out front. Alternatively, you should easily be able to park in one of the nearby side streets, or there’s a large carpark running along the back of the shops on the opposite side of North Road.
Getting here on PT: It’s about 5 minutes walk from Ormond Train Station on the Frankston Line.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Food Tales, Ormond. 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.