Dining, Dining Reviews

Lunch at Aunty Franklee

I ventured to Hawthorn for a delicious lunch at Aunty Franklee 2 weekends ago. I’ve mentioned it a few times, it’s pretty cold here in Melbourne this winter, so I was keen to go and have some delicious food to warm me up.

I should mention there are two Aunty Franklee locations, Melbourne CBD and Hawthorn. Hawthorn is the newest baby of Fiorn. After receiving much acclaim for the Melbourne CBD store, with a write up by my favourite food blogger Not Quite Nigella, Fiorn set out to open a second location.

The restaurant is conveniently located within close proximity to Hawthorn Train Station and the number 75 tram stops right out the front.

Upon opening the door, you are immediately greeted by a light, bright and airy space. White floors, cane furniture and the most gorgeous turquoise coloured feature wall.

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I am in love with how this restaurant has been styled. I felt as though I had been transported to another country. I felt like I was on holidays, some tropical destination.

Gorgeous watercolour paintings are scattered throughout the restaurant, painted by Fiorn and her Husband. There is a spot at the window, where her Husband paints and why wouldn’t you? The space is perfect with the massive glass window.

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Fiorn asked if I would like some tea, while I looked over the menu. Next arrived a beautiful pot of Lemon Grass & Ginger tea. This kept me going through the whole meal.

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Even though I am a foodie, I don’t think I’ve ever had real authentic Malaysian Food. Except the classic Laksa or Satay Chicken. So to try real Malaysian food was quite exciting.

The menu isn’t massive or complicated but does have a great range of items to choose from. To be honest, they all sound so good! I was glad when Fiorn suggested we do small plates of a select few items.

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Silver Whiting with Tumeric Relish $9/$12 and Chicken Skewers $6/$11
The moment I took a bite of the Silver Whiting, I knew I was in for a real treat. Think deliciously crunchy with most of the taste coming from the fish itself.
Full of flavour, it’s served on a bed of daikon radish, which is perfect. I love LOVE the addition of the sea spray as a garnish. It’s fresh with just the right amount of bite.

The Chicken Skewers were very tender, it’s more a dry rub of spices vs the traditional peanut sauce I’m used too. Very delicious!

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Grilled “Bakars” Short Beef Ribs $12/$20 and Nasi Lemak (new to menu)
I was extremely excited for the next 2 dishes. I had seen the beef ribs on the Aunty Franklee Instagram and just knew I had to try them.

The Nasi Lemak is a new item and the coconut rice is coloured with Butterfly Pea Flower, how cool is that!

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The Grilled “Bakars” Short Beef Ribs blew me away! Presented with a subtle satay sauce, full of peanut goodness and pickled purple cabbage which was a perfect pairing to help with the spicy meat. The meat just fell off the bones and was incredibly tender.
It had that perfect charcoal taste too. I’ll have another serve of these please!

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The Nasi Lemak is a new menu item. A traditional dish, I tried a few weeks back. They have used Butterfly Pea Flower to colour the coconut rice. Butterfly Pea Flower not only makes dishes pop but there are actually therapeutic properties associated with it (I wrote about my learning experience with it here).

As Fiorn explained to me, this dish is best eaten when you mix a little of everything all together, so that I did! It’s amazing how there are some really simple ingredients on this plate but the flavours they make when joined together – out of this world!

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Mother Hen Soup $14/$28
Just when I thought my taste buds had peaked, Fiorn brings out this dish. The first sip of broth that I took, I literally died. This soup is AMAZING. I don’t even have words to explain just how good this is.

The recipe is from Fiorn’s grandfather who would make this soup on a Sunday. The soup gets its name from the Mother Hen, which is used to make the broth due to its intense flavour. There are also 5 different types of mushrooms used in this dish.

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What makes this soup a little different is the noodles. They are work fried before being placed into the bowl. This leads to the delicious taste and aroma of smoke from the work plus crunchy noodle pieces. As the noodles soak up the broth, you are left with an intense, delicious flavour sensation.

Thigh is used as the meat, which is perfect as it was just so tender! This is definitely my favourite dish, and also the best soup I have ever had.

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Char Kuey Teow $14
A delicious noodle dish with crunchy pork pieces, fish cake, prawns, Chinese sausage and tofu. Another dish with so much flavour, and very filling. I love the addition of the homemade sambal as it adds that spicy touch to the dish that I’m fond of.

I love the smoky flavour, and the perfect pieces of egg and crunch beansprouts. This would make the perfect dish to share alongside your mains.

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I absolutely enjoyed Aunty Franklee, not only was the food an absolute standout but Fiorn was such a gracious host. I loved how she explained certain elements to me and her passion.

Hopefully we see her in the next few weeks over on Meet the Makers!

I recommend you pop in when possible and try this delicious Malaysian food. Take me with you too if you wish, I wouldn’t decline the invite!

Renee
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