Gastrology was recently invited to attend a night of tastings and nautical themed body art at Hooked Healthy Seafood's recently opened Hawthorn store.
Hooked is inspired by owner Ray Good’s childhood summers by the seaside in the UK, where his parents worked at his Uncle Johnnie Fish and Chip shop. But it was while travelling the world as an internationally recognised DJ that he realised the lack of fresh food offerings on the road, and the importance of healthy eating.
Spotting a gap in the Australian market for healthy fish and chips, Ray launched Hooked, delivering the convenience and old-school taste of traditional British fish and chips with all the benefits of super fresh and healthy produce.
Ray opened the first Hooked in 2006 on Chapel Street, Windsor, with its success leading to him opening a second on Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street in 2010. Now, with the newly opened Hawthorn venue, fresh fish fans will no longer have to cross the river to get their (two to three times, recommended) weekly seafood intake.
Available for both dine in and take away, daily fish specials (e.g. certified-sustainable blue grenadier, snapper, salmon and barramundi) are sourced from the market and cooked fresh to order, while the store’s famous potato chips are hand cut by the kitchen.
It’s not all fish and chips; the menu boasts interesting items like the Baja Fish or Grilled Prawn Tacos, Grilled Calamari, Fish Burritos and Seared Tuna Burgers.
The menu also includes scrumptious salads. We particularly enjoyed the Superfood Salad: quinoa, broccoli, rocket, spinach, mint, semi-dried tomatoes, and toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds topped with a drizzle of yoghurt lemon dressing.
The Hooked style fish and chips are a twist on that old classic; an attempt to appeal to a more mature, refined audience and make fish and chips ‘trendy’. The ambience of Hooked is inviting, the decor is funky and relaxed and the service warm and prompt.
The tempura batter used to coat the fish is lighter and to a slight extent, less greasy than the offerings from your average ‘run of the mill’ fish and chippery. The “house” fish is blue grenadier instead of flake which, considering the rapidly dwindling numbers of gummy shark around the globe, is definitely a good thing.
The hand cut chips were addictively good - beautifully crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
What Hooked does, it does well. The third instalment of the gourmet seafood eatery, Hooked Hawthorn is a welcome addition to loyal punters and fresh foodies north of the Yarra.