Pepper Lunch (Hawthorn)
- Agedashi Tofu
- Sweet Potato Wedges
- Onion Rings
- Chicken & Hamburg with Curry and Rice
- Giant Rib Eye Steak
The Curry with Chicken and Hamburg was probably the highlight of the evening. The chicken was tender and juicy. Combined with the flavourful and bold curry sauce that made a huge fuss when poured onto the hot plate, it made for some rather delicious curry chicken. The hamburg beef patty was not bad too, but unfortunately someone was too heavy handed on the pepper and it made the beef much much too peppery.
I also particularly enjoyed the sweet potato wedges. The outer had an ever so slight batter that gave it the perfect crunch. Complemented by a soft inner, the textures were simply perfect. The sweetness of the potato was also well contrasted by the salt coating the outer skin. Traditionally not a sweet potatoes fan, this has won me over and I am convinced that sweet potatoes can indeed be tasty!
The Onion Rings were similarly battered nicely. The outer had great crunch and embodied soft, inner onions. The only thing lacking I would say is seasoning in the batter which can turn this into a real winner.
The so-called “Giant Rib eye” wasn’t actually that giant. What it lacked in thickness and depth of flavourful was made up by its huge surface area, and tenderness. This was no high quality protein flavour-wise. However there must’ve been a respectable amount of marbling given the tenderness, and the subsequent fat that remained on the hot plate. The meat itself was soft and tender but light on herbs and spices, only borrowing flavours from a dash of butter on top. I also had to unceremoniously pile my steak onto my vegies (as instructed) to stop them from being overcooked, which proved to be a rather futile exercise… I think a side plate here is much warranted.
The Onion Rings were battered nicely - not too heavy. The outer had great crunch and embodied soft, inner onions. The only thing lacking I would say is seasoning in the batter which can turn this into a real winner.
From the new Winter menu was the Agedashi Tofu. Unfortunately, being a new item, it was executed rather poorly and certainly not pleasant. The tofu was on the hard side. Compounded by the sandpaper-like consistency of the batter, it was tough, chewy and lacked flakeyness. The saviour was the sauce and the abundance of spring onions, both of which were spot on.
Let’s not kid ourselves. The novelty favor is the main attraction of Pepper Lunch. You come here not for a perfectly cooked steak, but to have fun and pretend to cook your meal by stirring some ingredients around. The result of course is a whole lotta fun, but expectedly unspectacular food.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Sure. It’s not a bad meal after all and it’ll be interesting to see how pasta cooks on their hot plate.
I am also certain that their new menu items should surely improve with time as it is merely an execution issue.