Friday, 1 October 2010

Project Hunter: Week 1

I've decided to embark on a frivolous lunchtime project. Having been in the marathon diet straight jacket for the past six weeks - of pasta every day - I've decided to visit every food stall in the Hunter Connection Food Court. The rules are quite simple; I'm going to visit every food stand in order, working my way clockwise from the north eastern corner. Asking the vendors what is their most popular dish, or simply picking something I fancy.

There are some places, based on previous experiences, that I already know that I don't want to visit. But I'm hoping, overall, that it will help me to find some gems and help me break out of visiting the same four or five places that I usually go for lunch. There are around twenty five food stalls in Hunter Connection for me to get through.

First up was Hokkien Fried Rice ($7.50) from Hunter Asian Gourmet. The most expensive and most bland dish of the week. Carrots, celery, pepper and chicken stir fried on rice. The chicken was very tender, I think it might have been poached first and then quickly added to the wok to finish. The texture and flavour coming from the celery was the highlight. Not something I can see myself ordering again.

Next was the chicken plate ($7) from the Lotus Kebab House. I think it would have been virtually impossible to take an attractive photo of this dish, but it's actually something I enjoy and have ordered a few times before. Grilled chicken is served on a bed of rice, with lettuce, tomato and onion served on the side. The garlic and chilli sauce complete the kebab look. A filling lunch if you are hungry served up by friendly staff.

Thursday saw my first visit to Delicious Asian Food 6th Avenue. (Where did that name come from?) After asking what their most popular dish was, I was recommended the beef Pho ($6.50). The soup had a generous amount of tender beef. There was a fresh taste coming from all of the herbs and the broth was very tasty. The only downside was a plastic spoon with sharp edges that cut my lip. If they can sort out their spoon supplier, I'll be ordering this again.

Friday was another first for me, Pumpkin. When I was regularly visiting Hunter two months ago I noticed that Pumpkin was one of the stalls with virtually no customers. This made me fearful of what I was about to eat. However, I'd noticed this week that they've now started to build up a steady flow of customers. I selected three choices of chilli chicken, eggplant and teriyaki tofu all for an unbelievable $6. I enjoyed the chicken and tofu, but the eggplant was bland and mushy. I wouldn't be put off going here again.

Three hits and one miss this week. However, I was conscious how heavy and oily takeaway food can be after my home cooked lunches. I definitely think I'll start making my own lunch more going forward, which pre-marathon, isn't something I done since school.

I didn't have time to visit Hunter Connection on Wednesday so had something quick at my desk. I hope to visit as regularly as I can, but I don't anticipate fives dishes a week.


  1. I make my own lunch most days. But then if I had such good stuff at such cheap prices I might switch..!

  2. You are too funny - "the plastic spoon cut my lip". Hilarious. Dog would love this, I think from memory he was quite a fan of Hunter Connection. It is one of the most seedy looking food courts in Sydney I think - dark, like a dungeon.

  3. Quite right Penne - descriptions like seedy, dark, dungeon like brought back a lot of fond memories.

  4. @Penne - I didn't think any food court in Sydney attracted your wrath like Pitt St Mall, but it looks like Hunter might come close...

  5. Haha - yes, "the pit" is yet another food court atrocity. Not like I can talk though - I did go to the Gateway foodcourt regularly and it is also up there with the worst food courts in Sydney.

  6. So you've finally taken the plunge. Look forward to your next round