There’s always that odd occasion when find yourself with a need to head north. Perhaps you are going to spend the afternoon perusing some of the beautiful display villages in the northern suburbs, and I’ll be the first to admit that, that is a very fun way to spend a few hours; or maybe you need to pick something up or visit a friend or maybe you want to go for a swim at the different beach, but whatever it is you’ve decided you want to grab some lunch on the way. What to do, where to go? Don’t get hangry! There is Hillarys Boat Harbour as one option, which is a lovely part of the world with many tasty lunching selections, but it can be a hectic spot during the summer month because of its perpetual popularity. So it can helpful to know of a few other places hiding in amongst the northern suburbs if you are feeling like something a bit more casual, one of those local gems that you need to know where it is. Like a place like Flinderz in Hillarys.
Flinderz is a lovely local café located in the Hillarys Shopping Centre complex. It is actually fairly spacious, bigger than I had expected and you have your choice of eating inside or in their alfresco area, which is pleasingly surrounded by an abundance of greenery. It is quite the shopping centre oasis, complete with pretty poseys on tables. On our visit we decided we would sit on the inside/outside fringe, talk about indecisive or was it actually the best of both worlds? That is what it was I figured.
On a lovely summer’s day, blue skies and sun shining, it was quite delightful to sit just inside this pretty café and sip a glass of wine, while we carefully considered what we fancied for lunch. It was a good looking menu too, with some smaller and larger options. Do we get a bunch of smalls to share, or each tackle something bigger? A tough decision, what to do? After much umming and ahhing we decided on….
- Chilli Salted Squid – Lemon, Aioli Dressing $16
- Steak Sandwich – Hand cut chips $22
- Pan-fried Ricotta Gnocchi – Pumpkin, Pea, Spinach, Garlic, Parmesan $18
Squid is our benchmark dish. Lots of places have it on their menu and it is always interesting to see how each venue put their spin on it. The squid arrived and was a fairly generous serve. Larger pieces of squid in a crispy golden coating with the tell-tale signs of spice with the red specs of chilli. We each eagerly reached for a piece and were both fans. The squid itself was tender, had been well seasoned and there was a pleasant kick from the chilli. It was very nice squid. We also both enjoyed that the squid came with a salad. It provided a pleasingly refreshing counter to the fried squid and had been nicely dressed. As an introduction to Flinderz food I felt all the more excited about the gnocchi I had arriving next.
Timing wise it was a relatively brief (though sufficient) interlude before our mains did appear. And both looked the goods! GG’s steak sandwich (well steak Turkish bread roll) had nice height with all the lovely fresh fillings accompanying the steak and an ample side serve of chunky chips. I did have a bite of his steak sandwich and it was really tasty. A tender piece of steak is key to a good steak sanga and they had nailed that. Great roll too. They had included a nice relish also and it was wonderfully flavourful.
Now over to my gnocchi, isn’t it pretty! The plump pieces of ricotta gnocchi had been pan fried to a pleasing crispness and artistically arranged along with slices of pumpkin, a smattering of sweet peas and greenery from wilted spinach leaves, a very decent amount of Parmesan (always, always the more the merrier is my approach on the Parmesan front) and a pretty sprinkle of micro herbs. It looked just wonderful and it was a keen debut forkful that strategically targeted a little of everything for that first bite. Delicious! It was a great combination of tasty flavours, elements of sweet and salty, and the gnocchi itself were delicate little parcels that had been lovingly pan fried. It was a nice sized serving, well priced and I felt pleasingly content after I finished the bowl full.
We had both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and it had been a lovely visit to Flinderz. They are focused on serving up tasty fresh dishes at good sizes and staff are all friendly and have welcoming smiles on their face. Currently open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch it is a lovely place to keep in mind when are heading to Hillarys.
My thanks to the Flinderz team for the invitation to come along to a visit. Great little spot you have there!