04 Sep Pepper Lunch, Hawthorn
I picked Pepper Lunch as the place to go as a sort of post-exam ‘celebration’. Also because I happened to get a $5-off coupon from the back of my grocery receipt. With an already wide expanse of stores overseas, Pepper Lunch arrived on Australian shores not too long ago. Ingredients for the order are assembled on hot plates, but the rest of the cooking is controlled by the customer. The DIY concept is an interesting one – customers can’t complain their food is under- or overdone!
Shortly after placing my order for the salmon pepper rice, a sizzling 270C hot plate came to the table. In an attempt to prevent my clothes from smelling like BBQ, I took a table at the back of the restaurant, away from the presence of the majority of hot plates. I’m not sure how successful that was. The rice is flavoured with butter, sweetcorn kernels and of course, pepper. There was also some garlic sauce, sweet sauce, salt, pepper and shichimi on the table for customers to complete their meal. Although it’s recommended to mix the ingredients straight away, instead I moved the salmon on top of the rice to stop it from cooking further, but left the rice sitting for a while so I could get it to crisp – just like the best part of claypot rice! The rice actually tasted a lot better than I’d imagined and I found my crunchy rice deeply satisfying.
There’s a number of meat combinations available on the menu, including non-rice and non-hot plate options. The orders come out pretty quickly, though it can’t be eaten equally as fast since you’d probably burn your tongue and ruin the enjoyment of the rest of your meal.
644 Glenferrie Rd
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122
(03) 9078 8980