Western Sydney...a multicultural smorgasbord of late night kebab caravans, sequin adorned Thai establishments, and the occasional sushi train. There is an endless selections of international cuisine options, and some diners may find they are hard pressed to find a traditional, fresh good old fish shop. Hank's Seafood Co located some 50 plus kilometres from the ocean is established inside Panthers world of entertainment, Penrith.
Hank's Seafood Co is inside Panthers world of entertainment
It’s a nice sea change for the West, offering an extensive range of treasures from the great deep. The nautical décor transports you to a beachside town circa 1940s. Decked out with brightly coloured chairs, matched with rich timber furnishings and 1940s comic noir themed wallpaper.
You cannot miss the Hank's neon sign
Cosy seaside decor
Monday and tuesday nights are all you can eat mussels for $19.95, and I have to admit I was quite excited by the prospect of devouring a fair quantity of these little shelled gems. But before I got too carried away, there were the entrees to consider. Starters include classics like Oysters done Natural, Kilpatrick or Mornay starting at $18 per half dozen, $37 for a dozen; as well as a Prawn Cocktail ($19.50), or the Salt and Pepper Squid ($17.50).
For something decadent and light, the Szechuan Soft Shell Crab ($17.50) will not fail to impress.
I shared the oysters Kilpatrick style, and the soft shell crab. The oysters were plump and juicy, cooked with just the right amount of sauce. Oyster lovers will not be disappointed.
The soft shell crab is crispy on the outside with sweet, tender meat on the inside. It melts in your mouth with the delicate zing from the Szechuan pepper, and thus matches well with the crispy sweet potato crisps. Stylised modernly on the plate, the crab is a generous serving size.
Szechuan soft shell crab
Standard garlic breads are $6.50, and bruschettas are $9. The Garlic bread is also infused with fresh herbs and butter.
Crusty hot garlic bread with herbs
A chilled ambience fills the air at Hank’s, with a relaxing view out onto the water canals that surround the main window. Being an early week evening, it was a lot quieter and the service was very prompt.
Funky and inviting
If seafood is not your thing, fear not. There's a variety of main grill items available like the Hank’s Beef Burger ($19.50), Peri Peri Chicken Burger ($19.50) or the Wagyu Rump Steak ($27). And if seafood and meat are both not you're thing, then try the Vego burger ($16.50) - comprising of a vegetable patty with haloumi, tomato, lettuce and aioli.
A large menu to choose from
For a seafood focused restaurant, there is still the same dedication to the non-seafood items. I tried the wagyu steak with the cabbage, onion rosti and onion rings. Verdict: steak lovers will be happy diners with this meal.
Juicy succulent wagyu steak with onion rings
My enthusiasm for the all you can eat mussels was only elevated with the aroma of garlic and white wine that filled the air. As the cheerful waitress presented a pot which resembled something the size of a small slow cooker, I suddenly realised I was going to be eating a lot of mussels…
A delicious giant serving of mussels
Diners have the choice of two sauces: the tomato, olive and basil, or a creamy white wine sauce. Each serving comes with a plate of chargrilled crusty bread-perfect for soaking up all the flavour rich sauces. This is a cosy dish, a pot full of flavours mixed with the smell of the ocean and the warmth of an open fire.
Crusty bread and mussel sauces
Too good not to finish off
The desserts menu is seasonal and subject to change. It is an array of traditional French inspired desserts delivered with a contemporary twist. Such quality includes the Orange Marmalade Brûlée ($13) served with a home made saffron gelato, or the cherry and chocolate trifle ($13), comprising of a jaconde sponge, chocolate ganache, coconut jelly and Malibu infused cherries.
Only wanting something a bit light, I chose the Mielle Fuielle ($13.50) - an elegant presentation of mixed berries served with a rhubarb mousse, chocolate sorbet, and lychee sorbet served under flaky pastry. There are a lot of flavours that are going on at the plate, but it works well to refresh the palette.
Interesting montage of flavours and textures
Hank’s lives up to its reputation as a fresh and delicious seafood venue. There is a lot of time and care that is put into the presentation of the meals, and the creation of the flavour combinations on the menu. I appreciate the variety the menu has which caters to a lot of different diners tastes. A great venue for a quiet night out, or for a large function with areas for hire.
Fresh seafood in a chilled ambience
Where: Panthers World of Entertainment, Mulgoa Road Penrith NSW.
Why: Fresh seafood served with a contemporary charm.
Cost: Entrees $13. Mains $16.
When: Mon - Sun: 12:00 - 15:00 & 17:30 - 11:00.