The Hunt For The Perfect Potato Cake | Explore Port Phillip
The Hunt For The Perfect Potato Cake
The Hunt For The Perfect Potato Cake
City of Port Phillip

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26 Jun 2020

While fresh flake and crispy chips are fish and chip shop staples, there’s nothing quite like the perfect potato cake. They can be an accompaniment to your seafood or their own decadent meal. They are, as Thanos says, “perfectly balanced as all things should be.”

However, even as the perfect takeaway menu item, not all potato cakes are created equally, which is why we’ve undertaken the arduous task of finding the very best potato cakes in the City of Port Phillip. 

How are we ranking these potato cakes?

Before hitting up fish and chip shops throughout the City of Port Phillip, we had to devise a ranking system. We came up with three categories:

1.    Crispiness and crunch of the batter
2.    Size
3.    Fluffiness and flavour of the potato

Each category was then ranked 1 to 5 (with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best). Tallying these together for an overall score, we’d be able to determine which potato cake reigns supreme.

South Melbourne – Hunky Dory 

Hunky Dory stores are popping up on a regular basis, and their Clarendon Street location was our first stop on this potato cake hunt. Would one of Melbourne’s most popular fish and chip franchises deliver?

Crispiness and crunch – 4.5/5

Right off the bat you can see the glorious crisp batter covering the potato. After biting into it with a satisfying crunch, we could tell we were off to a great start here.

Fluffiness and flavour of potato – 4/5

After being satisfied with the crunch, Hunky Dory provided an incredibly fluffy potato filling. With a great contrast between the potato and batter (an incredibly important ratio), it was clear we off to a very strong start. 

Size – 3.5/5

Now when it comes to size, Hunky Dory goes large. Almost too large. The size of these potato cakes were very big – easily the biggest of all the potato cakes sampled. Hand span worthy, incredibly thick and equally filling, these are the type of potato cakes that you could almost have for a meal. It would be a struggle to have too many of these, no matter how delicious they are. 

Overall – 4/5

Almost a flawless potato cake from Hunky Dory – what a start! It had great flavour, crunch and fluffiness, just let down by being a little too big for our liking. Despite that, this fish and chip franchise set the bar very high. 

Hunky Dory – South Melbourne
252 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11 am to 9:30 pm 

Port Melbourne – Belvga Fish and Chippery 

Next, we headed to Port Melbourne to check out Belvga. A popular option for both takeaway and dining in, we saw a number of potato cakes being served that looked fantastic and left us eager to tuck in. 

Crispiness and crunch – 3.5/5

Just lacking the perfect crunch, this potato cake still had a fantastic golden colour and authentic crispy batter.

Flavour and fluffiness of potato – 4/5

The only reason we haven’t given this category a perfect score was due to its thinness. When it came to flavour and the fluffiness of the potato filling, wow! Really delicious tasting potato and a perfectly textured inside.

Size – 3.5/5 

Slightly on the smaller side, due to the aforementioned thinness and also the diameter, you could definitely have a few of these gorgeous goldies. 

Overall – 3.7 out of 5

Belvga really do have a knack for putting together a tasty, golden and flavoursome potato cake. With a slightly bigger and thicker size, and a touch more crunch, these would be perfect.

Belvga Fish and Chippery
61 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
9646 6919
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11.30 am to 10 pm 

St Kilda – Pink Flake 

Anyone boasting the “best Fish and Chips in St Kilda” needed a visit, so off we went to Pink Flake in Acland Street. With a healthy lunch crowd building in the store, and several potato cakes on display, we were keen to get stuck into the job at hand. 

Crispiness and crunch – 3/5

While packing some crispiness, this potato cake’s batter was just a little bit too thick, dominating the overall flavour and upsetting the balance with potato.

Flavour and fluffiness of potato – 4/5 

It was a shame that the batter was slightly too thick, because underneath it had a really great texture; perfectly fluffy, but lacking a little in flavour. 

Size – 4/5 

A very well sized potato cake! Round and thick but not too big, this is definitely one of the more hunger-taming selections in the City of Port Phillip.

Overall – 3.7 out of 5

While the batter was just a bit too thick for our liking, this was still a fantastic potato cake. Hefty and fluffy, Pink Flake definitely has a delicious golden morsel up their sleeve. 

Pink Flake 
92A Acland Street, St Kilda
8525 0198

Monday to Thursday, Sunday 11.30 am to 9.30 pm
Friday to Saturday 11.30 am to 10.30 pm

Albert Park – Saltwater Grill 

On this hunt, we had some backup options in case one fell through. We had planned to visit Andrew’s Hamburgers, due to many favourable reviews of their potato cakes. 
Unfortunately, they were closed for renovation at the time of review, so we ventured across the street to Saltwater Grill. Spoiler alert: we’re glad we did. 

Crispiness and crunch – 5/5

From first glance, we could tell this one was going to have some crispiness and crunch. Wonderfully rustic in its misshapen glory, every bite had a firm crunch and simply blew us away. 

Fluffiness and flavour of potato – 5/5

To back up the exterior of this potato cake, Saltwater easily had the most flavoursome and fluffy filling. Every bite had us wanting more and more, with the most perfect ratio of batter to potato.

Size – 4/5

While it was smaller on the circumference side of things, the potato thickness was at the perfect level. Thick but not too thick, right in the middle like Goldilocks would approve of. 

Overall – 4.7/5

Bravo Saltwater Grill. A fish and chip shop worth travelling to from any side of Melbourne just for potato cakes – they’re that good. It’s almost a blessing these are slightly smaller, because there was no way we could have just one. 

Saltwater Grill
93 Dundas Place, Albert Park 
9690 8969
Hours: Monday to Sunday 11 am to 9 pm

Our final rankings

With a full stomach, our hunt came to an end, leaving us with a clear ranking of who reigned supreme.

1.    Saltwater Grill – 4.7 out of 5
2.    Hunky Dory – 4 out of 5
3.    Pink Salt and Belvga – 3.7 out of 5

Saltwater Grill took out our crown for the best potato cake in the City of Port Phillip, with a rustic, flavoursome and crunch golden parcel of pure goodness. Our other destinations also produced fantastic potato cakes, but Saltwater Grill was simply a cut above.

To find out some other must-see destinations in the City of Port Phillip for food, arts, culture and more, check out our latest blog posts