HOYTS LUX redefines cinema dining with new ‘ducking good’ bespoke menu by celebrity chef Manu Feidel
An evening at HOYTS LUX Chadstone marked the occasion, celebrating the partnership between HOYTS and new ambassador Manu Feidel with delicious foods from the exclusive new menu. HOYTS did what it does best – simply entertain – with a star-studded crowd including the likes of Marcia Hines and one of Masterchef Australia’s trio Gary Mehigan in attendance.
The exclusive menu offers a wealth of options inspired by Feidel’s “background, personal preferences on what I would like to be able to order in the cinema and classics that people always look for when going to see a movie”. Different flavours and textures were brought to the fore, entirely revamping the old menu and allowing HOYTS LUX to pave the way for the cinema dining concept.
“A glass of wine with some wonderful food, I think, makes the experience of a cinema even better than you think. And that’s why I said yes to the gig,” commented Feidel.
The signature duck bao was the standout dish of the evening, not to mention a personal favourite of both HOYTS CEO Damian Keogh and Feidel himself.
“My personal favourite is the duck bao”, commented Keogh during the speeches, “But I do like the duck spring rolls too” — “It’s ducking good,” chipped Feidel.
Duck, a clear favourite of Feidel’s to work with, makes its way into two further dishes; the duck cigar spring rolls, filled with confit duck cooked in cinnamon spiced duck jus with carrots and dates, served with plum sauce, and the Nam duck salad, a dish I loved with its crunchy textures of toasted cashews and Asian slaw of bright purple cabbage. Crispy confit duck, salt and pepper tofu and nuoc cham dressing cap off this dish and the duck can be left out and served as a vegan option. Another vegan dish is the stuffed pumpkin flowers, delicious little bites with a crunchy tempura batter which is a great cinema meal.
Another standout for me was the sliders. We tasted the grilled chicken, which was lightly spiced and paired with bacon, avocado, and aioli. The soft milk bun was toasted just so making the entire mini burger packed with flavour. There is also the class cheeseburger which is Mexican pulled pork and a salt and pepper tofu option.
The HOYTS LUX dessert options are extensive, in a good way. Treat yourself to the trio of eclairs, these were quite simply gorgeous, with silky, creamy flavours of pistachio, salted caramel or chocolate. The chocolate was my favourite and genuinely hard to share. The cheesecake smash is a great alternative to the lush chocolate options, encompassing baked cheesecake, lemon curd, Chantilly cream, toasted almond flakes and crushed meringue. It was light (assuming you haven’t just had three eclairs) and the lemon flavours were perfectly balanced.
If ice cream is your jam, Malteser sundaes and Ben & Jerry pints provide a plethora of options. We tasted the chocolate and hazelnut Malteser sundae, served with vanilla bean and ultra chocolate ice cream, crushed and whole Maltesers, crushed chocolate chip cookies and warm Nutella sauce with Chantilly cream. We were delighted to unearth chocolate brownie pieces, too. It might be a good idea to share one of these as they are served in large goblet-like glasses; a decadently chocolate indulgence.
Alternatively, if you’re more of a cheese fan when it comes to your movie time, a cheese board offers the choice of Brique D’Affinois, Milawa Blue, Pyengana Clothbound Farmhouse Cheddar – which was deliciously sharp – or Heidi Gruyere cheese, served with warm red onion jam, crisp bread and biscotti fits the bill. Do yourself a favour and opt for the trio selection, and a glass of Wolf Blass Merlot.
Visitors to HOYTS LUX can enjoy a drink in the lounge while perusing the menu by Manu, speaking with staff to select their dishes and choosing times during the film for these to be served. Offering this service with high-quality cuisine will surely enhance the cinema experience as a whole.
Keogh commented, “One of the things that our teams really enjoyed is that it’s not just a form of sponsorship arrangement, this is: in the kitchen, developing the products, and as we’ve said, evolving it into, ‘how can you consume quality food in a cinema environment, while you’re enjoying a glass of wine or a Brick Lane beer?’”