Some 11 kilometres southeast of Melbourne CBD, Glen Huntly and neighbouring Carnegie are on the traditional lands of the Boonwurrung people. Carnegie in particular is known as a foodie hub, with the main shopping strip Koornang Road chockablock with eateries.
Glen Huntly (or Glenhuntly, as the railway station is still called) is named after a ship by the same name that was headed for Melbourne carrying Scottish migrants. The ship was struck with an outbreak of disease, likely typhoid, and aborted its journey before reaching the new settlement to create a makeshift quarantine station for those on board who were sick. Supplies were sent down from Melbourne to service the quarantine camp, and the suburb formed from there.
The origins of Carnegie's name are somewhat murky, but what is clear is that it did not start out as Carnegie. It was originally called Rosstown, after local businessman and property developer William Murray Ross. Ross proposed a sugar beet mill, residential estate and railway to serve the area, but these ventures failed and the area was renamed.
How do I get to Glen Huntly and Carnegie?
The 67 tram travels down Glen Huntly Road, serving the suburb of the same name, as well as the southern part of Carnegie. Glen Huntly train station is on the Frankston line, and Carnegie station is on the Pakenham or Cranbourne lines.
These suburbs are just south of leafy Malvern and east of Elsternwick and Caulfield, home to much of Melbourne's Jewish community.
Love biryani? You'll love Swagath Grand (1177 Glen Huntly Rd, Glen Huntly), a perennially popular Indian restaurant on Glen Huntly Road. We also can't get enough of the chilli and cheese uthappam, which is a flat disc of fermented dough covered in toppings. It is the law of the land that you must order chicken 65, a dish invented by A. M. Buhari of the Buhari Hotel chain in, so goes the rumour, 1965. The scarlet, deep-fried chicken cubes are unbelievably moreish. Not a chicken fan? You've got options, like mushroom 65, loose prawn 65, vegetable 65 biryani – you get the picture. Just get the 65, 'K? The pani puri and masala puri are also great to snack on while you're deciding just how much 65 you can fit in your tum. And we've known fistfights to break out over the cheese garlic naan. Wash it all down with your very own wine – Swagath Grand is BYO.
Anyone in the southern suburbs who loves Indian cooking knows of Quality Groceries (1116/1120 Glen Huntly Rd, Glen Huntly), which sells a huge selection of spices, packaged meals, frozen foods, pantry staples, snacks and desserts. There is also a decent selection of Indian health and beauty products. Next door to the shop is a café selling hot vegetarian food like samosas and curries.
There's a rumour that Darn Cheap Fabrics(1188 Glen Huntly Rd, Glen Huntly) is so good (and so darn cheap!) that people from interstate make pilgrimages to Melbourne to visit. The shop sells kilometres of fabric, as well as haberdashery, trims, elastic, buttons and everything a keen sewer needs. If you can't make it to Glen Huntly (though you should, as the rows upon rows of fabric need to be seen to be believed), the shop has an excellent website and you can get your fabrics sent straight to your door.
No points for guessing what Malaysian dish Glen Huntly favourite Roti and Roti(1139 Glen Huntly Rd, Glen Huntly) specialises in. Get it with curry, with egg, or as murtabak, but definitely try the roti here. The prawn har mee soup is also worth getting, filled with sliced chicken and water spinach. The Taiwanese popcorn chicken is as good as you'll get anywhere – KFC, eat your heart out. The restaurant is also BYO, so even though the fluoro-lit interior isn't exactly mood lighting, you'll be happy to linger here.
There aren't many Melbourne places doing Uyghur food, the cuisine of China's persecuted ethnic Muslim minority. Xinjiang province, home of the Uyghurs, is bordered by Mongolia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, and Uyghur food includes a lot of dishes, like lamb and potatoes, that are often found in cuisines of nearby cultures. At Kaynam (101 Koornang Rd, Carnegie), try a giant plate of hand-pulled noodles with lamb and chilli, or get amongst fat, juicy lamb skewers. The lamb pie (are you seeing a theme?) is also well worth a look, as is a giant plate of chicken and potatoes. If you want your carbs with sugar attached, order the potatoes in a candied honey sauce. Corkage is just $1.50 per person, so BYO to your heart's content.
Fan of fried? Kyodai Katsu(76 Koornang Rd, Carnegie) is a must-visit, specialising in all things crumbed and fried. Yes, you could get any of the ramens or dons, like teriyaki and sukiyaki, but panko-covered or tempura-battered deep-fried goodness is what you're here for. Panko chicken or port fillets in curry sauce are a good choice, as are the tempura prawns with curry rice. It's not subtle, and it's not necessarily your daily serves of vegetables, but it's the fried goodness you need.
Noodle soups are the go at 75 Thai Noodles Shop (75 Koornang Rd, Carnegie). There are other things on the menu, but we think the noodle soups are the reason for the season. The titular Thai Noodles Soup is excellent or opt for the coconut curry noodle soup khao soi gai.
Korean fried chicken is having a bit of a moment, and it goes with beer like Vegemite and toast. You can get your chicken boneless or bone-in here at Bon Chicken and Beer(121 Koornang Rd, Carnegie) and you can choose toppings like soy garlic, spicy or sweet chilli. The seafood and spring onion pancake is also a winner, and you must order the corn cheese, kernels of sweetcorn smothered in a gooey blanket of cheese. There's plenty of beer on the menu, but you can also BYO wine only.