You don’t have to watch Masterchef to know that food can be as much about memories as it is discovery.

I’ve eaten in some nice places and paid way too much for experimental dishes, but one of my fondest memories – always being guilty of a sweet tooth – was the first time I tried a deep fried Mars bar.

It was in a small fish and chip shop run by a Chinese migrant who kept three conversations going while he ran around the fryer.

That was 20 years ago and I’ve been searching ever since. I’ve seen it tried with fish and chip batter, but half the chocolate ends up in the bottom of the oil basket. It just doesn’t work.

But I think I might have found somewhere with the right formula – a place where the ice cream has a shorter lifespan than the melted chocolate because it’s encased in a tough batter that stands up to the heat.

The place was My Pizza Pizza Diner at Hillcrest. They also have a diner at Jimboomba.

Sure, deep fried Mars bars are probably not great for your health. But when done right, they’re an amazing experience.

The diner advertises their pizzas as being “Melbourne”-style pizzas. I wasn’t sure what that meant, so I asked.

“Because they’re better,” I was told.

It was true. The pizzas are pretty good. Dough rolled and baked in-house, light and fluffy albeit a little more bread-like than you’d get in a fine Italian restaurant.

It was early in the evening and the place was buzzing with families and takeaway orders. This place has developed quite a name for itself and deservedly so.

Friendly staff make you feel at home as you gaze the diner for memorabilia, including two decorative juke boxes. Our booth had a sign: “Love is all you need.” Nice.

There are booths inside, and plenty of chairs outside.

It must be noted that while the pizzas are well worth the visit, there’s more to the menu. A half rack of pork or beef ribs for $17 is a great price, and you’ll get roast vegetables with it – adding to the natural flavour of the meat, and also providing some sustenance.

There’s a touch of old school about the whole place. Desserts, including a banana split, are just $5.50. And if you’re keen to have a dessert with your main meal, go for the spider. For those not old enough to remember, it’s a scoop of ice cream in a soft drink.

Upsize your dessert with a banana and white chocolate calzone, or the apple and custard version.

There are salads for the health conscious, and pasta, schnitzel or a house special garlic prawns for those looking for something along those lines.

Loaded fries with pulled beef and gravy sounded great, but you can only eat so much.

Pizzas come in personal size for $10, regular $15, and a super-sized family version for $27.

It’s at 21 Middle Road, Hillcrest.

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