Dishes from the 70s that need to make a comeback

When I was growing up, dinner parties for the adults were a big thing,

Mum would cook all day, and then when the guests arrived, we were banished to the kitchen to eat fried rice on the fold-out card table. It was a glorious treat.

But by far the best bit was being given a Red Tulip after dinner mint at the end of the meal, after the adults had theirs, of course.

Unfortunately, while there are imitations, you can’t buy them anymore, which is a pity. And we are not alone in missing them, there is even a Facebook page dedicated to their return.

So that got us thinking, what other 70s foods need to make a comeback?

Here are some of our picks.


Hard to spell, but delicious to eat. At a basic level, vol-au-vents are a delicious puff pastry shell designed to hold a treat. Less attractively known as a patty case.

Probably a lot of their original popularity was due to sounding French, and therefore a tad posh.

Generally, they came with some sort of creamy seafood filling, but the variations were endless.

I’m not sure why they became hopelessly naff, but their adaptability means they need to make a major comeback pronto.

However, they are difficult to eat. Between the pastry crumbs and semi-liquid filling, they were an unlocked box of potential dribbles.

Prawn cocktail

Back in the day this consisted of defrosted prawns on a bed of finely shredded lettuce and drowned in seafood sauce from a jar.

While that sounds great and probably would be a guilty pleasure even today, this is one dish that could be quickly updated for modern tastes.

Fresh prawns, fancy lettuce and homemade sauce would quickly elevate it into the 21st century. Let’s do it.


This has made something of a comeback, but it’s kind of fizzled and we need to turn that around.

Dipping things in melted cheese mixed with wine should be a national pastime. I’ve read some recipes that even use beer. How Aussie is that?

And once you get your fondue set, why not try chocolate with fruit? You are thinking how delicious that sounds already, right?

Steak Diane

This was definitely on the menu at Mum’s dinner parties. She even had a special set of cast iron serving plates to bring them to the table still sizzling.

We had them for years after we stopped using them. Did we somehow imagine we would spontaneously start making steak Diane again? Who knows.

Basically, steak Diane is steak with a pan sauce consisting of mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, lots of pepper, cream and cognac.

Named in honour of the famous socialite Lady Diana Cooper, steak Diane is a quick and easy dish perfect for dinner parties.

The good thing is, that with a few tweaks, you can easily adjust the sauce to your taste. Add garlic, or chopped shallots, button mushrooms or fresh herbs and away you go.

Scotch eggs

Boiled eggs covered in sausage meat, crumbed and fried? Yes please. What’s not to love?

They are like a meal in themselves. Certainly perfect picnic food.

They probably fell out of fashion because they are terribly fiddly to make. But don’t let that stop you. Just be motivated by all the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs you can expect when you offer them around.

Required soundtrack while you are cooking, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and don’t forget to pop on a ghastly apron with Kiss the Cook or n busty cartoon woman plastered on the front.

Do you have a retro dish you still love? Why not share your favourite in the comments section below?

Also read: Toad in the hole

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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