“I’m late, I’m late
For a very important date
No time to say ,”Hello, Goodbye!”
I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”
(The White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland, 1951)
Hey! Fancy seeing you down here! It’s great in the rabbit warren isn’t it?
That’s how I felt as I trundled down the steps at the Rialto forecourt to meet Ashley.
Pretty bundles of twigs tied up and hung from the ceiling. Mysterious dark corners where I was expecting rabbits to pop out.
Bird cages, pots, water jugs on every nook and cranny.
As we got to the table, Ashley and I immediately started taking pictures of the entire restaurant. Everything was just so damn pretty in here! We loved it!
I had always wanted to visit Hare and Grace (as with a lot of other restaurants) and never had the opportunity until the fateful day I received a text from Ashley asking me to, “please don’t kill me!” for pulling out of our Maha rendezvous with the FPS (Fake Photography Society) gang.
Instead of killing her, I said, “Let’s catch up the day before instead and try somewhere else!”
And that’s just what we did.
Since there were only two of us, and most options on the menu provided only had two items, we decided to go with everything on the menu and opt for the 3 course meal (for an additional $15 for the extra course).
Composites – Entree (Option 1): 1/2 Shell Scallops, Garlic Aioli, Herb Breadcrumbs
This was my winning dish of the day. The scallops were juicy and sweet, and the garlic aioli was light, without being too overpowering as to kill off the freshness of the scallops.
So so so good!
Composites – Entree (Option 2): Heirloom Tomatoes, Pineapple, Herbs, Chilli
Normally offered as a side at Hare & Grace, these tomatoes were an entree choice. We did love the sweet tartness of these juicy tomatoes.
Principals – Main (Option 1): Fish of the Day (Salmon) on Toast
I had the rather lacklustre fish on toast. The salmon was again very fresh and cooked beautifully, but it was a dish I could have easily done at home. Upon further research, I also discovered that this dish isn’t part of their normal menu and was only a special for the Express Lunch options.
Principals – Main (Option 2): Beef Fondant, Seasonal Vegetables, Mash
Ashley had the beef, and enjoyed it. However, she did mention that it needed something more in the gravy. There was an element missing somewhere which she couldn’t pinpoint.
Sweet, Guilty, Vanity – Dessert (Option 1): Vanilla Creme Brulee, Sable
For desserts, we shared both of our options. My creme brulee was so good. With a beautiful and resounding crack, the vanilla creme underneath oozed perfection. The little shortbread biscuits that accompanied it was crumbly and melted in my mouth.
Sweet, Guilty, Vanity – Dessert (Option 2): Chocolate Bar, Sugared Peppers, Raspberry Chantilly
Ashley had the winning dessert of us two however. It took us a while to calm down and enjoy it though, as we were too caught up with the cuteness and prettiness of its presentation!
The sugared peppers were more smoky than sweet, which I liked and the raspberry chantilly was smooth and inviting.
The chocolate bar was a winner all on its own! Dark, heavy, rich and smooth… *dreamy*
Despite the minor setback with our mains, I think we both did really enjoy the atmosphere, food and overall service. We were well looked after, water constantly refilled and were offered separate plates to use when they saw us sharing our food 🙂
I would love to come back and try their “real” menu so that I can get a better understanding behind the feel of Hare & Grace. If the scallop and the chocolate were anything to go by, I know I would be swooning for more 🙂
Please note: The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Express Lunch (Choice of 2 courses, a glass of Victorian wine, and tea/coffee for $35 per person) has ended for 2012 and will return in 2013.
*Disclaimer: All food ratings & review are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality at the time of visit
Food/ Cuisine: Modern Australian
Dining Style: Casual Dining (Eatery & Minibar)
Lunch: Monday to Friday, 11:30am – 3:30pm
Dinner: Monday to Friday, 6:00pm – late
525 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9629 6755
How to get there:
oh the dessert… yes please!!
Desserts were goooooood!
woh, why have I never heard of this place!? *adds to list*
I think your list is growing too long my dear!
Such a shame about the salmon. Perhaps the beef was missing some kind of acidic component? Or fresh herbs?
Not sure, as I didn’t taste it… could have been salt the magic ingredient 🙂
I pass by this place often but i never thought of coming here!
You should! It’s a quaint little spot 🙂
Oh look, there’s that creme brulee again! I think maybe a dessert-for-lunch trip might be in order …
Where else has that brulee been? THe wandering brulee! *gasp*
Teehee, now I can’t get the image of it picking itself up Magic Pudding style and walking off the table! (oh, and Ashley beat you to the punch by just a little so that’s where I’d seen it before)
With the saucer and the spoon!
Oh wow, that chocolate dessert looks incredible! I love the incredibly glossy coating on that chocolate bar!
Yeah it was very glossy!
I always think that scallop dishes should come in 4 instead of 3! hehe me and brother always fight for the last one 😛 But that looks so good I’d have everything for myself!
I agree.. so much easier to share 😛
Thanks for the review! I was supposed to go here on my last trip to Melbourne (sheesh, was that over a year ago? :O) and didn’t have enough time so it’s great to know what it is like 🙂
You were suppose to go a lot of places! You need to stay for longer periods!
My name means “grace” and I was born in the year of the rabbit, therefore this restaurant was clearly named after me and that intriguing chocolate dessert is destined for me belly. (Yes, I do want to try chocolate desserts if they have wacky flavours involved 😀 )
My poor child.. clearly disillusioned 😛 *ducks flying chocolates*
Oh, looks like you were given the bar (not the restaurant) menu…do consider a return visit. We love H&G’s desserts especially, we previously blogged about all of them here. http://momoandcoco.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/hare-and-grace/
If that was the case, silly them. Express lunches during MFWF should showcase the restaurants offerings, not the bars! But the desserts were truly amazing!
Still upset that I missed the Express Lunches this year hahaha but thanks for giving honest reviews for so many of the participating restaurants ~ everything here looks AMAZING 🙂 another place to put down on my ‘must’ go list hahaha
There’s always next years 🙂 Yeah visit!
I want to go here! Food looks generally decent, though that salmon dish DOES look a tad awkward!
It was akward!
What’s that green stuff under the salmon? Wouldn’t it have been funny if it was peas (again) :p
Nah it was some pesto thing? Avocado? I have no idea…
I can’t wait to try the actual ala carte menu myself! 🙂
Me too.. let’s go back again!