The launch of Mr Hive Kitchen and Bar’s new Spring menu has aptly coincided with Melbourne’s gradual acceptance that summer, and the holiday season, is finally approaching. Located inside the beautiful Crown Metropol Hotel, Mr Hive is abuzz with activity as Melbourne’s foodie elite all arrive to taste the exciting new dishes on offer.
A bar is conveniently located at the entrance to the restaurant, providing guests with a liquid kick-starter to tonight’s celebrations. Already looking like spring has sprung, the sun-drenched dining room features a faux-grass floor and blonde wood tables, creating the perfect backdrop to sample the works of Head Chef Tom Lawson. Lawson, who has trained under Raymond Blanc and been awarded The Age’s Best Young Chef of the Year 2011, has established a star-power in his short career.
Highlights of the evening’s menu included Mr Hive’s signature corn bread, which is bursting with fresh kernels and slathered in homemade honey butter. A jicama ravioli, where pasta sheets are ingeniously replaced with a thin sliver of this Spanish root vegetable, are stuffed with avocado, vegetables and micro-herbs. Another standout is a very British-inspired ocean trout, served on a bed of potato and celery salad. Each plate is perfectly paired with bio-organic white wines from around Spain and France for a lovely summery touch.
Savoury may be good, but sweet is definitely better. Especially when the whimsically named Mrs Hive’s Dessert Bar is involved. Located in one corner of the dining room, rather than showcasing bottles of hard-liquor, Mrs Hive’s shelves are stacked extravagantly with an assortment of hard candies and homemade chocolates – enough to give diners a toothache from just looking at it. A signature deconstructed bread and butter pudding is made from crumbled cardamom-spiced bread and served with blueberry compote, and a luxurious white chocolate and cauliflower ice cream.
Read more about Mr and Mrs Hive here