Tag Archives: Melbourne Dining

Crown’s hot new couple – Mr and Mrs Hive

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.

Mr Hive is Crown Metropol’s signature restaurant

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.

Berry eton mess

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.

 Aphrodite Vlahos

Read more about Mr and Mrs Hive here

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Filed under Melbourne CBD, Mr Hive Kitchen and Bar, Uncategorized

For fusion tapas and fine cocktails, Perri’s is on the money

The north of Melbourne is in the process of gentrification – and this extends to the restaurant scene. Leading the way in the small suburb of Northcote is none other than Perri Restaurant. A haven for foodies, locals and visitors alike, Perri combines an inspired menu of fusion tapas, fine wine and a buzzing atmosphere. This is not fine dining, but more “a place where you can chill out” says owner Joe Perri, whose lifelong ambition to open a restaurant has culminated in this modern and inviting restaurant, which speaks of both the past and future. The past we’re referring to is all over the restaurant’s exposed brick walls – portraits of Perri’s grandfather arriving back from a holiday to Italy, coupled with vintage photos of the Queen’s visit to Northcote. Polished concrete floors and black mosaic tables pay homage to Northcote’s former past as a thriving industrial suburb. The future, however, plays its part in the kitchen.

Perri’s exposed brick walls pay homage to the past

Inspired by his overseas travels, Joe Perri, together with Chef Jess Allen, have conceptualised a menu based on the idea of tapas – small bites of food which are easily shared. After years of wholesaling fruit and vegetables to restaurants, Perri is now on the other side of the equation. Thanks to his experience as a wholesaler, Perri has an eye for quality produce, and the menu showcases this obvious attention to detail. Representing the European side of the menu, goat cheese fritters topped with onion and tomato marmalade are light and robust, while a flavourful scallop ceviche with heart of palm, kaffir lime leaf oil and a kick of chilli backs the Asian offerings. Pan fried Morton Bay bugs, served with a Vietnamese salad is one of Perri’s personal favourites and this dish is proof that good food is food done simply. And at just $5 per serve, it would be rude not to order a whole plate to yourself.

For dessert, we recommend Perri’s chocolate garden

We must warn, however, dessert may be tapas-inspired, but not tapas sized. A small dessert for two, known as “Perri’s chocolate garden”, is a cacophony of treats including raspberry sorbet, chocolate cake and a Thai-inspired custard tart. Chocolate soil runs down the middle of the dish and the pandan custard is then poured around its periphery, all done table side. Just like the food, the wine list is well chosen and accessible – with a good selection of European and Australian wines at a very reasonable price-point. What we have failed to mention at this point, is the ingredients are all homemade. Everything from the raspberry sorbet and corn tortillas to the house-cured bacalla that the chefs fold through the eggs at breakfast. With such promise for success, Perri’s is a restaurant you’ll want to return to again and again, even if you do live on the other side of the river.

Aphrodite Vlahosa

Read more about Perri Restaurant here

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Filed under Northcote, Perri Restaurant, Reviews