Published on 16 October 2019
Hazel, the new multi-level restaurant from the folks behind Liminal, has just opened its doors in the historic T&G Building on Flinders Lane, where it will soon be joined by a basement wine bar, Dessous. For now, the menu at Hazel has plenty to keep you occupied, from grilled things to cured things to an extensive things-on-toast selection. Pasta and a substantial list of vegetarian dishes round things out. Below are the must-do dishes according to the team, but if you really can’t decide, sit at the bar in the open kitchen and get the hot tip from the chefs.
How about a drink?
Our Strawberry Negroni is a real standout. We sous-vide our Negroni with strawberries for four hours, then use the leftover strawberries to make a riff on the Roll Up, which garnishes the drink. Otherwise, the Appleseed Gimlet is a good strong start to a meal. If you’re staying away from the booze, the Garden Sour – with Seedlip, apple and a rosemary shrub – is a great choice.
I’m here for a good time not a long time.
Start with six roasted oysters, then work your way through the On Toast section. We especially like the tartare and the mussels. If you can spare a few more minutes, finish with a pasta. To go with our snacks, we recommend a glass of Ayala or the Pepino and Vine. It’s a Champagne cocktail with a salted cucumber and strawberry reduction.
The pass at Hazel
Got anything light and fresh?
Skip the toast section and go for almost anything else. The calamari with garlic butter, the raw fish with freshly grated horseradish or the grilled prawns are a great way to start. Then kick on with our vegetable-focused dishes. The grilled asparagus with parmesan and the chopped salad are perfect.
I like tasty food but I don’t eat animals.
The beetroot with fromage frais and dill has you covered. If beetroot isn’t your thing, then all of our pasta can be made vegetarian.
If you’re vegan, the burnt eggplant is a great option. It comes with our pesto that’s 100 per cent dairy-free. Plus, all of the vegetable dishes can easily be made vegan and a few of them together make a great meal.
Rock flathead with herbs and beurre blanc
Name the dish that is quintessentially Hazel.
Mullet on toast. We grill fillets of yellow-eye mullet that we source from Bruce Collis in Corner Inlet, then lay them on our sourdough that’s been topped with a mix of capers and parsley. It’s simple, seasonal and delicious.
Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for me?
Come with six pals and just order everything. Okay, maybe not everything. There are some fairly large steaks on there. But you can definitely work your way through the menu. Start with the oysters at the top, give the snacks and toasts a good nudge, and then round it out with some of the larger dishes. The spelt noodles with Berkshire pork sausage and mushroom stock is really rich and earthy, the plate of lamb forequarter chops feels really homely and classic, and the David Blackmore wagyu chuck tail flap is so buttery and delicious. Add a couple of bottles of wine and you’re in for a helluva night.
And to close?
Rosemary Andrews’ desserts are all amazing, but the custard tart is flying out the door at the moment.
Hazel, 164 Flinders La, Melbourne, (03) 9070 4938, hazelrestaurant.com.au
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