Hare and Grace is a new bar/restaurant next door to Espressino on the corner of Collins and King streets. It opened about a month ago but, with this being holiday time for many people, it was unexpectedly quiet when I arrived to meet a colleague for lunch yesterday. This also means it seems I have written the first review of the food. Normally the food bloggers who work in the CBD would have got to this on opening day.
The front bar area soon filled, but the restaurant space behind had tables to spare. Compared to the crush of people at Izakaya Den the night before, it was quite a contrast of city eating experiences (I’m not going to review it as it’s been done by everyone already and I don’t have anything new to add).
We ordered from the bar menu, which contains many temptations. My colleague chose the calamari schnitzel baguette (above) and fries while I chose the roast chicken breast with celery, apple and walnut salad (below). Both are $17. He was satisfied with the baguette and I was most impressed by the complex flavour combination of the seemingly simple ingredients put before me.
I had a glass of the excellent Jamsheed riesling and he had a beer. While watching what other customers ordered, I suffered food envy at the sight of the scallops with herb breadcrumbs and the veal schnitzel and fries (both $21). Next time I will try one of those.
The front bar interior is a curious mix of artfully ramshackle recycled pallet timber tables and fittings, some more modern furniture and narrow and not very comfortable stools. Branches hang down from the ceiling. The restaurant area seems lighter and features large animal prints depicting meat cuts on the walls. It feels new and artificial (which of course it is) but with wear and tear and a crowd I’m sure it would improve.
Lunch finished with a very good coffee and fruit and nut biscotti. Hare and Grace impressed me (apart from the stools). I’ll be recommending it to friends and hopefully returning with them. I’m very glad it was easy to get a table when I did as, with the return of city workers, it is likely to become the a popular place to be seen at in the suit district.
Disclosure: this meal was paid for by my employer.